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liuzhou

Chinese Cookbooks

179 posts in this topic

And finally, dishes for high blood sugar:

 

 

56 凉拌莴笋丝 Cold Dressed Asparagus Lettuce Strips
56 酸辣瓜条 Hot and Sour Cucumber Sticks
57 甘蓝沙拉 Wild Cabbage Salad
57 凉拌三样 Cold Dressed Mixed Vegetables
58 香菜拌豆腐丝 Tofu with Coriander (Cilantro)
58 薏米拌绿豆芽 Job's Tears with Mung Bean Sprouts
59 薏米大蒜拌菇子 Job's Tears and Garlic Mushrooms
59 什锦沙垃 Mixed Salad
60 香油拌菠菜 Spinach with Sesame Oil
60 菊花肉丝 Chrysanthemum Pork
61 火腿炒冬瓜 Fried Wax Gourd with Ham
61 蚝油牛肉 Oyster Sauce Beef
62 葱爆羊肉 Onion Fried Mutton
62 菠菜木耳鸡蛋 Spinach and Wood Ear Fungus with Egg
63 杞叶煎蛋 Wolfberry Leaf Omelette
63 番茄炒鸡蛋 Scrambled Egg with Tomato
64 沙参天冬炖老鸭 Stewed Duck with Lady Bells (Adenophora) and Asparagus
Cochinchinensis
64 豆腐鲫鱼 Tofu and Crucian Carp
65 竹荪鱼卷 Bamboo Fish Rolls
65 海米冬瓜 Wax Gourd with Dried Shrimp
66 扇贝炖山药 Chinese Yam with Scallops
66 山药炒田螺 Chinese Yam with River Snails
67 山药炒豆芽 Chinese Yam with Bean Sprouts
67 双茄片 Two Eggplant Slices
68 笋尖焖豆腐 Bamboo Shoot Tips with Tofu
68 素烧南瓜 Plain Boiled Pumpkin
69 口蘑炒冬瓜 Wax Gourd with Dried Mushroom
69 金须瘦肉汤 Golden Lean Pork Soup with Corn
70 南瓜牛肉汤 Pumpkin and Beef Soup
70 鱼蓉瘦肉粥 Minced Fish and Lean Pork Rice Porridge
71 猪肉黑豆粥 Pork and Black Bean Rice Porridge
71 石榴西米粥 Pomegranate Rice Porridge

 

As I said, I don't suffer from any of those conditions, but some of the recipes appeal to my taste buds.

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I'm going to go out on a safe limb and say that few, if any people, associate microwave ovens with Chinese cuisine, yet China is not only the world's biggest manufacturer of microwaves (one Chinese company produces more than half the world output), but it is also the largest consumer. 

 

I'm still mystified though what they actually do with them.

 

Cooking from scratch in a microwave? No. 

 

Defrosting frozen food? No. There is very, very little use of frozen food in China.

 

Reheating leftovers? Maybe.

 

I'm sure 99% are just 'keeping up with the Jones's' acquisitions. They sit proudly in view to any visitors, usually with the manufacturer's sticky labels still attached.

 

I have one. I didn't buy it. It was a gift from an erstwhile employer who thought that, being a foreigner, I couldn't live without one. I had never possessed on in my life prior to that. It sits on top of the fridge in the sitting room of my second home in the countryside, where I may spend 14 nights a year, so you can imagine how much I use it. I've never set the clock. The only time I recall using it was last year to refresh some slightly stale bread with a 5 second burst. I don't have one in my real home.

 

Last week, I was cleaning out some very old papers and came across the recipe book which came with the machine. You know the sort of thing. I've been sitting studying it and it is bizarre.

 

weibolushipu.jpg

 

In the title, Weibolu (微波炉 wéi bō lú) means 'microwave' and Shipu (

食谱 shí pǔ) means 'cookbook'.

