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Shandong Cuisine

Shandong

Shandong cuisine, which is more commonly known as Lu cuisines, are one of the Eight Culinary Traditions of China, andis also ranked among the four most influential among these ("Four Great Traditions"). It is derived from the native cooking styles of Shandong, an eastern coastal province of China.

What are the two types of Shandong cuisine?

Shandong cuisine consists of two major styles. Jiaodong style encompasses dishes from eastern Shandong like Fushan, Qingdao, Yantai and surrounding regions, characterized by seafood cooking, with light tastes. Jinan style includes dishes from Jinan, Dezhou, Tai'an and surrounding regions, famed for its soup and utilizing soups in its dishes.

What are the characteristics of Shandong cuisine?

Shangdong cuisine is famous for its wide selection of material and use of different cooking methods. The raw materials are mainly domestic animals and birds, seafood and vegetables. The masterly cooking techniques include Bao (quick frying), Liu (quick frying with corn flour), Pa (stewing), roasting,

Shandong Cuisine

boiling, using sugar to make fruit, crystallizing with honey.Its dishes are crisp, tender, delicious, and greasy with salty and some sweet and sour flavors. Its main condiment is salt, but it also uses salted fermented soybeans and soy sauce.

What is the history of Shandong cuisine?

Shandong cuisine can be traced back to the Spring and Autumn Period (770-221BC), when Shandong was territory of Qi and Lu. Both states were economically and culturally developed. Because they bordered the sea, and had mountains and fertile plains, they had abundant aquatic products and grains as well as sea salt. The people of the area have stressed seasonings and flavorings since ancient times.

It was quickly developed in the South and North Dynasty (960-1279), and was recognized as an important style of cooking in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Shangdong cuisine is representative of northern China's cooking and its technique has been widely absorbed in northeast China.
Why does Shandong cuisine enjoy a great prestige?

The cuisine is considered the most influential in Chinese cuisine, with the majority of the culinary styles in China having developed from it. Modern day schools of cuisine in North China, such as those of Beijing, Tianjin and Northeast, are all branches of the cuisine. Also, the typical dishes in most North China households' meals are prepared in simplified Shandong methods.

steamed-crab

What are the main ingredients used in Shandong Cuisine?

Shandong is a large peninsula surrounded by the sea, with the Yellow River meandering through the center. As a result, seafood is a major component of the cuisine. The most famous dish is the sweet and sour carp.

Beyond the use of seafood, Shandong is somewhat unique for its wide use of corn, a local cash crop, which is chewy and starchy,often with a grassy aroma.

It is often served simply as steamed or boiled cobs, or removed from the cob and lightly fried.
Shandong is also well known for its peanut crops, which are fragrant and naturally sweet. It is common at meals in Shandong, both formal and casual, to see large platters of peanuts, either roasted in the shell, or shelled and stir-fried with salt. Peanuts are also served raw in a number of cold dishes that hail from the region.

The wide use of a variety of small grains distinguishes Shandong cuisine from most of China's other culinary traditions in. Millet, wheat, oat and barley can be found in the local diet, often eaten as porridge, or milled and cooked into one of the many varieties of steamed, baked and fried breads or buns, pancakes, crisp cakes, and big cakes stuffed with minced meats.

Potatoes, tomatoes, cabbages, mushrooms, onions, garlic and eggplants make up the staple vegetables in the Shandong diet. Grassy greens, sea grasses, and bell peppers are also not uncommon. The large, sweet cabbages grown in central Shandong are renowned for their delicate flavor and hardiness. As has been the case for generations, these cabbages are a staple of the winter diet throughout much of the province, and are featured in a

Shandong Cuisine

great number of dishes.Possibly Shandong's greatest contribution to Chinese cuisine has been in the area of brewing vinegars. Hundreds of years of experience combined with unique local methods have led to Shandong's prominence as one of the premier regions for vinegar production in China. Shandong vinegar has a rich, complex flavor which, among some connoisseurs, is considered fine enough to be enjoyed on its own merits.

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