All things Chinese tea, food and culture.

Recent Tea Posts

Pairing Cakes with Tea

Pairing Cakes with Tea

If you love tea, and you want to know what food goes well with tea, you simply can’t miss out on delicious cakes. Yet, every cake is different and depending on the taste profile, you’ll want to pair with the right tea. For tea and […]

Teforia Shuts Down: 10 Reasons Why Teforia Failed

Teforia Shuts Down: 10 Reasons Why Teforia Failed

Teforia is a startup that developed a sophisticated tea infuser accompanied with a smart mobile app. The company started off well with excellent publicity on sites like TechCrunch, Gizmodo and Engadget. And as you can see on the video below, it was presentation was promising. […]

8 Authentic Cantonese Food Dishes (With Video Recipes)

8 Authentic Cantonese Food Dishes (With Video Recipes)

Cantonese cuisine is one of China’s Eight Famous Cuisines and it’s also known as the ‘Guangdong cuisine’ (广东菜) or ‘Yue cuisine’ (粤菜). Cantonese food was the first Chinese food style that was introduced to the West, as the early days’ Chinese immigrants were from Guangdong province.

Today, it remains one of the most popular Chinese cuisines in the world, though many Cantonese dishes have their ‘Westernised version’. The flavours of the original Cantonese food should be fresh, natural, mild and a little sweet. Here is a list of our favourite authentic Cantonese dishes with video recipes, make sure to give it a try!

1. Boiled Shrimps (Bai Zhuo Xia, 白灼虾)

Boiled Shrimps Bai Zhuo Xia 白灼虾 cantonese food

This is a common dish at my home table and it is loved by the whole family. The word “Bai Zhuo” in Chinese means to boil the raw food in water or soup. This is a Cantonese cooking method aimed to highlight the freshness and the original flavour of the food.

The Recipe

For this dish, the trick is to put a little bit of garlic and ginger slices, 1 tbs salt and 4 tbs cooking wine in the boiling water to remove the odour of the shrimps and make the meat more resilient. The wine and salt will not only make the shrimps taste better, but also make the colour of the shrimps vivid.

The Sauce

Don’t forget the dipping sauce which enhances the taste of shrimps. It can be just soy sauce. But try to experiment with mixing in some minced garlic, ginger and/or spring onion as well.

2. Sweet and Sour Pork (Gu Lao Rou, 咕咾肉)

Sweet and Sour Pork Gu Lao Rou 咕咾肉 cantonese recipe

You can find sweet and sour pork from fancy restaurants to street food stalls in Guangdong. In fact, you can find it in almost any Chinese restaurant in the world, which shows the influence and popularity of this dish. The main ingredients are pork tenderloin, pineapples, and sweet and sour sauce made of white rice vinegar, sugar/honey, and soy sauce. Imagine taking a bite of that deep-fried meat covered with the mouthwatering sweet and sour sauce, simply irresistible!

Want to try it out at home? Here’s a video recipe:

3. Sliced Boiled Chicken (Bai Qie Ji, 白切鸡)

Sliced Boiled Chicken Bai Qie Ji 白切鸡 cantonese food list

A saying in Guangdong goes “there is no banquet without chicken.” Here the “chicken” means the dish sliced boiled chicken. Literally translated as “white cut chicken”, this dish is fresh, moist, tender with the true flavour of the chicken.

Chicken has to be boiled whole (gutted) in the soup, and picked out for 3-5 times during boiling process to make sure the surface temperature is the same as the inner temperature, so it can be evenly cooked. The chicken is put in the cold water after boiling to cool off, then sliced and served with dipping sauce.

This isn’t a dish we advice to make at home, because it’s time consuming and many different types of herbs are needed for in the soup. See the video below:

4. Barbecued Pork (Char Siu, 叉烧)

Barbecued Pork Char Siu 叉烧 recipe
Char Siu means “fork roast” in Cantonese. This is a typical dish in Cantonese cuisine which commonly serves with plain white rice. Trust me, you would fall in love with it once you taste the tender, juicy and flavourful meat. Marinated pork is hung on a special skewer and barbecued in the furnace/oven with special honey sauce. The best Char Siu has a balance of fat and lean meat, bright in colour, with a slightly sweet taste.

Cha Siu is fun to make at home. Check out this video:

5. Steamed Pork Belly with Preserved Mustard Greens (Mei Cai Kou Rou, 梅菜扣肉)

Steamed Pork Belly with Preserved Mustard Greens Mei Cai Kou Rou 梅菜扣肉
This dish is definitely on top of my comfort food list. It belongs to Hakka cuisine of Guangdong area, which is a part of Cantonese cuisine. The preserved mustard greens would absorb the oil and release the unique flavour once it’s cooked with pork belly; the meat is so soft and mixed with the fragrance of the mustard greens – great combo! With thick and tasty gravy, the dish isn’t greasy as it looks and it’s really comforting. Making mei cai kou rou isn’t difficult:

6. Wet Fried Rice Noodles with Beef (Shi Chao Niu He, 湿炒牛河)

Wet Fried Rice Noodles with Beef Shi Chao Niu He 湿炒牛河
This traditional Cantonese street food is indispensable in the daily life in Guangdong. It can be breakfast, lunch or the go-to choice anytime people feel peckish. Moist beef and soft fresh rice noodles are great together! Usually the beef slices should be marinated with egg whites, soy sauce and corn starch before frying. The tip of making the beef tender is to heat the wok first then add oil in, put the beef in the wok while the oil is not yet heat up completely, then stir-fry in a fast pace.

