Exploring the Flavors of Zhejiang Cuisine in Philadelphia, PA

When it comes to Chinese cuisine, most people are familiar with popular dishes like General Tso's chicken and lo mein. However, there is a whole world of Chinese cuisine waiting to be discovered, including the unique flavors of Zhejiang cuisine. And lucky for those in Philadelphia, PA, there are several restaurants that offer authentic Zhejiang dishes.

The Origins of Zhejiang Cuisine

Zhejiang cuisine originates from the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang in China. It is known for its fresh and delicate flavors, as well as its emphasis on seafood and vegetables.

The cuisine is heavily influenced by the region's geography, with its abundance of rivers, lakes, and mountains providing a diverse range of ingredients. One of the key characteristics of Zhejiang cuisine is its emphasis on preserving the natural flavors of the ingredients. This is achieved through cooking techniques such as steaming, braising, and stir-frying, which help to retain the freshness and texture of the food.

Popular Dishes from Zhejiang Cuisine

Now let's take a closer look at some popular dishes from Zhejiang cuisine that can be found in Philadelphia, PA.

Xihu Cuyu (West Lake Fish)

Xihu Cuyu is a signature dish of Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang province. It consists of tender fish fillets cooked in a light broth made with vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar. The dish is named after West Lake, a famous scenic spot in Hangzhou. In Philadelphia, you can find this dish at Han Dynasty, a popular Szechuan restaurant with multiple locations in the city.

Their version of Xihu Cuyu features flaky tilapia fillets cooked in a tangy and slightly sweet sauce, making it a perfect balance of flavors.

Dongpo Rou (Braised Pork Belly)

Dongpo Rou is a famous dish from the city of Hangzhou, named after the renowned poet and gastronome Su Dongpo. It is made by braising pork belly in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and spices until it becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender. You can try this dish at Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House, a casual Chinese restaurant in Philadelphia's Chinatown. Their version of Dongpo Rou is served with steamed buns, allowing you to make your own delicious pork belly sliders.

Feng Zhen Su Ya (Braised Duck)

Feng Zhen Su Ya is a traditional dish from Ningbo, a coastal city in Zhejiang province. It consists of tender duck meat braised in a flavorful broth made with soy sauce, ginger, and other spices.

The dish is known for its rich and savory flavors. You can find this dish at Han Dynasty, where it is listed as "Braised Duck with Taro." The duck is cooked to perfection, with the meat falling off the bone and the skin crispy and flavorful.

Longjing Xia Ren (Stir-Fried Shrimp with Dragon Well Tea)

Longjing Xia Ren is a unique dish that combines two of Zhejiang's most famous products: shrimp from Hangzhou's West Lake and Longjing tea from the nearby Longjing Village. The shrimp is stir-fried with Longjing tea leaves, giving it a delicate and refreshing flavor. You can try this dish at Han Dynasty, where it is listed as "Dragon Well Shrimp." The shrimp is cooked to perfection, with a subtle hint of tea flavor that adds a unique twist to the dish.

Other Zhejiang Dishes to Try

In addition to the dishes mentioned above, there are many other delicious Zhejiang dishes that you can find in Philadelphia, PA. These include:
  • Hangzhou Fried Rice: A simple yet flavorful dish made with rice, eggs, and various vegetables.
  • Sheng Jian Bao (Pan-Fried Pork Buns): A popular street food in Shanghai that originated from Zhejiang province.
  • Lu Rou Fan (Braised Pork over Rice): A comforting dish made with tender braised pork served over steamed rice.

In Conclusion

Zhejiang cuisine may not be as well-known as other Chinese cuisines, but it offers a unique and delicious dining experience. If you're in Philadelphia, PA, be sure to check out these restaurants and try some of the popular dishes from Zhejiang cuisine.

Who knows, you may just discover your new favorite Chinese dish!.

Ann Jorinscay
Ann Jorinscay

Total troublemaker. Hipster-friendly tv buff. Infuriatingly humble twitter guru. Professional beer scholar. Travel ninja. Unapologetic coffee expert.