Zhangjiajie Cuisine

Zhangjiajie is situated in the northwest part of Hunan Province, so the cooking style of Zhangjiajie Cusine is like the Hunan cuisine, which is also called Xiang cuisine (Xiang is the abbreviation of Hunan), stems from a province that has an age-old reputation as a "land of fish and rice". Hunan Province has always been a cornucopia as far as foodstuffs go. The salient features of Hunan cuisine are richness, creaminess, and moistness, combined with a delicate use of chili. Hunan cuisine is also fragrant, with crunchy fresh vegetables that are cooked "al dente". It is said of Hunan cuisine that it not only has the saltiness of the cuisines of North China and the sweetness of the cuisines of South China, it also has the spicy-hotness as well as the tanginess of more local dishes. Moreover, Hunan cuisine relies on fresh, local ingredients that are seasonal staples, which is another reason why Hunan cuisine is often less expensive than other cuisines.

Hunan cuisine favors cooking techniques such as sautéing, stir-frying, steaming and smoking. It is renowned for its "stewed" dishes. However, Hunan cuisine excels at braising and baking, which lend themselves admirably to the raw materials that make up Hunan cuisine. Equally as important to Hunan cuisine is the art of cutting meats and vegetables, both to please the eye and, in the case of meats, to enhance the tenderness of the finished product.

The special seasonings of Hunan cuisine include soy sauce, tea seed oil, spicy oil, Chinese red pepper, fennel and cassia bark, each of which add its own particular color and flavor to the cuisine. Hunan cuisine is noted for pungency, thanks to its generous but judicious use of spices, especially the use of chili, which is as standard to Hunan cuisine as it is to South American or Indian cuisine. To the people of Hunan, chili can be enjoyed in almost every dish except ice cream.

A List of Some Notable Xiang Dishes

Beer duck                                  啤酒鸭        pí jiǔ yā 

Changsha-style rice vermicelli 长沙米粉 zhǎng shā mǐ fěn 

Changsha-style stinky tofu 长沙臭豆腐 zhǎng shā chòu dòu fǔ

Dong'an chicken                          东安子鸡 dōng ān zǐ jī 

"Dry-wok" chicken                  干锅鸡        gàn guō jī 

Homemade-style bean curd  家常豆腐 jiācháng dòufǔ

Lotus seeds in rock sugar syrup 冰糖湘莲 bīng táng xiāng lián 

Mao's braised pork                毛氏红烧肉 máo shì hóng shāo ròu 

Mala chicken                                麻辣子鸡        má là zǐ jī 

Smoky flavors steamed together       腊味合蒸     là wèi hé zhēng

Steamed fish head in chili sauce       剁椒蒸鱼头      duò jiāo zhēng yú tóu

Stir fried duck blood                    炒血鸭       chǎo xuè yā

Pearly meatballs                                     珍珠肉丸     zhēn zhū ròu wán

Pumpkin cake                                   南瓜饼       nán guā bǐng 

Shredded pork with vegetables      农家小炒肉 nóng jiā xiǎo chǎoròu

Changde-style stewed beef with rice vermicelli 常德牛肉米粉 cháng dé niú ròu mǐ fěn 

Stir fried meat with douchi and chili peppers                 豆豉辣椒炒肉 dòu chǐ là jiāo chǎo ròu 

Notalble Zhangjiajie Local Dishes 

Sanxiaguo (a kind of Tujia ethnic hotpot)     三下锅  sān xià guō 

Sour and Salted Fish                                        酸鲊鱼  suān zhǎ yú 

Loach Entered into Bean Curd                       泥鳅钻豆腐  ní qiū zuàn dòu fǔ 

Hunan Cuisine-Steamed Fish Head in Chili Sauce

Steamed Fish Head in Chili Sauce

Hunan Cuisine-Mala Chicken

Mala Chicken (chicken with chilli and wild pepper sauce)

Hunan Cuisine-Changsha-style Stinky Tofu

Changsha-style Stinky Tofu

Hunan Cuisine-Mao's Braised Pork

Mao's Braised Pork

Hunan Cuisine-Zhangjiajie Tujia Hot Pot

Tujia Hot Pot

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