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  1. Discussion of the book itself over here. I bought this book the other day after circling it at my local bookstore for the last six months. At first I assumed it was more a "coffee table" style cookbook meant to be looked at and not cooked from, but discussion in the book topic inspired me to flip through it. I found a few recipes that looked interesting, so I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, my husband had a flip through all of the gorgeous pictures, and started making noises again about taking motorcycle trip through Northern Vietnam and Laos, as he's been threatening to do with his friends the last couple of years. If it gets off the ground, I guess I'll have to take a recipe notebook with me this time. There's a basil chicken I had in Luang Prabang that still haunts me, and I kick myself once a month for not barging into the kitchen and watching it get made. The first recipe I tried was based on Snadra's recommendation of the fresh corn and chili stir-fry. `I got the corn and chilis from the market without looking at the recipe (as I ever do) and missed out completely that it called for pork. So I displayed adaptability and used a bit of Hunan smoked pork I keep around for just such idiocy, thus "Sinicizing" the dish somewhat. Nevertheless, it was excellent. Only later did I read the accompanying notes and realize it was a Hmong dish. In fact, so many of the pictures of Yunnan province remind me of Northern Vietnam (for obvious reasons) that it's making me want to get on a plane. The other dish I made was the Dai Grilled chicken - a real hit. My husband loves Sichuan peppercorns, but I usually hate them. This recipe called for grinding them up, however, which I found a lot less intrusive than I normally do. Actually, the smell of the garlic paste that went on the chicken before grilling was heaven. I only had skinless chicken thighs - next time I'll use ones with skin to keep it more moist. My only complaint about the book so far is the size of it. Although it's about cooking in Asian kitchen, it's hardly meant for actually using in an Asian kitchen - there's not a flat surface big enough in mine to lay it open on. I'll have to copy out the recipes I like best and leave the book on my coffee table.
  2. In the town where I live, there's a small English lending library. It gets its books by buying old collections or books from various libraries in North America. There are, for example, a startlingly large number of books stamped "Burnaby Public Library". They're mostly fiction, but occasionally I stumble across a non-fiction gem, and last last night I found in the stacks "Typical JAPANESE COOKING" , edited by "The Japanese Cooking Companions" (no names given) with a publication date of 1970. A book like that begs to be signed out and brought home for further exploration, which is of course what I did. The recipe names, for the most part, have been translated into English, with the exception of sukiyaki and tempura, which the authors assume are popular enough to not need translation, I guess. All of the rest of the recipe names are painstakingly translated, resulting in dishes called, "Steamed Egg Moons" and "Fried Eggs 'Raft' Style" but in a charming counterpoint the recipes use the Japanese names for all of the ingredients - sensible in the case of miso and ponzu, but slightly more puzzling in the case of soy sauce, which is referred to as shoyu throughout the book - no doubt to draw a difference between more readily available (I assume at the time) Chinese soy sauce and Japanese soy sauce? Reading through the recipes, I can see that egg yolks are frequently called for to create crusts or sauces for meats, as in the case of "Chicken with Egg Yolk Sauce", which calls for chicken wings broiled in a sauce of four egg yolks, mirin, miso and ginger - very intriguing; but also in slightly-less-appealing ways, such as "Golden Roasted Pork", which has you grill then top pork chops with equal amounts of egg yolk and grated cheese mixed with sugar, sake, and salt. Even more dazzling is the recipe, "Chicken Pie Topped with Egg White Snow", in which a broad, round meatloaf is made out of ground chicken, then topped, lemon-meringue-pie style with piles of egg white, then grilled. I'm not familiar enough with Japanese cooking to separate out which of these recipes reflects a more traditional style of Japanese cooking, and which recipes may be responding to culinary fads of the time. I'm especially interested in the egg whites on chicken and fish. I feel like, at some point in Japan, I had grilled fish with a meringue on top, and I really liked it. (The book also has a recipe for a whole baked fish covered in meringue. There's lots of meringue) Any thoughts on the use of egg yolks and whites as sauces or garnishes in Japanese cuisine?
  3. I really enjoy reading Nigel Slater's pieces on the Guardian/Observer website. I'd like to pick up one or two of his books and wondering what people have and recommend? I'm leaning towards Real Fast Food, Real Food, or The Kitchen Diaries. Anyone have any of these?
