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Anhui cuisine

Updated: Jul 20, 2017 travelchina.gov.cn Print

Anhui cuisine, also knonw as "Anhui style cuisine" or "Huizhou style," is one of China’s eight best-known cuisines. It focuses on braising, stewing and steaming rather than frying with high temperatures and stir-frying. It emphasizes oil, colors and heat control. It follows the practice of applying the principles of traditional Chinese medicine to dietary choices, a feature that differentiates Anhui cuisine from other cuisines.

Red braising is a major cooking technique, with "red" representing the color of the sugar, a technique that requires excellent heat control skills. Oil used in cooking is rapeseed oil extracted manually from rapeseed grown by locals. Wood materials are used liberally, such as charcoal for stewing, firewood for quick cooking and tree bark for slow cooking.

The geographical and cultural environment of Anhui adds a special dimension to Anhui cuisine. The most notable dishes include Soft-shelled Turtle Braised with Ham, Red Braised Civet Cat, Tiger Skin Hairy Tofu and Huangshan Stewed Pigeon.

Fried Hairy Tofu

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Fried Hairy Tofu is a famous non-meat dish in Huizhou, today’s Huangshan, with more than 500 years of history. The main ingredient, tofu, is fermented till a thin layer of white hair grows on the surface before being cut and fried.

Today’s Hairy Tofu is mainly fried with vegetable oil till both sides crinkle and become golden brown. Then the tofu is braised with scallions, ginger, gravy, salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar and soybean sauce. Chili dip is often served with the dish which makes it taste better

Stewed Hoof-Shaped Soft-Shelled Turtle in Clear Soup

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Stewed Hoof-Shaped Soft-Shelled Turtle in Clear Soup is a traditional dish in Hui cuisine. The hoof-shaped soft-shelled turtles used in this dish live in the creeks in Huizhou. This kind of turtle weighs about 125g. Turtle is highly prized to have a high quality and very tender meat without any taste of dirt.

During the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), Stewed Hoof-Shaped Soft-Shelled Turtle was paid to Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang as tribute.

Hoof-Shaped Soft-Shelled Turtle is the main ingredient of the dish which tastes better when stewed with ham. The tender turtle meat and the salty ham complete each other’s flavor which fully embodies the features of Anhui cuisine.

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