Due to its long history, Henan Province is a cradle of ancient Chinese culture. This has resulted in an abundance of historical sites and a rich culture, one of which is Yu (short for Henan Province) Cuisine. As the capital of Henan Province, Zhengzhou undoubtedly takes Yu Cuisine as its main menu.
Henan braised noodle is a traditional food with the history of style of more than 800 years. Henan braised noodles can be divided into three kinds: braised noodles with beef, braised noodles with mutton and braised noodles with seafood. Braised noodle with mutton is the most common variety.
First, prepare a ball of wet wheat powder containing salt and oil and pull it into 2cm wide slices by hand, then boil them. After 3 minutes, pull them out and put them into a big bowl, add beef (mutton, or seafood), Chinese onion, a little kelp, and a little vermicelli made from starch. Finally, add some hot soup (traditionally made from the bones of goats).
Hulatang (Hot Pepper Soup)
Hulatang is a kind of Chinese traditional soup. It is created in Henan Province. Hulatang was invented by people in Henan Province. As the name implies, capsicum and black pepper are put into the broth made by beef soup. The ingredients in the soup includes cooked beef, beef soup, flour, spinach, pepper, ginger, salt, vinegar and sesame oil, etc. In modern China, especially for northerners, Hulatang is a popular breakfast dish. It ranks among the most popular local snacks on account of its fresh taste and economical price.
Liyu Sanchi (Three Cooking Methods of Cyprinoid)
Liyu Sanchi is the famous and historical dish in Zhengzhou City. The cyprinoid is a type of carp from the Yellow River, which is soaked in fresh water for two or three days prior to cooking to remove the earthy smell.
A cyprinoid is cut into three, with one fillet being fried; the other cooked with sweet and sour sauce. The rest of the fish, its head and tail are boiled together with radish slices to make a tasteful and nutrient soup. After you have enjoyed the fish, you can mix some noodles with the remaining sweet and sour sauce, which is flavorful.
Liyu Yue Long Men (Carp Jumping over Dragon Gate)
Carps live in the Yellow River and are always famous for their tender flesh, rich nourishment and fresh flavor. This dish uses those carps as an ingredient and looks quite vivid. The steamed carp is presented as holding its head towards a 'dragon gate' made from vegetables on the serving dish. This beautiful creation symbolizes happiness and good luck.
Changshou Yu (Long-live Fish)
This is a traditional dish with the history of almost 2,000 years. Legend has it that the East Han Dynasty (25-220) Emperor Guang Wu (Liu Xiu) once visited the Yellow River. On seeing a red carp jumping out of the river, he ordered it to be caught and cooked for him. After he eaten the carp, he felt vigorous and became healthier and healthier. Therefore, the dish was named Long-live Fish when the cooking method was duly adopted by the local populace. Boiled with medlar and many other seasonings, the carp has a glaring red color with a sweet and sour flavor.
Ma Yuxing Bucket Chicken
Bucket chicken is a historic dish in Henan Province, which is said to be originally established in 1153, during the Jin dynasty (1115–1234). The Ma family began trading in bucket chicken in Nanjing, in today's Jiangsu Province, after the Song dynasty moved to the south. In 1855, Ma Youren, a descendent of the original Mr. Ma moved back to his ancestral home in Henan, bringing with him a bucket of the traditional sauce. There, Ma Youren established the "Ma Yuxing Roast Chicken Shop" in 1864, specializing in bucket chicken. In 1954, a branch store was established in Zhengzhou when that city became the capital of Henan Province. In February 2007, Ma Yu Ching's bucket chicken was named as an intangible cultural heritage of Henan Province