Top 20 Cantonese Cuisine in Guangzhou

TripBlog
Nov 11, 2019

Guangzhou also known as Canton, is a sprawling city. It is in the northwest of Hong Kong on the Pearl River which is best known for its Canton Fair, opera and Cantonese food. Guangzhou is a place full of beautiful natural parks and historical spots. It is also famous for shopping streets and centers which cater to almost all your shopping needs.

Contents

  • 1.What is Cantonese Cuisine
  • 2. Hottest Sauces used in Cantonese Cuisine
  • 3. Some Famous Cantonese Dishes
  • 4. A Must-Try Food Menu
  • 5. A Must-Try Dessert Menu
  • 6. Recommendation of Places for Authentic Cantonese Cuisine
  • 7. Few More Dishes which Make up Part of the Core Cantonese Cuisine

Guangzhou is at the center of China’s largest city cluster with clothes and gadgets being manufactured here. The Cantonese Opera is performed daily in many theaters which is a nice way to relax at the end of your tour. Apart from historical spots like Chen ancestral shrine and White cloud Mountain, Guangzhou also has modern style amazing architecture. Some of the architectures, like the Canton tower and Chimelong holiday resort, make it a city of international standards.

Guangzhou's IFC Tower is the world’s 16th largest tower. It is the first skyscraper of the city, which is a beautiful sight to behold in the night when it is all lit up. One can enjoy an evening meal inside one of the restaurants on the tower along with a splendid sight of the city. Guangzhou city does not lack in its natural beauty either with the Baiyun or white cloud mountain ranges. They both have been the most scenic natural wonder in the city from the age-old era. Its magnificence and majestic bearing make it a must-visit while you are in the city. Cantonese food or Yue Cuisine features as one of China’s famous eight regional cuisines. Guangzhou takes pride in representing this Cantonese Chinese Food with full justice.

Top 20 Cantonese Cuisine in Guangzhou

1.What is Cantonese Cuisine

Tenderness and a mild sweet taste characterize the Cantonese food. Its subtle taste and not too garish sauces define its underlying taste and usage of all fresh ingredients and mild flavorings. Dim sums, roasted meat, chicken feet, and seafood make up the signature meals in Cantonese Chinese Food. The Cantonese food is also about delicately steamed or fried flounder and light vegetable dishes. In Cantonese food, the ingredients are not overpowered by spices, and they speak for themselves. The Cantonese Chinese Food originated from Pearl River Delta near Guangzhou. It was opened as the first trading port during the Qing dynasty.

With the arrival of foreign merchants in this region, along with merchandise, they brought their specific culinary specialties. It mingled with the local cuisine and formed what we now call the Cantonese food. But all through the process of blending the culinary art from other countries, the Cantonese food retained its simplicity of dishes without trading its subtlety with extra spices or condiments. The ingredients are all fresh, and the meat represents the livestock which is available in the region like chicken, pork, beef, and seafood.

You would not find much of lamb or goat in Cantonese food. The fishes are either steamed or fried yet remain non-greasy with its texture and delicate taste being its hallmark. The trilogy of ginger, garlic, and scallions are a trademark of most Cantonese food with the use of soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar to top it up. To give a punch to the flavor, Cantonese food also makes use of fermented, dried, or cured ingredients. Some of the ingredients are La chang (sweet dried sausage), Mei Sai (Chinese cabbage salted and pickled), Jiang Yao Zhu (fishy dried scallops) in their dishes like soups, rice, and other cuisines.

The mantra of Cantonese food is that food is meant to taste as it is and not manipulated or interfered with many spices. Thus, making Cantonese food clear and natural in its taste and aroma. All the dishes bring about their flavors using various techniques like steaming, shallow frying, stir-frying, roasting, double steaming, braising, and deep-frying.

2. Hottest Sauces used in Cantonese Cuisine

For the sake of adding variety to otherwise blandness of lightly cooked food which constitute the Cantonese food, sauces form a very important part of any Cantonese food. Though soy sauce stands as a predominantly most famous sauce to be used in Cantonese food. There are many other sauces which have different compositions and method of preparation which yields distinctive flavors to the Cantonese cuisines. Some of the widely used ones are:

Char Siu Sauce – The literal meaning of Char Siu is “fork roasted.” It is called so because meat roasted in this sauce is barbecued skewered with a fork. It is a popular sauce for barbecuing pork in Cantonese cuisine. It is often marinated with plum sauce and honey to render its sweet flavor.It is typically used with staples like rice or buns.

Hoisin Sauce – This is a thick dark-coloured fragrant sauce with a molasses-like constituency. It is mostly used to glaze meats before grilling or roasting.It is primarily composed of soybeans, fennels, red chili pepper, garlic,vinegar, Chinese five-spice powder, and sugar. This sauce can also be used as dips or soups, and it has a sweet and salty taste.

