Ma Po Bean Curd 麻婆豆腐

Pockmarked Mother Chen’s Bean Curd
A Leading Sichuan Dish

“It’s rich and warming, a perfect winter dish.” — Fuchsia Dunlop

How to cook Ma Po Doufu, famous Sichuan dish

Ma Po Doufu, Cooking in Wok

Ma Po Bean Curd 麻婆豆腐  or Pockmarked Mother Chen’s Bean Curd, has emerged as one of the most popular Sichuan dishes. There are so many recipes, and you can even get instant versions, including forms of the dish delivered Continue reading

Chinese Cuisine

A Fanfare of Chopsticks
The World’s Best Cooks

“There would have been universal insistence, with a fanfare of chopsticks, upon irresistible Chinese food.” — Richard Hughes [1]

“It would not be an overstatement to maintain that the Chinese are the best cooks in the world.” — V. R. Burkhardt [2]

Jade Chopsticks

Jade Chopsticks
Collected by Berthold Laufer

Chinese food is everyone’s favorite cuisine, it seems.  This holds true whether you are chef, foodie, food writer, or ordinary eater.

It is true not only in China, but Chinese food is hugely enjoyed in Japan, Australia, North and South America, and Europe.  These days, excellent Chinese food is increasingly available in the Middle East and Africa, as restaurants open to serve expatriate Chinese workers in those regions. Continue reading

Ng Ka Py 五加皮

Steinbeck’s Tipple
Fu Manchu’s Magenta Martini

What kind of word consists of “Ng”? This is the Cantonese rendering of Northern Chinese “wu” the word for the numeral ‘5’. The Mandarin name of this drink is Wu Jya Pi, 五加皮  literally “Bark of Five Additions.” [1]

So  Ng Ka Py is the Cantonese name for a Chinese spirit or liqueur that might be an infusion of five kinds of fruit peel.  A sort of alcoholic Five-Spice Powder, perhaps? [2]

Continue reading

Fuchsia Dunlop — British Sichuan Expert

Christmas Mincemeat in Chengdu
Culinary DNA

“Opponents of Fusion cooking are so wrong. Culinary impressions leave tracks, like DNA.” — Fucshia Dunlop

 

Cooking purple perilla using Chinese cooking technique jian

Pan Fried Cucumber with Purple Perilla
A Recipe from Fucsha Dunlop

Fuchsia Dunlopis a British expert on Sichuan cuisine.  The Cambridge graduate is a fluent Mandarin speaker. She studied at a Chinese university in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province. [1]

That experience led Dunlop to a lifelong fascination with Chinese cuisine and Continue reading

Chinese Celery

Quote

The Stuff of Heroes’ Wreaths
Fragrant Swizzle Sticks

“A leafier, skinnier-stalked version of the familiar green head” — Mark Bittman

 

Chinese  Celery

Chinese Celery Plant

When you cook with Chinese Celery, you’re using he plant that ancient Greeks and Romans used to weave their heroes’ garlands. [1]

The Vegetable Itself: As the picture shows, Chinese Celery looks similar to Western Celery, but is smaller, with bright green leaves.  As Mark Bittman says, it is a “leafier, slimmer-stalked version of the familiar green.” Continue reading