Cantonese cuisine
Overview
 
Cantonese cuisine comes from Guangdong Province in southern China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and is one of 8 superdivisions of Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine is any of several styles originating in the regions of China, some of which have become highly popular in other parts of the world – from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa...

. Its prominence outside China is due to the great numbers of early emigrants from Guangdong. Cantonese chefs are highly sought after throughout the country. Cantonese food is best known in western world; when people in the West speak of Chinese food, they usually mean Cantonese food.
Canton has long been a trading port and many imported foods and ingredients are used in Cantonese cuisine.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Cantonese cuisine comes from Guangdong Province in southern China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and is one of 8 superdivisions of Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine is any of several styles originating in the regions of China, some of which have become highly popular in other parts of the world – from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa...

. Its prominence outside China is due to the great numbers of early emigrants from Guangdong. Cantonese chefs are highly sought after throughout the country. Cantonese food is best known in western world; when people in the West speak of Chinese food, they usually mean Cantonese food.

Background

Canton has long been a trading port and many imported foods and ingredients are used in Cantonese cuisine. Besides pork, beef, and chicken, Cantonese cuisine incorporates almost all edible meats, including organ meats, chicken feet, duck tongue, snakes, and snails. However, lamb and goat is rarely eaten, unlike in cuisines of Northern or Western China. Many cooking methods are used, steaming
Steaming
Steaming is a method of cooking using steam. Steaming is considered a healthy cooking technique and capable of cooking almost all kinds of food.-Method:...

 and stir-frying
Stir frying
Stir frying is an umbrella term used to describe two Chinese cooking techniques for preparing food in a wok: chǎo and bào . The term stir-fry was introduced into the English language by Buwei Yang Chao, in her book How to Cook and Eat in Chinese, to describe the chǎo technique...

 being the most favored due to their convenience and rapidity. Other techniques include shallow frying, double boiling, braising, and deep frying
Deep frying
Deep frying is a cooking method in which food is submerged in hot oil or fat. This is normally performed with a deep fryer or chip pan; industrially, a pressure fryer or vacuum fryer may be used....

.

For many traditional Cantonese cooks, the flavors of a finished dish should be well balanced, and never greasy. Also, spices should be used in modest amounts to avoid overwhelming the flavors of the primary ingredients, and these primary ingredients in turn should be at the peak of their freshness and quality. There is no widespread use of fresh herb
Herb
Except in botanical usage, an herb is "any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume" or "a part of such a plant as used in cooking"...

s in Cantonese cooking and most other regional Chinese cuisines, contrasting with the liberal usage seen in European
European cuisine
European cuisine, or alternatively Western cuisine, is a generalised term collectively referring to the cuisines of Europe and other Western countries...

 and other Asian cuisine
Asian cuisine
Asian cuisine styles can be broken down into several tiny regional styles that have roots in the peoples and cultures of those regions. The major types can be roughly defined as East Asian with its origins in Imperial China and now encompassing modern Japan and the Korean peninsula; Southeast Asian...

s such as Thai or Vietnamese. Garlic chives
Garlic chives
Garlic chives, Allium tuberosum, is a vegetable related to onion. The plant has a distinctive growth habit with strap-shaped leaves unlike either onion or garlic, and straight thin white-flowering stalks that are much taller than the leaves. The flavor is more like garlic than chives. It grows in...

 and coriander leaves
Coriander
Coriander is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Coriander is native to southern Europe and North Africa to southwestern Asia. It is a soft, hairless plant growing to tall. The leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base of the plant, and slender and feathery higher on the...

 are notable exceptions, although the latter tends to be mere garnish in most dishes.

Sauces and condiments

In Cantonese cuisine a number of ingredients such as Spring onion, sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

, salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

, soy sauce, rice wine
Huangjiu
Huangjiu is a type of Chinese beverage brewed directly from grains such as rice, millet, or wheat. Unlike baijiu, such liquors are not distilled, and contain less than 20% alcohol, due to the inhibition of fermentation by ethanol at that concentration...

, cornstarch
Cornstarch
Corn starch, cornstarch, cornflour or maize starch is the starch of the corn grain obtained from the endosperm of the corn kernel.-History:...

, vinegar
Vinegar
Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid and water, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Commercial vinegar is produced either by fast or slow fermentation processes. Slow methods generally are used with traditional...

, scallion oil, and sesame oil
Sesame oil
Sesame oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from sesame seeds. Besides being used as a cooking oil in South India, it is often used as a flavor enhancer in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and to a lesser extent Southeast Asian cuisine.The oil from the nutrient rich seed is popular in alternative...

 suffice to enhance flavor, though garlic is used heavily in some dishes, especially those in which internal organs, such as entrails, may emit unpleasant odors. Ginger
Ginger
Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family . Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom, and galangal....

, chili pepper
Chili pepper
Chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without pepper.Chili peppers originated in the Americas...

s, five-spice powder
Five-spice powder
Five-spice powder is a mixture of five spices endemic to Chinese cuisine, but also used in other Asian cookery as well.-Formulae:The formulae are based on the Chinese philosophy of balancing the yin and yang in food. There are many variants. The most common is bajiao , cloves, cinnamon, huajiao ...

, powdered white pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

, star anise
Star anise
Illicium verum, commonly called Star anise, star aniseed, or Chinese star anise, is a spice that closely resembles anise in flavor, obtained from the star-shaped pericarp of Illicium verum, a small native evergreen tree of northeast Vietnam and southwest China...

 and a few other spices are used, but often sparingly.

Sauces and condiments
English Chinese
Hoisin sauce
Hoisin sauce
Hoisin sauce, or haixian sauce, is a Chinese dipping sauce. The word hoisin is a romanization of the Chinese word for seafood "" as pronounced in Cantonese.-Ingredients:...

