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The Top 10 Most Famous Dishes of Ningbo in Zhejiang Province

Crystal Sugar Turtle (Bingtang Jiayu)

Crystal Sugar Turtle, Ningbo’s number one dish, is also known as "Number One Scholar Turtle".

Legend goes that during the Qing Dynasty, a candidate for the imperial examination on his way to the capital for the court examination stopped in Ningbo. During his stay in the city he ate this dish in a small restaurant, and he felt the dish was extremely tasty. When he asked for the name of the dish, the manager of the restaurant, to express his good wish for the success of the customer, replied that the dish was called "Number One Scholar Turtle".

The story goes that the scholar was a great success in the examination, and naturally became the Number One Scholar of the year. Believing that it was the dish he ate in Ningbo that had brought him the luck, he returned to the city and named the dish "Number One Scholar Turtle" and the restaurant "Number One Restaurant". Thus the dish has become well known far and wide. The dish is golden in color, tasty, and nutritious.

Dry River Eel (Guoshao Manyu)

Ningbo has lots of rivers and lakes, and thus is abound in river eels.

The preparation of this dish is a complicated and skillful process. A 500 g eel is prepared, cook softly, the bones are removed, and is then fried with spices. The prepared dish should be perfect in shape, golden in color, fresh and slightly sweet to the taste.

Yellow Croaker with Sea Cucumber (Huangyu Haishen)

This nutritious dish is made of yellow croaker and sea cucumber. To prepare the dish, select a fresh yellow croaker, steam it, and remove the bone. Then cook it with slices of sea cucumber with seasonings. The dish is perfect with wine.

Fried Lichen Cubes (Taicai Xiaofangkao)

This dish is made of fried slices of pork belly and lichen slices with seasonings of Shaoxing wine, sauce, red preserved bean curd and sugar. With its nice shape and colour, this dish will stimulate one’s appetite. Fried Lichen Cubes are best served with wine.

Goose Liver Fried with Veal Fat (Wangyou Bao’e’gan)

With a history of over 2000 years, this delicious and nutritious dish is prepared with fried goose liver with seasonings of spices, chopped scallion pieces, and paper powder.

Yellow Croaker Fried with Lichen (Taicai Tuo Huangyu)

This dish features a truly definitive Ningbo local flavor. It is made of fried yellow croaker with lichen powder, and best served with vinegar.

Fried Yellow Croaker with Bean Curd Sheet (Fupi Bao Huangyu)

This unique Ningbo dish should be prepared by a very skillful cook even though the process looks simple. First wrap croakers with bean curd sheets, then cut it into blocks, and fry them until they turn golden. This dish is best enjoyed with vinegar.

Ningbo-style Ricefield Eel Slices (Ningbo Shansi)

This unique dish is cooked with fresh ricefield eel slices with ginger slices, Shaoxing wine, sauce and other spices.

Steamed Chicken in Soup (Huozhong Quanji)

To prepare this healthy dish, select a home-bred hen, keep livers and heart in the belly, cook it for a while and steam it with slices of mushroom, edible tree fungi and bamboo shoots.

Great Croaker with Pickled Cabbage (Xucai Dahuangyu)

Another dish featuring a unique Ningbo local flavour, it is prepared with fried fresh great yellow croaker and cooked with pickled potherb mustard (a special local vegetable) and other seasonings.