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Feb 15, 2008 05:33 PM

A Real Test of China Chow Hounds Part Deux

The other orphange city that we're visitng on our trip is Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi province. What are the collective cullinary thoughts on Nanchang?

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    1. OK. on a less frivolous note, here is a website with quite a bit of information on Nanchang eats, provided you can put back in what was lost in the translation.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Xiao Yang

        Thanks for the link. I'm particularly looking forward to "Fried Essay". Reminds me of a few university term papers so long ago.....

        1. re: WillinTO

          The Chinese version of that page on the same site is pretty good actually, if you can find someone to translate it for you.

      2. The only thing I remember from Nanchang is that the breakfast bar at the hotel had a very tasty soup involving daikon radish, carrots and pork. Oh and the pork was attached to bones--maybe neck bones......

        That said, when do you travel? We will be in Nanchang hopefully in the next 6 weeks and I'm happy to report back if we find something good.

        9 Replies
        1. re: jenn

          Most likely neck bones. That soup, minus the carrots, is a common comfort food in Shanghainese home cooking, though I'd be surprised to find it in a hotel restaurant.

          1. re: jenn


            We don't travel until June, so any input you have after visiting there would be greatly appreciated.

            1. re: WillinTO

              Willin, I actually lived in Nanchang as a child. Jiangxi food isn't as famous (or distinct) as other brands of regional Chinese cuisine like Sichuan or Canton. In Jiangxi, they do like their peppers, though Jiangxi hot peppers are a little like serranos, they don't have that numbing spice Sichuan is so famous for. A common household dish is Jiangxi pepper stir fried with pork. It's just like pepper beef, but with pork and very very spicy. This dish is probably very common in restaurants all over the city. Another favorite dish growing up was "steamed rice flour." Jiangxi province is famous for filtered rice flour (it's pure white). In this dish, chunks of pork (think roast type meat) is steamed with the rice flour and flavored with soy sauce, 5-spice, etc. After hours of steaming, the pork takes on the texture of pulled pork (think southern BBQ), but softer. It's a specialty you don't find much in any other part of China and is a labor-intensive process difficult to replicate in the States (lack of good ingredients).

              I am actually headed to Nanchang in May for 2 days. So I hope to be able to report something back. Although I will be staying with family so most of the eating will end up being homecooking.

              1. re: donnaaries

                My daughter is from Jiangxi and had a taste for peppers from the very beginning. We were just in Nanchang and when you mention peppers I realize I missed a great opportunity---should have looked for seeds to bring home.
                Over the years I have learned to cook lots of different Chinese food and I have lots of cookbooks with food from Beijing and Sichuan and the like but no pure Jiangxi recipes. I don't suppose you have a name for the steamed rice flour dish or a more precise recipe? Same question as to the pepper stir fried with pork. Do you just use a pepper beef recipe and substitute pork?

                Thanks and have a great trip.

                1. re: jenn

                  Thanks for the input Donnaaries. I will defintely try to find the beef and the pork dishes when there. Do you or Jenn (or anyone else for that matter) have any recommendations for restaurants that rise above the rest in Nanchang?

                  1. re: WillinTO


                    Just got back from my China trip. I had an excellent dinner in Nanchang at the Civil Aviation Garden Hotel's restaurant which sits in a traditional Chinese-architecture style building and overlooks a lake and a Daoist Temple. It's definitely an upscale restaurant and you can easily drop 100-200Y/person there. Excellent roast goose, Jiangxi style red cooked pork (five-layered pork, that means somewhat fatty, braised in soy sauce and sugar with pickled veggies), great frog legs hot pot.

                    There was another local restaurant where we had great steamed rice flour with pork, I'll have to go dig up the name and post it later.

                    1. re: donnaaries

                      Name of the other local restaurant was "Yutu Fanzhuang", which means Jade Rabbit Restaurant, specializing in Gan (Jiangxi) style food. Other than the steamed rice flour dish, spicy imitation "bamboo" made from soy sheets was also excellent. This restaurant was a lot cheaper, about 20-30Y/person.

                        1. re: donnaaries


                          Thanks for all the input. We depart for our trip in under a week (can't wait!). And we now know where we'll be eating in Nanchang. Thanks so much!