With a population of about 21 million, Hakka people mostly live in Meizhou, Shaoguan, Heyuan, Huizhou and Shenzhen. The Hakkas create and develop delicious Hakka cuisine which is famous all around the world, so the Hakka cuisine is also called one of the “three major branches of Guangdong cuisine”, together with Cantonese cuisine and Chaoshan cuisine.
Today, we are going to talk about the Hakka cuisine and the crispy Hakka snacks.
What is the Hakka cuisine like?
The features of Hakka cuisine are closely related to the Hakka culture and their history as well as their living condition.
The Hakka people, originated from central China bordering the Yellow River, migrated to the south and settled down in mountains due to wars and famine. Therefore, a saying goes like this: “if there are mountains, there will be Hakka, and there are no Hakka that don’t live in mountains.” Since they are “guests”, but not the original inhabitants of the region which they now occupy, they are named as Hakka (pinyin “ke jia” in Chinese means guest).
The traditional Hakka cuisine emphasizes salty and sticky in mouth-feeling, soft in taste. Because of the natural land-form, Hakka people prefer meat rather than seafood to make dishes. With various cooking styles like stir frying, braise, stew and brewing, it largely preserves the natural flavor of the food.
The Hakka people love their hometown, as well as their dishes. Therefore, each Hakka dish contains not only the Hakka culture, but also the love emotion of Hakka people.
Top 10 Hakka dishes
Hakka stuffed tofu (yong tau foo)
Hakka stuffed tofu (yong tao foo) 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. In daily life of Hakka people, if there is a banquet, there must be this dish. Local people in Meizhou city often entertain the guests with the dish on festivals or banquets. It is said that Hakka stuffed tofu in Wuhua county is the best.
The Steamed pork with preserved vegetable
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 provide you with a wonderful experience when you enjoy this dish.
Salty-baked chicken is a traditional, famous Guangdong dish originated in Hakka area, Guangdong Province. This kind of chicken meat was fresh, delicious and had a distinctive flavor. Later, the salt industry became prosperous in Hakka area, and local restaurants tried to serve their guests with the best dishes. Therefore, freshly-slaughtered chicken were used to bake in salt to make a fresher dish. The cooking method of salty-baked chicken is special. The chicken’s skin is crisp and meat tender with rich fragrance.
Sautéed Red-Cooked Pork
Using porcelain pot to braise marble meat with soya sauce, the meat becomes soft enough to melt down in mouth. And the mixture of pork juice and rice will give you a distinctive experience.
Stewed chicken in pig tripe
Stewed chicken in pig tripe is a representative soup which is used by Hakka people to welcome their guests. Wrap a whole chicken with a pig tripe and stew it for hours, the soup tastes fresh and sweet, and rich in herb and pepper fragrance.
Stuffed bitter melon
Stuffed bitter melon is a famous dish of the Hakka cuisine with excellent flavor, appearance and aroma. This dish is crispy, refreshing, bitter and aromatic, good for clearing inner heat and toxic material, and appetizing.
Mugwort glutinous rice cake
When fresh mugwort leaves are in season, the Hakka people will make glutinous rice cake with mugwort leaves to entertain guests. Basically, there are two flavors: sweet and soft, salty and chewy. The cake is green-colored with the aroma of mugwort. As the Chinese people believe it is also relevant to health maintenance issues, many people love this healthy and tasty seasonal dessert.
Sautéed pork intestines with pickled cabbage
The Hakka people make use of pickled cabbage so well that they can steam pickled cabbage with everything. The crisp cabbage together with the chewy pork intestines will definitely capture you from the first bite.
Pan fried minced pork omelet
Pan fried minced pork omelet is a classic dish of the Han nationality originated from the Hakka cuisine. Sauce the minced pork, but green onion is not necessary in this step. Fry chopped small shrimp and minced pork, and cool them. Beat eggs along with chopped onion, shrimp and pork. Pan fry the mixture until the omelet is crispy and light brown on both sides.
Stemmed Chinese sausage
Stemmed Chinese sausage is a famous dish of ethnic Han in the Hakka cuisine. The meat has a wonderful mahogany color, glossy sheen and the layering of fat with lean. Taking pork belly as raw material, the meat is cut into strips 1.5 cm thick and 33 cm to 38 cm long and marinated in salt and sugar for several days before hung in the sun to dry.
Yolk roll is a traditional, famous snack of the Han Nationality in Guangdong Province. The main ingredients include four pieces of trimmed toast, 100g red bean paste, four salted egg yolks, and three eggs. This dish is very delicious.
Magnificent scenic spots in Hakka area
The design and construction of Weilong House are of scientific, practical and ornamental features which reflect the delicate craftsmanship of Hakka people. A Weilong House is designed as a combined large fortress and multi-apartment building complex. Nowadays, Weilong House has become a historical site and an unique landscape. Hundreds of Weilong Houses are preserved in Meizhou urban area and suburb within 40 kilometers.
Ye Jianying Memorial Park, a national red tourism attraction in China, is located in the former residence of Marshal Ye Jianying. It is divided into four functional areas: culture area, memorial area, ecological forest area, and tourism and leisure area. With a unique shape, the imposing memorial hall inside the park is composed of four exhibition halls which through pictures, words, and material objects, present to you the legendary life of Marshal Ye Jianying.
Located along the Lijiang River, a tributary of the Dongjiang River, Linzhai Village was first built around 214 B.C., during the Qin Dynasty (221-206 B.C.).
The village’s scientific, pragmatic design includes an advanced drainage system that washes away dust and mud after heavy rains. Many of the village’s residents come from ancient families who have lived there for generations. Unlike many popular tourist towns, shops are rare in Linzhai Village. Although the village has become a popular tourist destination, most locals still live on farming.
Wanlv Lake is located in Heyuan, and it is famous for its tourist scenic areas. As the largest artificial freshwater lake in the south China, the Wanlv Lake has intact and wonderful sceneries.
Zhuji Ancient Alley is an ideal place to learn about the history of Guangdong Province. Located in the north of the city, the 1,500-meter-long alley is the origin of more than 100 family names in the province. It has many family temples that have preserved the families’ history and culture. As the most important commercial street in the transportation hub, it is also an ideal place to experience ancient business operations in the province.
Mount Luofu is hailed as “one of the top ten mountains in China, a guardian to safeguard South China for the Emperor” by the great historian Sima Qian (145B.C.-90B.C.). It is enshrined by Taoists as the seventh heavenly place to cultivate oneself with Taoism. Mount Luofu covers a sprawling expanse of more than 214 km2 with a total 432 mountains and peaks, 980 waterfalls and springs and many bizarrely-shaped stones, cliffs and caves. The fascinating mountains are covered by lush green forests and are dotted with abodes of fairies and immortals. Legends and stories of famous poets and immortals have added to its radiance.
(By Monica & Misty)
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