海鮮醬, hǎixiānjiàng
Oyster sauce
Oyster sauce
Oyster sauce describes a number of sauces made by cooking oysters. The most common in modern use is a viscous dark brown condiment made from sugar, salt and water thickened with cornstarch, flavoured with a little oyster essence or extract and some versions may be darkened with caramel, though high...

蠔油, háoyóu
Plum sauce
Plum sauce
Plum sauce is a viscous, light brown sweet and sour condiment. It is used in Chinese cuisine as a dip for deep-fried dishes, such as spring rolls, egg rolls, noodles, and deep-fried chicken balls as well as for roast duck...

蘇梅醬, sūméijiàng
Sweet and sour sauce 糖醋醬, tángcùjiàng
Black bean paste 蒜蓉豆豉醬, suànróng dòuchǐjiàng
Shrimp paste 鹹蝦醬, xiánxiājiàng
Red vinegar 浙醋, zhécù
Master stock
Master stock
A master stock refers to a stock which is repeatedly reused to poach or braise meats. It has its origins in Chinese cuisine and is typically used in Cantonese and Fujian cuisines.-Composition:...

滷水, lǔshuǐ
Char siu sauce
Char siu
Char siu , otherwise known as barbecued meat in China or Chinese-flavored barbecued meat outside China, is a popular way to flavor and prepare pork in Cantonese cuisine. It is classified as a type of siu mei, Cantonese roasted meat...

叉燒醬, chāshāojiàng
Chu hau paste 柱侯醬, zhùhóujiàng

Dried and preserved ingredients

Though Cantonese cooks pay much attention to the freshness of their primary cooking ingredients, Cantonese cuisine also uses a long list of preserved food items to add flavour to a dish. This may be an influence from Hakka cuisine
Hakka cuisine
Hakka cuisine is the cooking style of the Hakka people, who are primarily found in southeastern China , but also may be found in many other parts of China, as well as in the Chinese diaspora...

, since the Hakkas
Hakka people
The Hakka , sometimes Hakka Han, are Han Chinese who speak the Hakka language and have links to the provincial areas of Guangdong, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan and Fujian in China....

 were once a dominant group occupying Imperial Hong Kong and other southern territories.

Some items gain very intense flavors during the drying
Drying (food)
Drying is a method of food preservation that works by removing water from the food, which inhibits the growth of microorganisms and hinders quality decay. Drying food using sun and wind to prevent spoilage has been practised since ancient times, and was the earliest form of food curing...

/preservation
Food preservation
Food preservation is the process of treating and handling food to stop or slow down spoilage and thus allow for longer storage....

/oxidation process and some foods are preserved to increase their shelf life. Some chefs combine both dried and fresh varieties of the same items in a dish. Dried items are usually soaked in water to rehydrate
Hydrate
Hydrate is a term used in inorganic chemistry and organic chemistry to indicate that a substance contains water. The chemical state of the water varies widely between hydrates, some of which were so labeled before their chemical structure was understood....

 before cooking. These ingredients are generally not served individually and go with vegetables or other Cantonese dishes.
Dried and preserved ingredients
English Chinese Jyutping
Jyutping
Jyutping is a romanization system for Cantonese developed by the Linguistic Society of Hong Kong in 1993. Its formal name is The Linguistic Society of Hong Kong Cantonese Romanization Scheme...

Description
Dried scallops 江珧柱, 江瑤柱, 江瑶柱, jiāngyáozhù Gong1 jiu4 cyu5 these are usually placed in clear soup
Fermented tofu
Pickled tofu
Fermented bean curd also called sufu, fermented tofu, tofu cheese, or preserved tofu is a form of processed, preserved tofu used in East Asian cuisine as a condiment made from soybeans...

腐乳, fǔrǔ Fu6 jyu5
Fermented black beans 豆豉, dòuchǐ Dau6 si6 use usually in pork and tofu dishes
Chinese sausage
Chinese sausage
Chinese sausage is a generic term referring to the many different types of sausages originating in China. It is commonly known by its Cantonese name "Lap Cheong" or "Lap Chong" .-Varieties:...

臘腸, làcháng Laap6 coeng2 along with laap ngaap and laap yuk this is cooked along with rice for a flavorful meal
salt fish 鹹魚, xiányú Haam4 jyu2 paired with steamed pork or used with diced chicken meat for fried rice
Preserve-salted duck 臘鴨, làyā laap6 aap2 eaten with rice in a family style meal
Preserve-salted pork 臘肉, làròu laap6 juk6 eaten with rice in a family style meal
Salted duck egg
Salted duck egg
A salted duck egg is a Chinese preserved food product made by soaking duck eggs in brine, or packing each egg in damp, salted charcoal. In Asian supermarkets, these eggs are sometimes sold covered in a thick layer of salted charcoal paste. The eggs may also be sold with the salted paste removed,...

鹹蛋, xiándàn Haam4 daan2 can be eaten as it is or can be mixed with stir fried vegetables and steamed dishes or cooked with diced pork in congee
Congee
Congee is a type of rice porridge popular in many Asian countries. It can be eaten alone or served with a side dish. Names for congee are as varied as the style of its preparation...

Century egg
Century egg
Century egg or pidan , also known as preserved egg, hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg, thousand-year-old egg, and millennium egg, is a Chinese cuisine ingredient made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, lime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several...

皮蛋, pídàn Pei4 daan2 usually served with roasted dishes
Dried cabbage
Chinese cabbage
Chinese cabbage can refer to two distinct varieties of Chinese leaf vegetables used often in Chinese cuisine. These vegetables are both related to the Western cabbage, and are of the same species as the common turnip...

