Known for the distinct natural flavours, Teochew cuisine is renowned for combining interesting elements while emphasising the natural flavours of the food. Get ready to set your taste buds and your imagination on fire as you learn more about the decadent meals that characterise this type of Chinese cuisine which is eaten throughout the Guangdong province. The only difficult decision will be whether you would like to place your order at a Teochew restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Typical eating customs
Teochew cuisine is enjoyed by locals at any time of the day. Generally, breakfast consists of plain rice pudding that is eaten with a number of condiments like salted eggs and pickled vegetables. Once the first meal of the day has settled, you can enjoy a lunch of crispy spring rolls with their distinctive soy dipping sauces. However, the star of the show in Teochew cuisine really is the evening meal. Typically, a Teochew dinner consists of a number of different dishes. All parties at the table have the option to serve themselves. This meal usually consists of several braised proteins, steamed vegetables and rice as well as a variety of pickled vegetables and soy sauces. Locals in the area prefer to go out for their evening meals; however, you may just find that the best meals are served in friends’ homes.
Facts about Teochew food
- Most restaurants in the Teochew region will stay open until the early hours of the morning due to the locals’ fondness for late-night snacks.
- Chefs who specialize in this style of cooking pride themselves on their vegetable carving skills and most plates will be garnished with intricate flowers made of root vegetables, carrots or even tomatoes.
- During the festive season in the Teochew region, locals will usually treat themselves to controversial foods like shark fin soup.
- This type of cuisine differs from traditional Chinese cuisine in the fact that most restaurants will include a dessert section in their set menus.
- Steamboat: Similar to the Taiwanese hotpot, the Teochew steamboat consists of fish and vegetables that are cooked in a clear seafood broth. This popular dish is best enjoyed with a side order of noodles.
- Pao fan: This is a type of rice soup that is simmered in a seafood broth for up to five hours before cream is added to the pot. Once this dish is served, it is usually topped with freshly chopped coriander and chilli.
- Lor Ark: This is delicious tender braised duck that is marinated in a mouthwatering combination of soy sauce, ginger, star anise and cinnamon. Depending on the person that is cooking the duck, you may also find a little garlic and chilli added to the mix.
- Orh nee: Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy this dessert that is made from stewed yam paste and pumpkin.
- Pig trotter jelly: Made from slow-roasted pork trotters and mixed with a rich savoury jelly, this delicacy is an underrated part of Teochew cuisine.
- Fried kway teow: Reminiscent of an omelette, this dish is made by stir-frying shredded vegetables, bean sprouts and eggs into a tasty savoury pancake.
- Fermented bean chicken: A popular marinade for chicken involves fermented beans, soy sauce and ginger. This gives the chicken a uniquely tangy flavour.
Where can I try Teochew cuisine?
Those of you who would like to experience this unique cuisine first hand should be sure to include a stop at Canton Paradise to try the roasted duck. Alternatively, head over to Swatow Garden and order the Teochew six treasures vegetarian noodles bento set.