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Taro Cake


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I have bought and tried exactly the same brand too! I found it too powder'ie (too much rice flour and not enough taro) and a bit bland. In my home-made version I can control the ratio to use more taro, plus a lot more dried shrimp and Chinese sausage "liu". :smile:

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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No, the stir-fried turnip cake is a Malaysian/Singaporean dish (don't get into a discussion between Malaysian and Singaporeans about whose cuisine it belongs to; let them fight it out!). It's usually listed as fried carrot cake because the daikon radish is known as "white carrot". You can have it as "black" (cooked with dark soy) or white. I think it's more common as black - at least that's how I've usually eaten it. It's cooked with egg and bean sprouts with seafood (such as prawns and fish cake) and/or meat. This dish isn't made with rice cakes - that's something entirely different, and char kuay teow (made with rice noodles) is also something else, although cooked with similar flavours.

Oh, and when I say dark soy, it's this really thick, dark soy that isn't very salty. It's commonly used in Malaysian/Singaporean/Indonesian cooking but isn't easy to find.

Yeah.. it looks something like this.

gallery_38315_3918_872893.jpg

This is the black/dark soysauce version (sorry for the blurry pic)... we call it "chai dao kueh" or radish/carrot cake. :) And yeah... the dark soy sauce that is used to fry this isn't very salty. In fact, its usually a mixture of dark soy, normal soy and sweet soy... :) with salted radish (chai poh), and garlic. Yum.

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No, the stir-fried turnip cake is a Malaysian/Singaporean dish (don't get into a discussion between Malaysian and Singaporeans about whose cuisine it belongs to; let them fight it out!). It's usually listed as fried carrot cake because the daikon radish is known as "white carrot".[...]

That nomenclature sounds wrong to me. In Malay, as in Mandarin, carrot is called "red daikon (radish)." The Malay version is "lobak merah." I have yet to hear any Malaysian call lobak "white carrot." Considering what they call carrots, how would they call something a "white red daikon"? Perhaps TP will weigh in on this.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I too learned that daikon was known as white carrot. Oh well.

Fried carrot cake is known as chai tow kueh (spelling?) in Singapore and Malaysia. When I was a kid, the white style carrot cake (without sweet dark sauce) was the only kind available and it still remains my preference today. I do think though that the best chai tow kueh is found in Singapore (speaking as someone born in Malaysia!).

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Ya'll are forgetting what makes carrot cake tasty... it's fried in lard! (Ok, maybe not at halal places). The S'porean version usually has eggs too, right?

It's always a funny cross-cultural moment when I mention I could really go for some carrot cake and the S'porean's eyes light up until he realizes I mean you know, sweet cake made from red carrots. Which when you come to think of it, would have a hard time competing with chai tow kway.

regards,

trillium

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...  I like hoisin and chili sauce but in the dim sum houses they always give me oyster sauce.  Which is the "correct" one?

None of the above! :biggrin: Or may be all of the above. :hmmm: It seems to me that there is no one "correct" condiment sauce. Many restaurants in Hong Kong would provide light soy sauce, chili sauce, Chinese mustard. Pretty "standard". Haven't seen oyster sauce though. Hoisin sauce is more close to the "sweet sauce" ("teem jeung" [Cantonese] they called it on the street.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Are we supposed to fry it in lard?  What are the traditional sauces that accompany the lo bak goh?  I like hoisin and chili sauce but in the dim sum houses they always give me oyster sauce.  Which is the "correct" one?

I meant the lard comment about Singaporean style carrot cake which is fried in littler pieces along with eggs, bean sprouts, garlic and sometimes meats/shrimp, not loh bak goh which has the goodies added before it is cooked and is just fried in slices. But I'll bet if you wanted to fry your loh bak goh in some nice home made lard it would be delicious!

I say eat it with whatever you want, I'm partial to chilli and mustard myself but you always have to ask for mustard at the dim sum places I go. They don't bring it automatically.

regards,

trillium

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I've enjoyed eating taro cake in slices (fried or nuked), but I began to think - what do people do with it other than eating it as it is?  Is it used in combination with other foods, cooked into dishes?  Is it traditionally seasoned in particular ways?  Anyone have a particularly tasty dish to recommend, using taro (or turnip) cake?

Thanks,

- Phage

Taro and turnip cakes are just that - cakes/goh. They are not ingredients to be cooked into another dish. It accompanies other dishes - as part of dim sum or as a snack.

There are so many flavours in these cakes : doong goo, lap cheung, har mai, some even put in oyster sauce and cooking wine. :wink: If you try to "stir-fry it in with other ingredients, it would just crumble.

