Yearly Archives: 2008

When is a Sauce Not Really a Sauce?

Asian Sauces Panel Discussion

This question came up during an Asian food panel discussion I attended at the Asia Society in New York on Monday. The discussion was titled “From Soy to Satay: Asian Sauces Going Mainstream.” A panelist put forward the idea that there is a difference in the definition of a sauce in Asian versus Western, or […]

Posted in Pantry, Stories | Tagged | 4 Responses

Head into Summer with Drunken Chicken

Drunken Chicken

Memorial Day is over and we’re now officially in the summer season again. Whites are back. So are barbeques, picnics, ice-cold beers and leisurely simple meals. It’s time to dig out our recipes for cold summer dishes. But what can you do to jazz up the boring standard fares in your recipe collection? Why not add some Chinese cold dishes to your repertoire? Drunken chicken (紹興醉雞), for one, can give your summer meals some extra pizzazz.

Posted in Chicken, Cold Dishes, Recipes | 6 Responses

Beyond Bok Choy: Other Shades of Green

Stir-fried Mustard Green with Crabmeat

Many Chinese vegetables are known to Americans as bok choy or simply Chinese cabbage. Although there is a wide variety of these “Chinese cabbages,” they all have a very similar, neutral, non-threatening taste recognizable to the American palate. But don’t be fooled, not all Chinese vegetables are bland and blah. There is also a large selection of mustard greens, not commonly known by Americans, that have much more distinct bitter and spicy flavors.

Posted in Moist Stir-fry (滑炒), Recipes, Seafood, Vegetables | 7 Responses

Red Cooked Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner

Red Cooked Beef

Yes, you can make red cooked beef. But the recipe is slightly modified from red cooked pork so as to add extra spices for reducing the gaminess of beef. Well, the Chinese do consider beef gamey. In fact they think “foreign savages” who eat beef and consume dairy products smell like stale butter. Yet many areas in China have large repertoire of beef dishes, especially in the Northern and Western regions. Go figure!

Posted in Beef, Recipes, Red Cooking, Techniques | Tagged | 16 Responses

Top Ten Red Cook Pictures

Assorted Cold Appetizers

Diana at Appetite for China tagged me to post my top 10 food pictures a few days ago. Diana has been a great supporter of Red Cook since the beginning. She has also become a comrade, through comments and email, in my quest for authentic and regional Chinese cooking. I was really excited and felt […]

Posted in Stories | Tagged | 5 Responses

Spring in Harlem, Asia Society, SH and Facebook

Spring

Gosh, what a jumbled title. Yes, I will tell you about all of them.

Posted in Stories | 5 Responses

Stock Clarity

Supreme Chicken Stock

A month after I started my blog Bev Sansom posted a comment wanting to know how Asian stocks are made. I was pleased to know that readers like Bev are interested in proper cooking techniques.

Posted in Recipes, Stock, Techniques | Tagged , | Series: | 14 Responses

Jennifer 8. Lee – The Interview

Jenny 8. Lee


Several days ago I conducted an email interview with Jennifer 8. Lee. Having recently read her new book, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, I had lots of questions I wanted to ask her. Yesterday, I shared with you how Jenny’s book resonates with me as I explore my own food roots. Today I’d like you to see Jenny’s complete interview.

Posted in Stories | Tagged , | 6 Responses

In Search of “Food Roots” with Jennifer 8. Lee

Blue and White China

First a disclosure. I am a fan of Jennifer 8. Lee’s writing so everything I am about to write is terribly biased. This is not a review of Jenny’s book, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, but an expression of how it resonates in my life as I discover my Chinese roots through food. Everyone in America is to some extent an immigrant. The closer you are to being a first generation immigrant like me, the more you think about what part of you is “American” and what part of you is not. Jennifer 8. Lee, in her book writes about her food-centered journey of self-discovery just as I continually do.

Posted in Book Reviews, Stories | Tagged | 4 Responses

Oh My God – It’s Still Alive!

Steamed Sea Bass


Photography by Ron Boszko

When I order live fish at a restaurant in China it is customary for the kitchen staff to present the live fish tableside for inspection in a basket or plastic bag. (And sometime on an elegant silvery stainless platter in upscale restaurants.) The fish invariably flips and flops, and gasps for its last breath. The Asian and European diners amongst us would nod approvingly except of course for the Americans. They would shake their heads in disbelief. Twenty minutes later a beautifully fried or steamed fish is served, and everyone ooohs and aaahs except for the Americans. By this time they are so completely revolted they’d just sit and smile politely, believing PETA evangelists are about to materialize and surround the table with police tape. The different reactions remind me of what I recently read in The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8. Lee. She wrote that Americans don’t want their food to look like real animals. Here lies the root of the culinary culture difference.

Posted in Fish, Recipes, Seafood, Steaming, Techniques | Tagged | 11 Responses
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