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Hakka Cuisine Vs. Chinese Cuisine: A Comparison Of The Two Types Of Food

Hakka and Chinese food are two different types of cuisine, with the latter being more well-known.

If you want to try something new or learn about a type of dish that is less popular than others, then this blog post is for you.

Read on to find out what makes Hakka food special and how these two kinds of cuisines differ from each other.

What is special about Hakka food?

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The Hakka Cookbook: Chinese Soul Food from around the World
  • University of California Press
  • Hardcover Book
  • Linda Lau Anusasananan (Author)

Hakka food is a style of cooking that originated in the Chaoshan region, which includes the eastern parts of Guangdong and Fujian provinces.

Hakka people are ethnically Han Chinese living in southern China who migrated from northern China due to political unrest.

As they traveled southward through the country, they settled in regions such as Taiwan and Malaysia where their culture flourished until it became their own distinct culture.

The Hakka is noted for its use of preserved vegetables, such as soybean curd or fermented black beans, with meat dishes.

People here also use lots of ginger and garlic to create a flavorful dish.

Hakka food has become popular throughout Southern China and among Chinese communities in Southeast Asia like Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Hongkong, and Thailand due to migration patterns over the past century.

It can be difficult to find authentic Hakka dishes out of the aforementioned places.

Hakka cuisine features textured dishes and their common cooking methods are stewing, braising, or roasting.

Hakka food is simple in presentation, but it has a specific fragrant and umami flavor.

What is special about Chinese food?

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In Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the...
  • Hardcover Book
  • Hassan, Hawa (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Chinese food is one of the most famous and ancient cuisines in the world with a thousands-of-year history.

Their dishes are packed with a variety of spices, such as garlic, ginger, chili peppers, and onions.

Chinese cuisine also varies from region to region, with some popular contrasts are the milder taste of Cantonese dishes versus spicy and intense flavor from Szechuan dishes.

Rice and soy sauce are two staples in Chinese cuisine.

They eat rice almost every day in their daily meals as a side dish to serve with other savory dishes.

It can be used to make noodles or dumplings, which are two traditional dishes in this country.

Chinese people usually stir-fry the seasonal and fresh ingredients with soy sauce and they can serve a meal without protein from meat, but the vegan protein like tofu, mushrooms, and nuts.

What are the differences between Hakka vs Chinese food?

Although Hakka cuisine is a part of Chinese cuisine, the food from Hakka areas and other regions of Chinese are very different in many ways, such as:

Hakka food features preserved food while other regional Chinese cuisines use fresh ingredients instead

Chinese cuisine is known for its use of fresh ingredients, from spices, herbs, to different kinds of vegetables and meat.

Meanwhile, preserved food dominates Hakka cuisine.

Hakka people usually use rice wine, salt, ginger, and garlic to preserve and ferment their food, especially root vegetables and pork.

After that, they use these fermented dishes as ingredients in their braising or stewing recipes.

Hakka food is typically less spicy, but salty and umami

Hakka food mainly includes salted or preserved food, which is usually salty and has an umami taste.

Whereas other parts of China typically consume spicy dishes with a lot of heating agents like fresh, dried, or powdered chili peppers or mild food from Cantonese cuisine.

It can be hard to find authentic Hakka dishes outside Asia, while Chinese food is also popular in the West

Hakka immigrants mainly live around Asia for centuries, especially in Southeast Asian countries.

Therefore, Hakka cuisine is strongly influenced by the ways of cooking from these regions.

It can be hard to find a restaurant that serves authentic Hakka dishes outside Asia.

In contrast, Chinese cuisine influences many other cuisines in the world, not only within the Asia continent but also in plenty of Western countries and the United States.

There are Chinese restaurants in almost all countries in the world, so it is easy to order some Chinese food when you crave it no matter where you live.

What are the similarities between Hakka vs Chinese food?

Hakka food is a part of Chinese food, therefore, there must be some similarities between these two cuisines, as mentioned below:

Rice, pork, tofu, and soy sauce are staples of both cuisines

There are some staple ingredients throughout China, in both Hakka cuisine and other regional Chinese cuisines.

Rice, pork, and soy-based ingredients like tofu and soy sauce are some of the commonly used ingredients in Hakka and Chinese dishes.

Hakka food and regional Chinese food both use various kinds of spices

Another similarity between Chinese food and Hakka food is they both use a lot of spices in their dishes, but with different purposes and amounts.

For example, Hakka people use spices like garlic, ginger, salt, and rice wine to preserve meat or vegetables, while other regions of China add these spices directly into their dishes to season other fresh ingredients.

Which one is better?

Product ComparisonIn Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the...The Hakka Cookbook: Chinese Soul Food from around the World
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Hakka food is an underappreciated cuisine that deserves some more love.

This blog post has covered many of the dishes and ingredients used in this type of cooking, but we’ve only scratched the surface.

If you want to learn a little bit more about Hakka food, a part of Chinese cuisine, and their differences from one another, then be sure to give both of them a try.

You might just find out what makes these foods so special after all.

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