Nanning cuisine, actually a branch of Guangdong cuisine, mostly features the favor of freshness and tenderness. Nanning people mainly eat rice, and vegetables as complementary. Therefore a large variety of rice food, such as rice cake and rice noodles, can be widely found in Nanning. Followings are some typical Nanning dishes which are highly recommend by local people.
Lao You Fen (Old Friend Rice Noodles)
The food “Fen” is made from rice. Firstly steam the rice, then liquor steamed rice into bamboo boxes. The steamed liquor then becomes a whole cake and can be cut into different shapes. Fen can be eaten with different ingredients, resulting in many varieties of Fen food.
Lao You Fen is the most famous Fen dish with a history of over 100 years. It is said that an old man went to Zhou Ji Teahouse every day and made friends with the Boss Zhou. One day he was not able to go because of catching a cold. Boss Zhou made a bowl of hot Fen especially for his old friend. Different ingredients can be added into that Fen, including garlic, fermented bean, pepper, beef and sour bamboo shoots which could help the old man recover. Since then, Lao You Fen became popular for its multi-flavors and cold-busting abilities.
Shao Ya (Roasted Duck)
Most tourists in China may be more familiar with Beijing Roast Duck which is the quintessential symbol of all northern China duck dishes. Actually Nanning Roasted Duck is a representative of all southern China duck dishes. Different from Beijing ducks, Nanning roast ducks are made of local fatty ducks and special ingredients. The duck meat is still together with bones and skin, appearing as a brightly golden color. The meat is amazingly tender and even the bones are more delicious than ever thought possible.
Suan Ye (Fermented Fruit or Vegetable)
Nanning people are strongly in favor of acid food, no wonder that the popularity of Suan Ye is able to last for hundreds of years. It is very easy to make this dish. The locals would soak some fruits into a mixture of vinegar, pepper and sugar. Some may use vegetables to substitute fruits. The fermented fruit or vegetable tastes both sweet and sour as well as a little hot. This is also a good way to preserve food.