Oil-tea of Guanyang County, Guilin

2013-11-22Life in Guilin

If you have been to Guangxi Province, China, you may already know the incredibly beautiful Guilin and Li River. But you may know little about the cuisine tradition of Guilin. Today I will introduce a kind of Guilin food and its culture - Oil-tea. According to the recording documents, Oil-tea can be dated back to China’s Qing Dynasty (1636-1912) when it was called Refreshing Tea. Nowadays, the habitat of drinking Oil-tea has spread all around Guilin, for example we have Gongcheng County Oil-tea, Xing’an County Oil-tea, Ziyuan County Oil-tea, Guanyang County Oil-tea and etc, among which the Gongcheng County Oil-tea is the most famous one. But here I recommend the Guangyang County Oil-tea. Although it is not as famous as the Gongcheng Oil-tea, I think it is healthier. People cook Oil-tea in their lunch or dinner time, or even during the breakfast. You may think they are crazy, but Oil-tea is exactly crazily favored by many Guilin people. Drinking Oil-tea is not just a kind of cuisine, it is also a important social communicating tool for the Guilin people. 

How to cook Guanyang Oil-tea?

Ingredients: fried rice, noodles or rice noodles, peanuts, salty pork ribs, tea leaves, green Chinese onion, mushroom, mung bean, vegetables, and white sugar or red sugar.

Cooking steps: Firstly, you need to fry the rice, and then cook the first cup of sugar tea with a specialized pot: boil the water with tea-leaves and white sugar. Sugar tea is used to stimulate your appetite. It is extremely impolite if you don’t serve your guests with sugar tea in Guanyang County. Secondly, prepare the main ingredients tea-leaves, fried rices, noodles or rice noodles, and cook the mung been, fresh melons, cauliflowers, and potato chips in the pot as condiments. Lastly, you boil the water with oil, salt as the tea... OK, now we finished all the preparations! Get your bowl and enjoy the delicious Guanyang Oil-tea: add the condiments into your bowl and then pour into the boiled tea you made in last step - It is golden yellow and incredibly delicious!
Oil-tea Customs:
As a female in Guanyang County, she needs to know make dishes, and most important she should know how to cook Oil-tea, or she is an unsuccessful woman. Oil-tea is not just a kind of drink, to the Guanyang people it is more about your hospitality. When cooking Oil-tea, people sit together and talk. Men receive guests with white wine and women show the hospitality with Oil-tea - it’s the best way to make friends or improve relationships.
Guanyang people show their respect to the dead with Oil-tea before the funeral, by which to comfort the relatives. Besides, people gather together to cook Oil-tea during their free time - drinking Oil-tea has become a important method for the Guanyang people to communicate and share with friends.
In Guanyang County, Oil-tea is not only a typical custom, but also has medical effects. It is beneficial for your digestion: if you got dyspepsia, Oil-tea would be your great medicine. Compared with traditional Chinese medicine or Western medicine, Oil-tea is a combination of healthy food and has no side effect.

- Xavier (VisitOurChina)