The cuisine of Huangshan can be categorized as one branch of Anhui Cuisine (or Hui cuisine), which is one of Eight Major Cuisines in China. Although it is not as popular as Cantonese cuisine or Sichuan cuisine, Anhui Cuisine is sophisticated with beautiful appearance and aromatic taste. Originated during the South Song Dynasty (1127-1279), Huangshan chefs have been using fresh ingredients from both land and sea such a long time. Fresh vegetables, mushrooms, poultry, fish and shrimps are carefully chosen to cook mouth-watering and savory dishes.

The main cooking methods of Hui cuisine are braising in soy sauce, stewing and steaming, not frying like other regions in China. The temperature is strictly controlled when cooking; the chefs will increase or decrease the fire accordingly. People in Huangshan pay a special attention to the color of the dish; they always ensure that the appearance is as appealing as the aroma and taste. Huangshan foods are just slightly spicy and salty, which are suitable for foreign travelers. Some signature dishes here are Mandarin Fish, Mao Tofu, Yellow Crab Shell Cake and Stewed Soft-shelled Turtle.

Chou Guiyu (Smelly Mandarin Fish)

With the history of more than 200 years, Chou Guiyu is the signature food of Huangshan. Despite its not-so-delicious name, this food attracts many travelers for its tender and juicy taste. Xin An River and other streams are the main sources of Mandarin Fish.

This fish is called Smelly Mandarin Fish because of its smelly skin which is used to protect itself from enemies. When cooking, this smelly skin will be removed. The fish is salted for a week. After that, it is braised with soy sauce and bamboo shoots.

Mao Tofu (Hairy Fermented Tofu)

This food is also known as Huizhou funky bean curd. Mao Tofu is fermented with some special ingredients and then fried to have an eye-catchy golden color. Mao Tofu has a strong smell, but the taste is excellent. You can find this food in some street food vendors around Huangshan’s ancient towns.

Steamed Shiji

Shiji is known as a popular kind of frog living in some streams along Mount Huangshan. Shiji is steamed in traditional Chinese bamboo steamers with a sauce of ham and fungi. Don’t be scared of this dish, its taste is really tender and refreshing.

Yellow Crab Shell Cake

Yellow Crab Shell Cake is a Huangshan’s well-known local snack. This food is made from high-quality flour and filled with fatty meat, dried vegetables and sesame. After being roasted in charcoal fire, this cake has the similar color to boiled crab shell. It tastes crispy and delicious with juicy meat and vegetables inside. You can find Yellow Crab Shell Cake in many local street food stalls.

Some famous restaurants in Huangshan

  • Laojie Diyi Lou: 247, Tunxi Ancient Street
  • Tunxi Huicai Guan: Huangshan West Road, Tunxi District
  • Piyun Hui Fu Cai: 7-9 Binjiang Road East
  • Hui Shang Gu Li: 12 Xianrendong Road, Tunxi District
  • Meishi Renjia: Tunxi Ancient Street
  • Leigang Restaurant: Hongcun Village