Northeastern Chinese cuisine is a style of Chinese cuisine in Northeast China mainly covering provinces of Liaoning, Heilongjiang and Jilin, which form the northernmost region of China with multi-ethnicity. Having played a pivotal role in Chinese cuisine system, Northeastern cuisine is always flavourful, colourful, and sometimes bold with a touch of subtlety. As these years see exquisiteness and honouring local flavours gain momentum, Feng Tian Restaurant takes on traditional Liaoning cuisine with creative twists to bring an upscale experience with a setting to match.
The history of Northeastern cuisine can be traced back more than a thousand years. The earliest written account of Northeastern cuisine is probably in Qimin Yaoshu (literally Essential Techniques for the Welfare of the People), the most completely preserved of the ancient Chinese agricultural texts written by the Northern Wei dynasty (386-534 AD) official Jia Sixie, which mainly talks about the cooking style of the Northeastern people. Shenyang in Liaoning province was the former capital of the Qing dynasty, and court and imperial cuisines had a profound influence on Northeastern cuisine, but its rapid development came during the Qing and Republican dynasties when a major migration movement – Chuang Guandong (literally Crashing into Guandong, with Guandong being an older name for Manchuria) witnessed a rush of Han Chinese into Manchuria. It was during that period people from the south brought regional culinary styles such as Beijing, Shandong, Sichuan, and Jiangsu cuisines to form what Northeastern cuisine is today.
Northeastern cuisine is perhaps just like its people, straightforward, passionate and unpretentious. The climate of Northern China is too cold and dry, so the most common ingredients on its vast land are Chinese cabbage, spring onion, root vegetables such as radishes and potatoes, and beans. Besides, Northeast Chinese include a large component of meat in their daily diet, especially pork. Perhaps the most important characteristic of Northeastern Chinese cuisine is its use of pickled and frozen ingredients due to the relatively long winter. The region’s cuisine also features large portions and rustic cooking techniques due to the original farming and herding lifestyle.
Simmering, braising and roasting are ubiquitous cooking techniques used in the Northeast, producing many of the region’s signatures dishes. In particular, prevelance of simmering is attributable to Northeastern climate and rurality, as a big stew dish can not only feed a whole family, but also an economical option as cooking in cold weather requires longer time to burn the wood for fire. Besides, abundant root vegetables such as Chinese cabbage are suitable for simmering, thus forming a distinct feature of today’s Northeastern stews.
小鸡炖蘑菇 Stewed Chicken with Mushrooms
主食 Staple Food
It is not uncommon to find some popular Northeastern stews in the region’s curious proverbs. There is one: “When the new son-in-law visits, the chickens are scared to death.” It might make no sense at first but it actually refers to a famous local dish – Stewed Chicken with Mushrooms, which used to be regarded as a big welcoming dish to cook for important guests visiting a household. There is also “Catfish with eggplant will make an old man stuffed to death”. Together with pork ribs with common bean, pork with cellophane noodle and pickled vegetables, they make a complete line-up of The Four Northeastern Simmerings. In addition to rice, maize is also a widely eaten staple which is made into various snacks.
Today, there is still much room for development in haute Northeastern cuisine. Capitalising on the region’s mountain vegetables and game animals, Feng Tian Restaurant continues to inherit the classics of Northeastern cuisine, honouring rich local flavours with masterful cooking techniques of heat control. With more than 200 dishes, 50 main courses and 30 beverages, the restaurant continues to lead diners and the team in exploring the aesthetic of classic gastronomy and celebrating the elegant taste of the Northeast.
Feng Tian Restaurant Signature Dishes
奉天老式锅包肉 Traditional Double Cooked Pork Slices
Thiner and crunchier version of the time-honoured favourite, the sweet and sour pork slices are way too famous to ignore and too delicious not to share.
雪棉豆沙 Red Bean Slush
A childhood memory for Shenyang locals, and very much relies on heat control. Red beans blossom in the frying pan, giving the dish just the right blend of roughness and delicacy, softness and sweetness.
江雪糖醋小排 Sweet and Sour Short Ribs
Luxury yet reserved, slow-cooked short ribs are fresh and delicious with precise heat control and addictive mouthfeel.
那年秋天的茄子 Autumn Aubergine
Crispy and charred, this one is likely the most wonderful presentation of home-made aubergine loved by all ages. It’s also a classic that has stayed true to its original flavour and has been on the restaurant’s menu over the past eight years.
豆角烀饼 Long Beans and Potato Stew with Steamed Flatbread
The addition of crunchy gristles lends complexity to the velvety long beans and soft-tender potato chunks. When a tangy mixture is formed, the stew is enclosed with a sheet of flatbread to fully absorb the flavourful sauce. Allow simmering to perfection, the result is a rich and luscious gourmet dish.
小馆过年菜 Signature Pork Stew
A delightful marriage between the Northeastern stew and copper hot pot. Mouth-watering sauerkraut, aromatic and chewy blood sausages, tender and marbled pork belly… all add to the slow-cooked pot stew of authentic Northeast flavours.
暴脾气过桥大排 Signature Spicy Ribs
Tender and juicy prime ribs are complemented by spicy flavours. Get ready for binge drinking and meat revel at celebratory occasions, like a local!
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