Flavor is at the core of Chinese cuisine. Just using tofu as an example, different cooking techniques can create different flavors, and this is also what distinguishes each regional cuisine. In Shandong cuisine, tofu becomes the braised fried tofu—a combination of stewing and broiling, which is a technique unique to Shandong Cuisine. You stew it a bit on low heat after cooking it. Tofu itself does not have any flavor. Shandong cuisine is known for using broth to enhance its flavor. This is what makes Shandong Cuisine unique.
- Soup stock
- Starch thickener
- Salt & pepper
- Slice tofu into flat square pieces.
- Separate egg yolk and beat the eggs.
- Add a drizzle of oil and heat up the wok.
- Dip tofu into egg mixture and flour, and then carefully lay it into the wok.
- Cook until both sides turn golden.
- Fry scallion, ginger, and garlic on high flames until aromas come out.
- Add soup stock, salt and pepper, and simmer tofu for about six minutes or until the liquid is reduced to a thick sauce.
- Pour starch soup on top of tofu and shredded scallions.
This is a clip of Chef Bi Kejiang competing during the 2011 International Chinese Culinary Competition in Times Square. Five mobile kitchens were custom built specifically to accommodate Chinese cooking requirements.
It happened to be raining very hard during the competition that day, but the competition carried on. Chef Bi had excellent performance despite all the pressure from cooking in the middle of Times Square – the busiest place in NYC, limited time to finish all the required dishes, unfamiliar kitchen set up, and the bad weather.