View Full Version : Chinese food

09-26-2002, 03:49 PM

i got a giggle or two out of this.

09-27-2002, 09:53 AM
That was beautifull man. Got a hanky?
Reminds me of the place in Mass. that got busted for pressing the cabbage between the parking lot and a sheet of plywood with a pickup truck.

09-27-2002, 09:56 AM
I'm not a big fan of Chinese-American food. Give me Veitnamese or Thai food any day.

09-27-2002, 07:23 PM
Chinese-American food, fa_jing?

Try my "HKV Egg Fu Yung" with white rice for breakfast:

1 or 2 eggs
a TINY bit of ground beef

1 stalk scallion (minced)
fresh potato (chopped)
1 tomato

a touch of parsley or coriander
fresh garlic

soy sauce
oyster sauce
sesame oil
ground pepper

1. Cook garlic and potato first in wok or skillet
2. Remove potato, cook ground beef
3. Add all the other ingredients, season to taste.
4. Mix a tiny bit of cornstarch in water and add to skillet if you don't want your eggs TOO runny.

09-27-2002, 08:48 PM
and I always feel guilty that it does.
haha. I just love it.

04-28-2016, 02:53 PM
Inside the world's largest collection of Chinese menus (http://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/04/28/booksworlds-largest-chinese-menus-collection)
The Thread Tracy Mumford · Apr 28, 2016

Harvey Spiller collected Chinese menus from all across the country -- and the world. These are some of the 10,000 menus acquired by the University of Toronto. Courtesy of the University of Toronto

Fifty-seven banker boxes.

One thousand one hundred pounds.

Ten thousand Chinese menus.

That's what Harley Spiller delivered to the University of Toronto when the school purchased his decades-in-the-making collection. It's the largest assortment of Chinese menus on the planet. The menus go back more than 100 years and come from all over the world, from 1920s California to 1940s India to Spiller's favorite place, just down the street from his New York apartment.

"Anybody who's working in food studies knows about this collection," said professor Daniel Bender, director of the university's food studies center. "It's the Rosetta Stone of understanding the history of Chinese foods."

This Chinese menu comes from Portland, Ore., in the 1950s. It is one of the 10,000 menus from Harvey Spiller's collection, which was acquired by the University of Toronto. Courtesy of the University of Toronto

For the last year, librarians and archivists at the school have been sorting through the menus, studying how best to make the information available to the public. The menus don't just document the rising price of chow mein or the world's changing palates, Bender said. They speak to the history of Chinese immigration around the world.

"The oldest one that we found in the collection is from 1896, which is a really interesting time. That's around the time, or shortly after, the United States and Canada and many other places passed very restrictive Chinese exclusion acts," Bender said.

When countries closed their borders to Chinese immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, immigrants already in the U.S. found a loophole: Chinese restaurant owners were allowed to bring in workers for their kitchens. Thousands of people entered the country that way.

"The Chinese restaurant boom and Chinese exclusion happened really at the same time," Bender said. "Chinese restaurants became popular at the same moment that Chinese immigrants were looked at with suspicion."

This menu comes from Phoenix in the 1980s. It is one of the 10,000 menus from Harvey Spiller's collection, which was acquired by the University of Toronto. Courtesy of the University of Toronto

None of this history was on Harley Spiller's mind when he started his collection.

It began in the summer of 1981, when he moved to New York City. He was in his early 20s, and unfamiliar with city life.

"I'm renting a room in a friend's apartment, and they were out and I was all alone," Spiller said. "I heard a scuffle at the door, and I thought to myself: 'Oh great, I didn't even make it a week and I'm getting robbed.' So I hid in the bedroom.

"About five to ten minutes later, I poked my head out and went to see what was going on. It was a Chinese menu, shoved under the door.

"It was interesting to me because I was an English major, and there were typos, and there were foods I didn't know were foods. I thought squid were in the science lab, fermented. I didn't know you could eat it. I was a meat-and-potato kind of guy.

"Now I eat squid like peas," Spiller said.

This menu comes from Empire Taipei in New York City. Moving to New York is what triggered Harvey Spiller's menu collection. His 10,000 menus were acquired by the University of Toronto. Courtesy of the University of Toronto
That first menu shoved underneath the door sparked his fascination.

