In my recent trip to Shandong, I had the chance to try some authentic Shandong Street food.
Shandong Dumplings 山东饺子
The perception of Shandong dumpling‘s thick skin, large size and strong taste of flour doesn’t really appeal to our Southern Chinese palate that is used to the more delicate Cantonese food.
In the coastal Jiaodong region, a special version of these dumplings is made using Spanish mackerel as its main ingredient. But beside using mackerel, they would put different seafood into the dumpling.
“Little Golden Eggs” Sea Urchin Dumplings
Jiaodong Peninsula is famous for its seafood from the Bohai Sea in the north and Yellow Sea in the south. Sea urchin can be found in abundance here, and it is used in many dishes including the fillings in dumplings.
Little Golden Eggs” Sea Urchin Dumplings is a restaurant that specialises in serving sea urchin as an ingredient in the dish, such as sea urchin in baked wheat cake, dumplings and steamed eggs.
The house used to be the home of a local scholar. 进士 is equivalent to the university graduate of the modern times, and they then qualified for the Imperial examinations at the capital where they can vied for the top positions. The restaurant occupies the living quarters of the house, and the structure is pretty much intact.
“Little Golden Eggs” Sea Urchin Dumplings 小金蛋海胆馄饨
43 Suochengli Ave, Zhifu District, Yantai, Shandong, China 所城里大街43号
海胆火烧 Sea urchin baked wheat cake
火烧 Baked wheat cake is not a cake but something similar to naan, however it is flaky like filo pastry.
海胆火烧 Sea urchin baked wheat cake is the luxe version with sea urchin as a filling.
It is not something that I am used to having because the bread is really dense. There’s not a lot of sea urchins and it could be very dry and hard to swallow.
海胆馄饨 Sea urchin wontons
Shandong’s version of the wontons 馄饨 is also larger than their Cantonese counterparts.
海胆馄饨 Sea urchin wonton was what I came for and it didn’t disappoint. The filling was made with shrimps, minced meat and, of course, sea urchin with bits of scallions.
They shone like little golden eggs in the sun. The soup that came with the wontons were delicious as well as it was seasoned with dried shrimps from the bay and fried shallots and parsley.
海胆蒸蛋 Sea urchin chawanmushi
I used the term chawanmushi because it was steamed eggs in a cup/bowl. But it was a standard Chinese-style steamed eggs that my mom would make at home
To me, it was a fail – the sea urchin had no flavour, and the eggs were overcooked.
高唐驴肉 Gaotang Donkey Meat
It is said that donkey meat helps in blood circulation and lowering blood pressure, at the same time strengthen the kidneys.
高唐驴肉 Gaotang Donkey Meat is dark purple due to coloration with soy sauce. It has been braised with spices and is soft but not mushy. This version I tried was almost jerky like because I tried it in an airport canteen.
德州扒鸡 “Texan” braised chicken
OK, It’s Dezhou and not Texas, even though the Chinese names for both are the same – 德州. Dezhou in Shandong is famous for their Dezhou braised chicken
德州扒鸡 Dezhou braised chicken was developed by the 德顺斋 Deshunzhai Restaurant in Dezhou in the era of Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty. A chicken is first deep fried and then braised with soy sauce and spices。 I love cold chicken meat, so it was delicious even though it was served cold.
老山东牛肉面 Old Shandong beef noodles
Usually one associates beef noodles with Lanzhou, or Taiwan. But the Taiwanese style of braised beef noodles is usually sold by Shandong people that have followed the military in their retreat during the 50s to the island.
The beef is stewed with five spice and other braising spices to produce the unique braised beef taste. The broth is made from simmering large beef bones for hours to produce that clear deep beef consommé.
The broth and beef are combined with hand pulled noodles, usually the wide variety, to produce a hearty satisfying bowl of goodness. It’s like Hainanese chicken rice in Singapore, you can hardly get it wrong these days.
Shandong has many other street food that I have not tried this trip, but a little regret and longing will make you come back for more.
Date visited : Dec 2021