Henan cuisine

Source:Global Times Published: 2010-10-29 17:09:08

Henan cuisine (Chinese: 豫菜 or 河南菜) is derived from the native cooking styles of the Henan region in China. It is a cross between the Jiangsu cuisine, with which it shares the trait of selecting ingredients according to the four seasons, and to a lesser extent, the Beijing cuisine, from which it adopted many cooking methods. The result is that Henan dishes are very seasonal, and taste lighter in comparison to Beijing cuisine, similar to that of Jiangsu cuisine.

The characteristics of Henan cuisine include: the wide utilization of onions; pork is the major meat in Henan cuisine but seldom served in soups; mutton and lamb are mainly served in soups.

Rice is the major food, but Henan cuisine is unique in that the rice is served with oil produced from animal fat (though this practice is diminishing due to health concerns). Although noodles are cooked similarly to other northern Chinese cuisines, the Henan cuisine is unique in that it utilizes rice vermicelli that is mostly used in southern China and Southeast Asia.

Recommended foods:


Hulatang is a kind of Chinese traditional soup, which is an important part of Chinese people's daily diet. Hulatang can also be found in the United States, where it is known as Spicy Soup. It was introduced by Chinese American immigrants.

Hulatang was invented by people in Henan Province. It can be divided into two different genres. The one is Xiaoyao Zhen (a town near Zhoukou city), the other is Beiwudu. As the name implies, capsicum and black pepper are put into the broth made by beef soup. Ingredients are: cooked beef, beef soup, flour, vermicelli, kelp, spinach, pepper, ginger, salt, vinegar and sesame oil.


Fried Dumpling

Fried Dumpling is known as the Non-material Cultural Heritage of Luoyang. The main restaurant is located at the back street behind Luoyang Department Store. The fried dumpling is the special cuisine which is famous for its tender meat, yellow crisp surface, and great flavor. In addition to that, this time-honored restaurant charges a reasonable price so that a lot of people go there for it even it means driving a long distance and waiting in a line. Besides, other specialties such as millet congee, eight-corps porridge are also served in the restaurant. In conclusion, the fried dumpling is for sure a good flavor for breakfast with those porridges.


Wuzhi oil tea

Originated in the Qin Dynasty, Wuzhi oil tea is one of the Chinese traditional specialties with a history of over 2000 years. According to historical records, in 206 BC, Liu Bang (the first Emperor of the Han Dynasty) got injured and fled to Wude County in the Jiaozuo area; he took refuge in a Lu's home. Treated with oil tea by the Lu family, Liu Bang recovered three months later. Then he wrote in one of his poems that “Wude is blessed with delicacies, even the royal feast is no match for its oil tea".

After coming to throne in Chang'an, and craving for the delicious food, Liu Bang ordered Lu to serve in the royal court and ordained him as the master of oil tea, and made it a royal course. Wuzhi oil tea contains 24 ingredients such as choice flour, quality starches, peanuts, and sesame, which are scientifically mixed. According to the inspection of Henan Sanitation & Anti-epidemic Bureau, it contains 424.63115g vitamins per 500g, and has many functions such as nourishing the liver, stomach and lungs, and enhancing the physical health. Being aromatic, tasty, and nutritious, it is known all over the world and has been exported to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Southeast Asia.


Xiuwu Black Goats

Xiuwu Black Goats are relatively large. The mutton is not only nutritious, but also good for the elderly and patients for its medicinal value. It can be stewed or quick-fried with green onion and is available the whole year round.


Broadsword Noodles

As the most popular snack in Lingbao city, Dadao Noodles have a history of over 200 years, being named after the broadsword of one meter long and 17 centimeters wide, like a hay cutter, which is used to cut those pieces of thin dough layers, usually ten or more pieces piled together, more than 30 centimeters in width, into noodles. Dadao Noodles fall into four categories according to different widths. The thin noodles are usually sold in the morning, while wide noodles are sold at noon. Condiments used on Dadao Noodles are generally sour and spicy; sometimes mashed meat and vegetables, varying with seasons are used.


Shuijianbao (Water Fried Baozi)

Shuijianbao, literally, means water fried baozi; and is a famous snack in Kaifeng. The ingredients must be of the highest quality. The ginger must be peeled, and only the white parts of the shallots are used. The pepper powder is made by hand, by grinding Chinese red pepper and star anise together. The meat is also chopped by hand. Even in winter, the stuffing is still made by hand and pickled in salt and soy bean sauce.

The number of baozi fried in each pan is constant. Then, thin flour liquid is sprayed on the surface of each baozi, though sesame oil is necessary. That is why it is called water fried baozi. Sesame oil is used in the stuffing and in the pan, thus its fragrance can be smelled from far away. They do not stick together and are in good shape when they are taken out of the pan. The golden baozi are very crisp and delicious.


Chrysanthemum hotpot

Chrysanthemum hotpot was popular in the royal palace during the late Qing Dynasty and was introduced into Kaifeng nearly a hundred years ago. Since the city flower of Kaifeng is the chrysanthemum, the local raw material is unique and abundant. The main ingredients are fresh fish, meat slices, chicken slices, etc. When the chicken soup is boiled in the hotpot, the cleaned white chrysanthemum is shredded and put into the soup. After the aroma of the chrysanthemum is absorbed by the soup, meat slices and chicken slices are put in the hotpot to be cooked. Chrysanthemum hotpot is so special and fragrant that it is perceived as the superior hotpot.



Recommended restaurants:

Huanghe Guest House
Add: No.20 Northern Section of Huayuan Lu, Zhengzhou
Tel: 6778686

Henan Food Center
Add: No.25 Renmin Lu, Zhengzhou
Tel: 0371-6213446

Xiao's Three-delicacy Noodles
Add: No.27 Huozhan Beijie, Zhcngzhou
Tel: 13903838229

Shaolin Restaurant
Add: No.89 Chengdong Lu, Zhengzhou
Tel: 0371-6359129

Luoyang Restaurant
Add: No.345 Zhongzhou Zhonglu, Luoyang
Tel: 0379-3931260

Quanta Restaurant
Add: Middle Section of Mangling Lu, Old City Area, Luoyang
Tel: 0379-2305288

Youyixin Restaurant
Add: No.22 Gulou Jie, Luoyang
Tel: 0379-5956622


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