1 Squirrel-Shaped Mandarin Fish (松鼠桂鱼) Movie: Eat Drink Man Woman (饮食男女) (1994)
The opening scene of this award-winning film features the protagonist's mouth-watering cooking skills. The dinner that he prepares for his daughters puts the viewer in foodie heaven.
Among the many delicious-looking dishes is the Squirrel-Shaped Mandarin Fish. Crispy on the outside and tender inside, the Squirrel-Shaped Mandarin Fish is the most popular dish in Jiangsu cuisine. It uses a beautifully sliced fish and first deep-fries it into the shape of a running squirrel. Then the fish is showered with sweet and sour sauce. The dish requires exceptional knife skills and perfect control of timing and oil temperature. Even though the dish has gained popularity all over China, only a few chefs can actually make it.
2 Hainanese Chicken Rice (海南鸡饭) Movie: Rice Rhapsody (海南鸡饭) (2004)
Hainanese Chicken Rice, or Hainan Chicken, is considered by many as the national dish of Singapore. However, it is also popular across Southeast Asia. The dish got its name because its creators were Chinese immigrants from Hainan Province who immigrated to Malaysia. The poached chicken is often served with chili sauce and cucumber garnishes. And it tastes best when enjoyed together with specially seasoned white rice.
Rice Rhapsody (2004)
3 Peking Duck (北京烤鸭) Movie: Peking Duck Restaurant (老店) (1990)
The 1990 film is a biography of the man who founded Quanjude (全聚德) in 1864, the restaurant that made Peking Duck world-famous. Until this day, the franchise still cooks and serves the dish in the most authentic fashion. Quanjude adheres to strict requirements on the raising, killing, preparation, and cooking processes. Most importantly, the cook is expected to slice the duck into no more and no less than 108 pieces of duck meat. Different parts of the duck are also served differently. For instance, the skin should be dipped in sugar while the duck breast is served with sweet bean sauce (甜面酱).
Peking Duck Restaurant (1990)
4 Buddha Jumps Over the Wall (佛跳墙) Movie: The God of Cookery (食神) (1996)
In this 1996 movie, the two protagonists compete at the final stage of the “God of Cookery” competition with the same dish, Buddha Jumps Over the Wall (佛跳墙). Among all exotic Chinese dishes, this Fujianese stew is probably the most luxurious. The traditional recipe requires a long list of expensive ingredients including shark fin, sea cucumber, ginseng, abalone, and many others. The dish got its name because it was said to be tasty enough to entice a vegetarian monk to eat it. However, it is almost impossible to have a bowl of the dish due to legal restrictions on the consumption of sharks. Fortunately.
The God of Cookery (1996)