"I couldn't afford to subscribe to The New York Times. I couldn't get magazines. So I read menus. They were up and down the avenues in my new town for the taking. I would take walks after dinner, check out the new neighborhood and grab those. They were spare-time reading material."

For those who think the ubiquitous paper menus are worthless, Spiller disagrees: "A menu is a book. It has covers and it has pictures and it has sections like chapters. It's a container for ideas. That's a book!"

Spiller went from casually collecting menus on the street to seeking out historical menus and menus from far-off locales. Older acquaintances ripped Chinese food menus out of their wedding scrapbooks for him. Friends brought them back from vacation.

He dreamed of driving across the country, stopping at flea markets and buying up every old Chinese menu he could found. But instead, the flea markets came to him: eBay was invented.

"In 1997, I was off: I bid on every single Chinese menu that came up on eBay the first year. I bought most of them, and then I looked at my bank account and I went cold turkey."

The University of Toronto's Food Studies program acquired Harvey Spiller's collection of 10,000 Chinese menus. The collection will allow researchers to track the rise and fall of certain dishes across time and location. Courtesy of the University of Toronto

That didn't stop the collection from growing, though.

One weekend in 2004 or 2005, a team of nine people gathered to count the menus for the Guinness Book of World Records. They stopped counting at 5,006, which handily beat the previous world record of 4,001. They were still only halfway through the collection.

As three decades of collecting came and went, though, Spiller decided it was time to find the menus a new home. He was delighted to hear about the University of Toronto's interest. Other potential buyers wanted to cherry-pick menus from the collection, choosing the most exotic or rare among them, but the university wanted the whole thing — and it wanted to make the collection available to the public.

"It started as a lark but it's going to end up helping people writing histories and working on immigration studies," Spiller said. "It helps normalize the immigrant experience."

Professor Bender agrees. "I like to think of that person who finds their own grandparents in that collection, finds the restaurant they worked at ... It's a bit like finding out your parents painted a great painting and now it's hung in a museum."

Spiller's collecting days aren't over, though. He still has a collection of rare coins. And wishbones. And yellow pencils. And blue bottle caps. And plastic spoons.

Harvey Spiller collected matchbooks from Chinese restaurants, too. They are included in the archive purchased by the University of Toronto. Courtesy of the University of Toronto

"That's a collection that I started to see if anything could arise from a dumb collection," he said.

Did moving the 1,100 pounds of Chinese menus out of his apartment free up any space?

"You know how if you squeeze a bowl of Jell-O, it just squirts everywhere?" Spiller laughed. "It's like that. The shelves that were emptied were immediately filled."

The menus allow researchers to track changing trends in Chinese food over the years. This historic menu is from a restaurant in San Francisco. It's one of 10,000 menus in the collection that the University of Toronto acquired. Courtesy of the University of Toronto

Harvey Spiller started by simply collecting the Chinese menus on the streets of New York City, but later began seeking out menus from across the country. This menu from Seattle is one of the 10,000 from Spiller's collection. Courtesy of the University of Toronto

Let me also take a moment here to point out our Dim-Sum-dian-xin (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?69387-Dim-Sum-dian-xin) thread. :cool:

04-30-2016, 01:16 AM
I love Chinese food but I love Japanese food more.

05-19-2016, 10:35 AM

06-15-2016, 12:29 AM
Chinese food is delicious. Link is not working anymore :C

06-22-2016, 09:06 AM
Szechuan for you old skool Americans. Sichuan food is my favorite Chinese food, and I have yet to visit Sichuan.

Lost tradition feared as Sichuanese food booms in popularity (http://www.staradvertiser.com/food/lost-tradition-feared-as-sichuanese-food-booms-in-popularity/)
By Chris Buckley New York Times
June 21, 2016

NEW YORK TIMES Lan Guijun prepares a dish of salmon stewed in a broad bean sauce at his Sichuan fusion restaurant Yu Zhi Lan in Chengdu, China.

NEW YORK TIMES Lan Guijun prepares a dish of salmon stewed in a broad bean sauce at his Sichuan fusion restaurant Yu Zhi Lan in Chengdu, China.

NEW YORK TIMES The kitchen at Lian Ying, a contemporary Sichuan restaurant in Chengdu, China.

The kitchen at Lian Ying, a contemporary Sichuan restaurant in Chengdu, China.

