Fujian cuisine or Fujianese cuisine, also known as Min cuisine or Hokkien cuisine, is one of the native Chinese cuisines derived from the native cooking style of China's Fujian Province, most notably from the provincial capital, Fuzhou. Fujian cuisine is known to be light but flavourful, soft, and tender, with particular emphasis on umami taste, known in Chinese cooking as xianwei (鲜味; 鮮味; xiān wèi; sian bī), as well as retaining the original flavour of the main ingredients instead of masking them.
A bowl of Fujian thick soup, or geng (羹). Fujian-style cuisine contains soups, soupy dishes, and stews.
Many diverse seafood and woodland delicacies are used, including a myriad variety of local fish, shellfish and turtles, or indigenous edible mushrooms and bamboo shoots, provided by the coastal and mountainous regions of Fujian. The most commonly employed cooking techniques in the region's cuisine include braising, stewing, steaming and boiling.
Particular attention is paid on the finesse of knife skills and cooking technique of the chefs, which is used to enhance the flavour, aroma and texture of seafood and other foods. Strong emphasis is put on the making and utilising of broth and soups. There are sayings in the region's cuisine: "One broth can be changed into numerous (ten) forms" (一汤十变; 一湯十變; yī tāng shí biàn; chit thong sip piàn) and "It is unacceptable for a meal to not have soup" (不汤不行; 不湯不行; bù tāng bù xíng; put thong put hêng).
Fermented fish sauce, known locally as "shrimp oil" (虾油; 蝦油; xiā yóu; hâ iû), is also commonly used in the cuisine, along with oyster, crab and shrimp. Peanuts (utilised for both savoury dishes and desserts) are also prevalent, and can be boiled, fried, roasted, crushed, ground or even turned into a paste. Peanuts can be used as a garnish, feature in soups and even be added to braised or stir-fried dishes.
Fujian cuisine has had a profound impact on Taiwanese cuisine and on the overseas Chinese cuisines found in Southeast Asia as the majority of Taiwanese and Southeast Asian Chinese people have ancestral roots in Fujian province.
Fujian cuisine consists of three styles:
- Fuzhou: The taste is lighter compared to other styles, often with a equally-mixed taste of sweet and sour. Fuzhou is famous for its soups, and its use of fermented fish sauce and red yeast rice.
- Southern Fujian: Sometimes includes Taiwanese cuisine in its definition. The taste is slightly stronger than Fuzhou cuisine, showing influence from Southeast Asian and Japanese cuisines. Use of sugar and spices (like shacha sauce and five-spice powder) is more common. Various kinds of slow-cooked soup (not quite similar to the Cantonese tradition) are found. Many dishes come with dipping sauces. Main ingredients include rice, pork (pork offal are considered delicacy), beef, chicken, duck, seafood and various vegetables.
- Western Fujian: There are often slight spicy tastes from mustard and pepper and the cooking methods are often steaming, frying and stir-frying. The food is saltier and oilier compared to other parts of Fujian, usually focusing on meat rather than seafood.
Unique seasonings from Fujian include fish sauce, shrimp paste, sugar, shacha sauce and preserved apricot. Wine lees from the production of rice wine is also commonly used in all aspects of the region's cuisine. Red yeast rice (红麴/红糟酱; 紅麴/紅糟醬; hóngqū/hóngzāojiàng; ângkhak/ângchauchiòng) is also commonly used in Fujian cuisine, imparting a rosy-red hue to the foods, pleasant aroma, and slightly sweet taste.
Fujian is also well known for its "drunken" (wine marinated) dishes and is famous for the quality of the soup stocks and bases used to flavour their dishes, soups and stews.
Fujian is also notable for yanpi (燕皮; yàn pí; ian phî), literally "swallow skin," a thin wrapper made with large proportions of lean minced pork. This wrapper has a unique texture due to the incorporation of meat and has a "bite" similar to things made with surimi. Yanpi is used to make rouyan (肉燕; ròu yàn; he̍k ian), a type of wonton.
