There is no single cuisine that can be identified uniquely as Chinese. Rather, because of the vastness of China's geography and history, there are multiple significant variations in regional cuisine, each of which deserves the shared title of Chinese cuisine. One approach is to divide Chinese cuisine by the four major regions: the northern plains, including Beijing; the fertile east, watered by the Yangtse River; the south, famous for the Cantonese cooking of the Guangdong Province; and the fecund west of Szechwan and Hunan Provinces.
Canton is, perhaps, the most famous of the food areas. Long, warm, wet days throughout the year create the perfect environment for cultivating most everything. The coast provides ample seafood, the groves are filled with fruits. Cooking methods and recipes here are sophisticated and varied. Since the local produce is so gorgeous, the cooking highlights its freshness, relying less on loud sauces and deep-frying.
To the mountainous west, in Szechwan and Hunan provinces, steamy heat and spicy foods fill the restaurants. Rice grows abundantly, as do citrus fruits, bamboo, and mushrooms. The spiciness of the food tells of locally grown chiles and the inclinations of the local palate, though some say the spices are used to mask the taste of foods that rot quickly in the heat.
To the east of Hunan lies "the land of fish and rice." Like the west in latitude, it has the added bonus of lowlands for rice cultivation and a rich ocean's edge for fish.
The northern region of China reaches into the hostile climate of Mongolia -- land of the Gobi Desert and Arctic winter winds. Mongolian influence appears in the prevalence of mutton and lamb -- many in the region are Muslim, so pork is forbidden -- and in the nomadic simplicity of the Mongolian fire pot. The north is not amenable to rice cultivation so, wheat, barley, millet and soybeans are the staples; breads and noodles anchor the meal. The vegetables and fruits -- cabbage, squash, pears, grapes, and apples -- are like those grown in North America. Beijing is the pearl of the region; royal haute cuisine was born and bred inside her walls. However, the centuries and the accumulated wisdom of China's best chefs truly make imperial cuisine an incredible achievement that belongs to all of China.
For more information, refer to the Wikipedia article.
Shrimp tempura and spicy tuna inside. Topped with White Tuna, Avocado and Black Tobiko. A magical treat for your taste buds!
Pink Lady Roll
Asparagus, crab salad, shrimp tempura, avocado and fish egg, roll with Pink Soybean Seaweed. Delicious!
Yummy Yummy Roll
Lobster tempura and cucumber inside. Topped wit mango, avocado and red caviar. Truly Yummy!
Shrimp tempura and spicy tuna inside. Topped with soft shell crab and colorful caviar. An Enticing Treat!
Sasaiki Featured on Advantage Card!
Sasaiki Asian Bistro is featured on the newly released Hampton Roads Advantage Card. Enjoy a 10% discount on food purchases when you use the Advantage Card at Saisaki. Pick up your card at local outlets, or at Sasaiki. The card is valid until April 1, 2013, and can be used repeatedly. Now, your favorite Asian Bistro is even more of a delicious bargain!
Daily Press Writes about Saisaki!
There are some really nice photos to accompany the very descriptive article.