A bowl of Pot Edge Paste.
Fujian cuisine originated from Minhou County in Fuzhou, capital city of Fujian Province. Nowadays, Fujian cuisine has developed into three schools, and is known as one of China’s eight cuisines, combining both the Han culture in the Central Plain areas and local culture of ethnic minorities.
A bowl of Pot Edge Paste.
Cooking with a variety of seafood is a major feature of Fujian cuisine. As seafood is soft but tough, chefs need to cut them into slices or thin pieces, a technique that requires a master of knife skills. The cutting skills are not just important for making appealing arrangements of seafood, but also for keeping the flavor in the food. To retain the utmost original taste, seafood is also usually cooked in soup.
Fuzhou locals and long-time residents in the city all love eating one of the city’s most popular dishes — Pot Edge Rice Noodle soup. To prepare the dish you need to boil a light soup in a large iron pot containing the ingredients of clams, dried mushrooms, dried small shrimp, chopped scallion, and dried day lilies. When the soup broth comes to a boil, pour the rice batter around the edges of the iron pot. After the rice batter hardens into a dried paste, scrape it into the pot and let it cook for a while. Pot Edge Rice Noodle Soup, crisp and thin, having a flavor of fresh seafood, is well-known to every household.
Antai Restaurant started business in Fuzhou a century ago during the reign of Emperor Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Its name came from the Antai Bridge nearby, which was built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The Antai River that runs underneath the restaurant was once the city moat. Antai Restaurant is a popular place for locals to eat a bowl of Pot Edge Paste along with delicious oyster cake.
Oyster cakes are made from rice, soy bean powder, oysters, lean pork, and chopped celery. The round-shaped cake is crisp and mouthwatering with a golden color. Visitors can buy this unique snack on any food stand in Fuzhou.
A bowl of Pot Edge Rice Noodle Soup.
An oyster omelet is another local snack that locals cannot do without. It originated in Quanzhou City, Fujian, and is also popular in Taiwan and Guangdong. It is made of eggs, oysters, and starch, and is served with chopped scallion sprinkled over the top.
Legend has it that in 1661, Dutch troops occupied the southern area of Taiwan, and the local general Zheng Chenggong led soldiers to fight against the Dutch to reclaim the lost territory. The Dutch had hidden all of the available rice in the area. In response, Zheng’s soldiers found oysters and sweet potato starch, mixed them with water, and then fried the batter into pancakes. Thus the food went on to become a fashionable snack in Taiwan.
Fish balls are also a distinctive dish in Fuzhou. Made from fish, lean pork, and dried shrimp. The walnut-shaped fish balls floating on the surface of boiling soup resemble the sky covered with stars, and led to the dish being called “Seven Stars Fish Balls.”