|English||Traditional Chinese||Simplified Chinese||Pinyin||Pe̍h-ōe-jī||Description|
|Bak kut teh||肉骨茶||肉骨茶||ròu gŭ chá||bah-kut-tê||Literally means "meat bone tea". A soup of pork ribs simmered in a broth of herbs and spices including star anise, cinnamon, cloves and garlic. It is usually eaten with rice or noodles.|
|Banmian||板面||板面||bǎnmiàn||Flat-shaped egg noodle soup|
|Braised frog||黄燜田雞||黄焖田鸡||huáng mèn tiánjī||Frog braised in wine|
|Buddha Jumps Over the Wall||佛跳牆||佛跳墙||fó tiào qiáng||hu̍t-thiàu-chhiûⁿ||Contains over 30 ingredients, including shark's fin, abalone, sea slug, dried scallops, duck, chicken breast, pig's trotters, mushrooms, pigeon eggs and other ingredients. A legend is that after the dish is cooked, the aroma lingers, and upon detecting the smell, a Buddhist monk forgot his vow to be a vegetarian and leapt over a wall to taste the dish.|
|Clams in chicken soup||雞湯汆海蚌||鸡汤汆海蚌||jī tāng cuān hǎibàng||Clams cooked in chicken stock|
|Crispy skin fish rolls||脆皮魚卷||脆皮鱼卷||cuìpí yú juǎn||Fried bean curd skin with fish fillings|
|Dried scallop with radish||干貝蘿蔔||干贝萝卜||gānbèi luóbò||White radish steamed with conpoy (dried scallop) and Chinese ham|
|Drunken ribs||醉排骨||醉排骨||zuì páigǔ||Pork ribs marinated in wine|
|Eastern Wall Dragon Pearls||東壁龍珠||东壁龙珠||dōng bì lóngzhū||Longan fruit with meat fillings|
|Five Colours Pearls||五彩珍珠扣||五彩珍珠扣||wǔ cǎi zhēnzhū kòu||Squid braised with vegetables|
|Five Colours Shrimp||五彩蝦松||五彩虾松||wǔ cǎi xiā sōng||Stir-fried diced shrimp and vegetables|
|Fragrant snails in wine||淡糟香螺片||淡糟香螺片||dàn zāo xiāng luó piàn||Snails cooked with wine lees|
|Meat strips with green pepper||青椒肉絲||青椒肉丝||qīng jiāo ròu sī||Pork strips with green pepper. It has been adapted to become "pepper steak" in American Chinese cuisine.|
|Min sheng guo||閩生果||闽生果||mǐn shēng guǒ||Stir-fried raw peanuts|
|Misua / mee sua||麵線||面线||miàn xiàn||mī-sòaⁿ||A thin variety of Chinese noodles made from wheat flour|
|Ngo hiang||五香||五香||wǔ xiāng||ngó͘-hiong||Fried roll in five-spice powder filled with minced pork and vegetables. Also known as quekiam or kikiam (a localised pronunciation in the Philippines) and lor bak in places such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.|
|Oyster omelette||蚵仔煎||蚵仔煎||hé zǎi jiān||ô-á-chian||Omelette with oyster filling|
|Popiah / Lunpiah||薄餅/潤餅||薄饼/润饼||báobǐng/rùnbǐng||pȯh-piáⁿ||Crepe with bean sauce or soy sauce filling|
|Red wine chicken||紅糟雞||红糟鸡||hóng zāo jī||Chicken cooked in red yeast rice|
|Stuffed fish balls||包心魚丸||包心鱼丸||bāo xīn yúwán||Fish balls filled with meat|
|Yanpi||燕皮||燕皮||yàn pí||A thin wrapper made with large proportions of lean pork|
There are many eating places around the province that sell these specialties for two yuan, and which are thus known as "two-yuan eateries". In Xiamen, a local specialty is worm jelly (土笋冻; 土笋凍; tǔ sǔn dòng), an aspic made from a species of marine peanut worm.
- 中国烹饪协会 (China Cuisine Association). 中国八大菜系:闽菜 (China's Eight Great Schools of Cuisines : Min). 福建大酒家: 中国职工音像出版社. ISRC： CN-A47-99-302-00/V.G4
- 徐, 文苑 (2005), 中国饮食文化概论, 清华大学出版社, pp. 79–80
- Grigson, Jane (January 1985), World Atlas of Food, Bookthrift Company, ISBN 978-0-671-07211-7
- Hu, Shiu-ying (2005), Food plants of China, Chinese University Press
- "Fujian Cuisine. Archived July 31, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Beautyfujian.com Archived 2011-07-10 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed June 2011.