  4. The Country Cooking of Ireland was named Cookbook of the Year by The James Beard Foundation. I have not heard of this book and have found no mention of it on this site. I was wondering who has it and your thoughts about it. Dan
  5. I have many cookbooks - probably around 35 or so. Some books I use more than others, some I have just to read, and some for reference. I haven't cooked my way through an entire cookbook though which is something I would like to do. The books I have, for one reason or another, don't seem to be great candidates for cooking completely. Many are large recipe collections (like Bittman, Joy of Cooking, Martha Stewart). I want the book to teach me a way or style of cooking and give an education or flavor of the writer. The best candidate I own currently is James Peterson's Cooking. I reference this book often as I like Peterson as a writer, but it hasn't really bitten me to want to cook through it. Sally Schneider's New Way to Cook might also be, but I was pretty disappointed in that book and didn't really like the methods. I tend to cook mostly American with some French, Italian and Mexican. I haven't cooked much Indian or Eastern food. Candidates from initial looking around might be Alice Waters Art of Simple Food or Jamie Oliver Cook with Jamie which seemed interesting. I don't want a massive tome that would take forever. I am a decent cook and a pretty lousy baker. If I could get suggestions for excellent, accessible cookbooks that would be a great candidate to cook through, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks - Dennis
  6. Browsing in my local bookstore yesterday, I came to this: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1594744955/ref=nosim/?tag=egulletsociety. I was reminded of a rather negative comment on the "Ratio" thread when I expressed perhaps too much enthusiasm for the (wonderful) cover, suggesting that this would be reason enough to buy the book. And so I looked deep into my conscience, and made an honest but quite uninformed stab at assessing the content of the book and whether it would add anything to my repetoire, and then I just bought it anyway. To be fair, the graphics and design inside are pretty cool too, it's not just the cover. Any other great covers out there? Catherine
  7. Another eagerly anticipated book is Douglas Baldwin's SV cookbook. Any news on when it is to be published?
  8. This weekend I used a laser cutter to create a decorative garnish out of nori. I've experimented in the past with laser nori for makizushi, but with mixed results. Certain geometric patterns work well, but when the nori comes in contact with moisture, it becomes elastic and the patterns are distorted. The best results have been with box sushi. Anyhow, I think I found a good use of laser-cut nori in this dish. It's a duck consomme with a 1" thick round of sous vide potato. I found a Japanese maze pattern that I used for the nori design, and the whiteness of the potato round is a nice contrast against the dark seaweed. In case you're interested, the recipe is here: http://seattlefoodgeek.com/2010/04/duck-consomm-with-sous-vide-potato-laser-cut-nori/ Has anyone else been using lasers in the kitchen, for making garnishes or for cooking/cutting/searing food?
  9. I just got this cookbook. It looks like it has some great recipes in it, but the first recipe I tried definitively has something wrong. It's the recipe for Raisin Walnut Bread. The recipe calls for 5.75 cups of bread flour for one 9x4 inch loaf pan. Based on the proportions of the other ingredients in the recipe, I'm thinking this should have read 3.75 cups of flour. Has anyone tried this recipe and also noted problems?
  10. http://www.amazon.com/Noma-Time-Place-Nordic-Cuisine/dp/0714859036 It's coming end of September.
  11. After many years of enjoying the Commander's Place cookbooks, I was got lucky and was able to eat there. The seafood gumbo, which was the gumbo de jour when I went, is not the gumbo in their cookbooks. It was richer, perhaps with either double stock or a touch of booze. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Big thanks! Paul
  12. What's the best cookbook out there for cooking with fruit? I'm thinking about buying Nicole Routhier's F"ruit Cookbook: 400 Sweet & Savory Fruit-Filled Recipes", but I'm wondering if there are any better choices.
