Many food materials can be used for making steamed dish, which generally include the strong but pliable animal meat, vegetables, water-swollen dried food materials and the materials with tender quality or being exquisitely processed.
Steaming food is a cooking method adopting the vapor generating from boiling water as heat-transfer medium in cooking. The steamed dish features in high water content, moisture, softness and glutinousness, original taste and flavor and fresh taste and light soup.
In the heating process, the food materials of steamed dish is sealed and directly steamed by the vapor. Generally, the heating time is short and the moisture content will not be greatly evaporated, therefore, it contains the original taste of food materials and also features in the tender or soft texture.
Meili's most representative steamed dish is the "Old Eight Dishes". It is said there is a touching tale about it. According to legend, long time ago, when the Eight Immortals made an inspection visit in the mortal world, they found that the residents often entertain many guests when there is festival. The guests have to sit on the ground in the open air, due to the small room space, which is very inconvenient. Therefore, the Eight Immortals bring a square table and a long chair for the mortal. The square table was then called as the Eight Immortals Table. After that, seeing the simple and momentous dishes of the mortal, each of them started cooking in person. The dishes were steamed on large food steamer in the big cooking pot instead. These eight dishes were then call as the "Old Eight Dishes" by later generations.
The food materials of the "Old Eight Dishes" are fried fish, egg dumplings, fried Toufu filled with minced meat, fried meat, chicken, bamboo shoot, ham and green vegetable heart. Enjoying the "Old Eight Dishes" on the Eight Immortals Table will naturally make you have a feeling of that man is a part of nature and people in the universe can share the delicious food together. Based on the food materials of the "Old Eight Dishes", the chef from our Meilin Hotel gathered the materials and cooked an extremely delicate dish called the "Number One Dish in Dongxiang" through meticulous study, which has already been involved into the Recipe of Chinese Famous Dishes.