Sweet and Sour Sauce – This sauce is termed loosely for different styles of sauces.But the main characteristic of this sauce is sweet and tangy. The sauce makes a great accompaniment for meats and vegetables. It is primarily composed of onion, garlic, ginger, starch, fruit, vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar. It also works as a dipping sauce.

Black bean sauce – This is made with fermented beans mixed with soy sauce,garlic, a hint of sugar and other seasonings makes it rich in flavor. It is a thick and dark sauce which is used to give delectable flavor to dishes like stir-fries and noodles.

Sha Cha Sauce – One of the sauces which have a touch of spice. This is made from soybeans, garlic, shallots, and fish or dried shrimp. It has a strong aromatic bearing. The sauce is good to be used in soups, stir-fried and brushing meat before grilling them.

3. Some Famous Cantonese Dishes

Though there is a large variety to choose from when it comes to Cantonese food, there are some staples that stand out, and one must feast on them while in Guangzhou.

Dim Sums – Earlier deemed as cheap street food, it is now part of fine dining in top-end restaurants. They are simple and dishes with extraordinary taste. It is a great way to start your meals. They come in all shapes and fillings from pleated and open-topped Siu Mai which is usually filled with pork, crab or shrimp to crescent-shaped ones. The fillings are wrapped in chewy, translucent dough.

Steamed pork buns - Steamed pork buns are a meal for any time and go well with your dim sum serving. It is made of shredded pork wrapped in the dough which has been steamed topped with barbeque seasonings. You can have this hearty dish at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Char Sui – It means “fork roast,” Its name tells exactly how it is prepared.Boneless pork is skewered on metal forks, roasted above the fire and then mixed with Cantonese seasonings. It has a sweet taste and can be added as a side dish to meals like rice. Though a simple dish, it tastes excellent and gives you the feel of authentic Cantonese food prevalent in this region.

Top 20 Cantonese Cuisine in Guangzhou

Wonton noodles – On a cold day, this soupy dish is perfect for keeping you warm and filling your senses with its aroma and taste. This steamy broth is filled with egg noodles, kale, and dumplings which are filled with vegetables, meat, or seafood. This is a staple food of Guangdong province,and mostly the wonton in it consists of shrimps or pork.

Chicken Giblets – This one is for those who like to experiment with food and taste and have an appetite for inner organs. This dish consists of chicken innards like liver, gizzard, kidney, or other such stuff. It is mostly served with noodles or rice.

Claypot Rice - Rice with a twist, that’s how one can define this dish. Cooked over a charcoal stove in a clay pot and suffused with Chinese mushroom,cabbage, and vegetables, this rice is served with soy sauce. It can go well with any side dish, or you can savor its taste just on its own.

4. A Must-Try Food Menu

It is difficult to pick your favorite dish from the vast selection of Cantonese food which the Guangdong province offers and is famous for, yet let us take a look at some of the winners.

Beef Chow Fun – A dish that is easy to throw together yet addictive because of its ultimate flavor, wild rice, beef, and sprouted beans are stir-fried to make this sumptuous dish. The main ingredient is the noodle called ho fun which originated in Guangzhou and is a wide flat noodle. A lot goes in making this dish perfect. It has to be cooked on high flame (wok hei) with just the right amount of oil and stirring so that the noodles do not break.

Congee with lean pork and century egg – This congee is a type of porridge made with rice. It is a favorite choice for breakfast in many Chinese restaurants and homes. It is a filling dish that is also good for your stomach, and if you are having a cold, it can comfort your senses. It is a simple dish to cook, and one can add their seasonings like shredded lean pork and century eggs (thousand-year eggs) to spice it up and make a complete meal. This is the quintessential Cantonese home-style food.

White cut chicken – A traditional Guangzhou dish, the chicken is mostly served whole with head and feet, in many of their festivities like the Chinese New Year. It is believed that white stands for purity. The whole chicken means unity and is usually served in family dinners as an auspicious meal.It is boiled with precision to get tenderness, moisture and original taste of the chicken which is enjoyed with some dips or sauces.

Top 20 Cantonese Cuisine in Guangzhou

Roasted Suckling Pig – This is a very famous Guangzhou dish which is made with a 3 kg piglet. This mouth-watering dish is prepared by marinating the piglet with sugar, vinegar, salt, cooking wine, fermented bean curd and sesame paste and then roasted full. In the end, the roasted pig is garnished with a brush of peanut oil.

5. A Must-Try Dessert Menu

There is nothing like a sweet flavor at the end of a meal, and Cantonese food lovers would have a dearth of choice in this department. Tong Sui (sugar water or sweet soup) is a must-do last step in many Cantonese eating joints. Some of the favorites with tourists and locals are:

Double skin milk – A delicious Chinese dessert made with milk, eggs, whites, and sugar. This is one dish which is nutritious as well as so soft and smooth that it will make your mealtime end with a happy feeling. You could add your fillings like red beans, mangoes, fruits or raisins. True to its name, this dish has two layers, the top one being that of milk and the lower layer is a mixture of milk and egg white.

