Diversity is a distinctive feature of Guangxi cuisine, as is heavily influenced by the cuisines of its neighbors, i.e., Guangdong, Hunan, and Sichuan. That means it has many borrowed elements, such as the lightness borrowed from Cantonese cuisine, sourness from Hunan cuisine, and spiciness from Sichuan cuisine. Numerous ethnic minority residents, like Zhuang, Dong, Miao and Yao people, etc., also profoundly influence the cuisine. Below are some of the signature and must-try dishes in Guangxi.

Featured Rice Noodles

Guilin Rice Noodles

Guilin rice noodles are the most famous dish in Guilin, with a history of some 2,000 years. It is usually consumed by locals as breakfast, but also for lunch or even sometimes for dinner. The rice noodles are mainly of two shapes: round and flat and are served in three types: gravy noodles, broth noodles, and boiled noodles. The dish seems like a deceptively simple combination but is delicious. Gravy, oil, thin slices of meat (beef, pork, etc.), and fried peanuts or soybeans are essential condiments. You can also add other spices according to your taste, such as chopped green onion, pepper, pickled cowpea, pickled bamboo shoots, dried turnip, etc. You can find restaurants and eateries serving Guilin rice noodles almost everywhere in Guilin, in both rural and urban areas.

Nanning Laoyoufen (literally, Old Friend Rice Noodles)

As one of the most well-loved and signature street foods in Nanning, Laoyoufen is multi-flavored and has cold-busting abilities due to its ingredients: pickled bamboo shoots contributing to its tartness, chili and fried pepper contributing to its spiciness, the fermented black bean adding a firmer texture, and rice noodles tasting soft and smooth. It also includes garlic, scallion, tomato, and pork or offal. With a history of over 100 years, it is a must-try dish in Nanning.

Liuzhou Luosifen (literally, River Snail Rice Noodles)

Luosifen (River Snail Rice Noodles) is a symbolic dish of Liuzhou City, not usually featuring actual pieces of river snails but has a spicy, slightly gamey broth made from river snails, pork bones, and various spices. Many textured toppings, like fried gluten puffs, pickled bamboo shoots, shredded black fungus, fresh green vegetables, etc., are usually added. The dish combines freshness with a spicy and intense flavor that stimulates the appetite. You can find it in both small "hole in the wall" type restaurants and luxury hotel restaurants in Liuzhou.

Famous Local Dishes

Yangshuo Beer Fish

Braise the Li River carp in a wok along with Guilin's local Liquan Beer (in place of water), chili, green peppers, garlic, onions, celery, tomatoes, soy, and sugar, and you've made the most famous dish of Yangshuo—Yangshuo Beer Fish! It is well worth a try. You will be amazed at how crisp the fish skin is and how fresh and tender the meat is. In the famous West Street in Yangshuo, many restaurants serve this delicious dish.

Lipu Taro Looped Meat

Lipu Taro Looped Meat is a famous classic dish served in the traditional banquets of Guilin, especially during festivals or important events. It is made of taro from Lipu County (104 km south of Guilin) combined with streaky pork, red pepper, garlic spread, Guilin fermented bean curd, rice wine, honey, and many other seasonings. Before being steamed in bamboo steamers, the streaky pork and taro must be deep-fried in vegetable oil so the finished dish is golden in color and aromatic. The taro's flavor and the pork's freshness blend perfectly to create a delicate dish. This famous dish is available at almost every restaurant in Guilin.

Nanning Lemon Duck

This is a famous specialty dish of Nanning that cooks the duck with pickled lemon peel, pickled chili, pickled garlic, pickled ginger, etc. Those marinated ingredients can help to remove the duck's undesired odor and make the duck soft and fresh. It can certainly stimulate your appetite as it tastes so sour and spicy.

Bama Suckling Pig

The Bama suckling pig is said to originate from Bama Yao Autonomous County, which has been honored as "China's Longevity Village" and the dish is well-loved and consumed by locals. Its skin is thick but crispy after being cooked or roasted, and the meat is tender with the texture being somewhat gelatinous due to the amount of collagen. It is a nutrient-rich food with a delicate fragrance.

