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Cooking Sichuan with "Land of Plenty" by Fuchsia Dunlop


Lochina
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I'm planning on going to a Chinese supermarket later today to pick up the basic staples I'll need for cooking from this cookbook. However, I left my copy at work and won't have access to it until Monday. If you own it, could you please reply (or PM me) with a list of the basic ingredients needed? She has a page toward the front of her ingredient guide that says something like, "these are the basic ingredients needed for the recipes in this book," and then lists about 8-10 things. Please save me an extra trip to the bookstore! Thanks!

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I'm planning on going to a Chinese supermarket later today to pick up the basic staples I'll need for cooking from this cookbook. However, I left my copy at work and won't have access to it until Monday. If you own it, could you please reply (or PM me) with a list of the basic ingredients needed? She has a page toward the front of her ingredient guide that says something like, "these are the basic ingredients needed for the recipes in this book," and then lists about 8-10 things. Please save me an extra trip to the bookstore! Thanks!

Soy sauce (light and dark)

Sichuan chili bean paste

dried chilies

whole Sichuan peppper

fermented black beans

Chinkiang or Black Chinese vinegar

sesame oil

Shaoxing rice wine or medium-dry sherry

a few spices (cassia bark and star anise will do to start with)

potato flour or corn starch

fresh ginger, garlic and scallions

salt, pepper and white sugar (which you are likely to have in your kitchen anyway)

Useful extras: pickled chili paste, sweet bean paste, Tianjin preserved vegetable, pickled mustard greens, dried mushrooms, dried cloud ears, brown sugar.

From page53

Hope this is what you need.

Bill

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P.S. Any recipe recommendations from the book, i.e., which recipe should I start with? I've only cooked Chinese food successfully a handful of times.

I don't have the book here, but her tofu recipes are great, especially "ma po", and "yu xiang."

I really liked her beef stew with "lo bok"/daikon.

The street food and dumpling recipes are good, too.

I have done about three dozen recipes from this book, all were at least quite good.

It will give you practice in finding ingredients, though.

BB

Food is all about history and geography.

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P.S. Any recipe recommendations from the book, i.e., which recipe should I start with? I've only cooked Chinese food successfully a handful of times.

The Gong Bao Chicken, page 237, is great! Xie Laoban's Dan Dan Noodles, page 89, Pork in Lychee Sauce with Crispy Rice, page 198, and Sweet and Sour Pork, page 210 are all dishes that I've made successfully time and time again. Land of Plenty is one of my favorites.

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  • 1 month later...

It appears that there is not yet a topic devoted to this cookbook. It's my new favorite. I was wondering who out there has cooked from it, what you've made, and what you've thought of the recipes. So far I've just made Dry-Fried Green Beans I (twice)--absolutely delicious and dead simple--and Gong Bao (Kung Pao) Chicken, also very quick and easy and with a huge payoff. So post your impressions here!

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Hi,

I also have her latest book, "Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook - Recipes From Hunan Province."

Both of her books are favorites of mine. I have made the Kung Pao Chicken also. Haven't made anything from the Hunan one yet but have bookmarked a few.

'A person's integrity is never more tested than when he has power over a voiceless creature.' A C Grayling.

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I have cooked only from Land of Plenty. I don't have the Hunan book, yet. These are the dishes we've made from Land of Plenty

Traditional Dan Dan Noodles

Xie Laoban's Dan Dan Noodles

Yibin Kindling Noodles

Spicy Cold Noodles with Chicken Slivers

Hot and Numbing Chicken Slices

Gong Bao Chicken

Strange Flavor Chicken

Cold Pork in Hot and Garlicky Sauce

Haricots Verts in Ginger Sauce

Sweet and Sour Red Peppers

Spicy Cucumber Salad

Fish Fragrant Pork Slivers

Pork in Lychee Sauce with Crispy Rice - My daughter made this one, I was a happy guest. It is one of my favorite recipes in the book.

Sweet and Sour Pork

Ants Climbing a Tree

Dry Fried Chicken

Tai Bai Chicken

Fish Fragrant Eggplants

Dry Fried Green Beans, Versions 1 and 2 - version 2 was our favorite

Stir Fried Water Spinach with Chile and Sichuan Pepper

Zucchini Slivers with Garlic

I've had the book for 5 years. I use it every couple of months. We have our favorites that we make time and again, such as the traditional dan dan noodles, strange flavor chicken and sweet and sour pork. I love all of the vegetable recipes we've tried.

Edited by maftoul (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

LOVE Land of Plenty. This is what I’ve made so far:

Steamed Pork and Pumpkin Dumplings

gallery_47075_6580_80232.jpg

gallery_47075_6580_74014.jpg

Xie Laoban’s Dan Dan Noodles

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Sweet-and-Sour Crispy Fish

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Dry-Fried Green Beans

gallery_47075_6580_57178.jpg

Hot and Numbing Crispy Shrimp

gallery_47075_6580_146316.jpg

Gong Bao Chicken

gallery_47075_6580_87432.jpg

Pock-Marked Mother Chen’s Bean Curd

gallery_47075_6580_120031.jpg

And . . .

Twice-Cooked Pork

Stir-Fried Cabbage with Chiles and Sichuan Pepper

Stir Fried Water Spinach with Chile and Sichuan Pepper

Traditional Dan Dan Noodles

Tai Bai Chicken

Dry-Fried Chicken

Chicken with Vinegar

Pork Slivers with Preserved Mustard Tuber

Stir-Fried Pork Slivers with Sweet Fermented Paste

Fish-Fragrant Bean Curd

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It appears that there is not yet a topic devoted to this cookbook. It's my new favorite. I was wondering who out there has cooked from it, what you've made, and what you've thought of the recipes. . .

