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Henan cuisine (Chinese: 河南菜; pinyin: Hénán cài), also known as Yu cuisine (Chinese: 豫菜; pinyin: Yù cài), is derived from the native cooking styles of Henan province in China. It is a cross between Jiangsu cuisine, with which it shares the trait of selecting ingredients according to the four seasons, and to a lesser extent, Beijing cuisine, from which it adopted many cooking methods. The result is that Henan dishes are very seasonal, and taste lighter in comparison to Beijing cuisine, similar to that of Jiangsu cuisine.
Some characteristics of Henan cuisine include:
- The wide utilisation of onions.
- Pork is the most commonly used type of meat in Henan cuisine but is seldom served in soups; mutton and lamb are mainly served in soups.
- Rice is the major food, but Henan cuisine is unique in that rice is served with oil produced from animal fat (though this practice is diminishing due to health concerns).
- Although noodles are cooked similarly to other northern Chinese cuisines, Henan cuisine is unique in that it utilises rice vermicelli, which is mostly used in Southern Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisines.
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