Thursday, Sep 29, 2022
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Kolkata Local: Have You Heard Of Lu Cuisine?

Long used to the Hakka style of cooking, Kolkata learns about China's Shandong or Lu cuisine at a popular city restaurant

A culinary journey into the heart of China's Shandong province
A culinary journey into the heart of China's Shandong province

Historically, Shandong, lying in the north-eastern part of China, was one of the most advanced regions in the country. But that is not its only claim to fame. It is also known for its cuisine, popularly known as Lu cuisine. According to food experts, it is one of the eight culinary traditions of China. Located in the lower reaches of the Yellow River and with a long coastline, the region specialised in fish and seafood preparations. Now Kolkata, which is considered the birthplace of Indian Chinese food, is ready to sample Lu cuisine.

Nori, at The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat, is showcasing Lu cuisine, curated by Chef Ablu Bhowmick. Lu cuisine, often called the ‘mother of northern Chinese cuisine’, is salty, crispy, locks in the flavour and not oily, explained Bhowmick. The ‘bao’ style of stir fry cooking over high heat is popular in Lu cuisine. Another popular method is the ‘pa’ style of cooking where a layer of flour is coated on the meat, which is then stir fried and cooked to crisp. 

Braised sea cucumber with scallions
Braised sea cucumber with scallions Image credit: Shuterstock.com

“Although we had to adapt by way of ingredients, partly due to availability issues,” said chef. “For example, a popular dish in Lu cuisine is braised sea cucumber. But getting sea cucumber in Kolkata is not easy. So we have decided to retain the style of cooking using locally available ingredients.” Lu cooking is low on spices, which is used to highlight the flavour of the dish.

Some of the interesting dishes on the menu include ‘Lu Pepper Chicken’ and ‘Umami Roasted Potatoes’ in appetizers, assorted dimsums such as ‘Jiaodong Seafood Dumpling’ and ‘Corn Nut Dumplings’, ‘Dezhou Braised Chicken’ and ‘Exotic Taisan Vegetables’ in mains. You may round up your meal with desserts such as ‘Candy Sweet Potatoes’ and ‘Black Sesame Steamed Cake’..

The Lu cuisine menu will be available until May 14, 2022, between 7pm and 11pm. 

What and where: Lu Cuisine Food Festival at the Nori, The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat, Plot No. CBD/2, Action Area-II, Rajarhat, Kolkata 700156. The meal is priced at Rs 1,999 plus tax. Contact: 91-33-4037 1234.

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