Anhui is one of the eight culinary traditions of Chinese cuisine
Anhui cuisine implements many wild herbs from both the land and the sea.
Anhui cuisine is a type of Chinese cuisine known for its strictly regulated cooking techniques and preparation methods. Anhui cuisine is made up of foods and flavors from South Anhui, Yanjiang and Huai Bei areas of China. Like Cantonese cuisine, which concentrates heavily on maintaining the original flavors of the ingredients, Anhui dishes also aim to preserve most of the original taste and nutrition of the ingredients used; however, food does tend to be salty and spicy.
One of the eight main culinary traditions in Chinese cuisine, Anhui cuisine implements many wild herbs from both the land and the sea. Other essential ingredients in many Anhui dishes include pangolin, stone frog, mushroom, bayberry, tea leaves, bamboo shoot, and dates.
Chefs who specialize in Anhui cuisine must be very skilled when it comes to cooking delicacies sourced from the mountains and the sea. Anhui-specialized chefs also pay close attention to the color of a dish, the taste of a dish and the temperature at which food is cooked. Braising and stewing are common cooking methods; stewed soft shell turtle with ham and bamboo shoots cooked with sausage and dried mushroom are two examples of common Anhui cuisine.
What is Anhui Cuisine? - Recipes
Anhui cuisine (Hui Cai for short), one of the eight most famous cuisines in China, features the local culinary arts of Huizhou. It comprises the specialties of South Anhui, Yanjiang and Huai Bei. The highly distinctive characteristic of Anhui cuisine lies not only in the elaborate choices of cooking materials but also in the strict control of cooking process.
Most ingredients in Anhui cuisine, such as pangolin, stone frog, mushroom, bayberry, tea leaves, bamboo shoot, dates, games, etc., are from mountain area. Huangshan Mountain has abundant products for dish cooking. Huangshan Chukka has tender flesh and a sweet taste. It can be boiled in clear soup or braised in soy sauce. The dishes help relieve internal fever and build up vital energy. The white and tender bamboo shoots produced on Huangshan Mountain can be made into very delicious food. Xianggu, a kind of top-grade mushroom grows on old trees, is also very tasty.
Anhui cuisine chefs pay more attention to the taste, color of dishes and the temperature to cook them, and are good at braising and stewing. They are experts especially in cooking delicacies from mountains and sea. Anhui dishes preserve most of the original taste and nutrition of the materials. Generally the food here is slightly spicy and salty. Some master dishes usually stewed in brown sauce with stress on heavy oil and sauce. Ham is often added to improve the taste and sugar candy added to gain freshness.
High up on the menu are stewed soft shell turtle with ham, Huangshan braised pigeon, steamed stone frog, steamed rock partridge, stewed fish belly in brown sauce, bamboo shoots cooked with sausage and dried mushroom, etc.
1. Stewed soft shell turtle with ham
One whole soft shell turtle, pork, ham, bamboo shoots, a clove of garlic, shallot, ginger, soy sauce, salt, rice wine, black pepper, lard are all stewed together in a pot on charcoal fire. The dish is not greasy and can lead diners to endless aftertastes.
Inhabited in caves, stone frog is a special product in Huangshan Mountain. It weights 250 grams or so, whose belly is white and back black with stripe. Stone frog is rich in protein, calcium and so on. It has the functions of clearing heat, improving vision and nutrition. It is one of the best exotic dishes from mountains.
3. Bamboo shoots cooked with sausage and dried mushroom
It is one traditional flavor in Huizhou mountainous area. Cooked with sausage and dried mushrooms, the bamboo shoots are more fragrant. It is delicious, and noted for its good color, juicy meat and thick soup.
4. Li Hongzhang Hotchpotch
Li Hongzhang hotchpotch is a popular dish named after one of Anhui's famous personages. Li Hongzhang was a top official of the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 AD). When he was in office, he paid a visit to the US and hosted a banquet for all his American friends. As the specially prepared dishes continued to flow, the chefs, with limited resources, began to fret. Upon Li Hongzhang's order, the remaining kitchen ingredients were thrown together into an impromptu stew, containing sea cucumber, squid, tofu, ham, mushroom, chicken meat and other less identifiable food materials! Thus appetites were quenched and a dish was created.
