Classic dish - Si Wen Si Chao

Si Wen Si Chao are classic Hakka dishes. They originated from the eight dishes often seen in earlier times at weddings, funerals, and deity-worshiping ceremonies. Hakka people are frugal and hard-working. They are very thrifty at ordinary times. They only butcher pigs, chickens, and ducks on special occasions to worship their deities. They also prepare pork, chicken, and squid on the first and fifteenth of each month of the lunar calendar to worship the God of the Land. In order to make the best use of the foodstuff and create delicious dishes, they take full advantage of the whole pig and chicken and turn them into delicious dishes on the table. That’s how Si Wen Si Chao came into existence.

Wen and Chao are the two features of Hakka cooking. “Wen” refers to cooking with a big wok and then leaving the food in the wok to keep warm. Si Wen refers to the four dishes cooked this way: pickled vegetable stewed with pig stomach, stewed pork, spareribs stewed with radish, and rich broth stewed with dried bamboo shoot. Si Chao refers to Hakka stir-fried pork, pig intestine stir-fried with shredded ginger, duck blood stir-fried with leek, and pig lung stir-fried with pear and Jew’s-ear (nicknamed Salty Sour Sweet). Whether judging from the quantity and quality or the way they are cooked, these eight dishes are not extravagant, sumptuous dishes. Nevertheless, they all look, taste, and smell nice. Moreover, they are all easy to preserve and convenient to be eaten over and over. The foodstuff used meets the Hakka people’s virtue of frugality without waste.