Guizhou Food – Cuisine of Guizhou in Southwest China

Guizhou cuisine, or Qian cuisine is popular in Guizhou and famous for its sour and spicy taste. The sour soup dishes like Kaili sour soup fish are well-known throughout China. Other famous Guizhou dishes include Guizhou Spicy Chicken, Zhuangyuan Pig’s Trotter, Spicy Crispy Fish with Vinasse, Si Wa Wa (Vegetarian Spring Rolls) and so on.

Guizhou cuisine is most affected by Sichuan cuisine among all Chinese cuisines, but there is still a difference between the two. Sichuan food is hot and spicy, while most Guizhou dishes are sour and spicy.

Chinese Name: 黔菜
English Names: Guizhou cuisine, Qian cuisine
Popular in: China’s Guizhou Province
Time of Origin: the middle of Western Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC - 771 BC)
Flavors: spicy and sour
Famous Guizhou Dishes: Guizhou Spicy Chicken, Kaili Sour Soup Fish, Zhuangyuan Pig’s Trotter, Spicy Crispy Fish with Vinasse
Famous Snacks: Si Wa Wa (Vegetarian Spring Rolls), Changwang Noodles, Rice Tofu

Guizhou Food

Origin & Development of Guizhou Cuisine

Before Zhou Dynasty (1046 - 256 BC), the ethnic minorities living in today's Guizhou created their original culinary culture with the main cooking techniques of burning, pickling, boiling, baking and brewing. The rich natural and planted food materials gave them great inspiration. From middle to late Zhou Dynasty, the culinary culture in central plain, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guangdong was introduced to Guizhou, and the local culinary culture of Guizhou was supplemented. The Qian cuisine gradually formed and developed. From then on, Guizhou had also gradually become a concentrated area of Chinese ethnic minorities and migratory sites. Ethnic food, a crucial branch of Guizhou food, developed a lot. Since Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 AD), a lot of Han people immigrated to Guizhou because of conscription, war and work. These immigrants brought the food culture and habits of the central plains, and injected new vitality into Guizhou local and ethnic dishes.

Guizhou Cuisine Flavors – Spicy & Sour

Spicy is a main flavor of Guizhou food. Most famous dishes are heavily seasoned with chili such as hot pot and Changwang noodles. The spicy taste is rich, including hot spicy, sour spicy, pungent and spicy, garlic spicy, burnt spicy and so on, among which sour spicy is the most popular.

Guizhou people like sour food. Pickled vegetables including radish and cabbage are often seen in Guizhou food recipes. Pickled vegetables promote appetizing and digestion, relieving heat in hot summer. Sour soup has the effect of sterilizing, degreasing fat and anti-calculus. The sour taste is completely done by natural biological fermentation. Sour soup dishes like sour soup beef, sour soup fish, and sour soup rice noodles are the famous type of Guizhou dishes. Guizhou sour soup contains white sour soup, red sour soup, spicy and sour soup, thick chilli sauce soup and shrimp sour soup. The white sour soup is made of fermented rice soup and the red soup is made of fermented wild tomatoes. The spicy and sour soup is made of red chili with stillage.

Skilled in Cooking Meat and Poultry

Guizhou cuisine chefs are particularly skilled in cooking meat, especially the game, which is closely related to the primitive tribes of ethnic minorities who were good at hunting. A kind of meat can incredibly be cooked into more than twenty different dishes and make a feast like pork feast, a beef feast, a snake feast, and a mutton feast.

Healthy Vegetable Feast

Guizhou people like vegetables very much. The food materials of the vegetable feast come from the wild plants in the mountains, among them 60% are traditional Chinese Medicine, which is healthy.

Special Cooking Techniques

Marinating is an important step of cooking Guizhou cuisine. Cooking methods like stewing, braising, steaming and roasting are often applied, while frying is less used. During the cooking, a variety of seasonings are used to add flavors and richen taste.

Notable Dishes in Sichuan Cuisine


Guizhou Spicy Chicken

Guizhou Spicy Chicken

Guizhou spicy chicken is one of the top 10 classic Guizhou dishes. The spicy flavor of this Guizhou chicken dish is from the ciba chili. Red chili is boiled and then mixed with ginger and garlic and then chopped, that is ciba chili.


