Inheritor of Teochew Cuisine tells stories of inheritance and innovation

2022-07-22 Editor : Ji Xiang ECNS App Download

(ECNS) -- For people living in South China's Guangdong Province, a day usually begins with a cup of Congou tea. Fang Shuguang is no exception.

Born in a family of chefs, Fang began to learn the skill at the age of 15. His father Fang Dashun used to be a famous chef, known as "No. 1 Chef in Teochew," a title carried on by his son.

Fang Shuguang is an inheritor of Teochew cuisine -- an intangible cultural heritage. He is also known by the local as Chef Fang. He often teaches people how to cook on local TV programs.

According to Fang, Teochew cuisine features fresh and mild taste, maintaining the ingredients' original flavor. Different Teochew dishes are served with different sauces. What also makes Teochew cuisine unique is that it turns ordinary ingredients into upscale dishes. For example, people usually take it for granted that sweet potato leaves are of little value, but Teochew chefs use it to make a soup that can be served on important occasions.

Teochew people travel wide and far doing all kinds of businesses, and wherever they go, there will be Teochew cuisine served. The Teochew dishes, therefore, have been all over the world. A dish from the hometown is a strong bond between the people far away from home and the place where they come from. The Teochew dishes, which have now taken root overseas, have been innovated amid the blending of Chinese and western cuisines.

Fang added that Teochew cuisine has a widespread presence. It has been well preserved in Southeast Asia. Many years ago, Chinese people went across the ocean to make a living. When they settled down and got old, they became nostalgic and were eager to inherit and preserve the Teochew cuisine. Traditional Teochew dishes are popular in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, such as chicken meat wrapped in lotus leaves, pork jelly, and marinated food. They are well preserved.

In recent years, Chef Fang has focused on studying traditional Teochew dishes, including some cooking methods that have long been lost, as well as creating new recipes. He will keep devoting himself to the art of cooking.


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