Flavors of China > Shandong cuisine centered around Peking
The northern school also includes Manchuria and Korea. With few vegetables and little soy, wheat or herd’s grass, crops are minimal and lack diversity due to the harsh climate. This is the region of noodles, lacquered duck and Peking soup which merits its own special dish. Over the centuries, northern cooking has been influenced by the Mongols and the meals often reflect this rustic heritage, cooked on a barbecue or on large hot slabs, or perhaps served in the form of a fondue or hotpot, with each ingredient immersed into simmering broth.
Those who live outside the capital gave Peking the nickname “the city of sheep.” A specialty here is lamb, thinly sliced and fried in oil with ginger, garlic, onion and leeks - the traditional flavorings of the north, along with cilantro - or else cooked in a casserole.
The cuisine of the Peking region also retains imperial associations, for this was the home of the emperors for many centuries. After the collapse of the empire in 1912, many recipes, still carrying the title “imperial,” were made available to everyone, though they remain special occasion dishes because of the cost or scarcity of their ingredients, many of which are not commonly found in the north.
South of the capital is the province of Shandong, bathed by the Yellow River or “Huang-Ho,” from which pink shrimp are fished and later fried right in their shells.
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