 

Here are the contents:

 

 

SEAFOOD

蒜蓉虾 Minced Garlic Shrimp
豉汁鱼云Fish with Fermented Soy Bean Sauce
南乳煎蚝 Fried Oyster with Fermented Bean Curd
豉椒炒田鸡 Stir-Fried Frog with Chilli and Fermented Soya Beans
宫保对虾 Kungpo Prawns
豆豉蒸鱼 Steamed Fish with Fermented Black Beans
炒海瓜子 Stir-fried Venus Clams
姜葱焗蟹 Ginger and Onion Fried Crab
煎酿辣椒 Fried Beer Peppers
香煎鱼块 Fragrant Fried Fish

MEAT

味菜牛柳丝 Tasty Beef Strips
炸排骨 Fried Pork Ribs
韭王锒芽肉丝 Pork with Leek and Beansprouts
洋葱猪扒 Onion Braised Pork
自制肉骨 Home Made Pork Ribs
梅子排骨 Pork Ribs with Chinese Plum
东坡肉 Dong Po Pork

POULTRY

红烧鸡腿 Red-Cooked Chicken Leg
豉油皇乳鸽 Young Pigeon
咸酸菜鸭汤 Salted Cabbage and Duck Soup
麻辣子鸡 Hot and Spicy Chicken
纸包鸡 Paper Bag Chicken
好味鸡 Great Taste Chicken

VEGETABLES

蒜蓉酸梅拌茄子 Eggplant with Minced Garlic and Sour Plum
煎酿三宝 Fried Three Treasures
蟹肉西兰花 Crab Meat with Broccoli
盐水蚕豆 Brined Broad Beans
发财鲜竹卷 "Get Rich" Rare Bamboo Roll
扒双冬 Stewed Two Winters (Winter Bamboo and "Winter Mushrooms" (Dried Shiitake)

麻婆豆腐 Mapo Doufu
蚝油芥兰 Kai-Lan with Oyster Sauce
玉兰鲜鱿 Fresh Squid with Yulan Magnolia
罗汉斋 Buddhist Vegetables

OTHERS

芫茜鲩鱼片汤米粉 Grass Carp Slices, Coriander Leaf (Cilantro), Rice Noodles
in Soup
椰蓉汤丸 Boiled Shredded Coconut Balls
茶碗蒸蛋 Teacup Steamed Egg
韭菜饺子 Chinese Chive Dumplings (Jiaozi)
北菇鸡饭 Beijing Chicken and Mushroom Rice
红环莲子百合糖水八宝芋泥 Lotus Seed and Lily Eight Treasure Taro with Syrup
荷叶饭 Lotus Leaf Rice
双菇瓣面 Two Mushroom Noodles

ROASTS / BAKES

香草烧鸡 Sweet Grass Roast Chicken
金沙骨 Jinsha Ribs
胡萝卜蛋糕 Carrot Cake
牛肉串烧 Beef Kebabs

I am still trying to work out how anything cooked in a microwave can be described as a stir fry. I would be astonished if anyone ever actually cooked those dishes, including whoever produced the book. I certainly haven't, nor ever will.

 

But interesting, perhaps. Are English language recipe books which come with the machine that awful?

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I think for the most part they've stopped providing cookbooks with microwave ovens in the USA, on the assumption that everyone knows how to use one by now, and in the interest of cutting the cost of publications. (User's manuals in this country continue to decline in the way of useful content, while gaining lawyer-friendly entries along the lines of 'do not try to dry your pet in this machine'.) (n.b. I made that example up, but have seen equally outrageous and useless admonitions occupying otherwise-valuable print space.)

The microwave cookbooks I inherited from my mother generally have well-meaning but tasteless recipes.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I guess microwave use goes hand in hand with freezer use for a lot of people in the west - and chest freezers are not used much here either. It's a good question as to what everyone is using the microwaves for, then. I use mine to sterilize my son's bottles.

 

I miss my Japanese microwave, which had a sake setting.

 

liuzhou, I wonder if, in your collection of Chinese cook book, if you've come across a sweet and sour pork recipe made mainly with black vinegar? I had hope the recipe Smithy requested above would be that sort, but it is a ketchup-based one. I had a vinegar-based one in Yunnan that I really enjoyed, and would love to try it again. Google searches have not yielded anything with the deep, dark, black sauce I remember.

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liuzhou, I wonder if, in your collection of Chinese cook book, if you've come across a sweet and sour pork recipe made mainly with black vinegar? I had hope the recipe Smithy requested above would be that sort, but it is a ketchup-based one. I had a vinegar-based one in Yunnan that I really enjoyed, and would love to try it again.