  13. I just stumbled upon Coco at Chapters yesterday and couldn't resist picking it up. The premise is that 10 of the world's most famous chefs (Ferran Adrià, Alain Ducasse, Alice Waters, René Redzepi, Jacky Yu, Yoshihiro Murata, Fergus Henderson, Shannon Bennett, Mario Batali, and Gordon Ramsay) each select 10 chefs who they think are making important contributions to modern gastronomy. For each of the resulting 100 chefs, there is a short blurb by the "Master" who chose them about what aspect of their cooking is exciting, a brief bio, pictures, and a sample menu + recipes. The final result is a really cool snapshot of what is going on in some of the most exciting restaurants in the world today. Has anybody else seen/bought this book? Have you cooked from it yet? Here's an eGullet friendly link Coco
  14. This book from Paul A Young came out in the UK last year but I have only just purchased a copy and wonder if anyone else is using it. The book has some really wonderful flavour combinations and is written to inspire home cooks so no great emphasis on equipment. Many of the recipes are for ganaches but there are savoury and dessert ones in there too. Some really good notes on chocolate flavours and pairing them imaginatively. Some odd ones like Marmite ganache that I will not be trying but others like goats cheese and lemon that I think I will. I am also keen to try the caramel,milk chocolate and Glenmorangie whiskey sauce and the lemon thyme caramel sauce. Will post back when I have some pictures to show.
  15. Reaching out to the good people of Egullet. Having just finished my first cookbook, I am now in the process of finding a good literary agent for the US market. I have a pretty decent list of agents from the Writers Market website, but that doesn't really say much more than "we do cookbooks". So, if anyone has a good tip or a few pointers as to which agents are the best - it will be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance, Badabing
  16. Not only would I buy an egullet cookbook, I would contribute to it being made!! Did anyone ever think of having our own egullet cookbook? Maybe a ring folder type that can be added to on a yearly basis...I wish there was such a one.
  17. Tender is my most recent cookbook acquisition and I'm really enjoying both cooking and reading from it. Tender - Volume 1 addresses vegetables both from the gardening and cooking standpoint - I believe Volume 2 will be about fruits. I made the "Stew of Oxtails & Onions for a Cold Night" and got a round of applause from my guests. This version contains no stock, tomatoes or garlic; it relies on some white wine, bay leaves and both smooth and grainy Dijon mustards to finish with some heavy cream. A real departure from my standard and it was really delicious. I'm finding the chapter on onions particularly enjoyable. I've been a fan of Nigel Slater's writing for quite a while and this book appeals to both the gardener and cook in me. Rover
  18. A few months ago, for various reasons not least of which is an impending move, we needed to cut our book collection in half. We put about 2,000 books -- the ones we're keeping -- in storage, which left us with about 2,000 books to unload. Our collection is not 100% food-related but food books are a substantial chunk and happen to be the ones with the most value as used books for sale. So we started looking at ways to sell them. The most convenient thing would have been to sell the whole collection to a used bookseller like the Strand, but we couldn't get anybody to take the collection at a decent price. We heard things like "I'll give you a dollar a book for nonfiction" and "Nice collection but I just don't have room for it." (The realization of how little most used books are worth can be jarring.) Selling the books from a table on the street felt too hardcore for us, and from a pure-finance perspective charitable deductions are only helpful for people with income, so we researched the online mechanisms. Although there are many outlets for used books online, all roads led to Amazon. I had been hoping to do it on eBay so as to be able to participate in the tie-in charitable-donations program with the eGullet Society, and I'm researching how something like that might be possible with Amazon, but the logistics of selling on Amazon just seemed so much better. The mechanisms for listing books on Amazon and managing inventory and orders are superior, and on Amazon you capture the eyes of people who go to Amazon looking for a given book and, when they search, the used options pop up. In short, if you have the opportunity to pick up some extra hours as an assistant manager at McDonald's you can probably make more money per hour than you can make selling books on Amazon. At the same time you do better on Amazon than you can do selling books to a used bookstore for 50 cents each. The first step in the process is setting up a merchant account, which is mostly a matter of filling out lots of online forms -- if you were able to join the eGullet Society you can handle the Amazon merchant registration process. Then you have to list your books. The only reliable way to list a book is to key in its ISBN number, which is kind of a pain. You can search by title but then you're never sure which edition you're dealing with (some books have a dozen or more editions with subtle differences that are