菜乾, càigān Coi3 gon1
Suan cai
Suan cai
Suan cai , or in English, "sour vegetable", is a traditional Chinese pickled Chinese cabbage. It is used in a variety of ways...

鹹酸菜, xiānsuāncài Haam4 syun1 coi3
Dried small shrimp
Dried shrimp
Dried shrimp are shrimp that have been sun dried and shrunk to a thumbnail size. They are used in many Asian cuisines, imparting a unique umami taste. A handful of shrimp is generally used for dishes...

蝦米, xiāmǐ Haa1 mai5 usually mixed along stir fried vegetables
Tofu skin 腐皮, fǔpí Fu6 pei4 usually used in wrapping ground pork dishes and fried similar to spring rolls
Dried shrimp 蝦乾, xiāgān Haa1 gon1 usually deveined, shelled, and sliced in half and used in vegetable dishes
Pickled Chinese cabbage 梅菜, méicài Mui4 coi3 usually cooked along with pork or stir fried with rice
Pickled diced daikon 菜脯, càifǔ Coi3 pou2

Traditional dishes

A number of dishes have been part of Cantonese cuisine since the earliest territorial establishments of Guangdong province. While many of these are on the menus of typical Cantonese restaurant
Cantonese restaurant
A Cantonese restaurant is a type of Chinese restaurant that originated from Southern China. This style of restaurant soon flourished in Hong Kong.-History:Some of the earliest restaurants in Colonial Hong Kong were influenced by Cantonese people...

s, some of simpler ones are even more commonly found in Chinese homes. Home-made Cantonese dishes are usually served with plain white rice
White rice
White rice is the name given to milled rice that has had its husk, bran, and germ removed. This alters the flavour, texture and appearance of the rice and helps prevent spoilage and extend its storage life. After milling, the rice is polished, resulting in a seed with a bright, white, shiny...

.
English Chinese Jyutping
Chinese steamed eggs
Chinese steamed eggs
Chinese steamed eggs or water egg is a Chinese home-style dish found all over China. Eggs are beaten to a consistency similar to what would be used for an omelette and then steamed.-Preparation:...

蒸水蛋, zhēngshuǐdàn Zing seoi daan
Congee
Congee
Congee is a type of rice porridge popular in many Asian countries. It can be eaten alone or served with a side dish. Names for congee are as varied as the style of its preparation...

 with lean pork and century egg
Century egg
Century egg or pidan , also known as preserved egg, hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg, thousand-year-old egg, and millennium egg, is a Chinese cuisine ingredient made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, lime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several...

皮蛋瘦肉粥, pídàn shòuròuzhōu Pei daan sau juk zuk
Cantonese fried rice
Fried rice
Fried rice is a popular component of Asian cuisine, especially Chinese food. It is made from steamed rice stir-fried in a wok, often with other ingredients such as eggs, vegetables, and meat. It is sometimes served as the penultimate dish in Chinese banquets...

炒飯, chǎofàn Cau faan
Sweet and sour pork
Sweet and sour pork
Sweet and sour pork is a Chinese dish that is particularly popular in Cantonese cuisine and may be found all over the world. A traditional Jiangsu dish called Pork in a sugar and vinegar sauce is considered its ancestor....

咕噜肉, gūlūròu Gu lou juk
Stewed beef brisket 柱侯牛腩, zhùhóuniúnǎn Cyu hau ngau naam
Steamed spare ribs
Spare ribs
Spare ribs are a variety of pork ribs and beef ribs, cooked and eaten in various cuisines around the world. They are the most inexpensive cut of pork and beef ribs. They are a long cut from the lower portion of the pig or cattle, specifically the belly and breastbone, behind the shoulder, and...

 with fermented black beans and chili pepper
豉椒排骨, chǐjiāo páigǔ Si ziu paai gwat
Steamed frog legs
Frog legs
Frogs' legs are one of the better-known delicacies of French and Cantonese cuisine. They are also eaten in other regions, such as Thailand, Vietnam, the region of Alentejo in Portugal, Spain, Slovenia, northwest Greece, and the Piemonte region in Italy, as well as the Southern regions of the...

 on lotus leaf
荷葉蒸田雞, héyè zhēng tiánjī Ho jip zing tin gai
Steamed ground pork with salted duck egg 鹹蛋蒸肉餅, xiándàn zhēng ròubǐng Haam daan zing juk being
Blanched vegetables with oyster sauce 油菜, yóucài Jau coi
Stir-fried hairy gourd
Gourd
A gourd is a plant of the family Cucurbitaceae. Gourd is occasionally used to describe crops like cucumbers, squash, luffas, and melons. The term 'gourd' however, can more specifically, refer to the plants of the two Cucurbitaceae genera Lagenaria and Cucurbita or also to their hollow dried out shell...

 with dried shrimp and cellophane noodles
Cellophane noodles
Cellophane noodles are a type of transparent noodle made from starch , and water.They are generally sold in dried form, boiled to reconstitute, then used in soups, stir fried dishes,...

大姨妈嫁女, dàyímā jiànǚ Daai ji maa gaa neoi
Stir-fried water convolvulus with shredded chili and fermented doufu 椒絲腐乳通菜, jiāosī fǔrǔ tōngcài Ziu si fu jyu tung coi

Deep fried dishes

There are a small number of deep-fried dishes in Cantonese cuisine, and these can often be found as street food
Street food
Street food is ready-to-eat food or drink sold in a street or other public place, such as a market or fair, by a hawker or vendor, often from a portable stall. While some street foods are regional, many are not, having spread beyond their region of origin. Most street food are both finger and fast...

