Guangdong has long been regarded as a renowned paradise of diverse and wonderful foods. So what manner of special food might there be for the biggest event of the year, Spring Festival?
Newsgd interviewed both expats and locals across Guangdong. Let’s see what funny things unfolded after being asked the same question.
Actually most of them had no idea what natives of this province would traditionally eat during Spring Festival. The majority of them assumed that dim sum and dumplings are foods fit for the occasion.
Well, there is more to Guangdong than its dim sum and dumplings are traditionally enjoyed during festivals in Northern China!
People from three different regions of Guangdong (Cantonese, Chaoshan and Hakka) told us more about their Spring Festival specialties. It’s quite a the selection of dishes, and all of them sound delicious! Scroll down to learn more...
Cantonese area is commonly referred to cities where people speak Cantonese, such as Guangzhou, Foshan, and Zhongshan.
Cantonese people like to mix a variety of meats, seafood and mushrooms in a large "basin". They call it poon choi. It's a traditional dish prepared during Chinese New Year. The dish can be widely bought from hotels, restaurants and even online food vendors.
Cantonese people like to mix a variety of meat, seafood and mushrooms in a large "basin". They call it poon choi. It's a traditional dish prepared during Chinese New Year. The dish now can be conveniently bought from hotels, restaurants and their online shops.
Jiandui (fried cake with sesame seeds)
It's a famous snack and a popular gift during Spring Festival in Guangdong. It's a round fried pastry made from glutinous rice flour. The pastry is coated with yellow crisp skin with chewy and tasteful filling. Besides the savory taste, Jiandui also carries auspicious wishes that you will be blessed with fortune and luck all year round.
Lettuce in Chinese is "生菜" ( "sheng cai" in pinyin), which sounds like "生财" (means making a fortune) in Mandarin. Cantonese people will make lettuce porridge in Spring Festival as it implies luck and fortune.
Hakka stuffed tofu
Hakka stuffed tofu is a traditional dish for the Hakka people of the Han nationality. It falls into the Hakka-style Guangdong cuisine. As one representative of Hakka food, Hakka stuffed tofu is famous for the thickened soup and a tender and umami taste. People in Hakka area such as Meizhou, Huizhou and Heyuan city often entertain the guests with this dish in festivals or banquets.
The Steamed pork with preserved vegetable
Another mush-have dish for Hakka people’s Spring Festival. Steam the pickled Chinese cabbage and marbled meat for ten minutes, and the meat becomes soft and sticky. Mixture of pickled Chinese cabbages and oil from the meat will definitely capture you from the first bite.
Teochew peach-shaped kueh
Peach-shaped keuh is a kind of traditional snack of the Han nationality in Chaozhou–Shantou area. It is often served at Chinese New Year. Its name comes from the peach-like shape. Peach is a symbol of longevity in Chinese culture, so making the snack in a shape of peach can pay for blessing and longevity.
Plain white rice Kueh
Plain white rice Kueh is a popular Kueh snack in Chaozhou. During important festivals, every household would make plain white rice Kueh. The stuffing of plain white rice Kueh is very special. It is made of stir-fried sticky rice, because Teochew ancestors mainly ate Kueh with rice stuffing at every festival and at New Year to wish for a golden harvest. Plain white rice Kueh is white on the outside and peach-shaped with plain white rice as stuffing. That’s where its name came from.
If there is a banquet, there must be beef ball in Chaoshan area. There are two kinds of beef ball, one made from beef meat only and the other made from both meat and tendon. People often eat beef balls with some glutamate, sesame oil, ground pepper, sliced celery and chili paste. But it is believed that local produced shacha sauce is the best condiment for beef balls.