Yue Cuisine, also known as Cantonese cuisine, originates from Guangdong Province in South China and is known as one of China's Four Major Styles of Cooking. Yue cuisine features a wide variety of materials, carefully chosen seasonings, and elaborate techniques and refined tastes. It enjoys extremely good reputation at home and abroad for its unique types of dishes and special charm.
In ancient times, Baiyue people lived in Guangdong, but many immigrants from the hinterland moved in during the Qin and Han Dynasties. The dietetic culture of Guangdong has retained many eating habits and customs of the ancient people, such as eating snakes. Since the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Guangdong has become more prosperous. At the same time, Guangzhou has been a long-standing treaty port city, which attracted and absorbed various foreign cooking materials and techniques. And thus Yue cuisine was gradually perfected, which absorbed the cooking skills of the West as well as the cooking skills of other Chinese regions to develop its own unique methods.
Yue cuisine is especially skillful in techniques of stir-frying, frying, stewing and braising. Special attentions are paid to the heating temperature and duration. Emphasis is laid on the color, fragrance, taste, and forms of the food prepared. The tastes feature pure delicacy, freshness, tenderness, and crispness.
An emphasis on preserving the natural flavor of the food is also the hallmark of Yue cuisine. A Cantonese chef would consider it a culinary sin of the highest order to produce a dish that was overcooked or too heavily seasoned. Special care is taken to make sure that the tastes are light but not tasteless, fresh but not vulgar, tender but not raw, oily but not greasy.
Representative dishes of Yue cuisine include Plain Boiled Chicken, Plain Boiled Shrimps, Piglet Barbequed over open oven, Beef with Oyster Sauce, Snake Soup, Oil Fried Shelled Fresh Shrimps, Plain Steamed Sea Food, Braised Shrimps and Sea Cucumber.