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Table 1 Characteristics of the four cuisines in China

From: Nutritional characteristics and health effects of regional cuisines in China

CuisinesRegionFlavorOriginal food ingredientsCooking methodsCondimentsRepresentative dishes
Sichuan CuisineChengdu, ChongqingTaste: sour, sweet, spicy hot, spicy, bitter, salty, and fragrant; 8 flavors: fish-flavored, sour and hot, spicy and hot, odd taste, pepper and chili, red camphor oil, ginger juice and home-cooked tasteGame; aquatic products; a variety of tender and delicious poultry and animal meat; plenty of fresh vegetables, mushroom, bamboo shoot, and fungusStir-frying, pan-frying, braising, dry-frying, deep-frying, stewing, smoking, simmering in a covered pot over a slow fire, baking on a pan, quick-scalding, salting, and stewing in soy sauceChinese prickly ash, hot peppers, shallot, ginger, garlic, capsicum, vinegar, bean pasteSichuan hotpot, double-cooked pork, mapo tofu, fish filets in hot chili oil, spicy diced chicken with peanuts
Jiangsu cuisineNanjing, Huiyang, Suzhou, WuxiSweet, salt, and especially pure, freshness, and mildnessAquatic products, variety of vegetablesStewing, braising, simmering, warmingSalt, sugar and yellow rice, or millet wineWater melon chicken, brine-boiled duck, sweet and sour mandarin fish, duck wrapped in shark fins, fireside broth
Shandong cuisineJining, Jinan, Jiaodong Peninsula (Qingdao, Yantai, Weihai)Salt, pure, and umami orientedAbundant peanuts, wheat, corn, sweet potatoes, sorghum, millet, soya beans; varieties of vegetables and fruits; huge products of seafoodQuick frying, boiling, frying, deep-frying, quick frying with corn flour, frying and simmering, stewing, stuffing, roastingSauce paste, fistulous onion, and garlicNine-coiled braised pig intestine in brown sauce, stir-fried large yellow croaker with sugar and vinegar, stir-fried sea cucumber with green onions, stir-fried pig’s kidney, pull-out silk sweet potato with caramelized sugar
Cantonese cuisineGuangzhou, Chaozhou,DongjiangMild, fresh, natural and slightly sweet, sour, bitter, spicyDelicacies of mountain and sea and a rich variety of fresh vegetablesStir frying and steamingSweet and sour sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, white brine dark plum sauce, cranberry sauce, barbecue sauce and fish sauceRoast suckling pig, dry-fried beef and noodles, barbequed pork (char siu), small pan rice, brine-soaked duck
  1. The flavor, original food ingredients, cooking methods, condiments and representative dishes of four cuisines in China is summarized and described in this table