Introduction to Shandong Cuisine, NTD’s International Culinary Competition

         Uploaded by on Apr 29, 2011

Shandong Cuisine

The Shandong cuisine, also called Lu cuisine, is the earliest and most influential Chinese cuisine and originated in today’s Shandong province. Of all the Chinese cuisines, Shandong cuisine is the largest cuisine of the original 4 Chinese cuisine: Cantonese, Szechuan, Huaiyang, and Shandong. It has the most variety of types of food and cooking methods and its food is known for its salty, savory flavor as well as tender and crispy texture.

Shandong is situated on the Shandong Peninsula. It has long coastline along the Yellow sea and the Bo sea as well as rich inland plains. It has four very distinctive seasons. Seafood, freshwater produce, grains, poultry, fruits and vegetables, and wild birds and animals are abundant. This provides an excellent material foundation for the variety of food and cooking techniques in this region. Shandong chefs are well-rounded in their skills and are famous for their Bao and Ta methods of cooking.

Bao is a quick stir-fry in high heat. Like the scholar Yuan Mu from Qing Dynasty said, “Quick stir-fry the food in boiling oil, add in the spices and it’s done. If it’s extremely crispy then its done right." Bao is usually done instantaneously; the nutrients are well preserved; and the food is light and not greasy. Ta is a unique cooking method in Shandong. The main ingredients are spiced and starched and then Ta-fried and simmered in soup or sauce. Wok-Ta-ed tofu is a very traditional and popular Shandong dish.

Soup is a well-known part of the Shandong cuisine, and features a clear “consommé," and a thick, creamy variety. Soup is a very important flavor enhancer for Chinese chefs. It has been touted as, “A chef’s soup is like an opera singer’s singing style."

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