Cabbage in Milk / 奶白菜

A Tang Exotic
Ham Meets Milk Meets White  Pepper

“There are no dairy products. Butter, milk and cheese are practically unknown in Chinese cooking.” — Gloria Bley Miller [1]

“Because vegetables are eaten daily at every meal, Chinese cooks have evolved countless ways of preparing them.” — Nina Froud [2]

Cooking Asian dishes with cabbage

Cabbage

And it’s cancer-fighting! But, since there are no dairy products in Chinese cooking, how does this Hong Kong classic Continue reading

Litchi

The Honorable Concubine’s Favorite Fruit
First Food Shipped by Refrigerated Transport

“Eunuchs gallop up in continuous succession,
“Bearing delicacies for the Imperial kitchens.”
Tu Fu, “Ballad of Lovely Women” [1]

It was the eighth century.  The eunuchs were Imperial couriers, a kind of Chinese Pony Express.

Their saddlebags were crammed full of Continue reading

Tea Eggs 茶葉蛋

Hard Boiled But Soft Inside
Mottled Like Ancient Porcelain

“Tea eggs are one of those ways of hard-boiling eggs so long that they are soft inside.” — Buwei Yang Chao [1]

Making Chinese dim sum snack, Tea Eggs, Cha Ye Dan

Tea Eggs

Tea Eggs, as Dr. Chao says, are a Chinese way of hard boiling eggs for a long time so that eventually they become soft again. Not soft-runny, but soft and dry-tender, as far as the yolks, and soft and firm but not leathery for the whites.

The Eggs are boiled with tea leaves and the shells are crackled but not removed.  As a result, when you shell them, the Eggs are a mottled color like ancient porcelain.

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Chopsticks

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Elegant Replacement for Fingers
The Most Refined Eating Utensils

What They Are: Chopsticks are the principal eating tools of a large part of East Asia, centering on what Toynbee calls the Sinic culture sphere.

They are about 10 to 12 inches long, with longer ones used for cooking and serving. Children’s chopsticks are about 5 inches long. In Japan, chopsticks for use by women tend run smaller than men’s chopsticks.

Chinese chopsticks tend to be longer than Japanese, and have more rounded ends, while Japanese ones tend to have pointed ends. Continue reading

China’s Great Cooking Discovery – Stir-Frying

Do You Stir-Fry?

The discovery of how to stir-fry foods, in deepest antiquity, was one of China’s greatest contributions to world gastronomy. It is not only a safe way to prepare food, but it is delicious and one of the things that gives Chinese food is distinctive character.

Yu Cai Chao Ji Pian
Yu Tsai Stir Fried with Chicken Slices

Stir-frying is very ancient and is a style that makes Chinese food taste Chinese. It has its own special word in Chinese, chao 炒, which according to  Matthews Chinese dictionary means literally, “to roast in a pan, to fry.” [note 1]. There is a misconception among many non-Chinese cooks who try to do it about just what this term means and how to stir-fry. Continue reading