Sorry for an ignorant question--but I like getting turnip cake as a dim sum dish. It's usually served in squares or rectangles and seems to be slightlly browned; a little crispy on the top and bottom. I think there is usually little bits of pork in it. I usually eat it with a combination of soy sauce and hot chile paste.

Is this one of the cakes you mention above, if so, which one?

(Sometimes it's not brought to our table for dim sum and I have to ask for it so it would be handy to know the Chinese name. Thanks, in advance!)

Also, should I be able to buy it such that all I need to do at home is slice and pan sear?

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Sorry for an ignorant question--but I like getting turnip cake as a dim sum dish.  It's usually served in squares or rectangles and seems to be slightlly browned; a little crispy on the top and bottom.  I think there is usually little bits of pork in it.  I usually eat it with a combination of soy sauce and hot chile paste.

...

Also, should I be able to buy it such that all I need to do at home is slice and pan sear?

ludja: That's the whole discussion is all about. Dim sum is Cantonese in origin. We Cantonese make daikon-cake/turnip-cake/carrot-cake the way you described: first steamed and formed a "brick", then cut into thick slices and lightly fried. What they are discussing are other ways of making/serving what essentially the same item, as popular outside of the Cantonese style. In Singapore, Malaysia, etc..

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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^Thanks, hzrt8w... I thought so but I wasn't completely sure. :laugh:

It's off the main topic, but are pork bits a standard ingredient in turnip cake? From the packages of taro cake shown above I guess I should be able to buy pre-made turnip cake at a Chinese market.

Also, does anyone have the Cantonese word that would work to use when ordering in a dim sum place?

Thanks in advance....

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Errr... isn't loh bak radish (daikon), not turnip?

Hi Pan - Tepee is away so will help out on the white carrot question. In Bahasa Malaysia it's generally referred to as lobak (adopted from Chinese) but lobak putih is understood too as the Cantonese in Malaysia do call it a pak loh bak (white carrot). There is also a green radish.

On the Malaysian/Singaporean style of radish cake, it's known as chai tow kueh in KL or char kueh kak in Penang (chow loh bak koh in Cantonese). It's probably of Hokkien (Fujian) or Teo Chew (Chao Chou) origin. It's usually found in markets (both morning and night ones) and also at some dim sum places here.

An essential ingredient in chai tau kueh/char kueh kak is are minced preserved radish (chai poh in Hokkien/ choy poh in Cantonese) - the frying style is pretty much like a char kuay teow but minus the prawn, cockles and chives.

You usually see vendors frying it in a huge wok with a flat bottom. You see a little pile on one side of the wok sort of pre-fried with soy sauce and then when a customer orders some, the vendor will fry up some minced garlic and choy poh, draws in some loh bak koh cubes, breaks an egg in after fying it for a while and finishing it off by tossing in some bean sprouts.

We also get fun pei (fen pi...the Shanghainese kind usually served with sesame paste) and chee cheong fun (the rolled up kind) fried (with some teem cheong too...kinda strange) in the same way at some restaurants.

Loh bak koh (steamed radish cake) and wu tau koh (taro cake...more commonly known as yam cake here) is served with teem cheong (sweet sauce)/hoisin sauce and chiili sauce (some serve it with a sambal).

To make matters more confusing, this steamed radish cake is known as chai tau kueh in Penang, the same name that the KL-lites call the fried version.

At some dim sum restaurants here, both versions of loh bak koh are served, the steamed ones which have been pan-fried and the fried version. To differentiate them, the pan-fried ones are called jeen loh bak koh while the fried with egg one is called chow loh bak koh.

See this thread for an earlier discussion of the same topic.

There is also a pumpkin cake which is made in the same way - steamed with toppings.

(Edited for typos)

Edited by Shiewie (log)
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There is also a pumpkin cake which is made in the same way - steamed with toppings.

The pumpkin that you mentioned, Shiewie, is it kabocha? Like this?

gallery_28660_4251_62902.jpg

Interesting. May be I will make some...

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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There is also a pumpkin cake which is made in the same way - steamed with toppings.

The pumpkin that you mentioned, Shiewie, is it kabocha? Like this?

gallery_28660_4251_62902.jpg

Interesting. May be I will make some...

Yup! Yum - looking forward to pics.

Edited by Shiewie (log)
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On the Malaysian/Singaporean style of radish cake, it's known as chai tow kueh in KL or char kueh kak in Penang (chow loh bak koh in Cantonese). It's probably of Hokkien (Fujian) or Teo Chew (Chao Chou) origin. It's usually found in markets (both morning and night ones) and also at some dim sum places here.

