Hakka cuisine, or Kuhchia cuisine, is the cooking style of the Hakka people, who originated mainly from the southeastern Chinese provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi and Guangxi but may also be found in other parts of China and in countries with significant overseas Chinese communities. There are numerous restaurants in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore serving Hakka cuisine. Hakka cuisine was listed in 2014 on the first Hong Kong Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Hakka food also includes takes on other traditional Chinese dishes, just as other Chinese ethnic groups do. Some of the more notable dishes in Hakka cuisine are listed as follows:
|| Traditional Chinese
|| Simplified Chinese
| Dongjiang salt-baked chicken
|| dōngjiāng yánjú jī
|| [tuŋ˦ kɔŋ˦ jam˩ kuk˥ kai˦]
|| This dish was originally baked in a heap of hot salt, but many modern restaurants simply cook in brine, or cover it with a salty mixture before steaming it or baking it in an oven.
| Duck stuffed with glutinous rice
|| nuò mǐ yā
|| [nɔ˥˧ mi˧˩ ap˩]
|| The bones are removed from a whole duck with the shape of the bird maintained, and the cavities filled with seasoned glutinous rice.
| Beef meatball soup
|| níuròuwán tāng
|| A simple, clear broth with lettuce and beef meatballs.
| Fried pork with fermented tofu
|| This is a popular Chinese New Year offering which involves two stages of preparation. Marinated pork is deep fried to remove moisture so as to preserve it. The pork is then stewed with water and wood's ear fungus. It is a Hakka equivalent to canned soup.
| Ngiong tew foo
|| niàng dòufǔ
|| [ɲjɔŋ˥ tʰɛu˥ fu˥˧]
|| One of the more popular dishes with deep Hakka origins, it consists of tofu cubes heaped with minced meat (usually pork), salted fish and herbs, and then fried until it produces a golden brown colour, or it can be braised. Variations include usage of various oddments, including eggplants, shiitake mushrooms, and bitter melon stuffed with the same meat paste. Traditionally, ngiong tew foo is served in a clear yellow bean stew along with the bitter melon and shiitake variants. Modern variations that are more commonly seen sold in food stalls are made by stuffing the tofu with solely fish paste. Usage of oddments to replace the tofu are more noticeable in this version, ranging from fried fish maw slices and okra to chili peppers.
| Kiu nyuk
|| [kʰju˥˧ ɲjuk˩]
|| There are two versions of kiu nyuk, the most common consists of sliced pork with preserved mustard greens: thick slices of pork belly, with a layer of preserved mustard greens between each slice, are cooked and served in a dark sauce made up of soy sauce and sugar. The other version is cooked with yam or taro. Usually pork belly are used, for its layers of fat and meat. The yam and pork are shallow fried until browned before being steamed with five-spice powder and yellow rice wine. A variation of the recipe on Wikibooks Cookbook is available here.
| Pounded tea or Ground tea
|| [lui˩ tsʰa˩]
|| An assortment of tea leaves (usually green tea), peanuts, mint leaves, sesame seeds, mung beans and other herbs) are pounded or ground into a fine powder and then mixed as a drink, or as a dietary brew to be taken with rice and other vegetarian side dishes such as greens, tofu, and pickled radish.
| Abacus beads
|| [sɔn˥˧ pʰan˩ tsai˧˩]
|| Made of dough formed of tapioca and yam, cut into abacus-bead shapes, which when cooked, are soft on the outside and chewy on the inside. The dish may be cooked with minced chicken or pork, dried shrimps, mushrooms and various other vegetables. The dish is stir-fried, seasoned with light soy sauce, salt, sugar and sometimes rice wine or vinegar.
| Steamed glutinous rice pastry
|| qĭ bá
Hakka cuisine in India
In India and other regions with significant Indian populations, the locally known "Hakka cuisine" is actually an Indian adaptation of original Hakka dishes. This variation of Hakka cuisine is in reality, mostly Indian Chinese cuisine. It is called "Hakka cuisine" because in India many owners of restaurants that serve this cuisine are of Hakka origin. Typical dishes include 'chilli chicken' and 'Dong bei chow mein' (an Indianised version of real Dongbei cuisine), and these restaurants also serve traditional Indian dishes such as pakora. Being very popular in these areas, this style of cuisine is often mistakenly credited of being representative of Hakka cuisine in general, whereas the authentic style of Hakka cuisine is rarely known in these regions.
- ^ Lau Anusasananan, Linda (2012). The Hakka Cookbook: Chinese Soul Food from Around the World. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. ISBN 0520273281.
- ^ Item 5.27, "First Hong Kong Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage" (PDF). Intangible Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee, Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Hong Kong. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- ^ The "Dongjiang" refers to the Dong River, which runs through eastern Guangdong. It is the Hakka heartlands.