Jiangxi cuisine
Map of Jiangxi Province
Traditional Chinese贛菜
Simplified Chinese赣菜

Jiangxi cuisine (Chinese: 江西菜; pinyin: Jiāngxī cài), also known as Gan cuisine (赣菜; 贛菜; gàncài), is a style of Chinese cuisine derived from the native cooking styles of Jiangxi province in southern China.[1] According to the East China Travel Guide published in 1983, Jiangxi Cuisine has its unique taste which can be described in four Chinese idioms: 原汁原味(aim to bring out the own flavor of the cooking material),油厚不腻(dishes contained a significant amount of oil but the taste are not greasy),口味浓厚(dishes have really thick taste),咸鲜兼辣(always come with spicy solid, salty flavor).[2] Jiangxi cuisine is widely popular within the ordinary family because most of the notable dishes from Jiangxi cuisine are the extension of homely dishes with solid local flavor.[3]


In ancient times, the Jiangxi Province of China was dominated by the ancestor of China’s Miao ethnic group.[4] With the territorial disputes and subsequent chaos followed, residents from various regions migrated to the area that currently belongs to Jiangxi Province, searching for new homes.[4] Besides the ordinary people, the migrants included many officials from the regions being defeated.[4] These officials were accompanied by not only their family but also their chefs.[4] Through migration, different cuisines and culinary customs were brought by new immigrants combined; eventually, different cuisines get improved and formed into new cuisine --- Jiangxi cuisine. And this is one of the reason Jiangxi cuisine are widely considered as the combination of other cuisines.[4]

Major Genres of Jiangxi Cuisine

The taste of the dishes might have minor variations among different cities in Jiangxi Province in which Jiangxi cuisine has overall four major genres based on its region names: Nanchang, Ganzhou, Jiujiang, Gandong.[1] And each Genre of Jiangxi Cuisine has its unique cooking style and famous dishes.[1]

Map of Nanchang in Jiangxi Province
Map of Gandong in Jiangxi Province


Difference of Jiangxi Cuisine between Hunan and Sichuan Cuisine

Both Jiangxi cuisine, Hunan cuisine, and Sichuan cuisine all have spicy features in the majority of the notable dishes in each cuisine.[4] However, each cuisine has a different cooking style and uses different materials used to increase the spiciness. Jiangxi cuisine focus on keeping the ‘original flavor’ of the food while using the spicy to enhance the level of the taste upon food original flavor.[2] In addition, some dishes within the Jiangxi cuisine will use certain meat soups to enhance the taste of the plates.[2] Jiangxi cuisine favors overtly spicy flavors; in many regions of the province, chili peppers are directly used as vegetable instead of as a seasoning, as in most other Chinese regional cuisines.  

Notable dishes

English Image Simplified Chinese Pinyin Note
Ningdu Spicy Sanbeiji
宁都三杯鸡 Níngdōusānbēijī Also, have Taiwan-style Sanbeiji, which is not spicy and will add sugar when cooking. The cooking style of spicy Sanbeji in Jiangxi Cuisine is stir-fry, while Taiwan Sanbeiji is stew.[5]
Steamed pork with rice flour
粉蒸肉 Fěnzhēngròu In Jiangxi cuisine, people also steamed other meats with rice flour such as beef, chicken, fish, and so on.[5]
Soup cooked with pottery jar(left)

Nanchang stir-fry rice-noodle(right)



Wǎ guàn wēi (zuǒ)

Nánchāng chǎo mǐfěn (yòu)

This is the combination where people, especially Nanchang, Jiangxi, usually eat.[5]
Poyang Lake fat fish head with red pepper
鄱湖胖鱼头 Pó hú pàng yú tóu The use of the fish head is different from the fish head people used in Sichuan cuisine.[5]

