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Shandong cuisine

Updated: Jul 20, 2017 travelchina.gov.cn Print

As one of the four major traditional Chinese cuisines, Shandong cuisine can be divided into Jinan dishes, Jiaodong dishes, Kongfu (family of Kong, the descendant of Confucius) dishes and other regional styles, among which the Jinan dishes are the most exemplary, with over 50 cooking methods. It is fair to say that Shandong cuisine enjoys the longest history and most diverse and sophisticated techniques among all regional varieties of Chinese cuisine.

It features pure and authentic seasonings, a salty flavor, freshness, tenderness and crispiness, paying attention to light and milky broths, with the former clear and fresh and the latter white and rich.

Shandong cuisine emphasizes quality ingredients, using salt to bring out an umami flavor and soup to reinforce it. As far as seasoning is concerned, the pure, salty and fresh taste is most valued, paying full respect for the original flavors of the ingredients. Most dishes use spring onion, ginger and garlic to highlight the flavors.

This school of cooking is particularly adept at “bao” (stir-frying with high temperatures) and “ba” (braising). Bao involves quick stir-frying in hot oil at high temperatures. Braising involves marinating the ingredients, applying batter and frying both sides until golden, then cooking over low heat so that the liquid is reduced to a creamy consistency.

Braised Intestines in Brown Sauce (Jiu Zhuan Da Chang)

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Braised Intestines in Brown Sauce is a famous dish from Jinan, Shandong province, which was created by the Jiuhualou Restaurant. The main procedure is as follows: the pork intestines are washed and boiled with spices, and then they are taken out and are cut into pieces about 3 cm long, seasoned with soybean sauce, sugar, spices and other seasonings.

This dish uses many kinds of seasonings and complex cooking procedures. The cooking methods were improved later to make the dish tastier and visually appealing.

After tasting by some Chinese literati, the number “nine”(Chinese: 九“Jiu”) was added in the name of the dish to please the owner of the restaurant as well as to praise the cook who's exquisite cooking techniques were “as fine as pill-making in Taoist alchemy”. 

Braised Sea Cucumber with Scallions

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Braised Sea Cucumber with Scallions which mainly consists of sea cucumbers and scallions, is a characteristic Chinese dish from Shandong province. It is not only a delicacy at banquets, but also a healthy and nutritious dish.

Braised Sea Cucumber with Scallions selects stichopus japonicus as its main ingredients, cooking with fried Zhangqiu scallions. The fried scallions are poured on sea cucumbers with oil. The dish has a beautiful shiny brown color while the sea cucumbers coated with sauce taste soft and smooth. 

The Braised Sea Cucumber with Scallions made by Yang Pinsan, a master chef, was surprisingly delicious. The fragrance arrived before the dish is served to diners. Chef Yang cooked this dish as a performance during the 1st National Chef Cooking Technique Performance and Evaluation Convention in 1983.

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