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Authentic Chinese food


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how about asking someone from Toisan what kinds of ingredients might appear in tsap sui

Sure.

sheetz: Hey Mom, since you're from Toisan, could you tell what you put in tsap sui?

sheetz's mother: Don't be silly, you get whatever you have on hand, chop them up, and stir fry them together. Now get lost and stop bothering me!

I am from Toisan and that would be the exact answer I would give, even though I am not your mother! :laugh::laugh:

As for that contentious word "authenticity", if I cook a "Chinese" dish it it IS authentic. I am Chinese dontcha know? Don't be too hidebound and purist over authenticity, to slavishly seek out authenticity and follow explicit directions in a recipe will kill any creativity that you have. Take mapo tofu as an example. I have eaten many versions of the dish; some use minced pork, others use minced beef, some use black beans, others omit it, some use mashed tofu, others use cubed firm tofu, some add scallions, others coriander, etc ad nauseam. Of all the combinations and permutations that could be derived, which one is "authentic"? In my estimation they all are, as long as each dish is toothsome and flavourful. Being Chinese is being pragmatic. The food reflects that characteristic because the rootstock of Chinese cuisine, the house wife, will use whatever is at hand to approximate a dish. Just don't tell her that it is not authentic. :wink:

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Uncle Ben, your post reminds me of the time I ate at the home of a talented cook in the USA, setting out a particular delicacy difficult to find and prepare, of fresh banana flower buds. We were stunned to find out that she that concocted that item out of frozen artichoke hearts: amazing. Then she took the conceit further, and had made a well-loved Bengali "chutney" originally cooked with fresh fruits of the season with canned fruit cocktail. It was delicious, leaving everyone either sputtering or speechless at this transmogrification of a most traditional convention!

So as you say, authenticity lies in the person of the cook. I do not know if the quote attributed to Confucius is accurate, but is certainly relevant to to this discussion of authenticity: "truth is whatever is enacted by a righteous person." Likewise, authentic is whatever is skilfully & thoughtfully prepared by an able cook who is inseparable from his/her own birthright and tradition.

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how about asking someone from Toisan what kinds of ingredients might appear in tsap sui

Sure.

sheetz: Hey Mom, since you're from Toisan, could you tell what you put in tsap sui?

sheetz's mother: Don't be silly, you get whatever you have on hand, chop them up, and stir fry them together. Now get lost and stop bothering me!

I am from Toisan and that would be the exact answer I would give, even though I am not your mother! :laugh::laugh:

As for that contentious word "authenticity", if I cook a "Chinese" dish it it IS authentic. I am Chinese dontcha know? Don't be too hidebound and purist over authenticity, to slavishly seek out authenticity and follow explicit directions in a recipe will kill any creativity that you have. Take mapo tofu as an example. I have eaten many versions of the dish; some use minced pork, others use minced beef, some use black beans, others omit it, some use mashed tofu, others use cubed firm tofu, some add scallions, others coriander, etc ad nauseam. Of all the combinations and permutations that could be derived, which one is "authentic"? In my estimation they all are, as long as each dish is toothsome and flavourful. Being Chinese is being pragmatic. The food reflects that characteristic because the rootstock of Chinese cuisine, the house wife, will use whatever is at hand to approximate a dish. Just don't tell her that it is not authentic. :wink:

thanks, makes sense to me!

I am sorry to hear that you cannot make an authentic hot dog or hamburger or apple pie...you know, ethnicity and all that!

regarding mapo dofu, I use fermented black beans and fu ru...I saw both in separate recipes and it made sense to me to use both in the same dish! BTW I also like to add fermented black beans to American style baked beans!

The link "Cooking - Food - Recipes - Cookbook Collections" on my site contains my 1000+ cookbook collections, recipes, and other food information: http://dmreed.com

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I'm very surprised (pleasantly) by the Australian dining scene of late. Recently, I had authentic Xinjiang food...and I'm talking dapanji 大盘鸡 served with handmade noodles, lamb kebabs with all the lovely notes of cumin, chilli flakes and so on...

There's been a real interest in regional Chinese food; any lesser known cuisines. People are increasingly curious and I think it's such a beautiful thing (and certainly good for my tummy!).

Foods that we used to shrug off as "only in Asia/China" are finally making their way in the Aussie food scene. I love it!

P.S. I'll post my pictures of the Xinjiang food some time later (which can be any time really haha).

Musings and Morsels - a film and food blog

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Belated response to those bemoaning the lack of good Chinese food in San Diego ... it actually can be found, but you have to specifically avoid the places catering to the non-Asian clientele who prefer the "sweet, cornstarch thickened, oyster-saucy, broccoli-studded food."

Rules of thumb: if you're somewhere in the vicinity of Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa, and the joint you enter has menus posted that are in Chinese only, and the clientele is predominantly Asian, you're getting warm. Not an ironclad guarantee--but the odds are more in your favor.

My continued favorites in San Diego: Ba Ren for terrific non-dumbed-down Szechuan (love their cold appetizer selection); and Golden City for Cantonese (ignore the dishes obviously aimed at that weekday lunch break crowd, and check out the more non-dumbed-down items, like the hot pot dishes, and the ones with ingredients like bitter melon and salted fish).

Edited by mizducky (log)
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Belated response to those bemoaning the lack of good Chinese food in San Diego ... it actually can be found, but you have to specifically avoid the places catering to the non-Asian clientele who prefer the "sweet, cornstarch thickened, oyster-saucy, broccoli-studded food."

Rules of thumb: if you're somewhere in the vicinity of Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa, and the joint you enter has menus posted that are in Chinese only, and the clientele is predominantly Asian, you're getting warm. Not an ironclad guarantee--but the odds are more in your favor.

My continued favorites in San Diego: Ba Ren for terrific non-dumbed-down Szechuan (love their cold appetizer selection); and Golden City for Cantonese (ignore the dishes obviously aimed at that weekday lunch break crowd, and check out the more non-dumbed-down items, like the hot pot dishes, and the ones with ingredients like bitter melon and salted fish).

much appreciated, I have been fond of Golden city for quite a while and I do especially enjoy their Oyster and Pork Hot Pot...I am also quite fond of their Scallops in Black Bean Sauce (which I now make at home). I will check out Ba Ren ASAP!

The link "Cooking - Food - Recipes - Cookbook Collections" on my site contains my 1000+ cookbook collections, recipes, and other food information: http://dmreed.com

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.... I will check out Ba Ren ASAP!

Kung pao is good. Just don't order the Beer Duck - big disappointment. :laugh:

thanks for the heads up! I haven't seen you posting much lately...you are definitely missed!!!!!!

The link "Cooking - Food - Recipes - Cookbook Collections" on my site contains my 1000+ cookbook collections, recipes, and other food information: http://dmreed.com

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