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 Welcome to Introduction on Peng Zu and Chinese Cuisine in Seeraa International, New and Updated Content as Below:

peng zu
The Portrait of Peng Zu
zhi geng
Zhi Geng Pheasant Soup
Yang Fang Cang Yu Fish Hidden in Mutton

Peng Zu(Forefather of Peng Region) in history of China was quite famous as an immortal for his longevity. Peng Zu was the grand-grandson of Zhuan Xu(颛顼, one of Five Kings in early period of ancient China). due to his mild and calm character, he was preferred by King Yao(also called Tangyao,唐尧, one of Five Kings in early period of ancient China) and conferred a territory upon Dapeng, today’s Xuzhou, Jiangsu province. So he also had a nickname: Laopeng(老彭, Senior Peng). It was said that Peng Zu was more than 800 years old, and became the representative of Chinese longevity men, and in this way, he was also respected as “Zu”(祖, the old figure). Peng Zu was the descendants of King of Chu State, a powerful counterpart of Qin State before Qin unified China. In Taoism, Peng Zu was a highly respected figure who was a god of Taoism world, and to some extent, he was as famous as Laozi, the founder of Taoism. In Taoist classic named Nanhua Zhenjing(南华真经), also famous as Zhuangzi created by Zhuang Zi, Peng Zu was mentioned highly as a model of longevity.

But few know Peng Zu also an expert of cooking. In accordance with the record of Biography of Immortals(神仙传, a book created by Ge Hong, a famous Taoist figure in Jin Dynasty, and it was themed with collecting the stories or life experiences of legendary immortals). Peng Zu was specialized in cultivating the characters and good at cooking, so he used to present the delicious food to King Yao, and he acted as the collection official(守藏史, ancient official in charge of collecting the ancient treasures, files, books and documents) of Shang Period and Governmental Secretary (柱下史, also known as Yushi after Qin Dynasty, mainly in charge of recording and secretarial job of kings and emperors, and due to standing nearly the columns of palaces, he was also called Zhuxiashi) in Zhou Period. In terms of the further recording of Biography of Immortals, Peng Zu had been 767 years old by the late period of Shang period but he did not grow old at all. He preferred tranquility and peace, and never cared about the social affairs and the reputations. Also, he did not pay attentions to the clothes and carriages. What he mostly cared was life nourishment and health. King heard of his story and assigned him as an official, but he used to stay at home with the excuse of illness. He studied the exterior measures to maintain the vigor and youth. His wife died when he was 49, and 54 sons died ahead of him. Additionally, he visited outside alone and also did not keep the food for hundreds of days or dozens of days. Certainly, the legendary illustration from The Biography of Immortals was quite ridiculous and unreliable. But many books of cultivating the life and keeping the longevity are written in the name of Peng Zu, and the famous books are Peng Zu Yangxing Jing(彭祖养性经, The Classic of Peng Zu’s Cultivating Character) and Peng Zu Shesheng Yangxing Lu(彭祖摄生养性论, Of Peng Zu’s Hygienism and Character Cultivation)

Pheasant Soup and Yang Fang Cang Yu (Fish Hidden in Mutton)

The famous cuisine that Peng Zu specializing in was Zhi Geng(雉羹, Pheasant Soup) which was highly commented by Emperor Qianlong in Qing Dynasty as the No.1 Soup on Earth. Pheasant Soup belongs to the cuisine of remote ages of China. It was braised with the mixture of pheasant and broomcorn millet fruit (later turn to the seed of Job’s tears). Pheasant Soup is the special cuisine good for blood and Qi, and it is also quite suitable for kidney care and undernourishment relief. The taste is a little bit salty but quite delicious. Pheasant Soup has a history of more than 4,300 years, and was said to be the first palace soup that Peng Zu presented to King Yao.

Another famous cuisine was Yang Fang Cang Yu(羊方藏鱼), and the inspiration of Peng Zu was from his son named Xiding(夕丁). It was said that, one day, Xiding captured a fish and let his mother cook it. After cooking, they enjoyed it together. Meanwhile, Peng Zu returned and smelled the fragrance of dish, and asked them the reason, and then he cooked following what his wife and son said. The dish was also quite extraordinary. This dish was innovated and improved in different generations and currently becomes the famous cuisine of Xuzhou traditional food. Also, it is as famous as Panyu(潘鱼, The Fish of Pan Family, which was said to be created by Pan Zuyin(潘祖荫), a high official and famous expert of Chinese characters in late Qing Dynasty, when he got the inspiration from his characters study) of Beijing Cuisine as well as Yuyaoyang(鱼咬羊, fish biting mutton) of Huizhou Cuisine. These three dishes together are called Three Delicacies of Fish and Mutton. As one of the famous classic cuisines, Yang Fang Cang Yu was honored to be the No.1 Famous Dish in China, up to today, has more than 4300 years of history. Currently, this famous dish is also available in some restaurants in Xuzhou.

Anciently, people considered the fish and mutton as the most fresh and delicious food. So cooking fish and mutton together would be perfect and named as Yang Fang Cang Yu. Peng Zu was quite good at the soup study. The soup is strongly featured of delicacy, which in Chinese character is”鲜”. It will be quite interesting if you take a study to this character. “鲜”is comprised of two characters: “鱼”and “羊”(fish and mutton). So reliably, the character“鲜” is originated from this famous dish. In this way, this dish is also closely connected with the formation and development of Chinese characters.

How to Cook Yang Fang Cang Yu

The ingredients need mutton 750 grams, crucian 500 grams, bungeanum 3 grams, salt 7.5 grams, wine 20 grams, onion 20 grams, ginger 15 grams, aginomoto 2 grams and sesame-seed oil 15 grams. The mutton should be pickled with prepper, salt, wine, onion and ginger for 6 hours, and then cleaned in boiled water. Crucian should be cleaned and mixed with salt and wine. Cutting the side of the mutton and putting the crucian into the mutton. And then putting the mutton into boiler and then adding the fresh water, salt, wine, ginger, onion and pepper, and after the water was boiled, the mutton should be braised with the small fire till it is absolutely soft. And then adding the aginomoto and sesame oil, and the whole dish is completed.

More Details in Four Pioneers of Chinese Cuisine Culture