Jiangsu cuisine (simplified Chinese: 江苏菜; traditional Chinese: 江蘇菜; pinyin: Jiāngsū cài), abbreviated to Su cuisine (simplified Chinese: 苏菜; traditional Chinese: 蘇菜; pinyin: sū cài), is one the Eight Culinary Traditions of Chinese cuisine. It is derived from the native cooking styles of Jiangsu province. In general, Jiangsu cuisine's texture is characterised as soft, but not to the point of mushy or falling apart. For example, the meat tastes quite soft but would not separate from the bone when picked up. Other characteristics includes the strict selection of ingredients according to the seasons, emphasis on the matching colour and shape of each dish and emphasis on using soup to improve flavour.
Jiangsu cuisine is sometimes simply called Su cuisine, and one of its major styles is Huaiyang cuisine. Although Huaiyang cuisine is one of several sub-regional styles within Jiangsu cuisine, it is widely seen in Chinese culinary circles as the most popular and prestigious style of the Jiangsu cuisine - to a point where it is considered to be amongst one of the four most influential regional schools (四大菜系) that dominate the culinary heritage of China, along with Cantonese cuisine, Shandong cuisine and Sichuan cuisine.
Jiangsu cuisine actually consists of several other styles, including:
Its proximity to Lake Tai means it is notable for wide variety of freshwater produce, such as the "Three Whites" - white bait (simplified Chinese: 银鱼; traditional Chinese: 銀魚; pinyin: yín yú), white fish (simplified Chinese: 白鱼; traditional Chinese: 白魚; pinyin: bái yú) and white shrimp (simplified Chinese: 白虾; traditional Chinese: 白蝦; pinyin: bái xiā).
In Wuxi, the common cooking method is characterised by the addition of sugar and soy sauce to many savoury dish often in the form of hongshao (simplified Chinese: 红烧; traditional Chinese: 紅燒; pinyin: hóngshāo; literally "red braised"). This often results in a fragrant, caramelised flavour. In addition, Wuxi cuisine often has sweeter versions of dishes found in its neighbouring regions.
Notable Wuxi dishes include:
Braised spare ribs
Known for its melt-in-mouth texture and sweet taste.
Fried gluten balls
Can be stuffed with meat like a meat ball or stir fried with vegetables on its own.
Ji-yu is a type of freshwater fish. The soup is milky white.