Anhui Cuisine, the local culinary arts of Huizhou (now the neighboring area at the foot of Mt. Huangshan), is highly reputated and regarded as one of the Eight Culinary Traditions of China.
One distinctive feature about Anhui Cuisine is the elaborate choices of cooking materials and the strict control of cooking process. Wild herbs, both land and sea, are widely used in Anhui cuisine cooking, and braising and stewing are common techniques.
Using local ingredients is also a characteristic of Anhui food. A lot of ingredients in Anhui Cuisine come from mountain areas. The chef uses a lot cooking materials that come from Mt. Huangshan, making sure of freshness and tenderness. The white and tender bamboo shoots produced on Huangshan Mountain can be made into very delicious food. The mashrooms that grow on the foot of old trees in Mt. Huangshan are also very tasty.
Hui Cuisine are made mostly through braising, stewing and steaming rather than sauting or frying. And special attentions are paid to the taste and color of dishes and the temperature to cook them. And Anhui dishes preserve most of the original taste and nutrition of the materials. Generally the food here is slightly spicy and salty. Some master dishes usually stewed in brown sauce with stress on heavy oil and sauce. Ham is often added to improve the taste and sugar added to refine the freshness.
Famous dishes of Anhui cuisine includes Bamboo Shoots cooked with Sausage and Dried Mushroom, Royal Pot (Yi Pin Guo), Salted Mandarin Fish, Li Hongzhang Hotchpotch, Huangshan Braised Pigeon, etc.
Bamboo Shoots cooked with Sausage and Dried Mushroom
Bamboo shoots are traditional flavors in Anhui food. Among all bamboo shoots, those from Wenzheng Hill are the most delicious. This dish is usually cooked with sausage and dried mushrooms in order to enhance the flavor and fragrance of bamboo shoots.
This dish is delicious, and noted for its good colors (red for sausage, brown for mushrooms and cream-color for bamboo shoots), juicy meat and thick soup.
Royal Pot (Yi Pin Guo)
It is said that Royal Pot was created by Mrs. Yu, the wife of the Ministry of Justice of Ming Dynasty. One day, the emperor suddenly came to the ministry's house for dinner. Besides a feast of delicacies, Mrs. Yu especially cooked a Hui-style hot pot. The emperor enjoyed this dish so much that when he learned that the dish was cooked by Mrs. Yu herself, he named it as Royal Pot.
The cooking of this dish is quite demanding. Dried bamboo shoots are put on the bottom of the pot, then flesh lumps are put on the second layer, fried bean curd on the third, pork balls on the fourth and bean threads are covered on the fifth dotted by spinach or dried lily flower. Then all this things are simmered in water with seasonings. This dish is famous for its local flavor, and tastes thick and fresh.
Salted Mandarin Fish
This dish uses mandarin fish caught from local rivers and streams. The fresh fish is marinated in light salt brine in an environment of about 25 room temperature. After salting, it is braised in soy sauce with porch and bamboo shoot pieces as ingredients.
The mandarin fish is very tasty after braising. This dish is known for its special flavor with the salted and scented fish.
Li Hongzhang Hotchpotch
This dish is a popular dish named after one of Anhui's famous politicians - Li Hongzhang, a top official of the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 AD). When he was in office, he paid a visit to the US and hosted a banquet for all his American friends. As the specially prepared dishes continued to flow, the chefs, with limited resources, began to fret. Upon Li Hongzhang's order, the remaining kitchen ingredients were thrown together into an impromptu stew, containing sea cucumber, squid, tofu, ham, mushroom, chicken meat and other less identifiable food materials! The dish was incredibly delicious and later was passed down to be a noted delicacy.
>> Anhui Snacks
Snacks in Anhui Province are also very delicious. And you can find most of them in the Tunxi Ancient Street. Some popular snacks are: Fried Odorous Tofu (Youjian Mao Doufu), Yellow Crab Shell (Xie Ke Huang), La Ba Tofu (Laba Doufu) and Stir-fried Pond Snail (Chao Tianluo).
Fried Odorous Tofu (Youjian Mao Doufu)
Odorous Tofu is a kind of sour bean curd with a layer of white 'hair' fried in a pan them sprinkled with seasonings.It is common to see in snack stalls. The tofu has a special odor, some people may not like it. The flavor is really local, if you can bear the odor, you should try it.
