Huaiyang cuisine, as one of the four traditional Chinese cuisines, has a long history, while Huai'an banquet was known all over the world as early as in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Now, after a long period of time, Huai'an banquet has more to present to the world.

The First State Banquet for the Founding of New China

On the evening of October 1, 1949, Premier Zhou Enlai hosted a national banquet at Beijing Hotel to entertain distinguished guests at home and abroad who participated in the founding ceremony. Huaiyang cuisine was chosen for the first banquet of the founding of the People's Republic of China.Huaiyang cuisine is famous for its strict selection of ingredients, fine cutting skills, moderate freshness and salty. The banquet dishes were unanimously praised by the leaders and guests. 


Banquet in the Southern Tour of Qianglong Emperor

Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty made six visits to the south, leaving many good stories. According to historical records, Huai'an was a key place during the six Southern Tours of Qianlong.The Banquet was developed on the basis of the record of Qianlong's enjoyment of Huai'an food in the Qing Dynasty.
Looking at the recipes, we can see that the Banquet is quite different from the first national banquet of the founding of new China. In terms of variety and dishes, it is more abundant. Besides cold and hot dishes and snacks, there are also dried fruits, fresh fruits and so on. 


Fish Banquet

The fish banquet, mutton banquet, and eel banquet were together known as San Quan Banquet in the Qing Dynasty. The fish banquet mainly uses freshwater fish such as black fish, white fish, catfish, yellow mulberry fish, eel, turtle, silver fish, etc. It is processed and cooked with mutton, pigeon eggs, vermicelli, vegetables, and fruits and so on.
Special cold dishes in the fish banquet are two fish in water, dried fish fillets, hand-torn white fish, fish fillets with tomato sauce, etc. Classic hot dishes include catfish with vermicelli, crispy silver fish, raw smoked white fish, etc. Snacks such as shrimp pot stickers and roes with fried rice are also popular. 


Crayfish Banquet

"Take your hand and suck gently, hold your waist, lift the red cap, pull out the thread, uncover the red belly pocket to reveal the meat, and then enjoy it to your heart's content..." Nowadays, this Crayfish Ballad is almost well known in Huai'an. 
Originated from Xuyi Sanyuan Restaurant in the early 1970s, Huai'an crayfish dishes are cooked with more than a dozen Chinese herbal medicines specially produced in Xuyi. They are characterized by the flavor of hemp, spicy, fresh, fragrant, tender and bright red color. Eaten by hand shelling, so they are named hand grasping crayfish with thirteen flavors. 


The Canal Banquet

The canal banquet was developed relying on the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. The dishes of canal banquet use animals and plants in the canal such as river ducks, lotus root as ingredients which are same as the boat banquet.


Vegetarian Banquet in Journey to the West

The Vegetarian Banquet in Journey to the West is a fruitful result of the close cooperation between Huai'an catering masters and local historians. Through systematically excavating and sorting out the vegetable banquet and famous vegetable products involved in the famous book Journey to the West, the Banquet was born with the elaborate design of the local temple chef , the use of modern cooking techniques and refined vegetable dishes. The main raw materials for the banquet were radish, broccoli, bean sprouts, lettuce, gluten, potato, cattail, food products and so on. 

Huaiyang Health Preservation Banquet

Comparatively, Huaiyang Health Preservation Banquet is more fashionable and younger. Wild fungus, seasonal wild vegetables, medicinal and food homologous raw materials, traditional Chinese medicine nourishing raw materials are selected for innovative dishes such as braised sea cucumber, fried pigeon and so on.


Chicken Banquet

The Chicken Banquet is developed on the basis of Huai'an traditional famous dish one chicken with nine cooking methods, with two kinds of local chicken as raw materials. The banquet mainly includes cold dishes, hot dishes, snacks and fruit plates. Among them, cold dishes include hand-torn chicken, palms and wings without bones, ginger chicken shredded, etc. Hot dishes include white chicken slices, chicken liver, Lianshui county chicken cake, chicken porridge and other classic dishes. Snacks are steamed dumplings with minced chicken, chicken shredded crisp cake, etc. Fruit dishes are assorted fruits. 

Goose Banquet

Jinhu County has a dense network of rivers and lush aquatic plants. It is the origin of China's famous four-seasoned geese. The goose banquet selects the delicious meat of the four-seasoned geese in Jinhu County as ingredient. Local famous chefs visit for year and absorb the skills of cooking folk goose dishes to develop them among which are sake goose liver, fried goose meat buns and pancakes, fried rice with goose oil and other classic dishes. 


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