 

 

Fuchsia Dunlop has a recipe for S&S Pork (mentioned above) which uses black vinegar, rather than ketchup. Here it is. How close it is to what you ate in Yunnan, I don't know, but it is certainly just like that I have eaten in Sichuan and here in Guangxi.

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I've Googled in Chinese for Yunnan Sweet and Sour, but nothing particularly black turns up. Here is the 'images' page. See anything similar?

 

I have come across one recipe for Sweet and Sour Fish which sees to be particular to Yunnan and uses black vinegar.

 

Generally speaking, in China, S&S Fish is much more common than S&S Pork or Chicken.


Edited by liuzhou (log)

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Fuchsia Dunlop is always a good place to start, thanks for that. The pork was boneless and lean, and had a thin batter, as she describes. The sauce was intensely dark and sweet/sour as I recall. I had the dish at the Linden Centre in Dali, so I think it was somewhat adapted for foreign palates.

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I had the dish at the Linden Centre in Dali, so I think it was somewhat adapted for foreign palates.

 

Probably. Black vinegar is not a traditional ingredient in Yunnan. It is from eastern China, thousands of miles away.

 

Anyway, please let me know if the Dunlop recipe gets close or not.

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I will! I'll have to find some time next weekend to have a crack at it. The dish stood out on their menu as not being very Yunnan-ese, but much of the clientele was American, so it made sense in that context. They had some other lovely Yunnanese-style (I think?) potato dishes, but I preferred the dishes we got up north in Zhongdian, with their yak and cheese dishes.

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Quote
I preferred the dishes we got up north in Zhongdian, with their yak and cheese dishes.

 

 

I remember five culinary things from Dali. The local food was not special (and very touristy, even back in 1996-97) but:

 

1) A Chinese New Year's Eve (Spring 1997) traditional Yunnan minority banquet. Lots of Dai and Bai ethnic groups' foods. It was so-so. Some good stuff, but way too much sticky rice in everything. I'm not a big sticky rice fan, which is a bit of a handicap when most of my work is researching the cuisines of devout sticky rice eaters!

 

2) Dali is where I bought my beautiful marble mortar and pestle, which I love more than is reasonable or perhaps even legal in some jurisdictions. It is damned heavy and I had to carry it across China for weeks before getting it back to my kitchen. The Chinese for 'marble' is 大理石 (dà lǐ shí) which literally translates as "Dali Stone".

 

dali mortar and pestle.jpg

 

3) This batik, which I watched being hand made over about three weeks.The young man's patience astonished me. When it was done, he hung it in a back lit frame. Utterly beautiful. I walked past his studio every day for a week thinking "I want that! I need that!", but it was a bit more than I could really afford at the time. Eventually a friend said to me, "If you don' t buy it, you'll regret it forever." She was right, so I did.

 

batik.jpg

 

4) It was the first time I saw a donkey's head parked on the trestle table market stall to advertise which particular meat was the vendor's speciality. 

 

5) The best brownie I ever ate. (Technically, that should be "brownies". I got through a load of them.")

 

But I digress. I am meeting an old friend next week who is from Yunnan. I don't know if she is much of a cook, but I know she is much of an eater. I shall interrogate her about Yunnan sweet and sour and report back. If she has anything to add.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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I'm glad, for your sake, that you bought both the mortar and pestle set and the batik. I'm glad, for our sakes, you showed them to us. They are beautiful!

Do you remember what made those brownies so special? I had some a couple of days ago that were more fudgy and chocolatey than any I've ever had before, and they're in the running for my personal favorites.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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The "A BIte of China" exploitation machines is churning out book after book. I think I have the best ones,  I only give the new ones cursory glances.

 

However, today I saw this.

 

Cover6.jpg

 

It is a surprising twist on the original. Instead of being "A Bite of China", it's "A Bite of the World".

 

Organised into five sections - Asia, Europe, the Americas, Oceania and Africa - it gives one or two recipes from various countries. The number of entries per country is just bizarre. In the Asia selection alone, Korea gets 9 recipes, Japan 8, but India only gets two and one of those is a cup of tea! Similarly, Turkey, a great food nation, only gets a cup of coffee!