. They have been extensively documented throughout Colonial Hong Kong records in the 19th to 20th century. A few are synonymously associated with Cantonese breakfast and lunch., though these are also part of other cuisines.
English Chinese
Cha Leung
Zhaliang
Zhaliang is a kind of food in Cantonese cuisine of China. It is made by tightly wrapping rice noodle roll around youtiao . It is most popular in the Guangdong province of southern China, as well as in Hong Kong....

炸兩, zháliǎng
Yau Zha Gwai 油炸鬼, yóuzháguǐ
Dace
Dace
A dace is any of a number of species of small fish. The unmodified name is usually a reference to the Common Dace . This, like most fishes called "daces", belongs to the family Cyprinidae, mostly in subfamily Leuciscinae....

 fish ball
Fish ball
Fish balls are a common food in southern China and overseas Chinese communities made from surimi . They are also common in Scandinavia, where they are usually made from cod or haddock.-Terminology:...

s
鯪魚球, língyúqiú
Deep-fried marinated pigeon 燒乳鴿, shāo rǔgē

Slow-cooked soup

Slow-cooked soup, or lo foh tong (老火湯, lǎohuǒ tāng) in the Cantonese dialect (literally meaning old fire-cooked soup) is usually a clear broth
Broth
Broth is a liquid food preparation, typically consisting of either water or an already flavored stock, in which bones, meat, fish, cereal grains, or vegetables have been simmered. Broth is used as a basis for other edible liquids such as soup, gravy, or sauce. It can be eaten alone or with garnish...

 prepared by simmering meat and other ingredients over a low heat for several hours. Chinese herbs or medicine are often used as ingredients. Slow-cooked soup is a regular dish in Cantonese families as most believe in its ability to heal and strengthens one's health.

Due to long preparation hours of slow-cooked soup, soup chain stores or delivery outlets became popular in Cantonese-dominated cities such as Hong Kong.
English Chinese Status
Snow fungus
Snow fungus
Tremella fuciformis is a species of fungus producing white, frond-like, gelatinous basidiocarps . It is widespread, especially in the tropics, and is parasitic on other fungi , that grow on dead attached and recently fallen branches of broadleaf trees. Fruitbodies are commercially cultivated for...

 soup
銀耳湯, yín'ěr tāng
Spare rib
Spare ribs
Spare ribs are a variety of pork ribs and beef ribs, cooked and eaten in various cuisines around the world. They are the most inexpensive cut of pork and beef ribs. They are a long cut from the lower portion of the pig or cattle, specifically the belly and breastbone, behind the shoulder, and...

 soup with watercress
Watercress
Watercresses are fast-growing, aquatic or semi-aquatic, perennial plants native from Europe to central Asia, and one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by human beings...

 and apricot kernels
南北杏西洋菜豬骨湯, nán-běixìng xīyángcài zhūgǔ tāng
Cantonese seafood soup
Cantonese seafood soup
Cantonese seafood soup is one of the main seafood soup within Cantonese cuisine. It iscommonly found in Hong Kong. It is also available in some overseas Chinatowns. The soup is usually considered midrange to high-end in price depending on the ingredients....

海皇羹, hǎihuánggēng not formally considered "slow cooked"
Winter melon
Winter melon
The winter melon, also called white gourd, ash gourd, or "fuzzy melon", is a vine grown for its very large fruit, eaten as a vegetable when mature. It is the only member of the genus Benincasa. The fruit is fuzzy when young. The immature melon has thick white flesh that is sweet when eaten...

 soup
冬瓜湯, dōngguā tāng

Seafood

Due to Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

's location on the southern coast of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, fresh live seafood is prominent in Cantonese cuisine. Many authentic restaurants maintain live seafood tanks
Aquarium
An aquarium is a vivarium consisting of at least one transparent side in which water-dwelling plants or animals are kept. Fishkeepers use aquaria to keep fish, invertebrates, amphibians, marine mammals, turtles, and aquatic plants...

. According to Cantonese cuisine, seafood has a repugnant odor so strong spices are added. The freshest seafood is odorless and, in Cantonese culinary arts, it is best cooked by steaming. For instance, in some recipes, only a small amount of soy sauce
Soy sauce
Soy sauce is a condiment produced by fermenting soybeans with Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae molds, along with water and salt...

, ginger
Ginger
Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family . Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom, and galangal....

, and spring onion is added to steamed fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

. According to Cantonese cuisine, the light seasoning is used only to bring out the natural sweetness of the seafood. However, most restaurants would gladly get rid of their older seafood inventory by offering dishes loaded with garlic and spices. As a rule of thumb in Cantonese dining, the spiciness of a dish is usually inversely proportional to the freshness of the ingredients.
English Chinese
Steamed fish 蒸魚, zhēngyú
Steamed scallop
Scallop
A scallop is a marine bivalve mollusk of the family Pectinidae. Scallops are a cosmopolitan family, found in all of the world's oceans. Many scallops are highly prized as a food source...

s with ginger
Ginger
Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family . Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom, and galangal....

 and garlic
Garlic
Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and rakkyo. Dating back over 6,000 years, garlic is native to central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent...

蒜茸蒸扇貝, suànróng zhēng shànbèi
White boiled shrimp
White boiled shrimp
White boiled shrimp is a variety of night dish in Cantonese cuisine. The dish is made with shrimp in boiling hot water, and served with the shells. The shrimp is then eaten with soy sauce. When finished, people wash their hands in a bowl of warm tea and lemon....

