In China, there is a saying that food is the number one priority which is certainly true for the Hangzhounese. Hangzhou cuisine (Hangbangcai), is light-flavored and can be both salty and sweet and its signature dishes include West Lake Carp in Sweet and Sour Sauce, Dongpo Pork, Shelled Shrimp with Longjing Tea and Sister Song's Fish Broth. These dishes are not only flavorsome but also represent Hangzhou’s age-long history. But what are the dishes most favored by the Hangzhounese? Read on to learn more …
Hangzhou's Six Most Favored Dishes
Six Place: Fish Head
Legend says that it was during one of his inspection tours to Jiangnan that Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty stopped at Hangzhou, which was around the time of the Qingming Festival also known for its ample rainfall. He arrived at Hefang Street in disguise and got caught in the rain, so to take shelter Emperor Qianlong stood under the roof of a restaurant called “Wang Runxing”. Hungry, cold and without money, Emperor Qianlong walked into the restaurant and begged for a meal. The owner cooked a dish with half a fish head, a piece of tofu and a little thick broad-bean sauce and offered it to Qianlong Emperor. Partly because he was so hungry and partly because the dish was so yummy, Qianlong Emperor devoured the entire fish and praised it for being tastier than any other dish in his palace.
Fifth Place: Deep Fried Jingle Bell
Deep Fried Jingle Bell is so named because it is shaped like a bell and it is prepared by rolling minced meat into tofu skin which is then cut into several pieces and deep fried in oil, giving a golden color and crispy texture.
Fourth Place: Hang San Xian
Hang San Xian is a renowned Han nation traditional dish. Ingredients used to prepare the dish include soaked pork skin, minced fish, cooked chicken and pork tripe. The dish is characterized by its freshness and silkiness.
Third Place: Lao Ya Bao
Lao Ya Bao, literally meaning Old Duck Pot, features tender meat in a thick and savory soup. To prepare the dish, the duck has to be of the Sheldrake variety and then the soup stewed from the duck is extremely fresh and healthy with many medicinal properties too.
Second Place: Hangzhou Soy-sauce Duck
Hangzhou Soy-sauce Duck uses fully grown ducks. After sauced and cooked, the duck is red in color, oily but not greasy, salty and tasty.
First Place: Pian Er Chuan
Pian Er Chuan is a noodle dish unique to Hangzhou. The topping of the noodle is worth mentioning which is prepared out of pickled cabbage, slices of bamboo shoots and slices of lean meat which enhances the freshness of the dish. It has a history of over a hundred years. With reasonable price and a fresher than fresh taste, it is the most favored dish of the Hangzhounese.