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The Great Yunnan Cuisine

Yunnan, due to its vast variety of ethnic minorities, has a plethora of good food to offer. Yunnan's cuisine is a great mixture of dishes of the Han Chinese and all ethnic minorities in China, so it is difficult to make generalizations. Many Yunnan dishes are quite spicy, and mushrooms are featured prominently. Flowers, ferns, algae and insects may also be eaten.

Three of the province's most famous products are the renowned Pu'er Tea which was traditionally grown in Ning'er; as well as Xuanwei Ham, which is often used to flavour stewed and braised foods in Chinese cuisine and for making the stocks and broths of many Chinese soups. Also the so called 'Over the Bridge Noodles' (Chinese: guo qiao mi xian 过桥米线) are a Yunnan speciality: Allegedly invented by a virtuous wife who wanted to keep her soup noodles fresh and hot for her hard-studying husband, this Yunnan specialty is nutritious and often beautifully presented.

Yunnan is home to the largest number of ethnic minorities in China, who enjoy adding flowers and wild mushrooms to their cooking. This dish normally comes with a bowl of rice noodles, a bowl of stock and more than a dozen of small plates piled with toppings, such as beef, crab meat, salted goose, oyster mushrooms, wooden-ear mushrooms, assorted vegetables and fragrant herbs.

Yunnan cuisine is also unique in China for its cheeses like Rubing and Rushan cheese made by the Bai people, and its yogurt; the prominence of yogurt in the local cuisine may have been due to a combination of Mongolian influence during the Yuan dynasty, the Central Asian settlement in Yunnan, and the proximity and influence of India and Tibet on Yunnan.

Learn more here about local meals or have a look at our Culinary Tour through Yunnan!


Enjoy your meal!