白灼蝦, báizhuóxiā
Lobster with ginger and scallions 薑蔥龍蝦, jiāngcōng lóngxiā
Pissing shrimp
Mantis shrimp
Mantis shrimp or stomatopods are marine crustaceans, the members of the order Stomatopoda. They are neither shrimp nor mantids, but receive their name purely from the physical resemblance to both the terrestrial praying mantis and the shrimp. They may reach in length, although exceptional cases of...

攋尿蝦, làniàoxiā

Noodle dishes

Noodles are either in soup broth or fried. Some noodle dishes are Cantonized. These are available as home-cooked meals, on dim sum
Dim sum
Dim sum refers to a style of Chinese food prepared as small bite-sized or individual portions of food traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates...

 side menus, or as street food at dai pai dong
Dai pai dong
Dai pai dong is a type of open-air food stall once very popular in Hong Kong. The government registration name in Hong Kong is "cooked-food stalls", but dai pai dong literally means "restaurant with a big license plate", referring to its size of license which is bigger than other licensed street...

, where they can be served with a variety of toppings such as fish ball
Fish ball
Fish balls are a common food in southern China and overseas Chinese communities made from surimi . They are also common in Scandinavia, where they are usually made from cod or haddock.-Terminology:...

s, beef ball
Beef ball
Beef ball is a commonly cooked food in southern China and overseas Chinese communities. As the name suggests, the ball is made of beef that has been finely pulverized. They are easily distinguishable from fish balls due to the beef balls' darker color...

s, or fish slice
Fish slice
Fish cake or fish slice is a commonly cooked food in southern China and overseas Chinese communities. The fillet is made of fish that has been finely pulverized. It is made of the same surimi used to make fish balls.-Usage:...

s.
Noodle dishes
English Chinese Description
Wonton noodle 雲吞麵, yúntūnmiàn, húntunmiàn
Beef chow fun 乾炒牛河, gānshāo niúhé
Chow mein
Chow mein
Chow mein is a Chinese term for a dish of stir-fried noodles, of which there are many varieties.-Etymology:...

炒麵, chǎomiàn a generic term for various stir fried noodle dishes
Jook-sing noodles
Jook-sing noodles
Jook-sing noodles is a rare type of Chinese noodle found in some parts of Hong Kong, Macau, and some parts of Guangzhou in Guangdong province, China.-Production:...

竹昇麵, zhúshēngmiàn bamboo log pressed noodles
Lo mein
Lo mein
Lo mein is a Chinese dish with wheat flour noodles. It often contains vegetables and some type of meat or seafood, usually beef, chicken, pork, shrimp or wontons.-Etymology:...

撈麵, lāomiàn
Noodle soup with beef brisket 牛腩麵, niúnǎnmiàn
Rice noodle roll
Rice noodle roll
A rice noodle roll is a Cantonese dish from southern China and Hong Kong, commonly served as a variety of dim sum. It is a thin roll made from a wide strip of shahe fen , filled with shrimp, pork, beef, vegetables, or other ingredients. Sweet soy sauce is poured over the dish upon serving...

豬腸粉, zhūgǔfěn
Rice noodles
Rice noodles
Rice noodles are noodles that are made from rice. Their principal ingredients are rice flour and water. However, sometimes other ingredients such as tapioca or corn starch are also added in order to improve the transparency or increase the gelatinous and chewy texture of the noodles.Rice noodles...

河粉, héfěn
Silver needle noodles
Silver needle noodles
Yin Zhen Fen, Lao Shu Fen or Silver needle noodle is a variety of Chinese noodles. It is short, about 5cm long and 5mm in diameter. It has a white semi-transparent colour. The noodle is available in many Chinese markets in Chinese populated areas such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and...

銀針粉, yínzhēnfěn
Yi mein
Yi mein
Yi mein is a variety of flat Cantonese egg noodles made from wheat flour. They are known for their golden yellow color and chewy characteristics...

伊麵, yīmiàn


Hong-Kong-style chow mein is made from pan-fried thin crispy noodles

Siu mei

Siu mei
Siu mei
Siu mei is the generic name, in Cantonese cuisine, given to meats roasted on spits over an open fire or a huge wood burning rotisserie oven. It creates a unique, deep barbecue flavor that is usually enhanced by a flavorful sauce . Shops selling these meats are commonly found in Chinese-speaking...

 (燒味, shāowèi) is essentially the Chinese rotisserie
Rotisserie
Rotisserie is a style of roasting where meat is skewered on a spit - a long solid rod used to hold food while it is being cooked over a fire in a fireplace or over a campfire, or roasted in an oven. This method is generally used for cooking large joints of meat or entire animals, such as pigs,...

 style of cooking. Unlike most other Cantonese dishes, Siu mei consists only of meat, with no vegetables. It creates a unique barbecue
Barbecue
Barbecue or barbeque , used chiefly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of...

 flavor that a sauce is usually added but a different sauce is used for each meat.
Siu mei
English Chinese Jyutping
Char siu
Char siu
Char siu , otherwise known as barbecued meat in China or Chinese-flavored barbecued meat outside China, is a popular way to flavor and prepare pork in Cantonese cuisine. It is classified as a type of siu mei, Cantonese roasted meat...

叉燒, chāshāo Caa siu
Roast duck 燒鴨, shāoyā Siu ngaap
Roast goose
Roast goose
Roast goose is a dish found within Chinese and European cuisine.-Southern China:In southern China, roast goose is a variety of siu mei, or roasted meat dishes, within Cantonese cuisine. It is made by roasting geese with seasoning in a charcoal furnace at high temperature. Roasted geese of high...

