Royal Cuisine of the Qing Dynasty 清室宫廷菜

宫廷菜不仅精巧别致,还有许多有着特殊的含义。皇帝身为一国之君,倍加珍惜祖辈们辛苦打下来的江山。于是,他们将祖辈们攻城拔寨时吃的菜加以改造,放在宫廷膳食中,让子孙们将先帝的训诫铭记于心。久而久之,这些风味独特而又意味深远的菜就成了宫廷的传统膳食之一。
Royal cuisine is not only preciously made, but also implies special meanings. As the top leader of a country, emperors cherished the state won by their ancestors. Thus, they innovated the food their ancestors ate during war times into imperial court dishes so that their descendants could remember the experience. Thus, some dishes with special flavors and meanings became the traditional food of imperial court cuisine.
仿膳饭庄的宫廷四大酱菜讲的就是这样一个故事。
The four great sauce dishes in Fangshan Restaurant tell such a story.
炒黄瓜酱是满族人的饮食习惯,一年四季离不开豆酱,并且往往是以生菜蘸生酱佐饭。据说此习惯与清太祖努尔哈赤南征北战打天下有关。由于连年征战,加上行军中长期缺盐,军士们的体力明显下降。为此,每到一地,便征集豆酱,晒成酱坯,作为军中必须保证的给养品之一。野战用餐时,将士们便以酱代菜,或就地挖取野菜蘸酱佐饭。这种以生酱生菜为重要副食的军粮,竟然大大地提高了努尔哈赤大军的征战能力,所以后来满清进关入主北京后,为了不忘祖上创业之艰苦,便立下一条不成文的规矩:在宫廷膳食中,常要有一碟生酱和生菜。传到民间,相沿成习,所以至今在北方某些地区,每到春夏季节,以生菜生酱入餐桌,乃不失为一道时鲜佳味,并且确实有熟菜所难比拟的风味和营养。慈禧太后垂帘听政后,御厨们怕生酱生菜吃坏了老佛爷,为保饭碗又不违背祖制,便琢磨出几道放少许豆酱的菜肴,这就是后来有名的清宫四大酱菜,即炒黄瓜酱、炒榛子酱、炒豌豆酱、炒胡萝卜酱。
Fried sauce with cucumber is the diet of Manchu people all year round. They eat lettuce with the sauce to go with their main foods. The habit is said to be related with Nurhaci, Emperor Taizu of the Qing Dynasty, during his war for state power. Because of the ongoing wars and the lack of salt in the army, the power of his army was greatly reduced. Then, they collected soybean sauce for soldiers. In field operations, soldiers could eat the sauce together with potherbs. The raw sauce and potherbs greatly increased the power of Nurhaci’s army. After the Manchu army entered Beijing and seized power, the emperor established an unwritten regulation to commemorate the hardship of their ancestors. Raw sauce with lettuce was an essential dish for the emperors. Later, the dish also became popular among common people. Even today in some parts in north China, raw sauce with lettuce is still a seasonal dish in spring and summer. Meanwhile, it has special flavor and nutrition incomparable to cooked dishes. After Empress Dowager Cixi held the court from behind the scenes, the imperial chefs were afraid that raw sauce with lettuce would ruin Cixi’s health. In order to keep their jobs and avoid violating the ancestor’s regulation, they invented some dishes with only a little sauce. These dishes later became the famous great sauce dishes in the imperial court, namely fried sauce with cucumbers, fried sauce with filberts, fried sauce with peas and fried sauce with carrots.

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