Yellow Crab Shell (Xie Ke Huang)
Also known as Huangshan Fritters, this Huizhou flavor snack is actually a baked sesame seed fritter with a stuffing of meat and vegetables. It looks like a crab shell, hence the name Xie Ke Huang. The cakes are easy to store, convenient on a day trip.
What is Anhui Cuisine? - Recipes
Anhui is abundant in uncultivated fields, mountains and forests, which provide Anhui Cuisine rich local ingredients. Hui Cuisine uses only local produce, so the freshness of the dishes is unparalleled. Most ingredients in Anhui Cuisine, such as pangolin, stone frog, mushroom, bayberry, tea leaves, bamboo shoots and dates all come from mountain areas. The Yellow Mountains are abundant in raw materials suitable for cooking. Wild herbs are readily available here. Hui Cuisine places a great deal of emphasis on natural foods, which makes it a healthy cuisine. It follows traditional ways and uses foods that are also used for medicinal purposes. The use of wild herbs is one of Hui Cuisine's notable features.
Hui Cuisine is particular about controlling cooking time and temperature. High, medium or slow heat is applied according to the quality and characteristics of the different materials and the flavor requirements of finished dishes. Hui Cuisine requires skill in sautéing and stewing to achieve a delicate lightness in taste. Some typical dishes stewed in brown sauce may appear a little heavy on oil compared to some other styles. Ham is also often added to enhance the taste.
Some dishes representative of the Hui style of cuisine are: Stir-Fried Frog with Log Flower Mushrooms Phoenix-Tailed Shrimp Steak Li Hongzhang Hotchpotch Bagong Mountain Bean Curd Grape Fish, Mountain Bamboo Shoots, Assorted Meats Phoenix-Tailed Shrimp in a Bird's Nest and Red Tato in Honey.
The Top 10 Authentic Cantonese Dishes You Should Be Eating
Chinese food is complex, versatile, and above all, delicious. What a lot of people don’t realize, however, is that it’s highly variable depending on the region in question. As someone whose family hails from the southern Cantonese region of China, here are ten foods you definitely need to be eating from my motherland.
1. Hainanese Chicken Rice
Photo courtesy of omnivorescookbook.com
Hailing from the Hainan province in Southern China, this boiled, white-cut chicken dish is packed with flavor. From upscale restaurants to the night markets, you can find this insanely popular dish throughout the Cantonese region. With the chicken’s skin glistening, sitting next to a steaming pile of rice and a small dish of ginger-scallion dipping sauce, what’s not to love?
2. Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings)
Xiao long bao, better known as soup dumplings, are the epitome of steamed perfection. They have all the juicy deliciousness of a regular dumpling, but pack the extra punch that only hot broth can offer. Flavorful and delicious, the only caveat is that the skin is extremely easy to puncture, so one has to be rather skilled in handling chopsticks to avoid breakage.
3. Cha Siu Bao (Barbecue Pork Bun)
Photo courtesy of thirstyfortea.com
Cha siu bao, or barbecue buns, are steamed, sweet buns stuffed with a Chinese rendition of barbecued pork. These are usually found on dim sum (the Canton Chinese equivalent of brunch) menus across China or are sold by street vendors to locals for some hearty, on-the-go breakfast.
4. Dan Tat (Egg Tart)
Photo courtesy of youtube.com
These delicate egg tart pastries prove that custard is so severely underrated and underused in Western style desserts (wake up, America). A flaky, buttery crust gently envelopes sweet, glistening egg custard to create a bite-sized piece of perfection.
5. Beef Chow Fun (Beef Fried Noodles)
Photo courtesy of flickr.com
If you’re a fan of lo mein, this classic Cantonese dish will blow your mind. Served either with gravy or dry (as pictured) with scallions, bean sprouts, and enough beef and noodles to make your heart sing, this dish blows those take-out noodles right out of the water.
6. Lo Bak Go (Turnip Cakes)
Photo courtesy of chinasichuanfood.com
Before you exclaim, “Gross!” and close this article because who puts turnip in cakes, hear me out. These cakes are savory, made from pan-frying pressed daikon turnips and rice flour the result is a dish that is golden and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. This is also a common dim sum dish and is one of the most commonly eaten “lucky” foods during Chinese New Year, as the Chinese word for “radish” is a homophone for “good luck.”
