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Cantonese Food

Cantonese food is the most popular style outside China. Cantonese cuisine originates from the region around Canton (Guangzhou) in southern China's Guangdong province. One Cantonese saying goes that anything that walks, swims, crawls, or flies is edible. Another says that the only four-legged things that Cantonese people won't eat are tables and chairs. Cantonese cuisine includes almost all edible food in addition to the staples of pork, beef and chicken, such as snakes, snails, insects, worms, chicken feet, duck tongues, and entrails. As a trading post, Canton (Guangzhou) had access to a large range of imported food, which resulted in the huge variety of Cantonese dish we can enjoy today.

Unlike other Chinese cuisines, the Cantonese usually serves soup before a meal. The soup is usually a clear broth prepared by simmering meat and other ingredients, and cooked on mild fire for hours. Chinese herbal medicines are sometimes added to the clay pot, to make the soup nutritious and healthy. Cantonese normally only consume the liquid in the pot, the solids are usually thrown away unless they are expensive such as abalones or shark fins. There's also a Cantonese saying that to "secure" a husband, a Cantonese woman needs to first cook good soups.

Due to Guangdong's proximity to the south China sea, cooking live seafood is a specialty in Cantonese cuisine. Prawns, shrimps, scallops, lobster and crab are in plentiful supply. Many Chinese restaurants maintain live seafood tanks. The freshest seafood is odorless, and is best cooked by steaming. Less fresh ones will be fried or even deep fried. When cooking a fresh fish, only a small amount of soy sauce, ginger, and spring onion is added to a steamed fish, while loads of garlic and spices will be added to cook an unfresh fish.

Some tasty Cantonese Food:

 

Dim Sum (Dian Xin) - Dim sum is literally translates to "touch the heart". Dim sum is usually servec as breakfast or brunch, enjoyed with family or friends. There is a wide variety of food available, Gow (Dumpling), Siu Mai, Phoenix talons (Chicken feet), Steamed spare ribs, and Spring rolls are good examples. In some restaurants, they are served on trolleys. Instead of placing an order after reading a menu, you order whatever you like after physically seeing the yummy dim sums on the trolley. Dim sum is part of the Cantonese culture, it is common to see good Cantonese restaurants crowded with people having dim sums on sunday mornings, enjoying dim sum while reading newspapers.

 

Shark Fin Soup - Genuine shark fin soup or stew is made with real shark fins obtainable from several shark species. In Cantonese cooking, raw shark fins are processed by first removing the skin, trimming them to shape, and thoroughly drying them. Bleaching with hydrogen peroxide may be employed before drying to make the colour of the sharks fin more appealing. Considered a highly prized delicacy, the best Cantonese shark fin soup can fetch up to US$100 per bowl. However, there are also cheaper shark fins, usually taken from smaller shark species, used for casual dining. The quantities used for each bowl of soup may vary from a few needles of fin rays (typical in a US $150 Chinese feast), to a whole small fin, or even more. The price depends on the size and quality of shark fin used; shark fin is estimated to cost at least US $4.50 per bowl.  

 

Char Siu (BBQ pork) - Char siu, also known as BBQ pork, is Cantonese-style barbecued pork. It is usually made with long strips of boneless pork, typically pork shoulder. The distinctive feature of char siu is its coating of seasonings which turn the meat dark red, or occasionally burnt, during cooking. The seasoning mixture for char siu usually includes sugar or honey, five-spice powder, red food colouring, soy sauce, and sherry or rice wine. The words char siu literally mean "fork roasted", which is the traditional preparation method. Long forks hold the meat in a covered oven or over a fire. Char siu is rarely eaten on its own, but used in the preparation of other foods, most notably char siu bau, where it is stuffed in buns, and char siew rice (or Barbecued pork with rice), where it is served with rice. Char siu is common in places with a large Cantonese-speaking community, including southern China, Malaysia and Singapore. It is also commonly served in Chinese restaurants and food markets in other parts of the world.

 

Sources:
Wikipedia - Cantonese Cuisine
China Daily
 

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