hard to identify except by ISBN number). Once you've pulled up the book's information from its ISBN number, you have to assess and describe its condition. There are guidelines for this, and if you stretch the truth then people may return the books, so you have to take the time to do this right. Then you have to figure out a price. You look at what everybody else is charging for the same title in various conditions, and you set a competitive price in the hopes that people will choose yours. This is a process that seems to be without rhyme or reason, but over time you start to see the patterns. It all turns out, not surprisingly, to be a question of supply and demand. Books that have zillions of copies in print being sold used on Amazon tend to list for a low as 1 cent. (It's still possible for aggressive sellers to make a profit this way, because there's also a $3.99 shipping credit -- so if it's a light book and you can ship it for cheap you can still make a few cents.) Meanwhile, books with fewer outstanding copies tend to sell for more. Therefore, ironically and counterintuitively, the books that sold poorly when new often do better than the bestsellers simply because of the smaller number of copies available on the used market. It's fascinating to see what comes up when you price a book. Sometimes we have a big, beautiful hardcover cookbook full of photographs that looks like it will be worth a lot for sure, and it turns out there are 300 different sellers offering it on Amazon for 50 cents. Other times I key in the ISBN number on some small, crummy-seeming book and it turns out people are getting $10 or more for it. So far I've listed about 100 books. It's slow going and I don't list every book we have. I type in the ISBN number and look at how the market has priced the book. I don't sell a book unless we can potentially make a few dollars on the sale, so the ones that are selling for 1 cent or 99 cents go back on the shelf -- those we'll probably donate or something. For every book I've listed I've probably keyed in the ISBN numbers of 4 or 5 books I haven't listed. So it's slow going. We've sold 26 books in our first week of business. The first few times I got an email from Amazon alerting me of a purchase, it was a real thrill. Now it's like, "Oh no, I have to ship five more damn books." Order fulfillment is fairly arduous. It's not as hard as a real job but it's a pain. Especially for books that you've listed in Like New or Very Good condition, you really have to make sure you ship them in such a way that they won't get damaged. The corners and edges, most importantly, need to be well-protected. I did a lot of reading on the Amazon seller forums and around the web to figure out the best way to pack and ship books. The easiest ways are 1- to use fancy padded book mailers, or 2- to use the Amazon fulfillment service. But in both of these cases you incur substantial costs. If you buy book mailers that cost $3 each, and your profit on a book was $4, that's a big sacrifice. Amazon fulfillment can also be quite costly when you add up all the fees. I settled on something called the "book burrito" as the best combination of good packaging and low cost. A book burrito is a corrugated cardboard sleeve folded/wrapped around a book that extends past the ends of the book to protect the corners. You can make them out of pieces of recycled cardboard boxes. Here's an example: What I've been doing is first wrapping the book in brown paper, then making a burrito, then attaching the packing slip to the burrito, then putting all that in a clear plastic mailer. We may acquire some "b-flute" cardboard on rolls if we keep this up, because making burritos out of recycled boxes is time-consuming. It's no big deal to do it once. But if you get a day when you have to ship seven books it's more difficult. When you get the notification to send a book to a buyer, you go into your Amazon seller control panel and the system generates a packing slip for you. You have to print that and include it with the shipment. Once you have a book all packed up, you need to weigh it and put postage on it. The research shows that customers much prefer merchants who ship with tracking, so we've been paying the extra 19 cents for tracking. We do it all with Stamps.com, which is a very good solution for this sort of thing: it allows you to print the postage on your computer printer, which in turn means you can drop the packages in a mailbox instead of needing to make a trip to the post office. It's a small-scale equivalent of an office mailroom's postage metering system. Once you've shipped the book you go back into your control panel to confirm the shipment. You tell it what means of shipping you used (e.g., USPS Media Mail) and you enter the tracking number. Then Amazon's system generates a confirmation email to the purchaser. There is also some follow-up service that you need to be prepared for. So far out of 26 books we've had one complaint, and it was a valid one (my mistake on the listing, which is why I now only do it by ISBN number), so we basically wound up giving that book away for free. Even with invalid complaints, sometimes it's not worth fighting them I hear. We'll see how much of a challenge customer service becomes. You have to handle that part of it well, though, in order to get good buyer feedback. So how much money can you make