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Veteran chef strives to preserve delicate flavors of Hangzhou cuisine

By Yang Feiyue ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-09-04 09:12:32

Veteran chef strives to preserve delicate flavors of Hangzhou cuisine

Stir-fried Crystal Shrimps with Longjing Tea Leaves. [Photo/Agencies]

After that, fresh Longjing tea water is splashed in the slightly fried shrimp.

Despite its name, Hangzhou-styled Drunken Chicken, a common local dish, contains no alcohol at all.

Here, the meat is saturated with gravy and it feels very smooth and chewy.

For the dish, the whole chicken is boiled in water, and then left to cool. Once it cools, salt is put into the boiled water, while the chicken is stewed for four to six hours.

Knowing when to turn off the fire is key, says Mao adding that any delay will end up turning the meat dry.

The simple looking Sliced Pork Belly with Shrimp Oil belies the effort behind it.

For this dish, the belly is soaked in hot water to get the blood off. It then stewed with ginger water, fennel and cinnamon for 90 minutes.

The Songsao Sour Fish Soup is somewhat like a light version of Beijing's vinegar-pepper soup.

However it features more ingredients, including mushroom, shredded ginger, ham and steamed salmon which is mixed with chicken and bone soup.

Hangzhou's fondness for fresh ingredients can be seen in the Hangzhou Style Cat's Ear Pasta in Chicken Broth with Jinhua Ham. The flour-based dish is laden with crisp vegetables, ham, shelled shrimp and red carrots, offering a delightful multilayered flavor.

The Fried River Eel with Honey Sauce has a few innovative elements.

The fish is fried till it develops a crispy texture, while the skin maintains a springiness. When you bite it first, it tastes sweet, but then oozes saltiness. The lettuce balances the slight greasiness of fish.

"The dish adheres to traditional cooking principles and has only simple seasonings like salt, wine and soybean sauce, to ensure that the taste of fish dominates," says Mao.

If you go

The hotel sits in the heart of theWest Lake scenic area and offers a great panorama of the lake. 78, Beishan road, West Lake, Hangzhou, Zhejiang

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