Known as "the kingdom of plants and
animals", Yunnan is home to a rich variety of foods. As a province with 26
different ethnic groups, the variety of cuisines is an important attraction for
Yunnan cuisine, also named Dian
cuisine, consists of local dishes from Kunming, Northeast Yunnan, Western Yunnan
and Southern Yunnan. The characteristics of Yunnan cuisine lie in moderate
balance of sour and hot tastes mellow in deep oil, fresh and tender with
sweetness, striving for their original tastes. Most of the ingredients are
green, fresh and natural, including vegetables, fruit, bamboo and flowers. The
dishes are not too spicy but have excellent flavor.
Not yet widely known outside the province,
Dian cuisine is known mainly for its famous Guoqiao (Across the Bridge)
noodles are a dish that has long been famous in Yunnan. It came from a story in
southern Yunnan. A scholar, preparing for the imperial examinations, isolated
himself on an island in a lake to concentrate on his study. His devoted wife was
dismayed that the meals she took to him always arrived cold after crossing a
long, wooden bridge. But by chance, she discovered the way to keep soup boiling
hot -- to top it with a thin layer of vegetable oil. Of course, her husband
passed the exams. Soon it got quite popular and was name Guoqiao
rice noodles. The dish is made of soup, sliced meat, rice noodle and seasonings.
A big china bowl will be served with boiling soup and a cover of oil. The soup
is made of boiled chicken and pork bone and the clearer, the better. Chicken,
pork, liver, kidney, fish and pickled pork are cut into slices. Seasonings are
made of boiled vegetables. The raw sliced meat should be the first to put into
the soup. After a few minutes, noodles and seasonings follow. The smell and the
taste never fail the gourmands. No visit to Yunnan is complete without trying
this unique and delicious dish.
Other typical dishes include: steamed-pot
chicken, earthen pot fish, Xuanwei ham, spiced squab, and chicken wing with goat
stomach and local fungus.
Steamed chicken is a famous Dian
flavored dish. The chicken is sealed in a pot and steamed for several hours.
Sometimes, special medicinal herbs are added, making this tasty dish even more
nutritious. It is a high-quality dish of Yunnan Province, featuring tender
chicken and delicious and nutritious soup.
2. Earthen pot
With breathtaking scenery, Dali Bai
Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan is known as Oriental Hawaii. Dali earthen pot
fish, delicious, refreshing and nutritious, is a traditional dish peculiar to
places where the Bai ethnic group live in a compact community.
Xuanwei ham, produced in Xuanwei City in
Qujing Prefecture, Yunnan Province, enjoys a high reputation both at home and
abroad. In 1915 Xuanwei ham won a gold medal at the Panama International Fair.
In the shape of pipa (a plucked string instrument with a fretted
fingerboard), Xuanwei ham has thin skin, thick meat, bright color and strong
aroma. Thanks to the high quality, it is also known as "Yunnan ham".