Chinese New Year

Food Stories from China



A Cantonese Wedding Banquet: The Year of the Tiger is not considered auspicious for marriage, so in the last days of the Year of the Ox there was a rush of weddings. Lily and Wan Li held their wedding banquet in Guangzhou on 31st January - a magnificent event with a 13 course meal. The dishes are almost always the same and there are hidden, lucky meanings in most of them.

Gulangyu Sessame Cake

Gulangyu Sesame Cakes: The Ye family sesame cakes are a speciality of Gulangyu.

Tieguanyin Tea

Tieguanyin Tea: Liu Shunli's teashop in Xiamen making tea for tasting not drinking.

Breakfast Lady

Breakfast Lady: Every morning throughout Xiamen, you find barrows selling breakfast.

Beijing Snacks

Beijing Snacks: The Chinese are great 'snackers'. Evening street markets offer a huge range of foods.

Xian Jiaozi

Xian Jiaozi: Not only famous for its history, but also for its dumplings.


Oodles of Noodles: Handmade noodles are found on every street corner in China.

Fenghuang Toffee


fenghuang_ginger_toffeeFenghuang — Phoenix Town — is a town in the west of Hunan Province, 6 hours by bus from the provincial capital of Changsha. It is built on the banks of a river, and the old town is very largely preserved or has been restored keeping its original style.

Fenghuang has a number of sweet specialities, the most common of which can be seen being made in small shops all over the old town: ginger toffee.







Fuchsia Dunlop - the full interview


Fuchsia Dunlop interview

At a relatively early age Fuchsia Dunlop became hooked on China.  She decided to learn Mandarin at evening classes and eventually won a scholarship to study in Chengdu, Sichuan.  It was there that she trained as a chef, the first westerner to attend the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine. As a result she is now one of the foremost experts on Chinese cuisine and has built up a large and devoted following across the world.

At Barshu in the heart of London's Soho, a Sichuanese restaurant where Fuchsia acts as consultant, she talks to Mark Hilton, who also decided at a young age to study Chinese and Chinese culture and has lived in Xiamen in South-East China for 12 years. Discussion ranges from her life in Chengdu to the effect of the country's rapid changes on its cuisine and the, often false, assumptions the west makes about Chinese food.


More on can see her in conversation with Prue Leith here.



Chinese windows

Day and Night - A Chinese Kitchen Window