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Li's imperial cuisine

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Li Aiyin said, "Japan has the most Chinese restaurants such as Shanghai Grand Hotel, which opened two decades ago, and a Hong Kong restaurant which started thirty years ago. All the Chinese restaurants in Japan have expertise in bird's nest, shark fin, and abalone. So in Japanese people's minds, those items cooked in those restaurants are the most traditional and authentic."

But Li didn't back off, and she was determined to promote the Li flavor shark fin and abalone. As a result, the imperial braised shark fin became the first popular dish in Japan.

Li Aiyin said, "When Japanese people first had our braised shark fin, they asked for the red vinegar. Because they got used to the way Cantonese restaurants have done it. I told the customers they didn't need vinegar. So, they tried it, and liked it very much."

To expand their market, Li Shanlin's daughters, who were both medicine majors in college, dedicated themselves to developing the dishes.

The combination of duck and abalone and shark fin is a good example of their modern ideas about nutrition.

In their history of over two decades, the Li family always trained their chefs secretly. But the key ingredients are controlled by the family. At midnight, they close the restaurant and take time to prepare the precious condiments.

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Li's imperial cuisine
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