 

Many of the choices are obvious and even clichéd, but the book was cheap and the concept amused me. Of course, it's way too short at 220 pages to do the subject any justice, but it's interesting to see how China looks at the culinary world. After all, we look at Chinese cuisine so closely.

 

Here is the Asian section. I'll follow up with the others.

 

(I'm sure some of the translations could be improved a lot, but I'm working from Chinese into English via languages I often don't know, so it gets a bit difficult. Any suggestions for improvements will be warmly received. Apologies for any outright errors.)

 

 

Asia

 

Japan

 

味噌汤 Miso Soup /010

寿司和饭团 Sushi and Rice Rolls /012

便当 Bento  /014

黄瓜茄子渍物 Cucumber and Eggplant Tsukemono /016

什锦大虾天妇罗 Mixed Prawn Tempura /018

寿喜烧 Sukiyaki (Japanese Hotpot) /020

亲子盖浇饭 Rice with Chicken and Egg (literally Parent and Child Covered Rice) /022

日式咖喱鸡肉饭 Japanese Style Curried Chicken with Rice /024

蛋包饭 Omuraisu - Omelette stuffed with Fried Rice served with tomato ketchup /026

茶泡饭 Chazuke /028

章鱼烧 Takoyaki - Deep-fried Battered Octopus Balls /030

拉面, 乌冬面和荞麦面 3 recipes for Ramen, Udon Noodles and Buckwheat Noodles  /032

 

Korea

 

腌辣白菜 Kimchi /034

朝鲜冷面 North Korean Cold Noodles /036

紫菜包饭 Seaweed Wrapped Rice (Korean Sushi) /038

石锅拌饭 Sand Pot Mixed Vegetables with Rice /040

泡菜饼 Pickled Vegetable Cake /042

大酱汤 Doenjang Jjigae /044

炒年糕 Tteokbokki /046

南瓜粥Pumpkin Porridge  /048

韩国烤肉 South Korean Grilled Meat /050

 

Mongolia

 

手把肉 Hand Pulled Mutton /052

蒙古奶茶和炒米 Mongolian Milk Tea with Millet  /054

 

Nepal

 

达尔巳 Dal bhat  /056

 

India

 

咖喱羊肉 Curried Mutton /058

印度奶茶 Indian Milk Tea /060

 

Maldives

 

咖喱虾煲 Curried Shrimp /062

 

Vietnam

 

越南春卷 Vietnamese Spring Rolls /064

越南牛肉河粉 Phở /066

越南咖啡 Vietnamese Coffee /068

 

Cambodia

 

芭蕉叶蒸鱼 Banana Leaf Steamed Fish  /070

 

Thailand

 

冬阴功汤 Tom Yum Shrimp Soup /072

绿咖喱椰汁鸡 Green Curry Coconut Chicken/074

菠萝饭 Pineapple Rice /076

泰式柠檬虾 Thai Style Lemon Shrimp /078

咖喱蟹 Curried Crab /080

 

Burma

 

鱼汤米线 Fish Soup with Rice Noodles /082

 

Malaysia

 

肉骨茶 Bak kut teh /084

椰浆饭 Coconut Rice /086

 

Singapore

 

海南鸡饭 Hainan Chicken with Rice /088

功沙 Seafood Noodles  /090

 

Indonesia

 

巳东牛肉 Beef Rendang /092

串烧印尼沙茶 Grilled Chicken Skewers with Satay Sauce /094

印尼虾片 Indonesian Shrimp Crackers /096

 

Philippines

 

什锦水果刨冰 Mixed Fruit Sorbet /098

 

Iran

 

红花米饭 Saffron Rice /100

 

Iraq

 

玛斯古夫烤鱼 Masgouf /102

 

Turkey

 

土耳其咖啡 Turkish Coffee /104

 

Syria

芝麻着鹰嘴豆 Hummus /106

 

Israel

 

鹰嘴豆饼 Falafel /108

 

U.A.E.

 

阿拉伯沙拉 Arabian Salad /110

 

Europe next.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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"Arabian Salad"?

 

20 Cherry Tomatoes

Half an Onion

One Cucumber

10 Mint Leaves

1 Lemon

1 teaspoon Black Pepper

1 teaspoon salt

Olive Oil

Celery

2 spoonfuls yoghurt

 

The instructions run to 5 steps but basically just say "wash and mix". Chinese recipes are seldom packed with detail.

