Fujian province food is some of the best in China.
If you are looking for fresh fish and seafood, then look no further than the Chinese coastal province, Fujian. Fujian chefs use fish and seafood in savory dishes and in soups.
Another Fujian province specialty is fermented paste made from leftover red wine, also known as lees. It is mixed with many foods for a distinctive flavor. One cooking staple, red rice, is made by mixing rice and lees, which ferments in sealed containers for one year.
What Makes Food in Fujian Province Different from other Chinese Provinces?
The chefs in Fujian province are known for cutting food into thin uniform strips. This helps the food to cook evenly and makes the food look nice on plates and in soup bowls.
In addition to their knife cutting skills, Fujian chefs use less oil and make their food spicier than food in other Chinese provinces.
In Fujian province, it’s normal to serve several types of soup at the same meal. The soups can be simple broths to complex multi-meat and seafood specialties.
Food Grown in Fujian Province
Farmers in Fujian province grow several different kinds of fruits, such as longan, lichee, bananas, and pineapples. Dried longan, also known as dragon eyes, gives hot tea a fruity flavor and longan are good to eat too. (Check out this longan tea recipe for a tasty treat.)
The Ancient Chinese in the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE) began using longan fruit, leaves and roots as medicine. Today, they are still used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Another interesting fruit grown in Fujian is olives. Fujian farmers press the olives for oil and sell whole and pitted olives.
Fujian province is a major growing area for bamboo shoots, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms.
Fujian Province Cooking Styles
There are three styles of Fujian province cooking: Fuzhou, western Fujian, and southern Fujian. Fuzhou emphasizes the taste of fresh ingredients with few added spices or other flavorings. Western Fujian cooking is spicy and salty while southern Fujian cooking is spicy and sweet.
Famous Fujian Province Foods
Famous Fujian province dishes include one from the Qing dynasty (1644 – 1911 CE) known as Buddha Jumps Over the Wall and Xi Shi’s tongue made from mussels, which has been famous since the Wu dynasty (222 – 280 CE).
Fujian Province Tea
Farmers in the mountains of Fujian province have been growing tea since the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317 – 419 CE).
Fujian produces five tea types that are important to the world of tea drinkers: oolong tea, white tea, black tea, flowering tea and green tea.
Ti Kuan Yin (also known as Tieguanyin), an oolong tea, was highly prized as early as the Wei dynasty (220 – 264 CE). This tea’s name translates to Iron Bodhisattva or Goddess of Mercy. It takes more than ten steps to make this fine oolong tea.
White tea, or bai cha, is from the early leaves and buds of tea plants. Fine hairs on the buds give them a white-like appearance. The leaves and buds are not heated as in green or black tea, but allowed to air dry.
Lapsang Souchong, a smoky, resiny-flavored black tea, is grown in the Wuyi Mountains in eastern Fujian province. To make the tea, the tea leaves are dried in the smoke from pinewood fires. Lapsang Souchong has been produced in Fujian province since the Qing dynasty.
Jasmine tea, green tea with jasmine flowers, is highly prized from Fujian province. Jasmine flowers from southern Fujian province are picked during the hot summer. The flowers are mixed with green tea leaves in a process that can take four to six weeks to produce a jasmine scented tea prized by tea drinkers.