Kaili Sour Soup Fish

Kaili Sour Soup Dish

This Guizhou food is a classic sour soup dish. It is often made of the carp growing up in rice field, catfish or grass carp, tomatoes and the red sour soup. The fresh fish is boiled in the cooked red sour soup which tastes spicy, sour and refreshing.


Zhuangyuan Pig’s Trotters

Zhuangyuan Pig's Trotters

Zhunagyuan refers to the champion in imperial examination in ancient China. It is named after an imperial exam champion from Guizhou in Song Dynasty (420 - 479). The trotter are brined 4 hours so that the meat can be easily teared off.


Spicy Crispy Fish with Vinasse

Spicy Crispy Whole Fish with Vinasse

Spicy and crispy fish is one of the traditional Guiyang food. This dish is bright red, sweet, sour, salty and slightly spicy. This dish is often used as a treat for guests. The fish is first fried and then brewed with red chili, vinasse, ginger, and garlic.


Stir-fried Houttuynia with Bacon

Stir-fried Houttuynia with Bacon

It is a famous Guizhou dish and a family appetizer dish, has a refreshing character. Houttuynia tastes crispy and has a special aroma that some people can’t accept but can effectively clear heat and remove toxicity in your body.


Huaxi Beef Noodles

Huaxi Beef Noodles;

Huaxi beef rice noodles is a specialty snack in Guizhou. The main materials are beef, sour cabbage, rice noodles and coriander. The soup is made of ox bone and beef. Red chili powder can be added if you like spicy taste.


Guizhou Cuisine Menu

                          English                                              Chinese                                               Pinyin                              
Guizhou Spicy Chicken 贵州辣子鸡 guì zhōu là zǐ jī
Kaili Sour Soup Fish 凯里酸汤鱼 kǎi lǐ suān tāng yú
Zhuangyuan Pig's Trotters 状元蹄 zhuàng yuán tí
Spicy Crispy Whole Fish with Vinasse 糟辣脆皮鱼 zāo là cuì pí yú
Stir-fried Houttuynia with Bacon 折耳根炒腊肉 zhé ěr gēn chǎo là ròu
Huaxi Beef Noodles 花溪牛肉粉 huā xī niú ròu fěn
Si Wa Wa (Vegetarian Spring Rolls) 丝娃娃 sī wá wá
Changwang Noodles 肠旺面 cháng wàng miàn
Qingyan Tofu 青岩豆腐 qīng yán dòu fu
Soft-shelled Turtle with Eight Ingredients 八宝甲鱼 bā bǎo jiǎ yú
Wujiang Fish With Tofu 乌江豆腐鱼 wū jiāng dòu fu yú
Chicken with Sour Bamboo Shoots 酸笋鸡 suān sǔn jī
Zunyi Mutton Noodles 遵义羊肉粉 zūn yì yang ròu fěn


Best Guizhou Cuisine Restaurants in China

 Old Kaili Sour Soup Fish
Chinese name: 老凯里酸汤鱼 lǎo kǎi lǐ suān tāng yú
Address: No. 55, Shengfu, Guiyang, Guizhou

 Shu Chu Restaurant
Chinese name: 树厨 shù chú
Address: the north of Huaxi Road, Guiyang, Guizhou

 Three Guizhou Men Restaurant
Chinese name: 三个贵州人 sān gè guìzhōu rén
Address: No. 6, Chaoyang Park Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing

 Qian Xiang Ge
Chinese name: 黔香阁 qián xiāng gé
Address: No. 1000, Zunyi Road, Hongqiao Sorth Fengcheng North, Shanghai
See more Guizhou Restaurants in Shanghai

Major Styles of Guizhou Cuisine

Guizhou food contains 2 styles: ethnic style and folk style. Ethnic dishes, as the name implies, are dishes of ethnic minorities like Miao, Biyi, Shui, Hui and so on. Guizhou is a multi-ethnic province. Different ethnic dishes have different characteristics. The features of ethnic foods are sour, spicy and fresh. The characteristics of folk dishes are that they are rich in taste, wild and natural. Condiments are also unique, such as litsea flower and, mint, etc., and all kinds of dishes are equipped with their own sauces.

- Last updated on Jun. 07, 2022 -
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