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Europe

Russia

罗宋汤 Borscht /114
俄式酸黄瓜 Russian Style Pickled Cucumber /116

Greece

羊奶酪沙拉 Feta Cheese Salad /118

Italy

番茄肉酱意面 Spaghetti Bolognese /120
薄脆比萨 Pizza /122
牛肝菌烩饭 Mushroom (Porcini) Risotto /124
香草冰淇淋 Vanilla Ice Cream /126
提拉米苏 Tiramisu /128

Spain

海鲜饭 Paella /130
火腿芝士面包片 Ham and Cheese Sandwich /132
土豆煎蛋奄列 Spanish Omelette /134
桑格里亚酒 Sangria /136

Portugal

香煎鳕鱼 Fried Cod /138
葡式蛋挞 Portuguese Egg Tart/140

United Kingdom

英式早餐 English Breakfast /142
英式下午茶 English Afternoon Tea /144
炸鱼薯条 Fish and Chips /148
牛肉腰子派 Steak and Kidney Pie /150
约克郡布丁 Yorkshire Pudding /152

France

红酒炖牛肉 Beef Bourguignon /154
法式洋葱汤 French Onion Soup /156
樱桃蜜汁鸭胸 Cherry Duck Breast /158
可丽饼 Crepes /160
长棍面包 Baguettes /162
乌卡龙 Macarons /164

Ireland

黑啤炖牛肉 Guinness Beef /166

Germany

烤猪膝 Roast Pork Knuckle /168

Holland

蔬菜土豆泥 Mashed Vegetable with Potato /170

Belgium

香草华夫饼 Waffles with Vanilla Ice Cream/172

Norway

羊肉炖启菜 Stewed Mutton with Cabbage /174

Sweden

瑞典肉圆 Swedish Meat Balls /176

Finland

烟熏三文鱼 Smoked Salmon /178

Denmark

开放式三明治 Open Sandwiches /180

 

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The Americas

Peru

紫玉米汁 Chicha Morada /184

Brazil

巳西烤肉 Brazilian Grilled Meats /186

Chile

三文鱼玉床沙拉 Salmon and Corn Salad /188

Argentina

马黛茶 Mate /190

United States

热狗 Hot Dogs /192
牛肉汉堡 Beef Hamburger /194
肉桂苹果派 Cinnamon Apple Pie /196
煎牛排 Steak /198

Canada

枫糖浆热松饼 Pancakes with Maple Syrup /200

Mexico

牛肉卷饼 Beef Taco /202

 

I got this done quicker than expected. So few dishes. Poor Mexico! A whole other cuisine reduced to one dish. And all Argentina's meat cooking dumped for another cup of tea!

 








 

 

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And finally

 

 

Africa

Egypt

烤肉串 Beef Kebabs /206

Morocco

薄荷甜茶 Sweet Mint Tea/208
甜橙小萝卜沙拉 Sweet Orange and Radish Salad /210

 

 

Oceania

Australia

香煎澳洲小羊羔排 Australian Lamb Steaks /214

New Zealand

蛋白奶油酥 Pavlova /216

 

That's it. No more food in the world! Only two countries in Africa. 




 


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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Well, they were pretty precise with Canada, if they were choosing dishes that would appeal to the Chinese palate.

 

 

When I think of the Middle East, I never think of celery - I wonder if that's artistic licence, or if celery is really popular in the Arabian Peninsula? 

 

Given the popularity with which everyone is downing the meatballs at our local Ikea, it's no surprise that made the cut. The South American dishes seem completely random, but then aside from feijoada or chimichurri, I'd be hard-pressed to name any others. Maybe these are the only dishes they could find on Baidu?

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And finally

 

 

Africa

Egypt

烤肉串 Beef Kebabs /206

 

That's it. No more food in the world! Only two countries in Africa. 

 

 

...and those both of strong Arab heritage!  I got a kick out of their listing beef kababs as Egyptian; beef is expensive there, and lamb or chicken are far more common.  

 

Thanks for your translation of the contents; it's a lot of fun to read, and worth some giggles.  

 

I've had the idea that beef and mutton are expensive in China.  Is that true?  If so, do you think this cookbook makes heavy use of them to make the dishes seem more exotic?

