Genshin: Liyue Food Cultural Inspirations

Genshin's Liyue Food and its possible real-world influences

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Genshin: Liyue Food Cultural Inspirations

Genshin's Liyue Food and its possible real-world influences

games, Genshin Impact, food

Genshin’s Liyue Food

And how it’s been inspired from existing foods

But it’s basically just me ranting abt Chinese food for 22 pages

Adeptus’ Temptation

Adeptus’ Temptation is a clear reference to the real-life dish Buddha’s Temptation. Both Chinese names also reference this: Adeptus’ Temptation is 仙跳墙 (in the context of Genshin, “adeptus jumps over the wall”) and Buddha’s Temptation is 佛跳墙 (Buddha jumps over the wall). It is a Fujianese delicacy only served at special occasions and state banquets.

The description text for "delicious" version says "This dish is a rare and exquisite mix of both land and sea", which refers to the variety of ingredients used in Buddha's Temptation, such as quail eggs, bamboo shoots, scallops, sea cucumber, abalone, shark fin, fish maw, chicken, Jinhua ham, pork tendon, ginseng, mushrooms, and taro.[1] Buddha’s Temptation was named one of the most expensive soups in the world owing to its massive and rare ingredient list, although it is also rather controversial due to the use of shark fin.

The story of its origin is disputed; some versions say that the dish was made in a last-ditch attempt by a chef about to be beheaded by his emperor to please him, which ended up attracting monks from a nearby Buddhist temple to jump over the wall and taste the dish; other sources say that it was made by a travelling scholar who kept all of his cooking ingredients in one clay jar used for holding wine. When he cooked, a Buddhist monk was tempted by the scent and jumped over the wall. Regardless, they hold one thread in common: that the dish is so delicious, it entices vegetarian monks to ‘jump over the wall’ and try it.

Almond Tofu

Almond Tofu contains neither almonds nor tofu. Almonds in the recipe are actually apricot kernels, since both names share the 杏仁 Xingren characters. Tofu is derived from its similar look to the bean curd, but it’s not actually tofu.

It’s a traditional Beijing street food with popularity in Cantonese Cuisine as well as influencing the Japanese Annin tofu, made by grinding apricot kernels into paste with water and adding starch to coagulate the mixture into edible pieces that look like tofu. As the in-game description suggests, it’s mildly sweet, has a refreshing taste, and is mainly eaten in the summer as a cooling food.

Two types of apricot kernels are used— ‘south kernels’, which are sweet and mildly fragrant, and ‘north kernels’, which are bitter and more fragrant. South kernels are usually bigger and paler while north kernels are smaller and more yellow. Both types are crushed together to form the paste for the dessert, but north kernels are used much less because they can be poisonous in large quantities.[2]

Bamboo Shoot Soup

Bamboo Shoot Soup is based off the traditional Shanghainese dish 醃篤鮮 Yanduxian[3], made with three key ingredients: fresh meat, salted meat (both are typically pork), and fresh bamboo shoots. It is then slow-simmered for around three hours to bring out the taste of all three ingredients.

Yanduxian’s etymology is also worth noting: Yan (醃) means cured/salted pork, du (篤) is the sound of boiling soup on low heat, and xian (鮮) is the fresh taste of the dish.

The origin of this dish is a bit of a long story[4]: after the outbreak of Taiping Rebellion (1850-64), the west side of China became dangerous, but Jiangnan was safe. At the time, a man named Zuo Zongtang (governor of Hangzhou) was tasked with feeding the rioting masses, but didn’t know where to find enough food. One day he passed Hu Xueyan’s house, who was rich. Hu loved to eat ham (every year he ate 100 legs of ham), and his entire house was hung with ham. Zuo smelled the ham and went to Hu’s house to investigate; Hu saw that the governor himself was visiting him and decided to make his Anhui hometown specialty, Yandunxian (醃燉鮮 / although with ham instead of cured meat), to greet Zuo properly. Zuo was delighted by the dish and they chatted it up; when Hu heard of Zuo’s mission, he agreed to help take care of the issue.

This incident became famous across China, and so did the dish; it became Shanghainese because Zuo was promoted to Shanghai. And for its name? Zuo was from Hunan and had an accent, so he mispronounced Hu’s Yandunxian (醃燉鮮) as Yanduxian (醃篤鮮), hence the name today.

Black-Back Perch Stew

Black-Back Perch Stew (水煮黑背鱸魚 Boiled black-back perch) is likely based on the 水煮魚 or ‘boiled fish’, a variant of 水煮肉片 (boiled meat slices) developed by a Chongqing cook in a cooking competition in 1983. Since then it has enjoyed widespread popularity and been cooked with many fish, although from what I can tell the perch version is one of the most popular fish to cook this with.