7. Claypot Rice
Photo courtesy of thewoksoflife.com
Although this rice dish takes roughly 20-30 minutes to cook, it’s well worth it. A hearty serving of white rice is cooked over a charcoal stove in a clay pot and infused with flavors from Chinese mushroom, sausage, and salted rice. Topped with vegetables and served with a side of dark soya sauce, this crispy rice dish will satisfy all your carb cravings for the day.
#SpoonTip: I f you happen to have a rice cooker laying around, you can make this right in your dorm.
8. Red Bean Soup
Photo courtesy of breadetbutter.wordpress.com
A hugely popular and versatile dish throughout China, this can be served cold or hot depending on the climate. This tong sui (sweet soup) made from red azuki beans is generally served after dinner as a palette cleanser and dessert. Depending on the region, different dessert toppings such as sago, ice cream, tapioca, glutinous rice balls, and many more can be added to create a light, sweet treat.
9. Lanzhou Lamian (Lanzhou Hand-pulled Noodles)
Photo courtesy of flickr.com
Lamian is a type of Cantonese style noodle that is made by twisting and stretching the dough, using the weight to create perfect, delicate noodles. The process is actually really cool to watch and can be seen from many clear storefronts. The result? Perfectly smooth and slurp-worthy noodles bathed in broth and topped with anything from ground beef to freshly chopped parsley.
Photo courtesy of flickr.com
Probably the most popular breakfast food for millions of locals, congee is basically just rice porridge. Think oatmeal, but with small, customizable side dishes comprised of everything from pickled vegetables to dried pork to century egg. This is the quintessential example of Cantonese homestyle cooking I can’t count the number of mornings I’ve woken up to a piping hot bowl of congee sprinkled with scallions for breakfast.
Chinese Food - Anhui Cuisine
Auhui province is located in east China. Anhui cuisine, one of the eight major cuisines in China, features the local culinary arts of Huizhou, a city close to Huangshan Mountain, which is not only the most beautiful mountain in china, but also provides abundant products for dish cooking. The major ingredients in Anhui cuisine, such as stone frog, mushroom, bayberry, tea leaves, bamboo shoot, dates, pangolin, etc., are from mountain area.
One distinctive characteristic of Anhui cuisine is the elaborate choices of cooking materials. The chef uses fresh and high quality material to prepare dishes. Anhui dishes preserve most of the original taste and nutrition of the materials. Some of the Anhui dishes actually are also medicine cuisine, which it good to health. For example, Chukka has tender flesh and a sweet taste. It can be boiled in clear soup or braised in soy sauce. The dishes help relieve internal fever and build up vital energy. Huangshan bamboo shoots are tender and delicious it can be made into very delicious food. Shitake is also very tasty, and it helps prevent cancer.
Anhui Cuisine chef were trained to master the art of the strict control of the temperature and the cooking process, which is the key to good taste and color of dishes.
Anhui Cuisine chefs are good at braising and stewing. They are experts especially in cooking delicacies from mountains and sea. Generally the food here is slightly spicy and salty. Some master dishes usually stewed in brown sauce with stress on heavy oil and sauce. Chinese Ham is often added to improve the taste and sugar candy added to gain freshness.
My favorite Anhui dish is the Taros with Honey Juice, and it is really easy to make. Here is the recipe:
1. Choose some orange-colored taros which have "sweated", wash, peel, chop into pieces which have two pointed ends.
2. Put a bamboo steamer in a casserole, add water and crystal sugar, when the sugar melts, put in the taros and honey and simmer for one hour.
3. When the juice has boiled down, transfer the taros to a plate and pour on the juice.
- For the egg
- 2 Whole Eggs
- 1/2 inch Ginger , finely chopped
- Black pepper powder , for seasoning
- Salt , to taste For the stuffing
- 1 inch Ginger , finely chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic , finely chopped
- 1 Onion , finely chopped
- 1/4 cup Rice , boiled
- 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Red Chilli sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
- 2 sprig Spring Onion (Bulb & Greens)
- Salt and Pepper , to taste
- Oil , for cooking
Anhui: Where stinky fish, hairy tofu and the wild herbs are
Chances are unless you’ve travelled to the mountainous province of Anhui in China, you’ve never tasted Anhui cuisine. Unlike the food of Shandong, Sichuan, Guangdong and Jiangsu, Anhui specialities haven’t travelled far beyond China. Which is a crying shame, considering that the Anhui style of cooking is highly skilled and intently focused on preserving the fresh flavours of local produce.