 

Giggles aside, I'd love to know about the Feta Cheese Salad (representing Greece) on page 118.

 

 

 

When I think of the Middle East, I never think of celery - I wonder if that's artistic licence, or if celery is really popular in the Arabian Peninsula? 

 

 

That's a good question.  I don't recall celery in any of the Middle Eastern dishes I've eaten, nor do I recall seeing it in the souks in Egypt.  I'm no authority on the topic (I'm hoping Hassouni or FoodMan will pop in), so I checked with several of my Middle Eastern cookbooks, including my Egyptian cookbooks.  No mention of celery in salads that I could see.  There IS an Arabic word for celery, so it isn't a complete unknown.  Still, I'm inclined to think this recipe writer has made use of artistic license.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I've had the idea that beef and mutton are expensive in China. Is that true?

 

 

I wouldn't say beef was particularly expensive - more than pork but not prohibitively so. It is widely eaten.No one would consider it exotic.

 

Mutton / lamb can be expensive here in the south where it is less common (but becoming more so), but it is very popular and cheaper in the north and north-west.

 

I thought the celery thing was odd, too. Not because I thought they didn't have it - I never thought about it at all. It just seemed strange the way it was hung onto the end of the recipe, kind of out of place. As if someone looked at the salad (at least in their imagination) and thought "Better throw something green in there."


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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liuzhou, I wonder if, in your collection of Chinese cook book, if you've come across a sweet and sour pork recipe made mainly with black vinegar? I had hope the recipe Smithy requested above would be that sort, but it is a ketchup-based one. I had a vinegar-based one in Yunnan that I really enjoyed, and would love to try it again. Google searches have not yielded anything with the deep, dark, black sauce I remember.

 

Kent Wang had a S&S recipe on eGullet that is fantastic and it's what I now make all the time. Could that be similar to what you're looking after?


PS: I am a guy.

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Hello liuzhou et al.

 

I have not been looking at this forum for a while (…) but I luckily came upon this thread. I relished (no pun intended) the first "Bite of China", especially the English version, and I hope that I will be able to look at the 2nd Bite. Is an English version available on the web?

 

As to the associated cookbooks, they certainly cover a great ground! I have been able to locate a few recipes which perhaps might interest someone.

 

干煸牛肉丝 Dry Fried Beef /328 è Chiang, p.139

Chiang Jung-feng et Ellen Schreiber, Mrs. Chiang’s Szechwan Cookbook, ISBN 0-06-013803-0, 1976

 

毛式红烧肉 Chairman Mao's Red-Cooked Pork Belly/339  è Dunlop/Hunan, p.78

Dunlop, Fuchsia, Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, ISBN 0-393-06222-8, 2006

 

干煸四季豆 Dry Fried  (Jinsha) Green Beans /341è Chiang, p.259

 

红烧狮子头 Red-Cooked Lion's Head Meatballs/344 è Kuo p.331; Yan-Kit p.236;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/lionheadmeatballs_89292 ;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GunoFefV3Wk;

http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/603878;

http://chinesefood.about.com/od/pork/r/lionsheadpork.htm

Kuo, Irene, The Key to Chinese Cooking, ISBN 0-394-49638-8, 1977

So, Yan-Kit, Yan-Kit’s Classic Chinese Cookbook, ISBN 0-7566-2351-0, 2006

 

西湖草鱼 West Lake Grass Carp /354 è Pei Mei I, p.42

Fu Pei Mei, Pei Mei’s Chinese Cook Book, Volume I, ISBN 986-7997-33-6

 

左宗棠鸡 General Tso's Chicken /360 è Dunlop/Hunan p.120

 

八宝饭 Eight Treasures Rice /433 è Yan-Kit p.238

 

担担面 Dan Dan Noodles (Sichuan Spicy Noodles) /446 è Tropp p.360; Chiang p.299

Tropp, Barbara, The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking, ISBN 0-688-14611-2, 1982

 

麻婆豆腐 Mapo Tofu /512 è Chiang, p.220

 

宫爆鸡丁 Sichuan Kungpo Chicken /535 è Chiang p.171; Hom p.116

Hom, Ken, Chinese Cookery, ISBN 0-563-21053-2, 1984

 

水晶虾仁 Crystal Shrimp /565 è www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/238276 ; Kuo p.206; Wong p.177

Wong, S.T.Ting et Sylvia Schulman, More Long-Life Chinese Cooking, ISBN 0-8092-5766-1, 1982

 

On a more general point, Liuzhou writes “Another problem is that many Chinese recipes are vague in the extreme.” Is that true of most cookbooks in Chinese? I have been trying to learn to read Chinese so as to be able to find some good recipes. Is this hopeless?