The dish is also famed for its spice to compliment the mild taste of the perch, with a complimentary saying of “numbing to the extreme, spicy to the point of addiction”[5]. Xiangling’s special version of the dish may point to its (disputed) Sichuan origins, as the style closely resembles the perch stew popular in Sichuan.

Bountiful Year

Bountiful Year is quite clearly based on yusheng (魚生 or in yu saang in Cantonese, literally “raw fish”), a Cantonese-style raw fish salad also named “Prosperity Toss”. It’s usually strips of raw fish mixed with vegetables and eaten with a variety of sauces and condiments. It generally includes ingredients such as shredded white and green radish and carrots, ginger slices, onion slices, crushed peanuts, pomelo, pepper, essence of chicken (雞精), oil, salt, vinegar, sugar, etc. Sometimes it will also be called lo sahng (撈生) in Cantonese, in the tradition of tossing it up in the air to obtain more fortune.[6]

The character for “fish” 「魚」is a homophone for the character for “abundance” 「余」, which means the dish’s name is often conflated with the word for “increase in abundance” (余升, also yusheng), and is therefore considered a symbol of abundance and prosperity; this is why it is often served during Chinese New Year.

The origin for this dish is extremely disputed; the pre-modern version of the dish may be modified off fish noodles served in Guangdong, China, while Malaysia and Singapore have competing claims as to how the modern yusheng came into being. It is listed as an Intangible Heritage Object in Malaysia. Nowadays, you will typically find it served in Chinese diaspora communities in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and sometimes in Hong Kong as well.

For all the auspicious associations of the ingredients, check here.

Chicken Tofu Pudding

Chicken Tofu Pudding (Chicken Tofa, a shortened form of Tofu Pudding) is based on a real-life food with the same name. Like Almond Tofu, this dish once again does not actually contain tofu; the chicken is shredded to bits and egg white is added to make its consistency similar to tofa[7].

Tofa is a distinctly Taiwanese food, but chicken tofa is a famous traditional dish from Sichuan Cuisine. There’s a distinct saying associated with it: “Eat chicken but see no chicken, it’s not like chicken meat, but coincidentally it is like chicken meat; it triumphs over [real] chicken meat.”[8] Silky smooth with a dissolving texture, it’s considered somewhat of a national treasure.

Come and Get It

Come and Get It (來來菜, literally “come come dish”) is based on a Hong Kong dish called “Poon Choi”, which could be roughly translated as “Basin Dish”. It typically includes a variety of meats and seafoods, such as beef, pork, lamb, chicken, abalone (real), shrimp, squid, fishballs, eel, crab, and prawn. Miscellaneous additions include pork rind, tofu (bean curd), white radishes, and mushrooms.

As you can probably tell from the ingredient list, it’s a very fulfilling meal. It’s typically only served at festivals or large family gatherings, where everyone will share the dish, picking stuff out from top to bottom.

The origin comes from a tale where the Song Emperor at the time fled down to Guangdong/Hong Kong, being pursued by Mongol troops. Villagers there took the Emperor in and served their best to him; however they couldn’t find a large enough container, so they put everything into big wooden washbasins[9]. To this day, the ‘walled villages’ of the New Territories of Hong Kong place great cultural emphasis on this dish which represents communal values. [I could go on and on about this because home culture representation!!]

Crab Roe Tofu

Crab Roe Tofu is based on a dish of the same name in China: Xiehuang Dofu (蟹黃豆腐), which contains staple ingredients crab roe and tofu, obviously. The dish is a Beijing specialty, but Jiangsu Cuisine and Zhejiang Cuisine have their own versions of the dish as well.

Because crab roe can be unhealthy, some people eat faux crab roe tofu with diced carrots or other substitutions.

Crystal Shrimp

Crystal Shrimp is an obvious reference to Har gow (蝦餃), a Cantonese Cuisine specialty dumpling of cooked shrimp wrapped in translucent dough. It is a popular dim sum dish in Guangdong and Hong Kong, and Genshin even gets the portions right: four are typically served per basket.

Cured Pork Dry Hotpot

Cured Pork Dry Hotpot is likely based on the popular Hotpot’s cousin: Dry pot (乾鍋). Instead of things being cooked in boiling hot broth while eating, dry pot uses a warm pot to keep things warm with no broth or water cooking the food as people eat out of it.

Dry pot seems to originate from Sichuan although it enjoys widespread popularity outside in all of China under different names; for example, dry pot is known as Claypot Rice (煲仔飯 / Bozai fan) in Cantonese Cuisine. While it may originate from Sichuan, the exact reference the Dry Hotpot is going for is hard to pin down due to its ubiquity.

Fried Radish Balls

Fried Radish Balls apparently originate from Shandong Cuisine (also known

Genshin: Liyue Food Cultural Inspirations
Tags Games, Genshin Impact, Food
Type Google Doc
Published 18/05/2022, 17:19:35


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