Besides wet fried rice noodles, there’s also a dry version with beef (gan chao niu he, 牛河干炒).

7. Roasted Goose (Shao E, 烧鹅)

Roasted Goose Shao E 烧鹅
Roasted goose is renowned for its crispy skin and the juicy, tender meat. Before getting roasted in the furnace, the whole goose (without head, wings and guts) is blown up, sewed up, poured boiling water over then dipped in cold water, coated with special sauce. When the goose is done, it is sliced up and serves with rice and plum sauce. Tasty meat and refreshing sauce go harmoniously, absolutely hard to resist. Roasted goose is quite hard to make at home, and therefore we recommend to simply order this in a cantonese restaurant. The absolute best would be to order it when you’re travelling in Hong Kong or Guangdong province:

8. Clay Pot Rice (Bao Zai Fan, 煲仔饭)

Clay Pot Rice Bao Zai Fan 煲仔饭 cantonese food
As the name suggests, this dish comes with a clay pot with rice, and more than 20 toppings to choose from, such as pork ribs with black bean sauce, chicken with mushrooms, cured meat, etc. One clay pot rice is one meal, you don’t need any other dish. It isn’t complicated to make: put rinsed rice in the small clay pot and cook it till 70% percent done, add toppings with flavourful sauce, slow cook till it’s done. When it serves steamingly hot, you can still hear the sound of the heated sauce. To me the best part of the clay pot rice is the slightly burnt rice crust at the bottom of the pot that has absorbed the flavours of the sauce and the toppings. It’s super crispy and completely addictive.

As long as you can get yourself a clay pot, this dish is easy to make at home. It might be worthwhile to get one, as you can make many different kinds of clay pot dishes with it by experimenting with different ingredients. The cooking concept stays the same!

8 Delicious Szechuan Cuisine Dishes (With Food Video Recipes)

8 Delicious Szechuan Cuisine Dishes (With Food Video Recipes)

As one of the Eight Famous Cuisines in China, Sichuan (or ‘Szechuan’) food has gained its popularity around the country for its unique style: pungent, spicy, full of exciting flavours. As a matter of fact, more and more gourmets outside of China are getting hooked […]

History of Haiwan Tea Industry

History of Haiwan Tea Industry

With a history of over a thousand years of tea cultivation, Yunnan has given rise to many famous tea professionals. Zou Bingliang and Lu Guoling are among the best of the generations of “tea people” (Cha Ren) in Yunnan. Since the 50‘s, Zou and Lu […]

Chinese Cooling Tea Recipes!

Chinese Cooling Tea Recipes!

If you are drinking some kind of cooling tea in China, most likely you will hear people ask you questions involving this term “Shang Huo”. Literally means “rising fire”, in Chinese Traditional Medicine, Shang Huo refers to “suffering from excessive internal heat” caused by the imbalance of yin and yang in human body. The symptoms of Shang Huo include sore throats, hot flashes, swollen gums, yellow urines, red eyes, ulcers, etc.

Drinking cooling tea made of herbs with cooling properties is a popular way to diffuse the internal heat, therefore to ease the symptoms of Shang Huo. We have selected a few Chinese cooling tea recipes for you – tasty, effective and easy to make. Hooray!

Honeysuckle and Liquorice Root Tea
Honeysuckle and Liquorice Root

Ingredients:

  • 5 g liquorice root
  • 5 g dried honeysuckles

Method:

Pour 300 ml boiling water over ingredients and infuse for 5-10 minutes. Drink when the infusion cools down. This tea can go without honey or sugar as liquorice root is a natural sweetener.

Chrysanthemum and Goji Tea

This herbal blend is great for improving eye sight.

Ingredients:

  • 5g dried chrysanthemum
  • 5g dried goji berries
  • Optionally add rock sugar to sweeten the taste

Method:

Pour 300 ml boiling water over chrysanthemum and goji berries; infuse for 10 minutes. Drink hot, or let it cool down and store in fridge; add rock sugar to sweeten the flavour.

Hawthorn and Bamboo Leaf Tea

Bamboo leaf tea is silica rich while hawthorn berries are great for the heart.

Hawthorn and Bamboo Leaf

Ingredients:

  • 3 g dried bamboo leaves
  • 5 g dried hawthorn berries
  • Honey for additional sweetness

Method:

Pour 300 ml boiling water over bamboo leaves and hawthorn berries; infuse for 5-10 minutes. Drink when the infusion cools down; add honey for additional sweetness.

