Shandong Cuisine Shandong’s distinctive cuisine is strongly influenced by location, but Shandong also has a lot of sub regions with their own subcultures due to proximity to major rivers or mountains. More than 100 minority groups are living within the borders of Shandong Province. They speak different languages and dialects, which give them distinction from surrounding regions. This has had a significant impact on its cuisine. The cuisine is heavily influenced by seafood, vegetables, seaweed, and pork, and it is known for its rich flavors and simple cooking methods. Like other regions in China, Shandong cuisine is also influenced by food culture from what is now the capital city of Beijing, which lies to the north of Shandong. Historically, Shandong was considered an essential middle station during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It gained importance as a food supply station to provide Beijing with seafood and vegetables from Qingdao and Weihai. The transportation routes from North China were abundant enough that fresh products could be provided all year round. This established a foundation for the vegetable supplies in the Shandong Province. Shandong is a northern province, so it has a lot of dishes that are quite different from southern dishes. Northern styles of cooking use a lot of stir-frying and specific oils to flavor food. In Shandong, they produce and use a lot of peanut oil. Its use in cooking is a large part of Shandong cuisine that sets it apart from other regional styles. Using a cooking style called bao , a lot of seafood, vegetables, and meat are stir-fried for a brief time over high heat with oil to create a dish that balances textures, colors, and flavors. The province is known for its lightly flavored dishes with fresh ingredients that are cooked simply without many spices (think salt, garlic, and ginger) or strong taste combinations. Stewing, braising, and roasting are other commonly used cooking techniques. The primary goal in Shandong cooking is to feature the natural essence, color, and taste of its ingredients.

Chapter 1: Shandong


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