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Chinese Regional Cuisines: Shanghainese Food

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Chinese Regional Cuisines: Shanghainese Food



Today we’re continuing our series on China’s regional cuisines! Check out our previous posts on Sichuanese, Beijing food, food of the Silk Road and Cantonese as well!To get more shanghai Chinese cuisine, you can visit shine news official website.

What is Shanghai cuisine?
Shanghai cuisine is the food that is based in Shanghai and its surrounding area, especially Suzhou and Wuxi. In Chinese, it’s commonly called Shanghaicai (“cai” means food or cuisine), Hucai (“Hu” is a common nickname for Shanghai) and Benbangcai (“Benbang” means local).Shanghaicai was originally based on the food of Jiangsu, a neighboring province whose cuisine is considered one of China’s eight greats.
Shanghai cuisine is often braised in dark soy sauce or simply stir-fried. It has a heavier taste and frequently uses a good thick red oil sauce. All of this gives a very homemade feeling.

The term Nong You Chi Jiang is comonly used to describe Shanghaicai. It refers to the fact that Shanghainese food uses a relatively large amount of oil and soy sauce, has strong flavors and is often red or deep caramel colored.Shanghainese cuisine has been developing since the 1300’s in China, but after China opened up as a port city in the later part of the Qing dynasty a new type of Shanghainese cuisine developped called “Haipaicai” or Shanghai Style Cuisine. (Funnily enough, this term was actually coined by Beijing writers who were trying to criticize Shanghai’s love of western culture.)

As restaurants from other provinces, such as Sichuan, became more and more common in Shanghai, they realized that in order to succeed they would need to adopt their recipes to better match the local tastes. This combination of cuisines from all over China and Shanghaicai created the new Haipaicai.

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