by Tim Clancy
Hangzhou-nese Cuisine (Hangbang) Háng Bāng Cài 杭帮菜
You yourself may have been living in Hangzhou for sometime and still are not aware of the local cuisine, or you may have a friend or relative visiting and you would like to take them to try some of the local flavors.
Hangbang cuisine is characterized by four Chinese adjectives 清 qīng (light, not reliant on lots of seasoning) 鲜 xiān (fresh ingredients, natural flavour) 脆 cuì (crispy, raw vegetable crispiness) 嫩 nèn (soft or delicate, like silken tofu). Today, Grand Master Chef Tim will name a few Hangbang dishes that definitely appeal to the foreign palate.
1. Dongpo Pork – 东坡肉 Dōng Pō Ròu
This is a cube of fatty pork (skin-fat-meat-fat-meat) individually slow cooked in pork grease, soy sauce and Chinese cooking wine (a wine made from fermented sticky rice). This is the perfect dish to mop up with rice at the end of a meal – 下饭 xià fàn ‘to help the rice go down’. If you are watching your figure, just eat the lean meat part. If not, please do treat yourself.
2. Dragon Well Tea Prawns 龙井虾仁 Lóng Jǐng Xiā Rén
Dragon Well Tea Prawns are a dish of peeled prawns that are briskly shallow fried, cooked again in Chinese cooking wine and seasoning, and finally have Dragon Well Tea leaves (the tea of Hangzhou) added to the dish. It is then cooked lightly and then served. It is a fragrant flavorsome dish with wonderful texture, a must-order when at a nice restaurant.
3. Dried Bamboo Duck Soup 笋干老鸭煲 Sǔn Gān Lǎo Yā Bāo
A geriatric duck cooked with dried bamboo for a lengthy period of time, this dish can usually be ordered in full or half portions.
4. Sweet and Sour Pork Tenderloins 糖醋里脊 táng cùlǐ jǐ
A sumptuous dish to eat with rice. Pork is coated in flour, deep fried and then cooked in a dark rice vinegar sugar syrup. The crispy deep fried pork becomes soft sour and sweet, resting in a juicy syrup ready to be mopped up with rice.
5. Shallotte Oil Stick Crepe 葱包桧儿 cōng bāo guìr
(guir is pronounced gwaìr, or Arrrr if you’re part pirate) This tasty little gem is a 地道 dì dào (typical local) 小吃 xiǎo chī (snack). Originally this was a breakfast food, these days it is more commonly seen ordered at restaurants along side main dishes. This dish served with two dipping sauces, one brown and sweet one red and spicy, is a great way to vary your carbs intake.
Below are a few restaurants that serve delicious and fairly priced Hangbang cuisine:
1. Tian Xiang Lou: 447 Yanan rd,corner of Yanan and Fengqi Rd, levels 2-3 of Zhejiang Hotel, 96 rmb pp.
2. Zhang Sheng ji: 77 Shuang Ling Rd just off East Qing Chun Rd, 101 rmb pp.
3. Zhi Wei Guan – Wei Zhuang: 10-12 Yang Gong Di,116 rmb pp.
知味观味庄(杨公堤店)： 西湖区 杨公堤10-12号(近花港观鱼西门)
4. Wang Run Xing – Wushan square, 101-103 He Fang Tourist street, 77 rmb pp.
王润兴酒楼吴山广场/河坊街河坊街101-103号Categories: Food, Life