燒鵝, shāo'é Siu ngo
Roasted pig
Roasted pig
Siu yuk is a variety of siu mei, or roasted meat dishes, within Cantonese cuisine. It is made by roasting an entire pig with seasoning in a charcoal furnace at high temperature. Roasted pigs of high quality have crisp skin and juicy and tender meat...

燒肉, shāoròu Siu juk

Lou mei

Lou mei
Lou mei
Lou wei is the name given to dishes made by simmering in a sauce known as lou . Lou is a soy-based sauce flavored with spices. Like barbecue sauce in the US, there are many local varieties with different spices added to it. It is not unusual for ingredients to a lou sauce be a closely guarded...

 is the name given to dishes made from the internal organs
Offal
Offal , also called, especially in the United States, variety meats or organ meats, refers to the internal organs and entrails of a butchered animal. The word does not refer to a particular list of edible organs, which varies by culture and region, but includes most internal organs other than...

, entrails and left-over parts of animals. It is widely available in Southern Chinese regions.
English Chinese
Beef entrails 牛雜, niúzá
Beef stew 牛腩, niúnǎn
Chicken scraps 雞雜, jīzá
Duck gizzard
Gizzard
The gizzard, also referred to as the ventriculus, gastric mill, and gigerium, is an organ found in the digestive tract of some animals, including birds, reptiles, earthworms and some fish. This specialized stomach constructed of thick, muscular walls is used for grinding up food; often rocks are...

鴨腎, yāshèn
Pig tongue 豬脷, zhūlì

Siu laap

Just about all the Cantonese-style cooked meat including siu mei
Siu mei
Siu mei is the generic name, in Cantonese cuisine, given to meats roasted on spits over an open fire or a huge wood burning rotisserie oven. It creates a unique, deep barbecue flavor that is usually enhanced by a flavorful sauce . Shops selling these meats are commonly found in Chinese-speaking...

, lou mei
Lou mei
Lou wei is the name given to dishes made by simmering in a sauce known as lou . Lou is a soy-based sauce flavored with spices. Like barbecue sauce in the US, there are many local varieties with different spices added to it. It is not unusual for ingredients to a lou sauce be a closely guarded...

 and preserved meat can be mixed together under the generic name (燒臘, Siu laap). Siu laap also includes foods such as:
Meat
English Chinese Cantonese pinyin
White cut chicken
White cut chicken
White cut chicken or white sliced chicken is a variety of siu mei, or roasted meat dishes, within Cantonese cuisine. Unlike most other meats in the siu mei category, this particular dish is not roasted.-Preparation:...

白切雞, báiqiējī
Orange cuttlefish
Orange cuttlefish
Orange cuttlefish or Orange squid is the most common English name used for the cuttlefish dish within Cantonese cuisine. It is one of the siu mei dishes, though it is not quite roasted...

鹵水墨魚, lǔshuǐ mòyú
Poached duck in master stock
Master stock
A master stock refers to a stock which is repeatedly reused to poach or braise meats. It has its origins in Chinese cuisine and is typically used in Cantonese and Fujian cuisines.-Composition:...

滷水鴨, lǔshuǐyā
Soy sauce chicken 豉油雞, chǐyóujī si yau gai


A typical dish may consist of some organs and half an order of multiple varieties of roasted meat. A large majority of siu laap consists strictly of white meat
White meat
White meat or light meat refers to the lighter-colored meat of poultry as contrasted with dark meat. In a more general sense, white meat may also refer to any lighter-colored meat, as contrasted with red meats like beef and some types of game....

.
Dishes
English Chinese
White rice with Chinese sausage
Chinese sausage
Chinese sausage is a generic term referring to the many different types of sausages originating in China. It is commonly known by its Cantonese name "Lap Cheong" or "Lap Chong" .-Varieties:...

 and char siu
Char siu
Char siu , otherwise known as barbecued meat in China or Chinese-flavored barbecued meat outside China, is a popular way to flavor and prepare pork in Cantonese cuisine. It is classified as a type of siu mei, Cantonese roasted meat...

臘腸叉燒飯, làcháng chāoshāo fàn
White rice with goose entrails and roasted goose 燒鵝鵝腸飯, shāo'é écháng fàn
Siu mei platter 燒味拼盤, shāowèi pīnpán
Siu lap platter 燒臘拼盤, shāowèi pīnpán

Little pan rice

Little pan rice (煲仔飯, bou1 zai2 faan6, bāozǎifàn) are dishes that are cooked and served in a flat-bottomed pan (as opposed to a round-bottomed wok
Wok
A wok is a versatile round-bottomed cooking vessel originating in China. It is used especially in East and Southeast Asia.Woks are most often used for stir frying, but can also be used in other Chinese cooking techniques, such as in steaming, deep frying, braising, stewing, smoking, or making soup...

). Usually it is a saucepan
Cookware and bakeware
Cookware and bakeware are types of food preparation containers commonly found in the kitchen. Cookware comprises cooking vessels, such as saucepans and frying pans, intended for use on a stove or range cooktop. Bakeware comprises cooking vessels intended for use inside an oven...

 or braising
Braising
Braising , is a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavour...

 pan
Clay pot cooking
thumb|Clay-pot Rice With Swamp EelClay pot cooking is a technique of cooking food in an unglazed clay pot which has been soaked in water so as to release steam during the cooking process...