Mint and Lemon Tea

Get yourself a vitamin boost with mint tea leaves while squeezed mint leaves soothes the stomach and improves digestion.

Lemon Zest and Mint

Ingredients:

  • 5 g lemon zest
  • 15 fresh mint leaves
  • Honey to taste

Method:

Pour 300 ml boiling water over lemon zest and mint leaves; infuse for 5-10 minutes. Drink when the infusion cools down; add honey to taste.

Moreover, you can refrigerate and turn them into iced teas to make them even more refreshing!

History of Chinatea (Zhongcha/CNNP/COFCO) – Kunming Tea Factory

History of Chinatea (Zhongcha/CNNP/COFCO) – Kunming Tea Factory

As one of the four main Pu erh tea factories, Chinatea (Zhongcha), also known as China National Native Produce & Animal By-Products Import & Export Corporation (CNNP), has been through a series of significant changes. 1944 – The Yunnan Tea Corporation was founded on December 16. […]

How to Make Orange Peel Tea? Recipes, Food Pairings & Health Benefits

How to Make Orange Peel Tea? Recipes, Food Pairings & Health Benefits

Who wouldn’t want to have an orange for a healthy snack? Oranges are known to have plenty of health benefits together with their juicy, delicious taste. Usually, people eat the flesh of this fruit and just throw the peels away. To save these peels and […]

What is Purple Tea? Types & Benefits Explained

What is Purple Tea? Types & Benefits Explained

In China, purple tea refers to tea cultivars that is related to the mainstream Yunnan large leaf tea subspecies var.assamica, the cultivar used for producing pu erh.

Purple Tea Is Not A Tea Category

We all know about green tea and black tea, but is purple tea a new type of tea category? The answer is: no. Teas are classified based on the processing method applied. The term ‘purple tea’ refers to a tea cultivar, which can be processed in any type of tea such as green, black, oolong or pu erh.

2 Types of Purple Tea

What many don’t know is that there are two types of purple tea in terms of raw leaves: one is Zi Ya (紫芽), and the other is Zi Juan (紫娟). We’ll discuss the differences below.

Zi Ya (Purple Bud)

Zi Ya literally means ‘purple bud’. They are naturally mutated in the wild of Yunnan. It usually growing in the areas with high altitude and strong sun exposure, such as Menghai,  Yiwu and Lincang.

Generally, the bud and the first three leaves of Zi Ya are purple, the rest of the leaves are dark green. Zi Ya can be produced into raw and ripe Pu erh tea. Although the fresh leaves of Zi Ya are purple, there is no distinguishable difference in its infusion colour compared to regular tea.

The taste of Zi Ya leaves lies between wild arbor tea leaves and old cultivated garden tea leaves: smooth, full-bodied with strong sweet aftertaste. Because of its rarity, the price of wild Zi Ya is relatively high. However, due to the increasing popularity, Zi Ya is nowadays also cultivated resulting in more affordable prices.

zi ya purple tea
Zi Ya purple tea (loose)

Zi Juan (Purple Beauty)

In 1985, researchers of Yunnan Tea Research Institute found one unusual tea tree in a huge tea plantation. It had purple buds, leaves and stems. Compare to Zi Ya, its fresh leaves were smaller and thicker, the purple colour was darker and with a hint of green, more like violet.

Its infusion is purple-ish too, with a thinner and stronger flavour than Zi Ya. It’s cultivated into larger scale using vegetative propagation methods.

If you’re interested in Zi Juan cakes, you can consider Teasenz’ zi juan purple tea cake offer.

Kenyan growers’ hope

Zi Juan purple tea is also the type that has been recently hyped by Kenyan growers. The country’s production mainly consists of black tea with low margins. By marketing purple tea, farmers managed with some level of success to sell purple tea at higher margins. Some other countries such as India followed.

Zi Juan is often processed and compressed in ripe pu erh cakes, which consists of post-fermented leaves. It’s bitter flavour makes is less suitable for making loose leaf sheng pu erh (mao cha) or sheng pu erh cakes (which doesn’t undergo post-fermentation).

Health Benefits of Purple Tea

The most effective components of both purple tea are anthocyanins. It’s said that the amount of anthocyanins in purple tea is 50-100 times higher than green bud tea.

As one kind of polyphenols, anthocyanins are great antioxidants. They are used for preventing cardiovascular and neurological diseases, circulatory disorders, eye problems and inflammation, protecting the skin from the UV damage and improving skin elasticity.

Further academic research is required to confirm the benefits above, though preliminary results look promising.

I Found Bugs In My Tea!

I Found Bugs In My Tea!

Finding small bugs or even beetles in your tea is disgusting! Yet it might not be a big deal. Tea is a natural product. No matter what quality control a company has in place, there’s always a change that bugs get into the tea. At […]