In this week’s episode we wanted to show you a taste of Jiangsu Cuisine, it is one of the prettiest and most presentable cuisines and has a rich history as well as very special and bold flavours!

6) 文思豆腐- Needle tofu

Starting off the list, I wanted to show you guys this dish, needle tofu! Look how thin that is, and the best part, its all hand cut, that takes immense skill! Seriously, cutting something hard like a potato, I understand, but cutting something as soft and finicky as tofu, because its wet and slippery, they say it takes at least 10 years of practice to get this right, they pass the test if you can slide this through the eye of a needle. This is a test for many top Chinese chefs around the country! They serve this in a nice chicken broth, with some mushrooms and vegetables, all cut super thin, not a bad way to start the meal!

5) 盐水鸭- Nanjing salted duck

The history of the dish goes back hundreds of years, possibly to the 14th century, but it grew more famous during the Qing Dynasty. The tender white duck meat has some fat but is not greasy, and in presentation the dish is fragrant and often crispy.

Nanjing is famous for its ducks, they eat everything from a duck, but this dish ranks highly in China, its brined in salt and spices, the flavour is good, but it lacks something, it lacks a kick!

4) 扬州炒饭

At number 5 we have Yangzhou fried rice, this is the ultimate deluxe fried rice, so if you had the special fried rice in the UK, or house fried rice in the US, they are based on this dish! So a mixture of seafood, meat and vegetables are stir fried together, they use Chinese cured ham. The dish is usually served at banquets, after the meal to ensure that everyone was satisfied with the banquet, which speaks volumes!

3) 狮子头- Lion’s head meatball

This dish is over 1500 years old, and was served during royal banquets only! Legend has it that Emperor Yang of the Sui dynasty created the grand canal connecting Beijing to Hangzhou 1500 years ago, was visiting the south, there he saw a bed of Sunflowers and wanted a dish to remind him of the beauty, the chef’s cooking method were revolutionary at the time, minced, fried and braised meatballs, so decorated the plate with flower petals to make it look like a sunflower. The name then came at the banquet, when a general was rewarded for his bravery and valor, his house flew the lion banner, thus it was named lion’s head!

The lion’s head is just a braised meatball, a very tasty meatball, absolutely no lion meat involved! It’s minced pork with equal balance of lean and fatty pork, braised in soy and sugar, it’s very tender, mm, its so soft! I think they fry it first to seal in the flavours, and then braise it in aromatics, soy sauce, rock sugar, and oyster sauce. It’s very juicy as well! I can see why this deserves a spot on the royal banquet!

2)小笼包- Soup dumplings

The soup dumplings, this originated from Jiangsu area, Wuxi popularized in Shanghai! Right, there’s a very special way to eat these little gold nuggets! The secret is to bite a little bit, drink the soup, pour over some vinegar, then pop it into your mouth! You have to eat these with etiquette! Do not try and put it into your mouth at once, because it will scold, speaking from personal experience!

The flavour of the xlbs are delicate, they first cook the meat stock, then they freeze it, and chop it up then wrap it in a dumpling, this way when you bite into it just explodes with flavour in your mouth! I could honestly eat about 500 of these.


At number 1 we have the squirrel fish, some call this the pine fish, presumably because it looks like a pine nut, and squirrels eat pine nuts! Just look at how beautiful this is, the presentation, the care and hard work went into this, the colour! It takes excellent knife skills to make this dish, they hand cut the fish to make it look like this, then its glazed with a layer of thick, sticky sweet and sour sauce! The taste oh man its delicious, the fish is a little bit crunchy, the sauce I love anything that is sweet and sour, this dish is worthy at any banquet!

If you enjoyed today’s episode, be sure to check out some of the other ones from this series by clicking here.

Until next time I’m out.

Music I used:
Track: Ikson – Paradise [Official]
Music provided by Ikson®
Track: Ikson – Skyline [Official]
Track: Ikson – Think U Know [Official]
Music provided by Ikson®
Music provided by Ikson®

0:00 Intro
3:16 Squirrel Fish
5:03 Yangzhou Fried Rice
6:49 Needle Tofu
9:27 Nanjing Salted Goose
11:45 Braised Duck
13:24 Lion’s Head Meatball
16:50 Soup Dumplings
19:03 Rice Wine
20:35 Verdict


4 thoughts on “Jiangsu Cuisine. 8 Great Chinese Cuisines Part 2”

  1. I find regional Chinese food so fascinating. I mostly just have American Chinese takeout where I live, so I try to order the dishes on there that most resemble something you'd actually find in China

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