Shandong cuisine—as it is known today—was created during the Yuan Dynasty. Over time, it gradually spread to other areas in northeast China: Beijing, Tianjin and even the Emperor’s palace, where it influenced imperial food.
During the Spring and Autumn Period (770-221 BC), Shandong was a territory of Qi and Lu. Both states, with mountainous, fertile plains, were economically and culturally developed and had an abundance of sea salt. Some of the earliest known descriptions of Chinese culinary methods come from these states.
Confucius—who was born in Lu—was quoted in the Analects as saying, “One should not indulge overly in fine flour, or in kuai [a dish akin to carpaccio] that is sliced too thinly.”
Regarding consumption, he recommended: “Do not consume food which looks spoiled, smells spoiled, is out of season, is improperly butchered or is not made with its proper seasoning.”
Regarding consumption, he recommended: “Do not consume food which looks spoiled, smells spoiled, is out of season, is improperly butchered or is not made with its proper seasoning.” Hence, an indication of food preparation refinement in Shandong at the time.
Shandong cuisine is distinctive for its wide selection of ingredients and use of varying cooking methods. The staple meat can be anything from domestic animals to fowl to seafood, combined with vegetables. Preparation techniques typically include quick frying, roasting, deep frying, stir frying and using sugar to make caramelized fruit.
It’s commonly known that Shandong cuisine is divided into two styles that each focus on one type of broth. Jinan is light and is made up of dishes from Dezhou, Tai’an and the surrounding regions. Jiaodong is milky and encompasses dishes from eastern Shandong: Fushan, Qingdao and Yantai. Both soups are seasoned with scallions and go well with seafood.
爆炒腰花 / bàochǎo yāohuā / Stir-fried pig’s kidney
拔丝地瓜 /básīdìguā / Sweet potato with caramelized sugar
炸金蝉 /zhájīnchán / Deep-fried golden cicada
Where to find it:
Shangdong Laojia 山东老家
Phone: 2313 2088, 2313 3818
Address: Shop 78, Yujing Walking Street, Dongcheng
Shangdong Renjia 山东人家
Phone: 8182 5368
Address: Baofeng Rd, Yongkou Village, Shijie (opposite of Ai Zai Auto
Xifeng Lao Beifang 喜逢老北方
Phone: 8777 9148
Address: Yitian Holiday Palace, Guanghui Ave., Fenggang