Huaiyang cuisine, one of the four traditional Chinese cuisines, originated in Yangzhou and Huai’an, so its dishes have outstanding styles of Yangzhou and Huai’an. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Yangzhou and Huai’an were extremely rich for the prosperous salt business, resulting in the features of local diets, including exquisite selection of materials, dedicate preparation, and splendid shapes, highlighting the exquisiteness and elegance of Huaiyang cuisine. In modern times, with a moderate taste, Huaiyang cuisine is suitable for people in both southern and northern China. Its exquisite dishes are the most common on state banquets. Here is a list of some famous dishes in Huaiyang cuisine.

1.Stewed Pork Ball with Crab Meat

Stewed Pork Ball with Crab Meat is a famous dish in Yangzhou with a history of more than one thousand years. Pork Ball is also called “Shi Zi Tou” (literally Lion Head), because the surface of meatballs looks rough for a layer of fat of it melts into the broth, just like the head of a dancing lion in the lion dance performance. This dish integrates the savory flavor of crab meat, pork and broth, resulting in its unforgettable taste without much seasoning needed.

2.Braised Chub Head

According to legend, in the Qing Dynasty, a wealthy man in Yangzhou ordered a big chub of five kilos to treat guests. The fish body was cooked and served to the guests, and the head was halved to cook in broth for the workers hired. Consequently, the workers were rather satisfied for the fresh and tender fish meat and the delicious fish head soup. Later, Braised Chub Head became a famous dish, and is quite popular in Zhenjiang and Yangzhou as a delicacy in winter.

Photo: Yangzhou Culture & Tourism

3.Three-nested Duck

Three-nested Duck is a traditional dish popular in Gaoyou area, Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, where is famous for the ducks there. Ducks from Gaoyou are ideal raw materials for making “Steamed Nanjing Duck Cutlets”. In preparation of Three-nested Duck, which consists of a domestic duck, a wild duck, and a pigeon, the wild duck is boned and filled into the domestic duck with an intact shape, and then the pigeon is boned and filled into the wild duck with an intact shape. The heads of the domestic duck, wild duck, and pigeon are exposed from the body of a domestic duck. Although it looks wired, the meat smells fragrant, and the taste is tender and juicy. It is a must-eat delicacy for poultry meat fanciers.

Photo: Yangzhou Culture & Tourism

4.Surf Clam Shell with Meatballs (Xi Shi with Pearls in the Mouth)

Xi Shi, a well-known beauty in ancient China, is usually used as a synonym for beauties. Surf calm shell is also called “Xi Shi’s Tongue” to highlight its delicious meat. As a component of Surf Clam Shell with Meatballs, a dish of Huaiyang Cuisine with delicious taste, beautiful appearance, meatballs are steamed before being put into the broth to boil. It is worth mentioning that there are crispy water chestnut particles in the meatballs with a refreshing taste.

Photo: Public WeChat Account of Huanghai Forest Elfin

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