An essential ingredient in chai tau kueh/char kueh kak is are minced preserved radish (chai poh in Hokkien/ choy poh in Cantonese) - the frying style is pretty much like a char kuay teow but minus the prawn, cockles and chives.

Sadly, this is why it's so hard for me to find a place to eat this. The taste of it makes me cringe for some reason, just the way a piece of pork fat would. Yes, you may strip me off my eGullet membership now.

I don't think you usually fry the yam cake this way. What my family does is slice it and panfry--crispy edges!

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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On the Malaysian/Singaporean style of radish cake, it's known as chai tow kueh in KL or char kueh kak in Penang (chow loh bak koh in Cantonese). It's probably of Hokkien (Fujian) or Teo Chew (Chao Chou) origin. It's usually found in markets (both morning and night ones) and also at some dim sum places here.

An essential ingredient in chai tau kueh/char kueh kak is are minced preserved radish (chai poh in Hokkien/ choy poh in Cantonese) - the frying style is pretty much like a char kuay teow but minus the prawn, cockles and chives.

Sadly, this is why it's so hard for me to find a place to eat this. The taste of it makes me cringe for some reason, just the way a piece of pork fat would. Yes, you may strip me off my eGullet membership now.

I don't think you usually fry the yam cake this way. What my family does is slice it and panfry--crispy edges!

What makes you cringe? The texture of the cake or the minced preserved radish? If it's the latter, you can leave it out if there are lots of other ingredients.

My family is like yours, MLI. We've never cut it up into chunks then stir-fried. We've sliced and panfried for the crispiness.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Why is it that most dim sum places do *not* pan fry the lo bah goh until it's a nice golden brown? Why do they only lightly pan fry it? I love the crispy bits and I hate it when it's flabby. Is this normal for them to be lazy on the frying?

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There is also a pumpkin cake which is made in the same way - steamed with toppings.

The pumpkin that you mentioned, Shiewie, is it kabocha? Like this?

gallery_28660_4251_62902.jpg

Interesting. May be I will make some...

Technically, these are squash. Very close though.

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On the Malaysian/Singaporean style of radish cake, it's known as chai tow kueh in KL or char kueh kak in Penang (chow loh bak koh in Cantonese). It's probably of Hokkien (Fujian) or Teo Chew (Chao Chou) origin. It's usually found in markets (both morning and night ones) and also at some dim sum places here.

An essential ingredient in chai tau kueh/char kueh kak is are minced preserved radish (chai poh in Hokkien/ choy poh in Cantonese) - the frying style is pretty much like a char kuay teow but minus the prawn, cockles and chives.

Sadly, this is why it's so hard for me to find a place to eat this. The taste of it makes me cringe for some reason, just the way a piece of pork fat would. Yes, you may strip me off my eGullet membership now.

I don't think you usually fry the yam cake this way. What my family does is slice it and panfry--crispy edges!

What makes you cringe? The texture of the cake or the minced preserved radish? If it's the latter, you can leave it out if there are lots of other ingredients.

My family is like yours, MLI. We've never cut it up into chunks then stir-fried. We've sliced and panfried for the crispiness.

It's the radish. I love the cake part, that's why I want to eat it. Yeah, but around here, they often fry the garlic and the radish together beforehand, and then when a customer orders, they use that oil to fry the radish cake.

And you can call me May. :smile:

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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  • 9 months later...

Has anyone perfected the recipe for the radish cakes? I am fond of this dim sum and would like to make it at home. The radish cakes at some dim sum places are sometimes too greasy.

And the taro cakes, mentioned on the tittle of the thread, are they the same as the taro puffs with minced pork inside and a crackly/flaky, batter like exterior? I know that is is fried by slowly lowering it in hot oil but I do not know the dough mixture and the filling. Thanks in advance.

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Has anyone perfected the recipe for the radish cakes? I am fond of this dim sum and would like to make it at home. The radish cakes at some dim sum places are sometimes too greasy.

And the taro cakes, mentioned on the tittle of the thread, are they the same as the taro puffs with minced pork inside and a crackly/flaky, batter like exterior? I

The lobak goh at dim sum places is sometimes greasy because the slices are pan fried prior to serving.

The taro cake in the title is similar to radish cake except that it's made with diced cooked taro. The taro puffs you described are quite a different thing, but also delicious! :biggrin:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Has anyone perfected the recipe for the radish cakes? I am fond of this dim sum and would like to make it at home. The radish cakes at some dim sum places are sometimes too greasy.

