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Food & Drink

China’s underrated northeastern cuisine

By Zhiyu Wang

November 21

While northeastern cuisine is not one of China’s famous eight, it has a few dishes you need to try.

While northeastern cuisine is not one of China’s famous eight, it has a few dishes you need to try.

Northeastern China includes Jilin, Liaoning and Heilongjiang provinces. Their cuisine, while not as famous as other regional styles, has gained popularity in faraway regions like Guangdong and Shanghai. It is characterized by stews, salty sauces and a lot of frying.

Here are some dishes we recommend that represent the area.

1. Sweet and Sour Pork 

Sweet and Sour Pork [Image Credit: VCG.com]
Sweet and Sour Pork [Image Credit: VCG.com]
Sweet and Sour Pork, called Guo Bao Rou in Chinese, is popular in local northeastern Chinese restaurants, but cooking it is far from easy. It tastes sweet and sour, and has a texture similar to popcorn.

2. Braised Chicken with Mushrooms 

Braised Chicken with Mushrooms [Image Credit: visithaidian.com]
Braised Chicken with Mushrooms [Image Credit: visithaidian.com]
This dish is famous for being especially nutritious. The chicken must be free-range and the mushrooms used are grown in northeastern China. The ingredients take a couple of hours to stew before being served in big bowls. It’s popular in winter.

3. Sweet Potatoes in Hot Toffee 

Sweet Potatoes in Hot Toffee [Image Credit: blog.sina.com.cn]
Sweet Potatoes in Hot Toffee [Image Credit: blog.sina.com.cn]
Sweet Potatoes in Hot Toffee combines the sweetness of sugary toffee with the natural flavor of sweet potatoes. Many people like to dip the potatoes in cold water before eating.

4. Pickled Chinese Cabbage with Pig Blood Sausage

Pickled Chinese Cabbage with Pig Blood Sausage [Image Credit: VCG.com.]
Pickled Chinese Cabbage with Pig Blood Sausage [Image Credit: VCG.com.]
This dish originated in the villages, but has become a city favorite. Pickled Chinese cabbage is the most common vegetable in northeastern China during the winter, and makes a great addition to pig blood sausage.

5. Stewed Salmon

Stewed Salmon [Image Credit: VCG.com.]
Stewed Salmon [Image Credit: VCG.com.]
Salmons, called Maha Fish by the ethnic Hezhe people in Heilongjiang, are chopped and stewed with slices of ginger and pepper. People who live along the Wusuli River in Heilongjiang catch the fishes themselves and cook them as soon as possible for the dish to be fresh.

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