This page contains content from our previous website. To learn more about us, check out our new website.
Le Cordon Bleu News, 01/28/2014
A walk through Chinese Gastronomy: culinary traditions in regional cooking
Print this page
World Culinary Traditions

EN | FR Share: Facebook Twitter More...

In The News

A walk through Chinese Gastronomy: culinary traditions in regional cooking
cuisine wahokuAlthough world famous, Chinese cuisine is still little known for the lavishness and diversity of its dishes. Strictly speaking we should speak of several different types of Chinese cuisine, changing according to the different regions and natural resources available, climatic conditions and even the historical, political and cultural background. Dishes prepared in the north of China rely mostly on wheat, whereas southern cuisine is mainly based on rice. Differences in flavours can also be noted between each area of China: salty in the north, sweet in the south, spicy in the west and sour in the east.
After a rapid overview, we are able to categorise the following types of Chinese cuisine: Guangdong or Cantonese cuisine, Shandong cuisine (North-East), Jiangsu cuisine (East), Anhui cuisine (East), Zhejiang cuisine (south of Shanghai), Fujian cuisine (South-East), Hunan cuisine (South) and Sichuan (South-West). These categories may not even be entirely accurate since local cuisine variations may be present within each of these regions.
Despite such diversity, certain culinary characteristics are specific to all the regions. Each menu is made up of several dishes to be shared, expertly combining hot and cold elements. Of course, aesthetics and the balance of flavours play a vital role (sweet, salty, sharp, bitter and spicy). Each meal represents a true awakening of the senses focusing on taste with the balance of the 5 flavours, the visual aspect with the harmonious aesthetics of the presentation, and aromas, none of them unpleasant, since the cooked elements of the meal are highlighted to mask any natural odours.
For important occasions such as the Chinese New Year the same culinary traditions are followed throughout the country. The Chinese New Year is a major traditional event in China held over a period of two weeks ending with the lantern festival. Throughout this two-week period the tasting of a succession of diverse dishes highlights the important element of good fortune.
Let’s focus our attention on the main festive meal presented on the eve of the Chinese New Year known as the “Spring Banquet”. Read more


The Spring Banquet is a family occasion, a time for sharing and complicity: the experience of several generations, a round table, a rotating platter…

The banquet comprises a number of different courses, with a strong symbolic meaning directed at health, prosperity and happiness. Certain ingredients are inevitably included in the menu.

- Poultry due to its shape symbolises the phoenix, a legendary bird in Chinese culture

- Fish, the Chinese word sounding like surplus in Chinese, brings prosperity

- Meat symbolises riches

- Noodles, by their length represent long life

- Bamboo shoots, their permanent green colour symbolises youth

- Chinese ravioles or Jiaozi, their shape symbolises riches

- Sticky rice, its square appearance suggests family cohesion

- The New Year gâteau « niángao », gao sounding like ‘grow’ in Chinese, so ensures growth in certain areas

- Sugary treats at the end of the meal represent happiness and a gentle life.

The Spring Banquet actually represents all future meals and so must include all these symbols. These “lucky charms” bode well for the beginning of the year.


The Cordon Bleu chefs propose a menu for the Chinese New Year:
Green papaya salad with garden vegetables and a papaya vinaigrette Mildly spiced turbot, eggplant confit, sweet and sour sauce Tangy langoustine soup with crunchy vegetables of the moment
Green papaya salad with garden vegetables and a papaya vinaigrette
To celebrate the Chinese New Year, the Chefs from Le Cordon Bleu suggest a refreshing starter with Asian influences.
Read the recipe
Mildly spiced turbot, eggplant confit, sweet and sour sauce
The confit eggplants give sweet flavor and interesting texture to the dish whilst the delicate flavor of the fish is complemented by the addition of spice.
Read the recipe
Tangy langoustine soup with crunchy vegetables of the moment
Celebrate the Chinese New Year ! Le Cordon Bleu Chefs present this elegant recipe with the subtle flavors of Asia.
Read the recipe
Take a journey to China:
  • Experience the different Chinese ingredients, flavours and culinary techniques by joining our culinary workshop on Chinese cuisine. Book your place here.
  • Tea is well known for its digestives properties and in China is shared with family, friends or work colleagues. Try our Chinese Earl Grey tea available from our online boutique.

For more information

Le Cordon Bleu Paris
Email or use the online form
Call +33 (0) 1 53 68 22 50
Address 8, rue Léon Delhomme
75015 Paris

Find out more...

The Paris Campus


Le Cordon Bleu Paris
Presentation Video

Related News

  • Discovering traditional Japanese cuisine: "Washoku"
  • On December 4th 2013, traditional Japanese cuisine or ‘washoku’ became part of UNESCO’s heritage. It is more than just a type of cuisine, it is a major part of Japanese culture. ‘Washoku’ is an intangible cultural heritage which is passed on from generation to generation and encompasses a variety of know-how and techniques which are used to prepare and present different dishes.

Read more

  • Technique : Turning vegetables
  • Turning vegetables is a classic technique used in French cuisine. Vegetables are turned in order to form exactly the same barrel shape and size thus ensuring even cooking while being pleasing to the eye.

Read more

Back Bookmark and Share