Home> Updates

Xiamen rolls out measures to boost Minnan culinary cuisine

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: May 20, 2024 L M S


Tourists try delicious food at Xiamen's night market. [Photo/Xiamen Daily]

Xiamen city, Southeast China's Fujian province, recently issued a three-year action plan (2024-26) to accelerate the innovation and development of a new Minnan culinary cuisine.

Minnan culture is a significant ethnic culture in China, possessing distinct origins, characteristics and historical importance. Xiamen in Fujian province is one of the birthplaces of Minnan culture.

Under the action plan, Xiamen has launched 12 innovative measures to support Minnan cuisine along the entire supply chain, helping it to make new advancements.

So far, the cuisine is doing well and in 2023, the catering revenue in Xiamen topped 35 billion yuan ($4.84 billion) for the first time.

By 2026, Xiamen aims to achieve its so-called "Double 500 Goals", with the annual catering revenue of the whole city surpassing 50 billion yuan and the number of restaurants above a designated size exceeding 500.

In addition to leveraging the promotional advantages of Xiamen's overseas Chinese, Taiwan and Minnan cultures, the action plan proposes several initiatives to support the development of a new Minnan cuisine. 

These include establishing a new Minnan cuisine menu, expanding the presence of restaurants such as Michelin-starred, Black Pearl and specialist Minnan cuisine restaurants, as well as nurturing Minnan cuisine masters. 

The plan also aims to explore Xiamen's gourmet travel routes that promote new Minnan cuisine. Furthermore, it seeks to establish special Chinese and Fujian cuisine gourmet streets, catering to night markets and Tong'an district specialty food industry parks.

In order to enable Minnan cuisine brands to flourish side by side, the action plan proposes many innovative highlights.

Firstly, it suggests combining elements of Xiamen's geography, history and culture to create a unique "theme cultural feast" that showcases Xiamen's special characteristics, telling the story of Minnan cuisine.

An example of this is that Xiamen famous restaurants named "Minnan Minnan" integrate Minnan cultural references starting from the very naming of dishes. In the private dining rooms, the names are inspired by the names of ancient houses, such as Yanpai and Chuanfang, showcasing traditional local culture. 

Additionally, they have introduced themed cultural feasts such as the Buddha Jumps Over the Wall Festival, which highlight traditional Minnan cuisine and celebrate the rich culinary heritage of the area.

Secondly, it's proposed to promote intangible cultural heritage or ICH cuisine. There are also calls to build a system for the development of Minnan cuisine in multiple formats, fields and brands – including integrating Minnan cuisine with rural vitalization, cultural tourism and other sectors.

Currently, Xiamen has provincial-level ICH projects such as that for the traditional production technique for Bao Bing, or Xiamen spring rolls, as well as representative inheritors of ICH.

Thirdly, the call is to support Minnan cuisine to go global, opening restaurants outside the city or overseas to promote it.

In 2017, during the BRICS Xiamen Summit, Xiamen's Minnan delicacies, such as satay beef, paste noodles and ginger duck, were showcased on an international banquet stage, attracting worldwide attention.

In recent years, more and more Minnan cuisine has emerged from relative obscurity, bringing its unique gastronomic approach to the world.

Meanwhile, the effort goes on to cultivate and develop pre-made dishes – promoting the industrialized production and standardization transformation of Minnan culinary cuisine.

As early as 2010, Xiamen snacks entered the market through the Yinxiang Group.

It is said that Xiamen can be considered a pioneer in the development of pre-prepared dishes. By creating a culinary business card for Xiamen, pre-prepared dishes allow more people to taste authentic Xiamen cuisine through various distribution channels.

Overall, it is increasingly understood that by appealing to nostalgia and by promoting Minnan flavors beyond the region, Xiamen's restaurant and food catering industry will usher in a new starting point for its accelerated development through these innovative measures.

xmswj0520 2.jpg

Mouthwatering Bao Bing, or Xiamen spring rolls – a traditional food in Xiamen – are always popular. [Photo/Xiamen Daily]

Why Xiamen

  • About Xiamen

    Xiamen is one of the most economically competitive cities in China and was one of the first Special Economic Zones on the Chinese mainland. As a vice-provincial city independently listed on the State development plan, it has provincial-level authority in economic administration and local legislative power. In 2010, the Xiamen SEZ was expanded to cover the entire municipality. Today, Xiamen is a modern and international port city.

Read More