from this? Let's break it down with an $8 book as an example. That's how much we sold our excellent-condition copy of Jessica Seinfeld's "Deceptively Delicious" for. Buyer's Price: $8.00. Amazon Commission: $-3.54. Yikes, that's a lot of money. Amazon gets 15% plus 99 cents plus $1.35 per book. You can get out of the 99 cent charge if you become a pro seller, which costs $40 a month and is therefore worth it if you're going to sell more than 40 books a month. After I sold my first few books I upgraded to pro seller. So the commission on this book would have been $2.55 for a pro seller, but you have to factor in the share of that $40-a-month charge attributable to one book. Shipping Credit: $3.99. The buyer pays $3.99 for shipping and handling, regardless of the size and weight of the book. This is passed through to the seller. Most cookbooks weigh in at 2, 3 or 4 pounds once you include the packing material. If you use USPS Media Mail with tracking it costs $2.96 to mail a 2-pound book, $3.35 to mail a 3-pound book, and $3.74 to mail a 4-pound book -- a 3-pound book for example being defined as a book that weighs between 2.1 and 3 pounds; if you go up to 3.1 pounds you're talking about a 4-pound book. Then you have to consider the cost of your packing materials, which is why it pays to use recycled cardboard and such. Although, you have to be careful with recycled stuff because you don't want your shipments to look like they come from a terrorist or kidnapper. That's not likely to be good for customer feedback. Also, if you're using a service like Stamps.com there are some monthly fees as well as the cost of labels. All that has to be factored in. Earnings Before Shipping: $8.45. That's the after-commission amount plus the shipping credit. Shipping Cost: $3.35. That's the postage cost. I'm actually not sure what the materials and other costs come to. A few cents for tape, the bag, the label -- I haven't done the spreadsheet that thoroughly but you can be sure that the real cost to me is more than just the $3.35 postage. Let's call all those costs 50 cents. Total Earnings: $4.60. If all my other computations are correct, that's what we take away on this $8 book sale. This assumes no value to the 20 minutes it took to deal with the listing, packing, shipping, confirmation, etc. But if you assume my time has no value -- which it probably doesn't -- then we made $4.60 on the transaction. It's also not like they just magically send you the $4.60. There's a whole process to get the money into your bank account, and they won't give you all your money -- there's a reserve amount they hold on to to cover customer disputes and such. We've sold books for as little as $4 and as much as $34 (the professional cooking and foodservice-management titles tend to get the most) -- mostly at the lower end of that range. Needless to say, you have to sell a lot of books before selling used books on Amazon becomes a financially useful venture. But if you have a big collection like mine and a lot of spare time (as most freelance writers do these days) then it's probably worth it. Either way, I'd rather have $4.60 than "Deceptively Delicious."
  19. Well here I am stuck at home with a virus, not to mention snow and getting ready for company Thursday night and Super Bowl prep. My dad's birthday is Friday and I can't get out to look for something. I was thinking a really nice grilling book. He grills a lot and has both a gas grill and an Egg and he's pretty good. So nothing too basic. BUT he's not the most adventuresome eater, so nothing too exotic, either. Can anyone recommend something that I could order and have sent? Thanks so much!
  20. Hi all, I found it interesting that there are so few good new books written by current good French chefs published into English. When you look at the 1950s to 1980s you literally see every French chef with good names and famous restaurants rushing to publish English translations of their cookbooks. For example, Raymond Oliver, Paul Bocuse, Michel Guérard, Jean and Pierre Troisgros, all have their signature cookbooks published and English translations are always available. You can even locate Escoffier's translations. It is the same with pastries Fast forward to 2010, and I found it extremely frustrating to locate any good new French chefs books from the current crop of cooks. Yes, you can find Alain Ducasse's signature compandium books, but he published 5 for the whole Grand Livres de Cuisine series, and only the main book and dessert are available in English. For Joel Robuchon, I haven't been able to find any of his restaurant books in English. And Guy Savoy only has one "cooking for home" type of book published in English. Guy Martin: same case, just one vegetable cookbook in English. Pierre Gagnaire: he has one yes, but it is a very thin "showcase" publication rather than somerthing like his lifetime complete testimony type of cookbook running to over 900 pages long. Is there a reason why it is now so? Contrast this with the English-speaking world, where every famous restaurant chef and 90% of good chefs have thir restaurant signature cookbook. From Martin Bolsey in Wellington to Daniel Boulud in New York, from Thomas Keller in North California to Neil Perry in Sydney, from Paul Wilson in Melbourne to Gordon Ramsay, you literally seee cookbooks everywhere, almost to the point of overflow.
