Hangzhou is the provincial capital of Zhejiang, so Hangzhou local food is also called Zhejiang cuisine. Zhejiang cuisine (Chinese: 浙菜, p Zhècài) is one of the Eight Culinary Traditions of Chinese cuisine. It derives from the traditional ways of cooking in Zhejiang province in China, south of Shanghai and around the former Chinese capital of Hangzhou. In general, Zhejiang-style food is not greasy but has a fresh and soft flavour with a mellow fragrance.
Zhejiang cuisine consists of at least three styles, each originating from a city in the province:
|Hangzhou||Characterised by rich variations and the utilisation of bamboo shoots. It is served by restaurants such as the Dragon Well Manor.|
|Shaoxing||Specialising in poultry and freshwater fish.|
|Ningbo||Specialising in seafood, with emphasis on freshness and salty dishes.|
Some sources also include the Wenzhou style as a separate subdivision (due to its proximity to Fujian), characterised as the greatest source of seafood as well as poultry and livestock.
- Dongpo pork (simplified Chinese: 东坡肉; traditional Chinese: 東坡肉; pinyin: dōngpō ròu), fried
pork belly stewed in soy sauce and wine.
- Beggar’s Chicken (simplified Chinese: 叫化鸡; traditional Chinese: 叫化雞; pinyin: jiàohuā jī), which originated from Jiangsu but gained its popularity in Hangzhou and thus considered a Hangzhou cuisine.
- West Lake fish in vinegar (Chinese: 西湖醋魚; pinyin: xīhú cùyú)
- West Lake chuncai soup (Chinese: 西湖莼菜汤; pinyin: xīhú chúncài tāng)
About half the dishes on a Hangzhou menu contain bamboo shoots, which add a tender element to the food.
Ningbo cuisine is regarded as rather salty. Ningbo confectioneries were celebrated all over China during the Qing Dynasty.