Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China
In a kitchen, a father tries to teach his son about the art of the knife.
Deboning a swamp eel.
Then use the spine of the knife to beat the swamp eel.
Dip it in hot oil.
Add pork belly and garlic. Fry.
Then add the swamp eel.
Transfer the eel into a claypot.
炖生敲 stewed swamp eel
响油鳝糊 “hot oil” stir-fried swamp eel
梁溪脆鳝 Liangxi crispy and sweet swamp eel
石锅软兜 claypot swamp eel
A master chef is trying to recreate an old recipe with his students.
This way of marinating meat has a history of over 300 years.
Some recipes say that the pork belly needs to be marinated repeatedly over several days.
Soybean paste diluted with water.
After eight days of marinating, the pork will dry indoors for two to three months.
The fatty meat and lean meat layers are distinct.
Pork belly has another name in Chinese, 五花肉. It means “five-layered pork”. The five layers refer to: the skin, the layer of subcutaneous fat, the thin layer of lean meat, another layer of fat, and the deeper layer of lean meat.
清酱肉 pork belly in sweet bean paste
清酱肉火锅 pork belly hot pot
清酱肉炒蒿子秆 stir-fried pork belly with chrysanthemum carinatum
清酱肉炒饭 fried rice with pork belly
清酱肉饽饽 shortbread stuffed with pork belly
Hong Kong, China
Knowing how to combine various spices is another essential skill of a top-notch chef, besides mastering the art of the knife.
Dip a chicken into stock at a temperature of 80 degrees Celsius.
Simmer for 25 minutes.
Pour premade sauce over the chicken.
Marinate for 2 hours.
十八味豉油鸡 “eighteen spices” soy sauce chicken
Sauce made from seaweed and clam.
Add yellow wine.
Sauté with chicken fat.
Add rice vermicelli.
鸡油花雕蒸花蟹 flower crab steamed in chicken fat and yellow wine
Add sea salt.
With enough time, it turns into this.
Any kind of seafood.
Add a bit of salted green lemon.
And the dish immediately takes on a new character.
咸柠檬蒸蛏子 steamed razor shells with salted green lemon
Xiamen, Fujian Province, China
The No. 8 Market in Xiamen takes up several blocks.
All kinds of seafood are sold here.
油煎带鱼 pan fried beltfish
油煎黄鸡鱼 deep fried blue striped grunt
小管枪乌贼 loligo oshimai, a type of squid
白灼小管 steamed squid
strips of dried radish
Soy sauce, water
There’s just enough soy sauce to cover the fish.
This cooking method originated on fishing boats, where there were limited space and resources.
酱油水黄翅鱼 yellowfin seabream in soy sauce
But not every sea creature is seafood.
Its blood and entrails are extremely poisonous.
Meishan, Sichuan Province, China
鸡血旺 “bloody tofu”, actually made with chicken blood and salt
红烧鸡血旺 braised bloody tofu
豆汤鸡血旺 bloody tofu in pea soup
椒盐九肚鱼 deep-fried Bombay duck with chilli and garlic
Besides these Sichuanese cuisine, the owner of the restaurant has hired a Cantonese chef, who creates some special dishes.
A bowl carved out of pumpkin?
Chickens that look like they are about to engage in a fight.
This is made by a Sichuanese chef.
洪雅笋子烧牛肉 braised beef with bamboo shoots
This is made by a Cantonese chef.
青芥红葱爆澳牛 beef in mustard and shallots
You can tell which dish comes from which chef just by the colouring of the food. Most Sichuanese food has a distinctive reddish hue.
But to each his own. No matter which school the chef comes from, a good dish is a good dish.
When the creativity of the chefs is combined, it leads to new dishes.
椒盐土凤鱼 deep fried Chinese false gudgeon
双椒雪花牛肉 beef in Sichuan peppercorn and chilli pepper
Excuse me, it’s time for me to go and steal neighbour Auntie Wang’s stir-fried rice with beef and chilli sauce. The smell of her cooking has wafted into my living room.