Qingdao is not only famous for its Tsingtao Beer but also for its tasteful Seafood. Trepang, abalone, sea snails, clams, oysters, squid, shrimp, crab dishes…to only name a few. Due to its fresh taste and unique flavors, the Qingdao Seafood is very popular amongst locals and visitors alike.
The Qingdao Seafood calendar
January -March Octopus 八带
February -March Mussel 海虹
March-April Winkle 香螺
March- May & September Crab 螃蟹
April- May Chinese mackerel 鲅鱼
April – June flat lobster 琵琶虾 Scallop 扇贝
May Clam 蛤蜊
June-August Corvine 黄花鱼
July-October Squid 鱿鱼
August- September Shrimp 虾
December- March Oyster 海蛎子 牡蛎
Where to eat
To see (and taste!) what the Qingdao Cuisine has to offer I suggest that you go to one of the little seafood restaurants along the shore or around Laiyang Road.
If you are willing to spend a little more you can also go to Yunxiao Road Gourmet Street, Minjiang Road Gourmet Street , Maidao Seafood Street, or Jiaozhou road BBQ street. The restaurant there are all slightly more expensive but the quality of the seafood is much better.
On the menus, you will find a wide variety of seafood – from spicy Sichuan style to sweet and heavy Shanghai style.
Locals prefer to simply cook their seafood to preserve the original flavor. If you want to eat your seafood the “Qingdaonese” way, just pick up your favorite seafood at a local market and bring it to one of the small restaurants around your neighborhood. Then ask them to cook it for you.
Go ahead and try辣炒蛤蜊 (la chao ga la ) with some draft beer this weekend!
How to order
To order seafood you can say 我想吃海鲜 (wǒ xiǎng chī hǎi xian).
Then go ahead and tell the chef how you want him to prepare your seafood :
白灼baí zhuó （scald）
清蒸qīng zheng （steamed）
辣炒là chǎo (fried & spicy)
Also, tell him how spicy you want your food (in response to the question: 能吃辣吗 néng chī là ma):
微辣 wēi là (a little spicy)
中辣 zhōng là (medium)
If you are not keen on seafood, you may be relieved to hear that you can find food from other regions of China or even foreign countries in Qingdao, too. There is a selection of German, Italian, American, Japanese and Korean restaurants in the city. Prices vary from place to place, of course, but eating out is generally quite inexpensive in China.
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