 

Have a good day

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    • By liuzhou
      An old friend from England contacted me yesterday via Facebook with a couple of questions about Five Spice Powder.

      Thought there me be some interest here, too.

      Is there anything more typically Chinese than five spice powder (五香粉 - wǔ xiāng fěn)?
       
      Well, yes. A lot.
       
      Many years ago, I worked in an office overlooking London’s China town. By around 11 am, the restaurants started getting lunch ready and the smell of FSP blanketed the area for the rest of the day. When I moved to China, I didn’t smell that. Only when I first visited Hong Kong, did I find that smell again.
       
      In fact, FSP is relatively uncommon in most of Chinese cuisine. And if I ever see another internet recipe called “Chinese” whatever, which is actually any random food, but the genius behind it has added FSP, supposedly rendering it Chinese, I’ll scream.

      I get all sorts of smells wafting through the neighbourhood. Some mouth-watering; some horrifying. But I don't recall ever that they were FSP.
       
      But what is it anyway? Which five spices?
       
      Today, I bought four samples in four local supermarkets. I would have would have preferred five, but couldn’t find any more. It's not that popular.
       
      First thing to say: none of them had five spices. All had more. That is normal. Numbers in Chinese can often be vague. Every time you hear a number, silently added the word ‘about’ or ‘approximately’. 100 km means “far”, 10,000 means “many”.
       
      Second, while there are some common factors, ingredients can vary quite a bit. Here are my four.

      1.


       
      Ingredients – 7
       
      Star Anise, Fennel Seed, Orange Peel, Cassia Bark, Sand Ginger, Dried Ginger, Sichuan Peppercorns.
       
      2.
       

       
      Ingredients – 6
       
      Cassia Bark, Star Anise, Fennel Seed, Coriander, Sichuan Peppercorn, Licorice Root.

      3.
       

       
      Ingredients – 15
       
      Fennel Seeds, Sichuan Peppercorns, Coriander, Tangerine Peel, Star Anise, Chinese Haw, Cassia Bark, Lesser Galangal, Dahurian Angelica, Nutmeg, Dried Ginger, Black Pepper, Amomum Villosum, Cumin Seeds, Cloves.

      4.
       

       
      Ingredients – 6
       
      Pepper (unspecified – probably black pepper), Sichuan Peppercorns, Star Anise, Fennel Seeds, Nutmeg, Cassia.
       
      So, take your pick. They all taste and smell almost overwhelmingly of the star anise and cassia, although there are subtle differences in taste in the various mixes.
       
      But I don’t expect to find it in many dishes in local restaurants or homes. A quick, unscientific poll of about ten friends today revealed that not one has any at home, nor have they ever used the stuff!
       
       
      I'm not suggesting that FSP shouldn't be used outside of Chinese food. Please just don't call the results Chinese when you sprinkle it on your fish and chips or whatever. They haven't miraculously become Chinese!

      Like my neighbours and friends, I very rarely use it at all.

      In fact, I'd be delighted to hear how it is used in other cultures / cuisines.
    • By liuzhou
      For the last several years Cindy's* job has been to look after me. She takes care of my residence papers, my health insurance, my travel, my housing and associated repairs. She makes sure that I am supplied with sufficient cold beer at official banquets. And she does it all with terrific efficiency and great humour.
       
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      A few days ago, I was given a lovely gift. A big jar of preserved lemons.
       
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      Sometimes the Zhuang people use preserved lemons as an ingredient in cooking. The most famous Zhuang food in Guangxi is Lemon Duck, which is a common home cooked dish in Wuming County, which belongs to Nanning Prefecture.
       
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      Step 1 Shopping
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      Step 2 Cleaning
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      Step 3 Sunning
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      Step 4 Salting
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