Many famous food of Dali are made of fish, such as Fish cooked in Earthware Pot and Hot and Sour Fish with greengage. Travelers can also taste various kinds of food with strong Bai ethnic group and Zang ethnic group flavor.
Dali Featured Food:
Carved Plum And Stewed Plum
Carved Plum is the traditional featured food of Bai people. It gets its name because people carved patterns on the fruit of greengage.Carved plum is not only a delicious food in the Autonomous Region of Dali, but also a carefully made handicraft. Eryuan County has been given the good name “Hometown of Plums”. Most of the local Bai girls are able to make carved plums when they are still very young. Whether a girl can make carved plum has also become a criterion of judging whether she is skillful enough. According to the local customs, before a girl gets married, she has to send gifts to her husband’s family as greetings. One of the gifts is a plateful of carefully made carved plums. At the first night of the newly-married couple, the bride has to serve fruits and wines to entertain the guests. Whether the carved plums are delicious and good enough becomes the topic of that night. Poets also take carved plums as the theme to compose a poem so as to add to the fun. There has been a poem
Every time when people are asked about the most famous dish in Dali, they would first of all think about Yongping Stewed Chicken.Before people cook Yongping Stewed Chicken, they would choose local chickens produced in the mountain area of Yongping. In the cooking, more than ten seasonings will be used and they include: high-quality Chinese prickly ash, Caoguo, garlic, dried capsicum, ginger, and so on. People use the local traditional method as well as modern cooking technics, and create this delicious local featured dish. As a result, Yongping Stewed Chicken also gains the good names such as “Chicken No. 1 in west Yunnan”, “the Best of Yunnan Dishes”, and “the Best in all chicken dishes”.
Rushan is made of the milk produced by local cows. It has a shape of a fan. Rushan does not only taste good, but is also nourishing. It contains many substances necessary to human bodies such as protein and amino acid. It can also regulate people’s lifeblood, soothe the nerves and strengthen the appetite, and thus is an ideal food to strengthen your corporeity and keep you fit. You can cook Rushan in different ways: fry, braise, bake, boil, blast, steam or stir-fry. If you cook Rushan with meat and vegetables, you can manage some new and fresh dishes of Rushan. Raw Rushan is also edible. In the past when there were no highways among the high mountains in west Yunnan, transportation could only be done by horses. The horse drivers usually brought brown sugar and Rushan with them so as to ease their hunger when they are tired. All the visitors from home and abroad will taste Rushan and savor its special flavor.
Xizhou Crisp Pie is made like this: put the fine flour into the pot. Put in water and leavening dough. Knead the flour into a dough. Roll the dough into a thin patch on a board. Spread salt or sugar on the patch and apply cooked lard. Roll the patch back into a long stick. Divide the stick equally into small parts, and roll them into round cakes. Brush rap oil onto a pan and put the pan onto the fire. Wait until the oil smokes, place the round cakes onto the pan, and cover the pan. The most wonderful thing is that there are charcoal fire on and beneath the pan so that the cakes are fried evenly. When the cakes are about half done, turn the cakes over and continue to fry until they are fully done. Xizhou Crisp Pie is golden yellow. It tastes sweet, soft, crisp, oily but not greasy. The pies are not too hot nor too cold, and are convenient to carry about.
Heqing Rice Cake
Heqing Rice Cake is made elaborately. There are two kinds of Heqing Rice Cake: dry cakes and water cakes. Among the dry cakes Xiqing Dry Cakes are the best. There are two kinds of Xiqing Dry Cakes: cakes with interlayers and colourful cakes. Cakes with interlayers have a shape of rhombus and are a little bigger and thicker than ordinary dry cakes. The interlayers are made from brown sugar, corn mint, orange skin, mashed Chinese date and longan. Colourful cakes are square, and have a red surface and a white line in the middle. Red and white colours make the cakes beautiful.