Top 20 Cantonese Cuisine in Guangzhou

Cantonese Egg Tart – It is a Portuguese influenced dish which has a crisp exterior with sweet delicious egg pulp filling inside. It is like a pie or version of pastry shells filled in with caramelized custard.

Red Bean Soup – Made from red azuki beans, this is a very popular and versatile sweet soup which can be served either hot or cold. It is generally served after dinner as dessert and can be topped up with tapioca, ice-cream, glutinous rice balls, etc. for added sweetness and flavor making it a great after-dinner treat.

JiangZhuangNai or Ginger milk pudding – This is made with ginger and milk. It is a delightful dish that is good for a sore throat and cold. The combination of ginger with milk gives it a unique taste which is delectable, subtly sweet, and pungent.

Tangbushuai or Glutinous rice balls – An easy-breezy yummy dish made with rice flour,kneaded into balls and boiled in sweet syrup mixed with friend or ground peanuts. It lends a smooth texture to your taste buds which is non-greasy,crispy, and sweet.

Green bean soup – A cool sweet soothing drink on a hot summer day. This is a dessert made with green beans, sugar, and water. The green beans bring you great nutritional benefits too, and the chewy soup is a treat for your taste buds.

6. Recommendation of Places for Authentic Cantonese Cuisine

Guangzhou restaurant – A name like that makes it your first stop to have traditional Cantonese cuisine. This is more than 80 years old restaurant serving high-quality Cantonese dishes. One can enjoy their morning tea along with succulent Dim Sums in this elegantly designed restaurant with a courtyard lit with lanterns. Some of its specialties are “Wenchang chicken,” fried pork and Cantonese soups. Do not forget to order their outstanding desserts after meals.

Top 20 Cantonese Cuisine in Guangzhou

Pan Xi restaurant – This is a sprawling garden styled restaurant covering 12000 square feet and tops amongst the other garden styled restaurants in Guangzhou. Its dishes and pastries have won many awards in various contests. One must try its Steamed whole white gourd soup, Garden herbs chicken and pastries.

Top 20 Cantonese Cuisine in Guangzhou

Dian dau de (Ju Fu Lou) – One must take a prior reservation if one wants to dine in this two-story venue as the place is packed on most days. Serving traditional Cantonese food of highest quality and décor which is very much Chinese, this place would surely make you come back again for its one of the best dim sums in town. They are very reasonably priced, and the staff is quite friendly.

Top 20 Cantonese Cuisine in Guangzhou

Man Ho – Belonging to the Marriott group of hotels, Man Ho offers the best and authentic Cantonese dishes in a classy environment. The dish is great for your body, mind, and spirit. They use the freshest ingredients from the Pearl River Delta. Some of the dishes one must try here would be Diced beef tenderloin in white pepper sauce, Double-Boiled Fish Maw with Baby Pak Choi in Superior Stock and picked radish peel. The menu itself is quite extensive, but then there is some set menu making your choices easier to manage.

Bing Sheng Pin Wei – Immaculately designed and high on luxury, this restaurant belongs to the brand of Bingsheng group, which is famous for its original,fresh, and innovative style of food. When you come here, do try their Black Char Sui, roasted goose and seafood pot. It boasts of terrific service at a reasonable price.

Top 20 Cantonese Cuisine in Guangzhou

Lai Heen – Adorned with Michelin star, this restaurant belongs to the Ritz Carlton group of 5-star hotels. The prices are a little on the higher end, but if you want to have a taste of exquisite Cantonese food with a chef who has more than 20 years of experience, then you must visit this place once.

Top 20 Cantonese Cuisine in Guangzhou

7. Few More Dishes which Make up Part of the Core Cantonese Cuisine

Gulling GAO – If you need relief from heartburn, then this sweet tasting dish is for you. It is a brown jelly-like dish in the form of a vessel.

Turnip Cakes – A “lucky food” eaten during Chinese New Year, this is made with daikon turnips being pan-fried and mixing with rice flour. It is a golden crispy cake on the outside and soft on the inside.

A Youtiao – Youtiao is eaten at breakfast with soy milk. It is long strips of dough which have been deep-fried to a golden hue.

Sweet and sour spare ribs – These are pork ribs which are stir-fried in a sweet amalgam of vinegar, preserved plums,and hawthorn candy. It is quite famous with the crowd and is used as a side dish with rice or noodles.

Guangzhou with a wealth of amazing Cantonese restaurants and many well-renowned chefs holds to its strong historical background by providing the most authentic Cantonese food.

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