San hua kao ji, or three-flower roast chicken, adapted from a recipe by chef and restauranteur Yang Wen, in Beacon, N.Y.

San hua kao ji, or three-flower roast chicken, adapted from a recipe by chef and restauranteur Yang Wen, in Beacon, N.Y.

1 / 3

HENGDU, China >> The tang of the famed cooking of Sichuan wafts through streets crowded with restaurants. Hot pots of chili and oil simmer like restless volcanoes. Chicken, rabbit and frog bathe in stews tingling with red and green peppercorns. Favorites like Pock-Marked Grandma Tofu abound.

But along with all the pungent aromas, a whiff of panic is in the air here in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in southwest China.

“Sichuanese cuisine really faces a crisis,” said Wang Kaifa, a 71-year-old chef who has been leading a campaign against what he sees as the creeping debasement of the region’s celebrated cooking.

“The scene feels like it’s booming, but this is a chaotic boom that has had a lot of negatives,” he said. “Finally, they could become a sickness that brings down Sichuanese cuisine.”

Such gloom seems surprising. Chengdu has a bustling food scene with many thousands of restaurants, from chic newer ones to hole-in-the-wall places called “fly diners.” Tourists go there just for the food.

Sichuanese cooking has been conquering the world, making major inroads in New York, London and other intensely competitive dining cities abroad.

But many in Chengdu worry that tradition is being lost and Sichuan*ese cooks are selling out for easy but fleeting hits.

Rapid growth has debased much restaurant cooking. Menus are often narrowed to dauntingly spicy dishes, like boiled duck-blood curd and tripe in chili broth, ignoring the great variety and nuance of the cuisine.

“Our taste buds have been battered into decline so that we demand it to be spicier and spicier,” said Shi Guanghua, a food writer and former restaurateur. “Sichuan*ese cuisine has become shallow and flattened.”

In Chengdu, people dissect their meals with the reverence that other cities devote to sports teams. Lively debate surrounds finding the balance between preserving tradition and embracing new ways and new customers.

And in this country where almost every problem prompts a state plan, the province’s government last year upgraded its guidelines for standard Sichuanese dishes. The guidelines advise, for instance, that “strange-flavored chicken strips,” a cold dish that includes dark vinegar, should use the meat of a year-old rooster.

To outsiders, this alarm may seem over the top. But the angst over Sichuan cooking distills wider anxieties about the place of tradition, as China becomes increasingly unmoored from its past.

“Shocks from commercialization and the simplification of tastes have created a crisis,” said Shi, who is on a supervisory panel for the restaurant-rating plan. “Sichuanese cuisine can’t survive without its traditions, but how to preserve them and reinvigorate them at the same time? That’s the focus of discussion.”

Early this year, dozens of retired chefs formed the Sichuan Old Chef Traditional Artistry Society to restore time-honored ways they say are under assault. Its 160 members, most in their 60s and 70s, meet weekly.

They gripe about young cooks who use new ingredients, like may*o*nnaise, and recall neglected classics, like sliced pig kidneys fried in fermented bean paste. Wang said he was inspired to start the society after watching while a 30-year-old chef from a five-star hotel added celtuce, also called asparagus lettuce, to kung pao chicken.

“I was furious,” he said with a grimace. The dish should be an uncluttered mix of chicken, peanuts, stubby dried red chilies and spices, he said. “Young chefs these days just don’t understand what tradition is.”

Of course no cuisine stands still. Classic French food evolves, as does every other cuisine. In Sichuan, the question is what elements to preserve and how to change without betraying the culinary heritage.

A camp of chefs here hopes to remake Sichuanese cooking for urbane middle-class tastes in airy modern restaurants, building on the core of traditional ingredients and techniques.

“You do have to maintain tradition, but it’s not a display in a museum,” said Yang Wen, a rare woman among the legions of male cooks here. “There’s no survival without innovation.”

Yang is the chef at Lotus Shadow, where refined dishes, like braised shrimp infused with jasmine tea, are a world away from the homespun fare favored by old-school revivalists. “It’s preserving the essence of tradition while meeting modern expectations,” she said. “Sichuanese food has never stood still.”

She has a point. Sichuanese cooking is classified as one of the eight great cuisines of China. But its roots are relatively recent. Over several centuries of war, trade and migration, outsiders brought in chilies, fermented bean paste, sugar and other spices, and their own cooking traditions.

