Regional Cuisines of China

by Megan Hill

Mar 11, 2015

Traditional Sichuan Restaurant in Chengdu, China © Hupeng | Dreamstime


China is an enormous and multifaceted country, so it makes sense its cuisine is anything but one-note. As you travel through the country, you’ll experience changes in spice level, ingredients and cooking methods.


Cantonese Meat Shop in Hong Kong © Ken P.s. Wong | Dreamstime 41804251

Cantonese Meat Shop in Hong Kong © Ken P.s. Wong | Dreamstime


Chinese cuisine is typically divided into eight distinct canonical regions:

  • Cantonese, or Guangdong cuisine, which favors sweeter sauces and braising
  • Sichuan, or Chuan cuisine, which is a spicy punch to the face and heavy on garlic, ginger and peanuts
  • Shangdong, or Lu cuisine, which utilizes braising, is heavy on seafood and liberal with salt
  • Fujian, or Min cuisine, which is lighter in body and balanced in its use of sweet and sour flavors; Fujian incorporates ingredients from both the sea and the mountains
  • Jiangsu, or Su cuisine, which is heavy on soups that feature fresh ingredients heavily, and balance salty and sweet flavors
  • Hunan, or Xiang cuisine, which is also high in spice; cooking methods include sautéing, stir frying, steaming and smoking
  • Anhui, or Hui cuisine, which specializes in the use of wild plants and animals and utilizes stewing and lots of oil
  • Zhejiang, or Zhe cuisine, which includes seafood and bamboo shoots often, in a wide variety of preparations


To learn more about these regions and their traditions, visit The World of Chinese blog and China Highlights.


Drying Fish for the annual Spring Festival in Shaoxing City of Zhejiang, China © Qin0377 | Dreamstime 34488354

Drying Fish for the annual Spring Festival in Shaoxing City of Zhejiang © Qin0377 | Dreamstime


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