As Adam Liaw says on Destination Flavour China, “Anhui has long been one of the poorer provinces of China, and its cuisine is a far cry from the elegant court dishes of the capital.
“It’s simple food, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.”
Food that's "good for the soul", made from freshly foraged and gathered ingredients: Stir-fried bamboo shoots and cured ham.
Historically significant roots
It may seem surprising that such uncomplicated fare is included as one of China’s famous eight major cuisines. However, historically the influence of Anhui cuisine is everywhere in Chinese cooking.
From as early as the Song Dynasty, Huizhou merchants began travelling far beyond Anhui. Traditional farming was not enough to support a family in the mountainous region, so enterprising Huizhou (an administrative area in ancient China, made up mainly of the modern Anhui province) became sales merchants.
Huangshan ("Yellow Mountain") mountain range provides Anhui province with an abundance of unique wild herbs.
Throughout the Ming and Qing Dynasties, hard-working Huizhou merchants thrived. They were soon controlling large industries across China and, as they moved further and further from their homeland, they took Anhui cooking to every corner of the country.
“It’s simple food, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.”
In particular, it was part of Huizhou business culture to gather together over a Huizhou style meal to show their respect for their guests. As a result, Huizhou restaurants began springing up all over China to accommodate the Huizhou merchants’ preferences. Anhui cuisine has been considered one of the major cuisines ever since.
Frogs and pangolin tails
The flavours that the merchants were so intent of reproducing are bound to the mountainous Anhui region, so cooks across China often styled their own version of Anhui cooking with what they had available. Outside of the Anhui region, the cuisine is, therefore, less distinctive than other, more regulated Chinese cuisines.
Speciality ingredients from the Anhui province include wild-caught stone frogs, white shrimp, fish and Mati turtles from mountain streams in Northern and Central Anhui. The Southern Anhui district focuses on wild game like boar, pangolin and fowl.
There is “absolutely nothing to fear from this stinky fermented fish."
Wild and farmed pig is also widely available, so Anhui cuisine has many popular pork and ham dishes. Mushrooms of every kind, including xianggu, a tasty shitake-style funghi found on trees, are hand gathered. Dates, tea leaves and bamboo shoots are other local ingredients essential to recreating the flavours of Anhui cuisine.
Bamboo shoots, gathered from the local mountain, dry in the sun by Moon Pond in Hongcun Village, Anhui province.
Source: Getty Images
Stinky fermentation is not to be feared
One of Northern Anhui province’s most famous dishes is stinky mandarin fish. Despite the name, the fermented and cured fish dish is a flavour bomb, but not especially smelly at all. Liaw tries the dish on Destination Flavour China and reports that there is “absolutely nothing to fear from this stinky fermented fish."
"I can definitely see why it’s an Anhui speciality,” he says.
Adam's face says it all: stinky fish tastes GOOD.
Source: Destination Flavour China
So, stinky fish passes muster, but what about hairy tofu?
In the mountains, soy beans grow effortlessly, giving rise to the unproven legend that tofu originated in the Anhui province. Whether it’s true or not, the region is famous for tofu specialities like fresh tofu made in the morning to be eaten later in the day, and hairy tofu.
Gathering herbs to stir fresh into dishes is a way of life for Anhui people.
'Mao tofu' is named for the white, hair-like mould that grows on the tofu during the fermentation process. It looks understandably scary, but the delicate tendrils are what gives hairy tofu its distinctive flavour.
Foraged wild herbs are life
Of all the ingredients used in Anhui cooking, it is the abundance of wild-picked and farmed herbs and vegetables that set it apart. The region is famous for foraged bitter greens from the mountains, bayberry, tea leaves, mustard seeds, lotus root, garlic, ginger and bamboo shoots. Gathering herbs to stir fresh into dishes is a way of life for Anhui people.
Street food in Huangshan showcases the variety of dishes produced in Anhui cuisine.