  21. Pardon me if there's already a thread, but I haven't seen one in all my searching and I'm really interested in this book. I happened to pick it up at the library on Saturday and I've been looking through it with various feelings since. I think most of it is wonder. I've never seen anything I'd rather eat more of than what's in this book. There are some particular selections which look especially incredible right now: The acorn squash sformato; the sweet pea flan; the goat cheese truffles; the asparagus vinaigrette; the duck liver ravioli; the pumpkin lune; the spaghetti with sweet 100 tomatoes; the penne with zucca; the gnocchi with venison and rosemary. My list goes on and on and about half the recipes in the book are on it. Not to mention the pasta recipe he gives, which I plan to try this evening. To give you an idea of how crazy I am, I don't have a pasta maker. I would love to know if any of you have made things from this book. Today is just the pasta, but I plan on making more than enough for at least 3 dishes for Adam and I. For a first dish, I may start with the beef cheek ravioli, though I plan to use brisket due to the fact that I highly doubt that here, in this tiny town in Iowa, I'll be able to find cheeks. I do plan to ask, though. Then we'll go to the tortelloni with dried orange and fennel pollen, though the pollen is going to be hard to source around here, though. And then the one that intrigues me the most because, as most of the people on my father's side of the family, we love the weed: asparagus and ricotta ravioli. I plan to make the ricotta from whole, lightly pasteurized milk. My grandmother grows asparagus, but I tend to go the more labor intensive route; here in Iowa, it grows in the ditches along the highways in massive quantities in the early spring. The wild really does have a better flavor than the store bought variety, but home grown tends to be about the same. I can just get the wild stuff about 2 weeks sooner. One other interesting thing about the book is that he mentions rhubarb being a 'nostalgic childhood memory', and I heartily agree. Both my grandmother and my great grandmother on my father's side grew it at home, and when my husband and I were looking for a house a few years ago I almost went with this one just for the four large plants that produced relatively large amounts of the stuff. As a child I used to eat the stalks raw, dipped in a little bowl of sugar, as a snack. If you don't like rhubarb in my family you're looked at a little funny. Hubby still doesn't get it. Anyway, this is getting much longer than it was supposed to be. Looking through this book made me yearn to live somewhere I could more easily get the ingredients used. Sourcing the things or coming up with suitable substitutions is going to be interesting and fun.
  22. We have a number of very active topics here related to charcuterie: to list just a few... Making Bacon Making Sausage Making Guanciale Making Pastrami Meat Grinders Meat Slicers Sausage Stuffers Smokers Cellars and Chambers for Curing and Aging Clearly then, there is a TON of interest in the topic. We have a HUGE cooking topic on Ruhlman and Polcyn's book (two of them, actually!): Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie": 2008-Present Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": 2005-08 But not much else discussing the other books available. In particular, I own Aidells, Bruce Aidells' Complete Sausage Book Child & Beck, Mastering the Art of French Cooking v. 2 CIA, Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen Kutas, Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing Marianski & Marianski, The Art of Making Fermented Sausages Ruhlman & Polcyn, Charcuterie Of these, I think Ruhlman & Polcyn's Charcuterie is maybe the best book for beginners. Some of the recipes are not particularly interesting, but the foundations it lays are solid, and it's very approachable. From there, Marianski & Marianski's The Art of Fermented Sausages is a very technical, in-depth treatise on dry-cured sausages and is an excellent reference. The others primarily serve as sources of recipes for me: some good, some not so good. What books am I missing? What are your favorites?
  23. I just saw that there is an autographed copy of NOMA's cookbook nordic cuisine on ebay, the book is almost impossible to get in English...WOW
  24. I was reading the book and came across a reference for "electronic ancillary materials" and was wondering if anyone has ever seen these? or if they are CIA only? Id looooove to have the spreadsheets and what not. - Chef Johnny
  25. Last time I took a trip up to Vancouver BC, I ate at Motomachi Shokudo and tried the ramen in bamboo charcoal broth. It was outrageously delicious, but I don't recall a definitively charcoal flavor. I have never before, nor ever since experienced Japanese cooking with bamboo charcoal and I'm wondering, if this a common tradition? Has anyone experimented with this ingredient and if so, in what form (powder, chips) and how? I researched the topic a bit and found that it's sometimes used when cooking rice. I know that charcoal has purification properties, but is that the sole purpose for cooking with it?
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