Pickles are good pairings for porridge.

Suzhou natives prefer fresh, tender pickles with a light flavor and an aftertaste that lingers in the mouth.

In summer, Suzhou natives also like to add a few pear peel and preserved plums to the pickles to achieve a refreshing flavor. [MORE]

Vinasse sauce

Vinasse sauce, made by mixing extract from vinasse that has been preserved for a long time with yellow rice wine and a variety of seasonings, is popular in the region south of the Yangtze River.

Suzhou natives have invented many dishes cooked with such kind of sauce. They boil various ingredients such as shrimps or duck feet, cool them and then soak them in the sauce for hours, and then a dish is ready.

Many stores make and sell food cooked with vinasse sauce. For example, there are delicious cooked pork tongue, hairtail and yellow croakers for sale.

When kept refrigerated, the sauce can be used repeatedly for two or three times, and the sauce that has been used to soak meat can be used to make egg custard. [MORE]

Ricefield eel soup

Suzhou natives who live by water love eating ricefield eels, especially wild ones which have tastier and tighter flesh.

Ricefield eels breed quickly, and they do not leave their holes until it is time to forage at night. People who live by water usually put bamboo cages with bait into the water and, if everything goes well, they can enjoy a good lunch the next day.

Ricefield eel soup is also a good night snack. How wonderful it would be to enjoy a bowl of hot soup while recalling a Kunqu opera (one of the oldest forms of Chinese opera) show you have just watched. [MORE]