Source: Getty Images
In many ways, Anhui’s fermented dishes, brimming with fresh herbs, are a kind of medicine in a bowl. Indeed, the raw ingredients and low-temperature cooking techniques like braising and steaming are a healthy way to cook. Not so healthy is the tendency to add thick, starchy sauces or excess oil to dishes to optimise flavour. Anhui cooks are also known to add a sprinkle of sugar to finish a dish.
It seems fitting that the dish most attributed to Anhui cuisine never actually originated there.
Bits and pieces
The Anhui style of cooking inspired one of the most famous American takes on Chinese cuisine – ‘chop suey’, (or ‘bits and pieces’) a dish that doesn’t actually exist in China. One story has that it was created in 1896 in America by chef’s travelling with a Chinese diplomat and Anhui province native Li Hongzhang, to appeal to both American and Chinese palates.
It seems fitting that the dish most attributed to Anhui cuisine never actually originated there. Instead, the genuine flavours of the Anhui province remains best eaten in Anhui itself. Only there can the pure beauty of foraging, gathering and catching wild food to create the day’s meals be truly experienced.
Rice rolls (肠粉), also known as rice noodle rolls, or steamed rice rolls, are a widely popular and traditional dish served in the Guangdong province. Due to the shape of the food, which resembles a pig’s intestines, the rice roll’s name is frequently translated to “intestine noodle.” Although the direct translation of the name can be misleading, the rice noodle rolls are traditionally stuffed with seafood, meat, and/or vegetables. After the filled noodles are steamed, they are commonly topped and served with soy sauce. This food, like many other Cantonese foods, is considered to be part of the dim sum family and are certainly worth a try.
People in Shandong like to make their cuisine crisp, delicious, sweet and sour flavor, and tender. Besides, Shandong people especially like to use onion as one of the material in Shandong cuisine. The dishes include braised sea cucumber with onion, cartilage stewed with onions, and meat stewed with onions. Roast meats are also served with onions.
Dezhou Stewed Chicken&mdash&mdash德州扒鸡
It&rsquos one of the typical Shandong cuisines, stewed with honey, fennel, sugar and other comdiments for several hours. In the 1950&rsquos, Dezhou stewed chicken is eaten by president Mao, then it&rsquoss known throughout the country. The chicken is so well cooked, although the shape of the chicken is preserved, the meat easily separates from the bone.
Chicken Ball in Milk Soup
People in Shandong like to use milk to make soup. Milk soup is a symbol of Shandong cuisine. The main materials of this cuisine are chicken breast and water chestnut. Cush the chicken breast and water chestnut into muddy shape, then stewed with milk and water for several hours. The soup is full of fragrance with milk and chicken.
Braised Sea Cucumber with Onion 葱烧海参
Braised sea cucumber with onion is one of the classic Shandong cuisines. This course is full of strong fragrant onion flavor, can be described as a delicious delicacy with full color and fragrance. To make this course, use the best green onion&mdashZhangqiu green onion, is the key, fry it until it turns to golden color. Then scatter it onto the braised sea cucumber, the source would be perfect match with each other with fully fragrance yet still keep the freshness of the sea cucumber well preserved.
Braised Prawns 红烧大虾
The Braised Prawns is a famous cuisine in Shandong province. Since Shandong province has a long coastline and a abundant source of seafood delicacies, eating seafood here is a must-do! Shrimp return to Bohai and the Yellow Sea every spring and autumn. Prawn is famous for delicious taste, beautiful color and rich nutrition. Shrimp has a rich protein, high nutritional value and rich mineral (such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, etc.).Its meat is soft and easy to digest and very beneficial to human health.
Braised Intestines in Brown Sauce 九转大肠
As a foreigner, you might not be interested in trying any intestines but this course is a popular star among the locals in Shandong province. The course was created in a local restaurant Qing dynasty about 200 years ago. Its soft texture and spicy fragrant have captured many gourmets to keep ordering it in any Shandong feature restaurants.
Four Happy Meatballs 四喜丸子
Four Happy Meatballs is one of the representative dishes of Shandong cuisine, and also a famous dish in China. The meatball is made of pork, mushroom and other ingredients. It is a similar dish to the "red lion head" which is another meatball dish popular in the southern provinces in China. Since "Four Happy Meatballs" carries a good meaning besides being delicious, this course is quite a traditional and popular course during Chinese New Year time.