Department of Commerce of Jiangxi Province held the selection/competition of "Top Ten Jiangxi Cuisine Dishes" and "Top Ten Jiangxi Cuisine Dishes Snacks" in 2021 aim to promote the development of Jiangxi cuisine while spread Jiangxi cuisine into national level.[6] According to the result of the competition, the "Top Ten Jiangxi Cuisine dishes" are Ningdu Sanbei chicken, lotus blood duck, four-star full moon, Yugan fried meat with dried chili, Jinggang smoked bamboo, fish head with white sauce, boiled mandarin fish with rice noodle, steam turtle with rice noodle, fried bacon with artemisia quatrica, Taihe black chicken soup(Chinese(listed in the same order): 宁都三杯鸡、莲花血鸭、四星望月、余干辣椒炒肉、井冈烟笋、白浇雄鱼头、鳜鱼煮粉、甲鱼粉皮、藜蒿炒腊肉、滋补泰和乌鸡).[6] The "Top Ten Jiangxi Cuisine snacks" are soup cooked with pottery jar, Nanchang stir-fry rice-noodle, Ruijin beef soup, Yiyang rice cake, Jiujiang radish cake, Jinggang fry rice cake, Ruizhou shaomai, alkali water cake, Li Chuan taro paste, Anyuan three fresh rice noodle((Chinese(listed in the same order):瓦罐煨汤、南昌米粉、瑞金牛肉汤、弋阳年糕、九江萝卜饼、井冈糍粑、瑞州烧麦、碱水粑、黎川芋糍、安远三鲜粉).[6]

There is no up-to-date statistic record of the total dished in Jiangxi cuisine. Nevertheless, according to the record under the book called 赣菜 published in 1993, there are overall 209 dishes in Jiangxi cuisine at that time of date.[1] The biggest charm of Jiangxi cuisine is to keep the original taste of the food while enhancing the best flavor through various cooking style in Jiangxi cuisine.[2] The majority of the ingredients used in Jiangxi cuisine are all locally sourced. Most of people in Jiangxi Province are skillful in utilize the freshest local foods since they believed that fresh ingredients are the secret to a delicious dish.[5] Therefore, the rich local local made products in Jiangxi Province have established the solid foundation for the development of Jiangxi cuisine.[5]

Further reading

  1. Jane Shaw. (1995). Jiangxi Cuisine. Women of China, 12, 52–52[4]
  2. Pu, Zheng, M., Lu, S., & Huang, J. (2019). Study on the Use of Cooking Oil in Chinese Dishes. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(18), 3367. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183367[3]
  3. 江西省人民政府 & 王飙 . (1993). 赣菜. 江西科技出版社.[1]
  4. Moser. (1985). The Gan People of Jiangxi Province. In The Chinese Mosaic: The Peoples and Provinces of China (1st ed., pp. 120–127). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429309588-9[7]
  5. 现代上海市旅游局. (1983). 华东旅游指南. 中国旅游出版社.[2]
  6. 中央电视台《走遍中国:食在八方》节目组(Director & Producer).(2013). 食在八方之赣菜篇 [documentary].[5]
  7. 服务贸易与商贸服务业处. (2021, February 2). 赣菜“十大名菜”“十大名小吃”发布会在南昌召开. 江西省商务厅 Department of Commerce of Jiangxi Province.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i 王, 飚; 江西省人民政府 (1997). 赣菜 (in Chinese). 南昌: 江西科技出版社. ISBN 7-5390-1182-3.
  2. ^ a b c d e 现代上海市旅游局宣传处 (1983). 华东旅游指南 (in Chinese). 中国旅游出版社. pp. 340–341.
  3. ^ a b Pu, Gangwei; Lu, Shijun; Zheng, Mo; Huang, Jiazhang; Cheng, Guangyan (2019-09-12). "Study on the Use of Cooking Oil in Chinese Dishes". International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 16 (18): 3367. doi:10.3390/ijerph16183367. ISSN 1660-4601. PMC 6765806. PMID 31547241.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Jane Shaw. (1995). Jiangxi Cuisine. Women of China, 12, 52–52.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "《走遍中国》 20130711 食在八方 第九集 赣菜". tv.cctv.com. Retrieved 2022-01-22.
  6. ^ a b c d "江西省商务厅 本厅 赣菜"十大名菜""十大名小吃"发布会在南昌召开". swt.jiangxi.gov.cn. Retrieved 2022-01-26.
  7. ^ Moser, Leo J. (2019-06-18), "The Gan People of Jiangxi Province", The Chinese Mosaic: The Peoples and Provinces of China (1 ed.), Routledge, pp. 120–127, doi:10.4324/9780429309588-9, ISBN 978-0-429-30958-8, S2CID 199314337, retrieved 2022-02-12