“Manchuria bun” and “Chinese feast” of Manchu Ethnic Group
The Manchuria bun is the conventional food of the Manchus and is popular in the northeast area. The Manchus called it steamed bread, steamed stuffed bun and other pastry by a joint name of Manchuria bun. There are many kinds of pastry, most of which are:
The glutinous millet bun: it is made of glutinous millet added with some mix. According to the different production seasons and different added mix, the bun can be classified into bean flour bun (in spring, pulverize the glutinous millet, add some mix and then braise), linden leaves bun (in summer, linden is a kind of arbor whose leaves are like hibiscus and of egg shape, with saint scent. The method of making linden leaves bun is to knead the flour into dough and rolled the dough into skins. With bean stuffing in the skins, the skins can be bound by leaves of linden and put on the lattice for heating. There is also perilla leaves bun. The making method is the same to that of linden leaves bun and the only difference is that we use perilla leaves instead of linden leaves) and glutinous bun (in autumn, with bean sauce in, the glutinous millet is heated.)
Sanzi: to knead buckwheat flour or glutinous broomcorn flour, roll them into threads and put them on lattice for heating or let them fried with oil, and then mix them with bittern sauce, getting the soup. The flavor is very good. When the Manchus have fetes, Sanzi is often offered.
Tamping cakes: use glutinous broomcorn, glutinous millet or polished glutinous rice as materials, put them on lattice for heating and changing into glutinous cooked rice, get them out to have some water poured on, put them on the flag stone and then use wooden hammer to tamp them into dough. In the course of cooking, by scattering and churning up the cooked soybean flour, we can roll the dough into various cakes. When being eaten together with sugar and honey, it has a good taste.
Cakes with sauce: after churning up glutinous broomcorn flour, glutinous millet or polished glutinous rice, scoop them into a cloth bag and pour some sauce into the container. After the pouring, put them on lattice for heating. Then, after cutting them into diamonds or rhombic blocks, they can be eaten. They felt fine, smooth and soft and have a good flavor.
Scattering cakes: use glutinous rice flour as material. Put the lattice on the boiler and according to the size of the lattice, scatter a layer of bean and then a layer of glutinous rice flour. After fully cooked, scatter the second layer. Repeat as such and it is not until it is scattered as high as the upper of lattice that we can scatter the last layer of bean. Waiting for this layer of bean is fully cooked and then the cake is made and its flavor is pretty good.
Candied fritter: it is a kind of national-wide known Manchu food. Its predecessor is the twisted bars bun. Its cooking is the same as that of tamping cakes. That is, to put the cooked rice onto the flag stone and tamp rice repeatedly into dough. Afterwards, dip them with cooked bean flour, knead them into bars and after frying, cut them into blocks, and scatter a layer of cooked bean flour or sugar. Furthermore, there are still spun gold cakes, sun cakes, cool cakes, Lvdagun (a pastry made of steamed glutinous millet flour mixed with sugar) and so on.
The Chinese feast which has won fame all over the world, is a court feast of Qing Dynasty. It wins the worldwide fame because it shows all the essential technique of Manchu and Han cooking. It is said that the Chinese feast can be traced to the period of Qianlong. It mainly adopts such cooking technique as Manchu’s baking and braising and Han’s frying. The feast includes a lot of famous dishes and cakes. There are over 200 dishes in all, of which 134 dishes are hot, 48dishes are assorted cold and there are also dozens of cakes. The materials often come from the articles of tribute. Delicacies of every kind such as mountain food, seafood, rare animals, fresh vegetables, and rare fruits can be found in this feast. The dishware is also delicate and mainly made up of gold cup, silver plate, jade calyx, ivory chopsticks and so on. The dishware has been simplified since the Revolution of 1911.