I think we had some discussions on radish cake (or daikon cake, or turnip cake) before in this forum.

Basically you first thred the daikons. In a wok, first stir-fry the dried shrimp and laap cheung and sliced black mushroom. Then add in the daikon shreds. Then add in the batter, which is a mix of rice flour and water. The ratio is the key (rice flour to water, and batter to daikon shreds). Start with some recipe to get an idea. Then trial and error. Too much rice flour, the cake will be overly hard and tastes "chalky". Not enough, the cake will fall apart. Add some salt in the process. Cook this mixture for about 10 minutes or so. Then transfer the content to some cake pans and steam the mixture for 1 to 1.5 hour. Let it cool to room temperature. Slice it and pan-fry the slices when ready to eat. Keep the rest in the fridge.

I think I have posted a link to a video llustrating how it was done (narrated in Mandarin) sometime back.

Yes I agree: the process of making daikon cake should not make it greasy because only minimum oil is used. It's the pan-frying process that grease is added. You can actually skip the pan-frying part and just eat it steamed. Add a little bit of light soy sauce and chopped green onions.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Yes I agree:  the process of making daikon cake should not make it greasy because only minimum oil is used.  It's the pan-frying process that grease is added.  You can actually skip the pan-frying part and just eat it steamed.  Add a little bit of light soy sauce and chopped green onions.

For non-fried daikon cake, Msians (or at least my family) usually eat with chopped green onions, cilantro, deep-fried shallots, more fried lup cheong, fried chopped har mai (dried shrimp), geong see (fried ginger in fine shreds), sweet chilli sauce and a sauce we simply call tim cheong, a 'sweet sauce' which is deep red in colour, I think, due to nam yue (red fermented bean cube). I'm feeling very hungry.

Edited by Tepee (log)

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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Has anyone perfected the recipe for the radish cakes? I am fond of this dim sum and would like to make it at home. The radish cakes at some dim sum places are sometimes too greasy.

Did you try the recipe I posted near the top of the thread? The resulting daikon cakes come out the same as those found in dim sum restaurants.

And the taro cakes, mentioned on the tittle of the thread, are they the same as the taro puffs with minced pork inside and a crackly/flaky, batter like exterior? I know that is is fried by slowly lowering it in hot oil but I do not know the dough mixture and the filling. Thanks in advance.

Those are tricky and I haven't had a chance to master them yet. The dough uses bakers ammonia, taro, and wheat starch.

Here are a couple of recipes to try:

http://lilyng2000.blogspot.com/2005/05/taro-puffwoo-kok.html

http://www.globalchefs.com/recipe/dessert/web/des015woow.htm (sweet version)

These were from a batch I made up using instant mashed potatoes in place of the taro

gallery_26439_3934_369027.jpg

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      Thanks to @KennethT for advice re American-Chinese food.
       
       
    • By liuzhou
      Your wish is my command! Sometimes! A lot of what I say here, I will have already said in scattered topics across the forums, but I guess it's useful to bring it all into one place.
       
      First, I want to say that China uses literally thousands of herbs. But not in their food. Most herbs are used medicinally in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), often in their dried form. Some of the more common are sold in supermarkets, but more often in pharmacies or small specialist stores. I also often see people on the streets with baskets of unidentified greenery for sale - but not for dinner. The same applies to spices, although more spices are used in a culinary setting than are herbs.
       
      I’ll start with Sichuan peppercorns as these are what prompted @Tropicalsenior to suggest the topic.
       
      1. Sichuan Peppercorns
       
      Sichuan peppercorns are neither pepper nor, thank the heavens, c@rn! Nor are they necessarily from Sichuan. They are actually the seed husks of one of a number of small trees in the genus Zanthoxylum and are related to the citrus family.  The ‘Sichuan’ name in English comes from their copious use in Sichuan cuisine, but not necessarily where they are grown. Known in Chinese as 花椒 (huājiāo), literally ‘flower pepper’’, they are also known as ‘prickly ash’ and, less often, as ‘rattan pepper’.
      The most common variety used in China is 红花椒 (hóng huā jiāo) or red Sichuan peppercorn, but often these are from provinces other than Sichuan, especially Gansu, Sichuan’s northern neighbour. They are sold all over China and, ground, are a key ingredient in “five-spice powder” mixes. They are essential in many Sichuan dishes where they contribute their numbing effect to Sichuan’s 麻辣 (má là), so-called ‘hot and numbing’ flavour. Actually the Chinese is ‘numbing and hot’. I’ve no idea why the order is reversed in translation, but it happens a lot – ‘hot and sour’ is actually ‘sour and hot’ in Chinese!
       
