It is known that Hunan is home to various special snacks, especially Changsha stinky tofu. What are the other categories of Hunan food? Famous Hunan cuisines include Changde beef noodles, sugar and oil cake, Changsha-flavored shrimp, Dong’an chicken, and spicy salted duck.

Hunan is a Chinese province famous for its spicy food. Hunan chili food has gained recognition from people nationwide or even worldwide. Hunan food has its distinct characteristics. Everyone will be impressed by the extremely spicy flavor of Hunan food whenever they come to this province.

Hunanese are crazy about eating and good at finding satisfactory food. To some extent, food has become a crucial component of Hunan culture. “Xiang” (“湘” in Chinese) is the abbreviated name of Hunan province, so people often call Hunan food Xiang food or Xiang cuisine.

Do you know what the 10 famous Hunan foods are? Let’s learn more about these snacks.

Table of Contents

1. Changsha Stinky Tofu

changsha stinky tofu
Changsha Stinky Tofu

Authentic Changsha stinky tofu goes viral all over China. It is a must-eat snack in Hunan province.

People often say, “he who does not eat Changsha stinky tofu is not a true man”. Changsha people call this kind of food “stinky tofu”. It is a rather distinctive Chinese traditional snack.

Changsha stinky tofu boasts a black color with burned shell and tender inwards. With a delicate and spicy flavor, this snack tastes crisp but not burnt, tender not greasy, and stinky at first sniffing but highly appetizing and tempting with careful smelling. Stinky tofu is made from high-quality soybeans.

The production process of Changsha stinky tofu is complex. The raw material of soybeans needs to undergo processes like sifting, washing, dehulling, soaking, grinding, and filtering.

Changsha Stinky Tofu was selected as one of the “Top Ten Famous Snacks in China” in Hunan province, as rewarded by China Cuisine Association.

2. Flavored/ Taste Shrimp

flavored shrimp
Flavored/ Taste Shrimp

Crayfish, also known as spicy crawfish, Changsha-flavored shrimp, and spicy crawfish, is a famous traditional snack in Hunan Province.

Crayfish tastes spicy and fresh with a bright color and smooth and tender texture.

Flavored/ taste shrimp gained popularity all over China in the late 20th century and became a classic snack at street beer stands on summer nights.

Authentic Changsha crawfish are more famous in “Wenheyou” Changsha Lobster House, Xiangjiang River Pier, Tianbao Brothers, and “Jumi Quji”.

3. Dong’an Chicken

dongan chicken
Dong’an chicken

Listed as one of the recipes for the National Banquet as well as the first of the eight Hunan dishes. Dong’an chicken is a famous traditional dish in Hunan Province, listed as one of the recipes for the National Banquet as well as the first of the eight Hunan dishes.

Dong’an Chicken is named after its birthplace, Dongan town in Hunan province (Luhong town now).

It is a five-flavor cuisine that is fresh, sour, spicy, sweet, and tender. This cuisine is bright in color, tender in meat, sweet and sour, and refreshing in taste and fat but not greasy. People will get addicted to Dong’an chicken once they taste it for the first time.

Cooking method: blanching the chicken – cooking it in large pieces – stir-frying it with seasonings such as chili peppers, shredded ginger, and pepper powder.

It tastes good. At the same time, it can strengthen the waist, and kidney, regulate anemia, and reinforce “qi” (a vital material force from the congenital essence stored in the kidney and depending on nutrients of food to nourish) and blood.

4. Changde Beef Noodles

changde noodles
Beef Rice Noodle in Changde (a city in Hunan province)

Changde Beef Noodles are a kind of Hunan Rice Noodle and a Chinese-flavor snack of the Han people.

Changde has a long history of producing rice noodles. As early as the Guangxu period of the Qing Dynasty, Changde had a store producing thin and long rice noodles.

Changde people of all ages, men and women, love to eat rice noodles, and people beyond Changde city also take great pleasure in tasting Changde rice noodles.

The rice noodles are white, round and slender, shaped like a dragon’s whiskers, symbolizing auspiciousness.

Changde Beef Noodles was not only selected as one of “China’s top ten regional snacks” in Hunan province by the China Cuisine Association but also as “China’s Gold-Medal Tourism Snacks” by the China Tourism Association.

5. Sugar Oil Cake

sugar oil cake
Sugar oil cake

Sugar oil cake is a local traditional food in Changsha, Hunan Province. Sugar oil cake is cheap, and the main ingredients are glutinous rice flour and sugar, but it has a delicate and elaborate making process.

