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Four Styles of Chinese Cuisine


Food styles vary within China. People of different regions have developed different styles of cuisine due to such factors as available resources, climate, geography, history, cooking techniques and lifestyles. Traditionally there are four main schools of Chinese cuisines, classified generally according to their geographical locations: Shandong Cuisine(鲁菜), Huaiyang Cuisine (淮扬菜), Sichuan Cuisine(川菜), and Cantonese Cuisine(粤菜). Most Chinese cuisines belong to one of these four schools. Sometimes, people would adopt a more detailed classification, adding Hunan Cuisine(湘菜), Fujian Cuisine(闽菜), Anhui Cuisine(徽菜), and Zhejiang Cuisine(浙菜) to collectively form the eight main schools of Chinese cuisines.

Of the four main schools of Chinese cuisine, Cantonese Cuisine emphasizes the natural flavor and rich essence of meats and vegetables without elaborate spices and seasonings, and has no match elsewhere when it comes to soups. Sichuan Cuisine is known for its lavish use of chili, pepper, spices and prickly ash on meats and vegetables, making every dish – including soups, stews and hot pots – burning hot and make the lips and palate numb. In contrast, Huiyang Cuisine boasts the freshness of its ingredients, particularly seafood, and the clarity and lightness of flavors, as well as delicate cutting skills and artistic presentation of the dishes. Dishes of Shandong Cuisine, representing the mainstream cuisine in north China, are relatively salty and simple, with an emphasis on the aroma, crispness, tenderness and freshness of the dishes.



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