What is Anhui Cuisine?

Anhui is one of the eight culinary traditions of Chinese cuisine

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Anhui cuisine implements many wild herbs from both the land and the sea.

Anhui cuisine is a type of Chinese cuisine known for its strictly regulated cooking techniques and preparation methods. Anhui cuisine is made up of foods and flavors from South Anhui, Yanjiang and Huai Bei areas of China. Like Cantonese cuisine, which concentrates heavily on maintaining the original flavors of the ingredients, Anhui dishes also aim to preserve most of the original taste and nutrition of the ingredients used; however, food does tend to be salty and spicy.

One of the eight main culinary traditions in Chinese cuisine, Anhui cuisine implements many wild herbs from both the land and the sea. Other essential ingredients in many Anhui dishes include pangolin, stone frog, mushroom, bayberry, tea leaves, bamboo shoot, and dates.

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Chefs who specialize in Anhui cuisine must be very skilled when it comes to cooking delicacies sourced from the mountains and the sea. Anhui-specialized chefs also pay close attention to the color of a dish, the taste of a dish and the temperature at which food is cooked. Braising and stewing are common cooking methods; stewed soft shell turtle with ham and bamboo shoots cooked with sausage and dried mushroom are two examples of common Anhui cuisine.