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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 of 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. As the style of Jiangsu cuisine is typically practiced near the sea, fish is a very common ingredient in cooking. Other characteristics include the strict selection of ingredients according to the seasons, with emphasis on the matching colour and shape of each dish and 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:
|Nanjing||Its dishes emphasize an even taste and matching colour, with dishes incorporating river fish/shrimp and duck.|
|Suzhou||Emphasis on the selection of material, stronger taste than Nanjing cuisine, and with a tendency to be sweeter than the other varieties of the cuisine.|
|Wuxi||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:
|English||Traditional Chinese||Simplified Chinese||Pinyin||Notes|
|Braised spare ribs||紅燒排骨||红烧排骨||hóngshāo páigǔ||Known for its melt-in-mouth texture and sweet taste.|
|Fried gluten balls||油面经||Can be stuffed with meat like a meat ball or stir fried with vegetables on its own.|
|Ji-yu soup||鲫鱼汤||鲫鱼汤||jìyú||Ji-yu is a type of freshwater fish. The soup is milky white.|
|Ji-yu with fried shallots||葱烧鲫鱼||congshao jiyu||Cooked with soy and sugar to caramelised state.|
|Wuxi-style xiaolongbao||無錫小籠包||无锡小笼包||Wúxī xiǎolóngbāo||A much sweeter version as compared to the Shanghai xiaolongbao.|
|Whitebait omelette||銀魚炒蛋||银鱼炒蛋||yínyú chǎodàn||Whitebait with omelette or scrambled eggs.|
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