      The peppercorns are essential in dishes such as 麻婆豆腐 (má pó dòu fǔ) mapo tofu, 宫保鸡丁 (gōng bǎo jī dīng) Kung-po chicken, etc. They are also used in other Chinese regional cuisines, such as Hunan and Guizhou cuisines.

      Red Sichuan peppercorns can come from a number of Zanthoxylum varieties including Zanthoxylum simulans, Zanthoxylum bungeanum, Zanthoxylum schinifolium, etc.
       

      Red Sichuan Peppercorns
       
      Another, less common, variety is 青花椒 (qīng huā jiāo) green Sichuan peppercorn, Zanthoxylum armatum. These are also known as 藤椒 (téng jiāo). This grows all over Asia, from Pakistan to Japan and down to the countries of SE Asia. This variety is significantly more floral in taste and, at its freshest, smells strongly of lime peel. These are often used with fish, rabbit, frog etc. Unlike red peppercorns (usually), the green variety are often used in their un-dried state, but not often outside Sichuan.
       

      Green Sichuan Peppercorns
       

      Fresh Green Sichuan Peppercorns

      I strongly recommend NOT buying Sichuan peppercorns in supermarkets outside China. They lose their scent, flavour and numbing quality very rapidly. There are much better examples available on sale online. I have heard good things about The Mala Market in the USA, for example.

      I buy mine in small 30 gram / 1oz bags from a high turnover vendor. And that might last me a week. It’s better for me to restock regularly than to use stale peppercorns.

      Both red and green peppercorns are used in the preparation of flavouring oils, often labelled in English as 'Prickly Ash Oil'. 花椒油 (huā jiāo yóu) or 藤椒油 (téng jiāo yóu).
       

       
      The tree's leaves are also used in some dishes in Sichuan, but I've never seen them out of the provinces where they grow.
       
      A note on my use of ‘Sichuan’ rather than ‘Szechuan’.
       
      If you ever find yourself in Sichuan, don’t refer to the place as ‘Szechuan’. No one will have any idea what you mean!

      ‘Szechuan’ is the almost prehistoric transliteration of 四川, using the long discredited Wade-Giles romanization system. Thomas Wade was a British diplomat who spoke fluent Mandarin and Cantonese. After retiring as a diplomat, he was elected to the post of professor of Chinese at Cambridge University, becoming the first to hold that post. He had, however, no training in theoretical linguistics. Herbert Giles was his replacement. He (also a diplomat rather than an academic) completed a romanization system begun by Wade. This became popular in the late 19th century, mainly, I suggest, because there was no other!

      Unfortunately, both seem to have been a little hard of hearing. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked why the Chinese changed the name of their capital from Peking to Beijing. In fact, the name didn’t change at all. It had always been pronounced with /b/ rather than /p/ and /ʤ/ rather than /k/. The only thing which changed was the writing system.

      In 1958, China adopted Pinyin as the standard romanization, not to help dumb foreigners like me, but to help lower China’s historically high illiteracy rate. It worked very well indeed, Today, it is used in primary schools and in some shop or road signs etc., although street signs seldom, if ever, include the necessary tone markers without which it isn't very helpful.
       

      A local shopping mall. The correct pinyin (with tone markers) is 'dōng dū bǎi huò'.
       
      But pinyin's main use today is as the most popular input system for writing Chinese characters on computers and cell-phones. I use it in this way every day, as do most people. It is simpler and more accurate than older romanizations. I learned it in one afternoon.  I doubt anyone could have done that with Wade-Giles.
       
      Pinyin has been recognised for over 30 years as the official romanization by the International Standards Organization (ISO), the United Nations and, believe it or not, The United States of America, along with many others. Despite this recognition, old romanizations linger on, especially in America. Very few people in China know any other than pinyin. 四川 is  'sì chuān' in pinyin.
    • By ShylahSinger
      Hello! I'm fairly new to this site so I don't know if my search was weak. I'm trying to find a way to make Mandarin orange puree at home, but I couldn't find anything even similar in the forum. I am a home cook, but I have been making chocolate bonbons and other confections for over 4 years (intermitantly). It is too expensive for me to purchase this online- not because of the price of the puree, but the cost of shipping makes it prohibative. The recipes I've seen online are all differant and don't seem to be what I need. 
      I would love any help with this! I look forward to hearing and learning from those who have much, much more experience than me. Thanks!
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