Shandong is the birthplace of many famous ancient scholars such as Confucious and Mencius. Much of Shandong cuisine's history is as old as Confucious himself, making it the oldest existing major cuisine in China.
Shandong is a large peninsula surrounded by the sea to the East and the Yellow River meandering through the center. As a result, seafood is a major component of Shandong cuisine.
Flavors — Fishy, Salty, Tender, Light and Crispy
Consisting of Jinan cuisine and Jiaodong cuisine, The Shandong cuisine, though clear, pure and not greasy, is characterized by its emphasis on aroma, freshness, crispness and tenderness. Shallot and garlic are usually used as seasonings so Shangdong dishes tastes pungent usually. Soups are given much emphasis in Shangdong dishes. Thin soup features clear and fresh while creamy soup looks thick and tastes strong. Jinan cuisine is adept at deep-frying, grilling, frying, and stir-frying while Jiaodong division is famous for cooking seafood with fresh and light tastes.
Shandong's famous dishes are: fried carp with sweet and sour sauce (糖醋鲤鱼), stir-fried scalloped pork kidneys (爆炒腰花), Dezhou grilled chicken (德州扒鸡), braised pork colon in brown sauce (九转大肠).