These influences melded only a few generations ago to create an unusually aromatic and versatile toolbox of flavors. Sichuan’s historic openness to other influences should be seen as a virtue, say some food lovers here.

“The truest Sichuanese food has only about a century or so of history behind it,” said Wang Shiwu, a food critic at Sichuan Gastronomy magazine.

“The attractiveness of Sichuanese food is that it’s a big melting pot. Whatever is attractive in your cuisine, I can absorb and adapt it.”


1 3- to 3-1/2-pound chicken
>> Marinade:

2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red Sichuan peppercorns
1 tablespoon good-quality jasmine tea
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup coarsely chopped green onion
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped ginger
>> Poaching seasonings:

1/2 cup kosher salt
5 dried whole chili peppers, about 3 inches long
3 tablespoons jasmine tea
3 green onions, coarsely chopped
3 1/4-inch-thick slices ginger
2 whole star anise
6 bay leaves
>> Stuffing:

1/4 cup good-quality jasmine tea leaves
2 stalks green onion
2 1/4-inch-thick slices ginger
1 whole star anise
2 bay leaves
Wash chicken and pat dry, then ***** the thick part of the breast, legs and thighs with a sharp fork.

Combine marinade ingredients in blender or food processor and pulse into coarse paste. Rub chicken cavity and skin with paste; put in plastic bag and refrigerate 10 hours or overnight.

Combine poaching seasonings with 3 quarts water and bring to a boil in heavy 5-quart pot. Add chicken, breast side down; reduce heat to simmer. Cook, covered, 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand, covered, 30 minutes. Turn chicken and let stand, covered, another 15 minutes. Remove chicken, drain and let cool slightly.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Steep tea for stuffing in hot water about 3 minutes. Drain tea, reserving wet leaves. Stuff chicken with half the leaves and remaining stuffing ingredients. Coat chicken with remaining leaves. Discard tea.

Loosely wrap chicken in foil; set it on baking sheet. Poke 4 to 5 small holes in foil to let steam escape and liquid to drain. Bake 30 minutes on middle rack.

Take out of oven. Remove foil and drain any liquid. Leave chicken in pan, breast side up, and bake until dark brown, 45 minutes to an hour. Cool slightly, then gently pull off chicken meat in coarse strips. Discard skin, bones and stuffing. Serve chicken warm or cool with some of tea leaves. Serves 6 to 8.

Nutritional information unavailable.

06-23-2016, 09:30 AM
How Two Chinese Immigrants Built A Billion-Dollar Fast-Food Empire More Successful Than In-N-Out (http://www.foodbeast.com/news/panda-ns/)


Panda Express, the beloved fast-casual dining restaurant, was founded by Chinese immigrants who believe treating their employees right is the key to building their now billion dollar empire.


The Chinese-American fast food chain made $2 billion in sales in 2015 — three times that of fast-food burger joint In-N-Out. According to Business Insider, Panda Express has no franchises and operates with 1,800 outlets in the United States, Mexico and Canada.


Panda Express, which is headquartered in Rosemead, California, is solely owned by the same family that founded it back in the 1970’s. That couple, Andrew and Peggy Cherng, who are both 67, have an estimated net worth of $3 billion today.


Andrew’s father, Ming-Tsai, worked at a restaurant in Taiwan after leaving Yangzhou, China in 1947. The family eventually relocated to Yokohama, Japan where his father found work as a chef. Andrew received a scholarship and moved to Kansas where he met his future wife and co-CEO Peggy at Baker University.


Peggy, also a Chinese immigrant, was raised off the mainland in Burma. After Kansas, she transferred to the University of Missouri where she studied computer science and eventually earned her PhD. Andrew moved to Missouri to be reunited with Peggy and earned his master’s in applied mathematics.



The couple wed after moving to Los Angeles and Andrew later convinced his parents to help him open Panda Inn on Foothill Boulevard in Pasadena in 1973. It was very much a family owned restaurant and business where his mother cooked the rice and Andrew focused on hospitality.


Panda Inn was slow getting off the ground at first and the business struggled initially. The future Panda Express billionaire once had to try to lure people into his restaurant by offering deals such as three entrees for the price of two.


In 1983, Andrew opened the first Panda Express in the new food court of Glendale Galleria. Peggy, a computer programmer at McDonnell Douglas at the time, decided to help her husband with the accounting and payroll for his business.


