Everyone knows that the food identity of China and East Asia is closely linked to white rice. Besan, or chickpea flour, is an ideal healthy, gluten-free, low-GI pick in these savory pancakes 煎饼 (jiān bǐng). The recipe is endlessly adaptable to whatever vegetables and spices you have on hand.
Hubei “Steam Water” Meat Custard (Qi Shui Rou)
“Steam water” meat is a delicate, savory steamed meat and egg custard, kind of a mash-up of steamed meatloaf and Japanese chawanmushi (steamed egg custard). Although it’s a 名菜 famous dish in 武汉 Wuhan and across 湖北 Hubei province, it’s rarely found elsewhere at even the most authentic Chinese restaurants. Like Wuhan Hot Dry Noodles 武汉热干面, this is a regionally specific dish that is simultaneously well-known and hard-to-find.
Tofu gets a totally undeserved bad rap. Everyone knows that tofu is healthy (low carb, high protein, high calcium), but today’s recipe is proof that it can be delicious too. If you’re convinced that there’s no such thing as tasty tofu, I promise this dish will change your mind.
The best option for Wuhan hot dry noodles 热干面 is the leftover braising liquid from soy-braised beef 卤肉. This recipe will give you that authentic umami flavor and glossy mouthfeel without simmering meat for hours.
Happy Mother’s Day! I’m making Wuhan’s famous breakfast noodle for my mom. Hot dry noodles, one of the top 5 noodles in Chinese cuisine, are surprisingly easy to make at home! I also included substitutions for the authentic ingredients with readily available options from conventional grocery stores.
Stocking Your Kitchen: Essential Ingredients for Chinese Cooking (Part II: Spices and Sauces)
Variety is the spice of life. Moving beyond the most basic to essential ingredients for authentic Chinese flavor.
In honor of his last day of daily posting, I made Chef Symon’s Risotto with Ground Meat & Veg, served with my Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans, and translated the recipe to Chinese. It was a perfect union of East Meets West.
Dry Fried Green Beans 干煸四季豆 can be found on almost every Chinese restaurant menu. The secret to restaurant-quality green beans without deep frying lies in how you prepare the green beans.
Stocking Your Kitchen: Essential Ingredients for Chinese Cooking (Part I: The Basics)
For one of the world’s great cuisines, you need remarkably little to get started with Chinese cooking. The Chinese call basic ingredients 油盐酱醋 (yóu yán jiàng cù), meaning oil, salt, soy sauce, and vinegar. I’ve added a few essentials to expand the repertoire a bit. Everything here is what I use in my own kitchen. My picks are based on extensive reading of taste tests and, more importantly, from trying many brands myself.
Sichuan “Fish Fragrant” Yu Xiang Eggplant 家常少油 鱼香茄子
A low-oil version of authentic Sichuan Yu Xiang eggplant, featuring flavors that are traditionally used to cook fish.