Land of Plenty is one of my absolute favorite cookbooks. Other than fish-fragrant pork slivers (which was just OK), everything else has ranged from delightful to revelatory. If you have not already done so, check out Chinese Eats at Home (click). Lots of mouth-watering food and knowledgeable posters.

Tai bai chicken; stir-fried shiitake mushrooms; stir-fried Swiss chard with garlic; and jasmine rice.

gallery_42956_2536_15079.jpg

La zi ji (chicken with chiles); gan ban si ji dou (dry-fried green beans); hong you qie zi (steamed eggplants with chile sauce); and jasmine rice.

gallery_42956_2536_29093.jpg

Sichuan dry-fried chicken (gan bian ji)

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Gong bao chicken

gallery_42956_2536_59088.jpg

Dry-fried beef slivers (gan bian niu rou si), chicken in red oil sauce (hong you ji kuai), and tiger-skin peppers (fu pi qing jiao)

gallery_42956_2536_50417.jpg

Spicy braised rainbow trout with whole garlic (da suan shao yu); stir-fried spinach with chile and Sichuan pepper;

gallery_42956_2536_29518.jpg

Sichuan “water-boiled beef” (shui zhu niu rou)

gallery_42956_2536_31805.jpg

Red-braised beef with daikon radish (hong shao niu rou); dry-fried green beans (gan bian si ji dou); spicy cucumber salad (qiang huang gua); and jasmine rice.

gallery_42956_2536_9060.jpg

Dan dan noodles

gallery_42956_2536_27145.jpg

Fish-fragrant eggplant (yu xiang qie zi)

gallery_42956_2536_43730.jpg

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how timely again, I just love this site! I just ordered this book, should have it in a couple of days. Can't wait to use it, always nice to have an excuse to go to the Asian supermarket for more things ;-)

Can't wait to cook some of these wonderful looking dishes, thanks all that posted pictures! I'm starting to take pix of what I make also, I'll try to remember to post something here if it comes out good (and good looking)

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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Wow--such GREAT photos! Thanks for the responses. Here are images of two recipes I've tried so far (both extremely quick and easy, and absolutely delicious):

Dry-Fried Green Beans

gallery_8089_6584_122240.jpg

Gong Bao Chicken

gallery_8089_6584_307026.jpg

The green beans, especially, are super convenient. They take about 5 minutes to make, I've been making them for lunch (sometimes with a different vegetable, like broccoli) to eat over white rice.

P.S. If you're interested in reading a post on my blog about this cookbook, click here: For the Love of Food

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Amazon is still sitting on my book (free shipping costs nerves!) and I can't wait!

Question: are the recipes mostly on the spicy to fiery side? I have little kids and might have to divide things up before adding the hot stuff.

But boy, do all these pictures make me hungry!

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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Question: are the recipes mostly on the spicy to fiery side?

Well, it is Hunanese. :wink: And some recipes are spicier than others. One, among many, of the lovely things about Dunlop's recipes, though, is that they're never so spicy that the other flavors are overwhelmed. I have a friend who cooks from this book a lot and doesn't adjust the recipes for her 2-1/2 year old. But she's a rather unusual 2-1/2 year old.

I think it would be difficult to do most of the recipes both with and without the spices unless you were using two different woks. The spices are such an integral part of the dishes that it's not as though you could just toss in a couple of chiles as the dish was being served.

That said, it's such an outstanding book I think it well worth experimenting. And I'd be willing to bet your children will grow into it long before you get tired of cooking from it.

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Thanks! It's not so much cooking w/o the spices, but reducing the heat and then adding some more once I reserved some for the kids.

I'm certainly looking forward to experimenting, I looked at the book in the store before ordering it (store copy had a lot of shelf wear) and it looks great!

>And I'd be willing to bet your children will grow into it long before you get tired of cooking from it.

I think I'd loose that bet :-D

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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Land of Plenty is Dunlop's Sichuan cookbook, not her Hunanese one (which is called

Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook). I can't speak for most of the recipes in Land of Plenty because I've only made a few, but many of them do seem to tend toward spiciness.

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Land of Plenty is Dunlop's Sichuan cookbook

Of course it is. And I know that. Thanks for the correction. Afraid it won't be the last time the fingers engage before my brain does.

I don't yet own Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, which is Dunlop's Hunanese book, but I have made quite a few recipes from it and it's definitely on my "to buy" list.

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Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated.

Lochina: your dishes look great, and this thread inspired me to revisit an old favorite: dry-fried chicken (gan ban ji), stir-fried with celery and bell peppers. We also made long beans in ginger sauce (jiang zhi jiang dou), which was very simple and quite delicious.

gallery_42956_2536_32860.jpg

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  • 1 year later...

Just (finally) picked this book up, after having a transforming Bang Bang Chicken at Da Dong last night. I'm really looking forward to attempting this dish when I get home. Has anyone tried it, and can they tell me what kind of chicken they've used, and if anyone has attempted her suggested method of bringing the chicken only to a boil, then leaving the lid on to poach the chicken gently? The meat I had was so silky and smooth, that surely some sort of revolutionary method was used; I suspect the one she describes is it.

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Just (finally) picked this book up, after having a transforming Bang Bang Chicken at Da Dong last night. I'm really looking forward to attempting this dish when I get home. Has anyone tried it, and can they tell me what kind of chicken they've used, and if anyone has attempted her suggested method of bringing the chicken only to a boil, then leaving the lid on to poach the chicken gently? The meat I had was so silky and smooth, that surely some sort of revolutionary method was used; I suspect the one she describes is it.

I thought about poaching the chicken that way, but chickened (heh) out. If you try it, I would love to hear how it turns out, and how it compares to simmering for 30 minutes. I suspect that the key is the unspecified "measured amount of boiling stock."

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