. Such dishes are cooked by covering and steaming, making the rice and ingredients very hot and soft. Usually the ingredients are layered on top of the rice with little to no mixing in between. Many standard combinations exist.
English Chinese
Layered egg and beef over rice 窩蛋牛肉飯, wōdàn niúròu fàn
Minced beef patty over rice 肉餅煲仔飯, ròubǐng bāozǎifàn
Pork spare ribs over rice 排骨煲仔飯, páigǔ bāozǎifàn
Steamed chicken over rice 蒸雞肉煲仔飯, zhēng jīròu bāozǎifàn
Meat and Preserved chinese sausage over rice 蠟味煲仔飯, làwèi bāozǎifàn

Banquet/night dishes

There are a number of dishes that are served in Cantonese restaurants traditionally only at dinner. Traditionally dim sum
Dim sum
Dim sum refers to a style of Chinese food prepared as small bite-sized or individual portions of food traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates...

 restaurants stop serving bamboo
Bamboo
Bamboo is a group of perennial evergreens in the true grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family....

-basket dishes after yum cha
Yum cha
Yum cha , also known as Ban ming , is a Chinese style morning or afternoon tea, which involves drinking Chinese tea and eating dim sum dishes...

 hour and begin offering an entirely different menu in the evening. Some dishes are more standard while others are quite regional. Some are customized for special purposes such as Chinese marriage
Chinese marriage
Traditional Chinese marriage is a ceremonial ritual within Chinese societies that involve a marriage established by pre-arrangement between families. Within Chinese culture, romantic love was allowed, and monogamy was the norm for most ordinary citizens....

s or banquet
Banquet
A banquet is a large meal or feast, complete with main courses and desserts. It usually serves a purpose such as a charitable gathering, a ceremony, or a celebration, and is often preceded or followed by speeches in honour of someone....

s. Salt and pepper dishes are one of the few spicy dishes.
English Chinese
Crispy fried chicken
Crispy fried chicken
Crispy fried chicken is a standard dish in the Cantonese cuisine of southern China and Hong Kong. The chicken is fried in such a way that the skin is extremely crunchy, but the white meat is relatively soft....

炸子雞, zházǐjī
Seafood birdsnest
Seafood birdsnest
Seafood birdsnest is a common Chinese cuisine dish found in Hong Kong, China and most overseas Chinatown restaurants. It is also found within Cantonese cuisine. It is usually classified as a mid to high-end dish depending on the seafood offered.-Basket:...

海鲜雀巢, hǎixiān quècháo
Roasted suckling pig
Suckling pig
A suckling pig is a piglet fed on its mother's milk . In culinary, a suckling pig is slaughtered between the ages of two and six weeks. It is traditionally cooked whole, often roasted, in various cuisines...

燒乳猪, shāo rǔzhū
Fried tofu with shrimp 蝦仁炒豆腐, xiārén chǎo dòufu
Roast young pigeon
Domestic Pigeon
The Domestic Pigeon was derived from the Rock Pigeon. The Rock Pigeon is the world's oldest domesticated bird. Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets mention the domestication of pigeons more than 5,000 years ago, as do Egyptian hieroglyphics.Research suggests that domestication of pigeons was as early as...

乳鴿, rǔgē
Roast squab
Squab (food)
In culinary terminology, squab is a young domestic pigeon or its meat. The meat is widely described as tasting like dark chicken. The term is probably of Scandinavian origin; the Swedish word skvabb means "loose, fat flesh". It formerly applied to all dove and pigeon species, such as the Wood...

Salt and pepper rib 椒鹽骨, jiāoyángǔ
Salt and pepper squid 椒鹽魷魚, jiāoyán yóuyú
Salt and pepper shrimp 椒鹽蝦, jiāoyánxiā
Sour spare ribs 生炒排骨, shēngchǎo páigǔ
Taro duck 陳皮芋頭鴨, chénpí yùtouyā
Yeung Chow fried rice
Yeung Chow Fried Rice
"Yeung Chow Fried Rice" or "Yangzhou Chao Fan" is a popular Chinese style wok fried rice dish in many Chinese restaurants in China, The Americas, Australia, United Kingdom, and the Philippines...

揚州炒飯, Yángzhōu chǎofàn

Dessert

After a night meal or dish, Cantonese restaurants usually offer tong sui
Tong Sui
Tong sui, also known as tim tong, is a collective term for any sweet, warm soup or custard served as a dessert at the end of a meal in Cantonese cuisine. Tong sui are a Cantonese specialty and are rarely found in other regional cuisines of China...

, or sweet soups [literally meaning sugar water]. Many of the varieties are shared between Cantonese and other Chinese cuisines. Some desserts are more traditional, while others are more recent. Higher-end restaurants usually offer their own blend and customization of desserts.
English Chinese
Red bean soup 紅豆沙, hóngdòushā
Black sesame soup
Black sesame soup
Black sesame soup is a popular Chinese dessert that can be widely found throughout China and Hong Kong. It is generally served hot.-Preparation:...

芝麻糊, zhīmahú
Sai mai lo 西米露, xīmǐlù
Sweet potato soup
Sweet potato soup
Sweet potato soup is a Chinese dessert found in Southern China and Hong Kong.-Cantonese cuisine:In Cantonese cuisine, it is categorized as a tong sui or sweet soup, hence the Chinese name. The soup is usually thin in texture, but potent in taste. The recipe is simple, consisting of boiling the...

番薯糖水, fānshǔ tángshuǐ
Mung bean soup 綠豆沙, lǜdòushā
Dau fu fa 豆腐花, dòufuhuā
Guilinggao
Guilinggao
Guīlínggāo, also known as Tortoise Jelly or Turtle Jelly, is a jelly-like Chinese medicine, also sold as a dessert...

龜苓膏, guīlínggāo
Sweet Chinese pastry 糕點, gāodiǎn
Coconut bar
Coconut bar
Coconut bar is a refrigerated dim sum dessert found in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Southern China and in overseas Chinatowns. It is sweet and has a soft, gelatin-like texture but is white in color rather than translucent like gelatin...

