Shandong Cuisine and the Cuisine Culture of North China
Shandong cuisine represents the most prevailing food styles in north China. Most modern schools of cuisine in north China, such as those of Beijing, Tianjin, and the Three Northeastern Provinces, are all branches of Shandong cuisine. The dishes served when you visit a northern Chinese household are most likely prepared in simplified Shandong cuisine methods.
Characteristics of Shandong Cuisine
Shandong cuisine is rooted in its ancient traditions. A large peninsular province, Shandong is rich in produce both from agriculture and from the sea. Though with ups and downs, the province managed to remain consistently among China’s most prosperous regions in terms of economy over history. Nowadays, it is still China’s most important vegetable production bases. Shandong cuisine boasts a wide selection of raw materials: vegetables, seafood, domestic animals and birds. The array of seafood is impressive: scallops, prawns, clams, sea cucumbers, squid, etc. Staple vegetables in Shandong diet include potatoes, tomatoes, cabbages, mushrooms, onions, garlic and eggplants. There are two sub-branches within Shandong cuisine: Jinan and Jiaodong styles. The former is named after the capital of the province, representing the part of Shandong cuisine culture based on the agricultural produce of inland area, while the latter, named after the Jiaodong Peninsular, has greater emphasis on seafood.
People from south China often speak of Shandong cuisine dishes as “heavy and strong” in flavor and aroma. The use of onions (or garlic and ginger) as a seasoning – onions deep-fat fried before other materials are cooked - is a distinguishing feature of Shandong cuisine. Hot fire is often used in stirring and frying. The dishes are mainly clear, fresh and fatty, cooked by such methods as quick-frying (爆 bao), quick-frying with corn flour (熘 liu), roasting (烤), boiling (煮), etc.
Garlic, onion, and ginger are widely used in Shandong cuisine.
Shandong cuisine dishes are often cooked over a hot fire.
Representative Dishes of Shandong Cuisine
A real taste is in the eating. Take the chance where possible to know what Shandong is really like.
Sweet and Sour Carp
Dezhou Stewed Chicken
Fried Pork Joint
Chicken Stewed with Chestnut
Earthen Jar Pork
Red Braised King Prawns
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