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Zhejiang cuisine (浙江菜)

Hello! My name is Yi Liang.
Today, I would like to talk about the traditional food in my Province, Zhejiang, in China.
Zhejiang cuisine (浙江菜), also called Zhe Cai, is one of the eight famous culinary schools in China. During its long history, Zhejiang cuisine has gained a reputation for freshness, tenderness, softness, and smoothness of its dishes with a mellow fragrance. Zhejiang cuisine specializes in quick-frying, stir-frying, deep-frying, simmering and steaming, obtaining the natural flavor and taste. Special care is taken in the cooking process to make the food fresh, crispy and tender. Thanks to exquisite preparation, the dishes are not only delicious in taste but also extremely elegant in appearance.

Longjing shrimp(龍井蝦仁)
Zhejiang cuisine includes the four main regions of China, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou and Shaoxing. Though they are all categorized as Zhejiang cuisine, each of the four regions is noted for its particular flavor and taste. For example, Ningbo cuisine is a bit saltier than Hangzhou cuisine, even if the same dish is cooked the same way in both places.
Due to the political and cultural status of Hangzhou, Hangzhou cuisine is regarded as the most famous among the other three. Hangzhou cuisine is characterized by its elaborate preparation and varying techniques of cooking, such as sautéing, stewing, and stir- and deep-frying. If you have a chance to taste Hangzhou food, you will be fascinated by its freshness and crispness. If you lived in Hangzhou, you would also feel the change of season from the varying dishes. The most representative dishes of Hangzhou cuisine are Dongpo pork(東坡肉), west lake fish in vinegar sauce(西湖醋魚), and Longjing shrimp(龍井蝦仁).
West lake fish in vinegar sauce(西湖醋魚)
Dongpo pork (東坡肉)
As I mentioned before, compared with Hangzhou food, Ningbo food is a bit salty. But Ningbo food has its own specialty- seafood cooking. Ningbo cuisine emphasizes retaining the original freshness, tenderness and softness of seafood. The most representative dish of Ningbo cuisine is raised croaker soup(大湯黃魚).
Raised croaker soup(大湯黃魚)
Aside from the nice flavor, Zhejiang cuisine is popular in China because there is rich cultural meaning and value behind the dishes. Take Dongpo pork for example. The inventor of Dongpo pork is Su Shi(蘇軾) (January 8, 1037 – August 24, 1101), and Dongpo is his pseudonym. During his lifetime, Su Shi was an outstanding writer, poet, artist, and calligrapher. He was at the forefront of the literary world during his time. Even today, his influence on Chinese scholars still exists.
Su Shi(蘇軾)
In conclusion, I recommend the famous restaurant in Hangzhou. Louwailou Restaurant(樓外樓), Hangzhou Restaurant, Xizhongxi Restaurant, etc. Louwailou Restaurant boasts a history of over 100 years and is noted for west lake fish in vinegar sauce, fried shrimps with Longjing tea.
Louwailou Restaurant(樓外樓)

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