It cannot be equivalent to national cuisines, nor can it be comparable to table delicacies from land and sea. But it is cheap, which is why it is loved by common households and becomes a routine snack for Hunan people.

Sugar oil cake was not only selected as one of “China’s top ten regional snacks” in Hunan province by the China Cuisine Association but also as “China’s Gold-Medal Tourism Snacks” by the China Tourism Association.

6. Hunan Spicy Salted Duck

spicy sauced duck
Hunan spicy-salted duck

Hunan spicy-salted duck is a unique dish in Hunan, made from local special water duck. After being soaked in over ten precious traditional Chinese medicines, flavored with over 10 spices, and refined through 15 processes such as air drying and roasting, Hunan spicy-salted ducks are made.

The finished spicy-salted ducks have a deep red color, crispy skin and meat, rich sauce aroma, and a long-lasting taste. They can facilitate blood circulation, regulate “qi” (vital energy), promote eyelashes, nourish the stomach, and beautify the skin.

Spicy-salted ducks can be used as a casual snack or as a specialty dish at a banquet. They are moderately spicy, sweet, sesame, salty, crispy, and soft, with a mellow and delicious taste.

7. Yongzhou Slurped Snails

slurped snails
Slurped Snails

Yongzhou slurped snails are a very famous snack in Hunan. As the name suggests, when you eat Youzhou slurped snails, you need to slurp.

Yongzhou slurped snails made from locally produced iron snails, which are refreshing and crispy with delicious soup and a strong local flavor. It is confirmed that there is an extremely high nutritional value of slurped snails. These snails can stimulate appetite, benefit vital energy, and regulate the five internal organs (kidney, heart, spleen, lung, and liver).

The delicious taste of Yongzhou slurped snails lies in its exquisite production, which can be roughly divided into five steps: selection, raw, chopped, fried, and boiled. Its taste is spicy and fresh, especially appetizing.

Yongzhou slurped snails are selected as one of the “Top Ten Local Snacks in China” in Hunan province organized by the China Cuisine Association.

8. Brain volume

brain volume
Brain Volume

Brain Volume is a famous traditional snack in Changsha, Hunan. Although it is called Brain Volume, it is actually lard skim, not the real brain marrow. It melts instantly at the mouth and leaves a lingering fragrance in the mouth.

Brain Volume is a filling steamed from semi-fermented dough wrapped in pig fat and white sugar.

Brain Volume originated in Xiangtan City, and was welcomed by customers because of its mellow and sweet taste, soft texture, and excellent taste. Later, other cities of Hunan followed suit and spread this snack widely.

Brain volume is selected as one of the “Top Ten Local Snacks in China” in Hunan Province organized by the China Cuisine Association.

9. Loudi Five-flavored Dried Tofu Slice

loudi fiveflavored tofu slice
Five-flavored Dried Tofu Slice (spicy, sweet, bitter, salty, and fresh)

The Loudi five-flavored dried tofu slice in Hunan has a long history and was famous throughout the world as early as the Ming Dynasty. The emperor praised it endlessly and included it in the imperial tribute list. It has now become a specialty snack in the Hunan province.

High-quality soybeans from the Yongfeng area (in Loudi city of Hunan province) need to be selected to make the five-flavored dried tofu slice. After 10 processes such as shelling, soaking, grinding, filtering, steaming, and distribution, the Loudi five-flavored dried tofu slice is made with five different flavors, “fresh, bitter, salty, spicy, and sweet”.

With high nutritional value and abundant protein, the tofu slice can help people lose weight and facilitate digestion. It has become a popular flavored food for both locals and outsiders.

10. Huaihua Rice Curd (made from thick rice gruel)

ice curd
Rice Curd

Rice curd, which originated in Hunan, is a traditional snack for Tujia ethnic group and Miao ethnic group. After washing and soaking rice, grinding rice into rice slurry with water, then boiling it with alkali, and cooling it, you can make rice curd into a block like “tofu” (bean curd).

The most common way to eat rice curd is to heat it. Hot rice curd is mainly cooked, with pickled Chinese cabbage inside, which tastes delicious. Cold rice curd is mainly combined with various seasonings, especially sour water, with a refreshing and spicy taste.

Huaihua rice curd is rich in nutrients, neutral in acidity and alkalinity, and moderately soft and hard, so it is suitable for all ages.

The above are the top 10 famous cuisines in Hunan. However, as a major food province known as the “land of fish and rice” in China, Hunan has more than 10 famous foods. Do you know what other cuisines Hunan has? Let’s discuss it together.

Categorized in: