Taste of Hangzhou: Local dishes showcase city’s cuisine

Chinese Culture

Hangzhou cuisine

As Hangzhou hosts the G20 Summit, the city’s cuisine is under a brighter spotlight.  When world leaders sit down for dinner, they are doing so in an ancient Chinese city well-known for its long culinary history.

CCTV’s Hu Nan visited a traditional restaurant for a taste.

Light, fresh, and soft. That’s probably the most frequently used words for Hangzhou cuisine.

It’s recognized as one of the eight major schools of cuisine in China.

Hangzhou dishes are known for their elaborate and sophisticated preparation, enjoyable presentation, and delicate cooking methods.

That exquisiteness may have its roots stemmed from history, some 800 years ago. That’s when Hangzhou was the capital of the country.

Hu Zhongying is crowned as one of the “10 most famous chefs” in China. In fact, he spent half a century cooking — and perfecting — Hangzhou cuisine.

His most famous dishes include “West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy,” “Shelled Shrimp with Green Tea,” “Beggar’s Chicken,” “Fried Bells,” “Squirrel Fish,” “Dongpo Pork,” “Thousand Islands Lake Fish Soup,” and, actually, dozens of other famous dishes that are luring gourmands from all over the world.

But only a few ones will be served at the G20 summit dining table.

Hangzhou cuisine emphasizes fresh seafood and produce, like bamboo shoots, and sauces with subtle and mellow flavors.

The goal is to accentuate, not overpower, a dish’s leading ingredient.

Hangzhou cuisine is widely celebrated in China but practically unheard of in the West. Many foreigners are more familiar with fiery Sichuan dishes and the Cantonese dim sum, or the sweet Peking duck and succulent Shanghai soup dumplings.

The G20 summit might be a platform for Hangzhou cuisine to add some flavor to the global gourmet’s table.