Changchun is located in Northeastern China, so Changchun local food belongs to Northeastern Chinese cuisine. Northeastern Chinese cuisine (simplified Chinese: 东北菜; traditional Chinese: 東北菜; pinyin: Dōngběi cài) is a style of Chinese cuisine in Northeast China. While many dishes originated from Manchu cuisine, it is also heavily influenced by Hebei and Shandong cuisines, and even some Russian influence. It relies significantly on preserved foods and large portions due to the region’s harsh winters and relatively short growing seasons.
Pickling is a very common form of food preservation, and pickled cabbage is traditionally made by most households in giant clay pickling vats. Perhaps the most important characteristic of Northeastern Chinese cuisine is its utilization of suan cai. Another distinct feature that distinguishes Northeastern cuisine from other Chinese cuisines is the serving of more raw vegetables and raw seafood in the coastal areas.
Simmering, braising and sauteing are ubiquitous cooking techniques used in the Northeast, producing many of the region’s signatures dishes.
Unlike southern China, where the staple crop is rice, Northeast Chinese also include a large component ofwheat and maize in their daily diet in the form of noodles, steamed bun and cornbread. Popular dishes include pork and chive dumplings, suan cai hot pot, cumin and caraway lamb, congee, tea eggs, nian doubao (sticky rice buns with sweet red bean paste filling), congee with several types of pickles (mustard root is highly popular), sachima (traditional Manchu sweet) and cornmeal congee.
Due to its riverine environment, the Heilongjiang style of the Northeastern cuisine is famed for its fish banquet, specializing in anadromous fish such as the trout banquet and the sturgeon banquet, and similarly, due to its mountainous environment, the Jilin style of the Northeastern cuisine is famed for its dishes that utilize game animals. Although by law, only farm raised animals are allowed for culinary use. Liaoning cuisine is a new rising star among Chinese cuisines and has become increasing popular recently. Furthermore, Liaoning cuisine chefs have continuously won awards in recent culinary arts competitions in China.
- Northeastern hot pot (东北火锅, pork belly hot pot with suan cai)
- Guo bao rou (锅包肉)
Guō Bāo Ròu (simplified Chinese: 锅包肉; traditional Chinese: 鍋包肉; pinyin: guōbāoròu) is a classic dish from North East (Dongbei) China, originating in the city of Harbin, Heilongjiang Province. It consists of large thinly sliced pieces of pork in potato starch batter, deep-fried twice until crispy. They are then lightly coated in a variation of a sweet and sour sauce, made from freshly prepared syrup and rice vinegar, flavoured with ginger and garlic. The batter absorbs the sauce and softens. A Beijing variant has the sauce thin and watery, while the dish as prepared in the North East is often a thicker sauce with some ketchup added to it. However true Guō Bāo Ròu is made with an amber coloured sauce due to the fact that it uses caramelized sugar.
- The Four Northeastern Simmerings (东北四大炖)
- Pork with cellophane noodle (猪肉炖粉条)
- Free range chicken with honey fungus (小鸡炖榛蘑)
- Catfish with eggplant (鲇鱼炖茄子)
- Ribs with common bean (排骨炖豆角)
- Northeastern hotchpotch (东北乱炖)
- Fatty pork with blood sausage (白肉血肠)
- Di san xian (地三鲜, fried potato, green pepper and eggplant)
- Bear paws stew (扒熊掌)