CJ Column


The local taste of Minnan

This is loosely based on a Japanese article from the CJ Column.


Minnan refers to the southern part of Fujian Province, which includes the three provinces of Quanzhou, Xiamen and Zhangzhou and is near Taiwan and Southeast Asia. Fujian is known for its maritime culture, pioneering spirit and large number of overseas Chinese.

Since the area is close to the sea, the residents eat much seafood. Duck meat and offal are also popular local foods. Minnan cuisine is characterized by its flavor, firm texture and creaminess.  Seasonings such as green onions, ginger, soy sauce and fish sauce bring out the flavor of the ingredients.
Fujian Quanzhou street food. Photo Source: https://www.zcool.com.cn/work /ZMTgwNTc3Mg==.html


Oazen (oyster omelettes) are a typical Minnan dish cooked like Japanese okonomiyaki. You mix beaten eggs, starch and oysters, then bake the mix like a pancake, add green onion for the aroma, and smother it with chili sauce before eating. A thin egg skin and crispy, creamy oysters characterize the dish. Some people add bean sprouts to further enhance the texture.

The oysters are most delicious in February on the lunar calendar. They are only about the size of a fingertip and have an outstanding flavor.  Even people who aren’t usually fond of raw oysters enjoy them because they don’t smell very fishy.

Photo source: https://m.sohu.com/a/16538610_121025


Sha cha noodles, which are said to have originated from Southeast Asia, are another characteristic dish of Minnan. They include sha cha sauce (from seafood-based Chinese miso), boiled Chinese noodles, offal, squid, gizzards, fried tofu and blanched vegetables. If you don't like the saltiness of Chinese noodles, you can use other noodles such as instant noodles instead.

(↑Sha chanoodles. Photo source: https://www.youxiake.com/gonglue/view?id=4025)


There are many other popular dishes as well, such as those shown below, that I think suit the tastes of Japanese people.
(↑Photo source: https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/95309136)


Minnan has an oceanic climate with four seasons and is full of greenery. The people are kind and love visitors. It’s a recommended destination any season of the year.
(↑A temple in Quanzhou founded in the 2nd year of the Northern Song dynasty. Photo source: https://www.sohu.com/

 (↑An island in Xiamen registered in the World Heritage List in 2017. Photo source: https://xiamen.tokyo/2018/01/10/aboutxiamen/)


(↑Zhangzhou. Photo source: https://culture.gmw. (cn/2019-10/17/content_33241167.htm)





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