Huangyao Pork Chops with Fermented Soya Beans

Huangyao fermented soya beans are the special product of Zhanping County and were once listed as an imperial tribute in the Qing Dynasty. They are made of high-quality black soya beans locally produced in Huangyao Town and used as a great seasoning. Cooking pork chops with these fermented soya beans makes a mouthwatering dish with rich flavor.

Local Special Snacks

Five-Color Glutinous Rice

As the name suggests, five-color glutinous rice is glutinous rice dyed black, red, yellow, purple, and white after being soaked in vegetable dyes made from natural herbs like daylily and maple leaves. It prevails widely among Zhuang people because they regard it as an auspicious food symbolizing good luck and a bumper harvest. It is used to entertain guests and pay homage to the ancestors during festivals such as the Tomb Sweeping Festival and Zhuang Folk Song Festival (San Yue San).

Yao People's Oil Tea

Oil tea is a distinctive flavor of Guilin originating from the minorities living in mountainous areas, such as Yao, Miao, and Dong. They believe it is helpful to keep them warm in winter. The oil tea of the Yao people is the most famous and is consumed at almost every meal. The preparation process is fascinating: stir fry tea leaves in oil with salt, ginger, and possibly other ingredients in a wok, add water and starch and boil them into a thick soup. Generally, puffed rice or puffed soybeans are added to the soup.

Dong People's Pickled Fish

Dong people are obsessed with sour flavors, so they preserve almost everything edible, like fish, pork, beef, chicken, and vegetables, by pickling them in their clay jars. Here, we recommend you to try the pickled fish, which can be preserved for 10-30 years and is considered a treasure and served only during grand festivals and occasions.

The preparation process is special: eviscerate the freshwater fish (usually grass carp or common carp), wash and clean it, mix it with chili powder, glutinous rice, and other seasonings, and seal it in a clay jar. After at least one year, it can be served on the table and tastes salty but mellow with a distinct sourness.

Nanning Sour Pickles

Sour pickles, which is called "Suanye" in the local dialect, is a popular snack in Nanning. They are usually made of seasonal fruits and vegetables (like mango, papaya, plum, peach, cucumber, cabbage, etc.), pickled in vinegar with sugar and chili. They taste crisp and fresh and are very appealing with sour, sweet, and spicy flavors. Eating sour pickles has a long history, as locals believe they help dispel damp heat and preserve coolness in the hot and humid climate.

Guilin Water Chestnut Cake

As a famous dessert in Guilin, Water Chestnut Cake is mainly made of shredded water chestnut, rice powder, brown sugar, sesame powder, or milk. It tastes sweet, soft, and smooth with a lovely fragrance. It is easy to buy as many vendors along the street peddle it.

Special Banquet

Hundred-Family Banquet/ Long Table Banquet

Hundred-Family Banquet, also known as Long Table Banquet, is a time-honored culinary tradition prevailing among some ethnic minorities in China and was listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2007.

In Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County of Liuzhou, where the Dong people live, you will have the opportunity to attend this spectacular banquet of Dong features, which is regarded as the highest etiquette for the Dong people to entertain guests. As its name implies, the banquet is prepared by one hundred (actually more than one hundred) families. Each family cooks some dishes for the banquet and takes them to the banquet venue which is usually located in an outdoor square or on the street, where the long tables are served to entertain diners, including neighbors and visitors. While tasting various local dishes, you can also enjoy the fantastic performance showing the traditional way of life of the Dong people. They wear unique costumes, sing folk songs, blowing Lusheng (a musical instrument made of multiple bamboo pipes), and dance. At the end of the banquet, you will experience a toasting process from the locals, which will deepen your understanding of the hospitality and sincerity of the Dong people.

For foodies, a trip to Guangxi is a journey to sample various delicacies. Welcome to contact us to customize a gourmet tour to Guangxi according to your tastes.

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