What’s Eating China: Anhui Cuisine

安徽

Anhui cuisine (安徽菜; ānhuī cài) is derived from the native cooking styles of the Huangshan Mountain people and is similar to Jiangsu cuisine. Thanks to ample uncultivated fields and forests in the region, wild herbs are commonly available and used in relatively simple methods of preparation. Braising and stewing are common cooking techniques. Frying and stir frying are used much less frequently in Anhui cuisine than in other Chinese culinary traditions.

Anhui chefs commonly uses fowl—especially duck and goose—in its cooking. The history of the Wushan Imperial Goose dates back more than 1,000 years to the Tang Dynasty. The dish is lightly colored and has a fragrant, salty taste. On the other hand, the Luzhou Roast Duck, which is a popular dish from Hefei, first gained recognition when it was offered as tribute to the imperial court. While not as internationally well known as Peking duck, the dish has won distinction within China.

Anhui is also famous for its egg dumplings. Usually associated with rural cooking, the dumplings use thin sheets of egg instead of flour dough for the wrapping and are traditionally filled with pork.

Another popular dish was named after Li Hongzhang, a prominent statesman during the Qing Dynasty, who was from Anhui. The chop suey is a complex soup and is somewhat salty, with a hint of sweetness. Many different ingredients can be used in the soup, but the most common ones include: sea cucumber, fish, squid, bamboo, dry bean curd, chicken, ham and assorted vegetables.

Another seafood delicacy is Sanhe shrimp paste, which originated in Sanhe, but can now be found in Hefei. The dish’s main components are rice flour and a regional species of small, white shrimp. The shrimp is stir fried with leek and soy sauce, while the rice flour is soaked in water and later added to the mix. The brown-colored dish is eaten with a spoon and tastes pleasantly salty.

Additionally, Anhui is famous for its egg dumplings. Usually associated with rural cooking, the dumplings use thin sheets of egg instead of flour dough for the wrapping and are traditionally filled with pork. To prepare, a ladle is lightly coated with oil and heated. Well beaten eggs are then poured into the ladle and cooked until the mixture forms a dumpling wrapper. The pork filling is then spooned into the egg wrapping and the entire dumpling is steamed. It is often complimented with soy sauce.

Chef’s special:
农家蛋饺 /nóngjiā dànjiǎo / Egg dumplings
李鸿章杂碎 /Lǐ Hóngzhāng zásuì / Li Hongzhang chop suey
清蒸石蛙 /Qīngzhēng shí wā / Steamed stone frog

Where to find it:
Xi Xiang Feng 喜香逢
Phone: 2366 0566
Address: No. 2, Xinji Rd, Nancheng
南城新基路2号

Hui Yuan Shifu 徽园食府
Phone: 8538 2199
Address: No. 2, Zhenrong Rd, Caiwu No.5 Industrial Park, Wusha, Chang’an
长安镇乌沙蔡屋第五工业区振隆路2号 (钱柜KTV旁)

See Guangdong cuisine here
See Fujian cuisine here
See Hunan cuisine here
See Jiangsu cuisine here
See Zhejiang cuisine here
See Sichuan cuisine here
See Shandong cuisine here

Category Cover Stories