椰汁糕, yēzhigāo
Shaved Ice 刨冰, páobīng
Steamed egg custard 燉蛋, dùndàn
Steamed milk custard 燉奶, dùnnǎi
Double skin milk 雙皮奶, shuāngpínǎi

Delicacies

Most Cantonese delicacies are prized animals and have serious and controversial animal rights
Animal rights
Animal rights, also known as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings...

 issues such as the finning of Shark cartilage
Shark cartilage
Shark cartilage is a dietary supplement made from the dried and powdered cartilage of a shark; that is, from the tough material that composes a shark's skeleton. Shark cartilage is claimed to combat and/or prevent a variety of illnesses, most notably cancer. It is often marketed under the names...

s.
English Chinese Pinyin
Braised abalone
Bao yu
Baoyu is the common Chinese name given to abalone and also the dried seafood product produced from the adductor muscle of abalone. In dried form, it is a highly prized and expensive ingredient used in Chinese cuisine...

燜鮑魚 mèn bàoyú
Jellyfish 海蜇 hǎizhé
Shark fin soup
Shark fin soup
Shark fin soup is a popular soup item of Chinese cuisine usually served at special occasions such as weddings and banquets, or as a luxury item in Chinese culture. The shark fins provide texture while the taste comes from the other soup ingredients.There is controversy over the practice of shark...

魚翅湯 yúchì tāng
Sea cucumber
Sea cucumber (food)
Sea cucumbers are marine animals of the class Holothuroidea used in fresh or dried form in various cuisines.The creature and the food product is commonly known as bêche-de-mer in French, trepang in Indonesian, namako in Japanese and in the Philippines it is called balatan...

海參 hǎishēn
Swallow's nest soup
Bird's nest soup
Bird's nest soup is a delicacy in Chinese cuisine. A few species of swift, the cave swifts, are renowned for building the saliva nests used to produce the unique texture of this soup....

燕窩 yànwō

Controversy

Dog and cat consumption

One subject of controversy is the raising of dogs
Dog meat
Dog meat refers to edible parts and the flesh derived from dogs. Human consumption of dog meat has been recorded in many parts of the world, including ancient China, ancient Mexico, and ancient Rome. According to contemporary reports, dog meat is consumed in a variety of countries such as...

 and cats
Cat meat
Cat meat or cat flesh, meat prepared from domestic cats for human consumption , is varied in its acceptability as a food source in different parts of the world...

 as food in the Cantonese-speaking regions. Eating dogs was common, even from some non-Cantonese parts of the country, in the first half of the 20th century. In Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 and Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 dog eating has been banned for a long time. As of the early part of the 21st century, serving dogs as food is illegal and risks ostracism especially from those under the age of 50. This is the result of increasing awareness of animal welfare issues, and within mainland China a growing number of young people have called for its abolition as well. Some Westerners have defended the practice of Chinese serving dogs as a survival tactic in times of famine
Famine
A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including crop failure, overpopulation, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Every continent in the world has...

. Chinese historical records show serving dog as food does have a history dating as far back as the Shang Dynasty
Shang Dynasty
The Shang Dynasty or Yin Dynasty was, according to traditional sources, the second Chinese dynasty, after the Xia. They ruled in the northeastern regions of the area known as "China proper" in the Yellow River valley...

. Dogs were one of the nine varieties of animals that could be eaten. Dogs were raised as food as pigs and chickens were. One old-style dish found in mainland China that incorporates cat meat is the Dragon tiger phoenix
Dragon tiger phoenix
Dragon tiger phoenix is an old type of Cantonese cuisine dish found almost exclusively in South China regions such as Guangdong.-Etymology:The name of the dish comes from the use of 3 animals...

.

At the end of December 2008 a series of dogs and cats were being sold to meat markets in large numbers
2008 South China animal consumption incidents
In 2008, numerous incidents occurred in the People's Republic of China, mostly in southern China's Guangdong region, over the selling of dog and cat meat. Both stray and domestic animals were taken to butcher shops in large quantities...

. In Beijing a protest was held to defend the cats. In South China, a rescue effort was carried out by the Animals Asia Foundation
Animals Asia Foundation
Animals Asia Foundation is a Hong Kong-based charity that seeks to end cruelty to animals in Asia.The AAF was founded in 1998 by Jill Robinson, who felt compelled to create the organisation after learning of the plight of the Asiatic Black Bear known as the “Moon Bear” because of the yellow...

 to rescue the dogs. About 149 dogs were saved in the operation. Many of the dogs were deceptively sold to consumers as lamb meat, since lamb meat cost more than dog meat yielding higher profits.

Characterization

In 1986, Prince Philip commented on Chinese eating habits to the World Wildlife Fund
World Wide Fund for Nature
The World Wide Fund for Nature is an international non-governmental organization working on issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment, formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States...

 conference saying: "If it has got four legs and it is not a chair, if it has two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it." Despite having the quote presented to a notable organization, it has also appeared in books such as "The Most Stupid Words Ever Spoken" as it is deemed by some Westerners as a prime example of lack of understanding of foreign culinary traditions in the Western world. Although, some sources point out that this is a modern Chinese saying used by the Chinese from other regions in reference to Cantonese culinary habits.

Inflated pork

A 2009 trend in South China is the selling of pork illegally inflated with water during off hour operations using special techniques. The pork weight is then increased significantly and made to look much healthier than it really is. The meat is then transported in open air on the back of motorcycles and then sold to consumers the next morning. The meat is dubbed by the mainland media as "bad intention pork meat" (黑心豬肉, hēixīn zhūròu). This mirrors the legal modern practice of adding water to meats in countries such as UK and the US.

See also

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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