A shot of Fengyang Ba Da Wan, Jan 11, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]
As Chinese Lunar New Year draws near, traditional cuisine is necessary to grace the table during family get-togethers in many places in China.
Among the traditional dishes, Ba Da Wan (literally, "eight big bowls"), is always very popular.
Created by the Manchu people, Ba Da Wan dates back to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The dish enjoyed its prime during the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799). Ba Da Wan includes eight large bowls of mutton, chicken, beef, pork, fish and vegetables cooked by stir-frying, steaming, stewing and baking.
Later, the original ingredients in these eight bowls were replaced with others depending on where they were served, often by local specialty. Different places in China developed their own Ba Da Wan and now there are about 12 versions.
Fengzhou Ba Da Wan is from Fengyang in Shanxi province. It uses pork, mutton and chicken as the main ingredients, along with eggs, Chinese cabbages and tofu. The dish often takes many cooks about three to four hours to finish. Fengzhou Ba Da Wan was listed as a provincial intangible cultural heritage in 2009.