Her technical knowledge allowed her to spearhead Panda Express’s growth by tracking purchasing history and shifts in customer behavior using pattern-recognition software. She said:

“The kitchen area is low tech, but the management system can be high tech-how to catch the data, how to analyze data to see what’s most salable, what’s not selling, and to determine what to offer and what not to offer.

“Andrew’s vision is that he doesn’t see anything that’s not possible. But visionaries need a system and structure to provide the growth.”



Andrew takes the role of the charismatic leader and motivational CEO while Peggy is the chief technician in charge of operations, the financial tracking system and supply-chain management system. Though they may have differing roles, the couple agree that business is about the people. Peggy said:

“The restaurant business is the people business, and people are our investment. If we want to be loved by guests, we have to focus on food with passion and service with heart, ambience and pride. If that value equation is really good, then guests will come.”


Panda Expresses invests in their employees and the results show. Andrew said:

“Our job is to develop people. When you have a good set of people and they’re in a good place inside and out-in their livelihood and in who they are — then chances are they will take care of the customer better.”

continued next post

06-23-2016, 09:35 AM

Panda Express is known for their better quality food and positive treatment of employees. The results are higher pay and better benefits. Panda Express pays $9.50 an hour for starting entry-level positions and about $14 an hour for assistant managers.


Benefits for Panda employees include health care, paid sick leave, paid vacation, 401(k)s and company-subsidized college courses after six months. The company is focused on self-growth and encourage employees to read books like “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey and “Re-Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins.”

They are also encouraged to join Toastmasters International and enroll in personal-improvement seminars such as Dale Carnegie Training and Landmark Forum.



Of the Cherng’s three daughters, their eldest, Andrea, is the only one to go into the family business. Andrea said of her parents:

“This idea of a purposeful or meaningful life is something that Andrew and Peggy are very dedicated to.”


Andrea holds a law degree from Duke and an M.B.A from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. She gained experience elsewhere in the private sector before she assumed her role at the Panda Restaurant Group with her parents.

Her parents informed her and her sisters at a young age that the whole family were responsible for a number of dependents from the business. She said:

“At dinner or the breakfast table my parents would ask me, ‘What are you going to do for our people?’ far before I could do anything for our people.”


Today, Andrea heads the Panda Express Innovation Kitchen in Pasadena where she tests out new recipes and restaurant decor. She said:

“The Innovation Kitchen is like a concept car. The products there can be replicated throughout the entire system three to five years out.”

Her younger sister Nicole is a real estate investor while her other sister Michelle is a teacher.

Written by NextShark

I've always disdained Panda Express, but this article has changed my opinion.

06-23-2016, 10:14 AM

Chinese cuisine has gone off into the deep end in NYC. I was going to create a thread about the death of Chinese food, It is that bad. There has been a spiked increase in the use of frozen vegetables and the menus are essentially the "formula for success," meaning that they are the same for every restaurant. When I would call for food prepared a particular way the response is something along the lines of, "So, you want it Chinese style!". That, alone, should give you some idea about what is on the menu. The egg rolls are now contain bit pieces of pork and the worst part of the cabbage -- there used to be so much more in those things. Then again they are not a traditional Chinese food. I could go on but lets just leave it as a worsening situation in NYC that has been created by increasing rent, property values and a poor economy.


06-27-2016, 10:06 AM
https://thumbs.mic.com/OGRhMjU2OGIyNyMvQkZQdWRSenpGUDZLa2NHLTJ0M0ZLUWFTSj hZPS80OHg1ODoyMjgyeDEyMDAvMTI4MHg2MjAvZmlsdGVyczpx dWFsaXR5KDc1KS9odHRwczovL3MzLmFtYXpvbmF3cy5jb20vcG 9saWN5bWljLWltYWdlcy9zNmN4Y252dzFmMTFqNDR0ZHgzamdp OHRwaHh4cmRqb2NmM2NhcG1vNmN2cGg4M2hqeWdrMndtcHh6eW kxOWoyLmpwZw.jpg

A Restaurant In China Serves a Boob-Shaped Custard Bun That Lactates on Command. Watch. (https://mic.com/articles/147065/boob-custard-bun-lactates-on-command-watch-it-watch-it#.tbhnd4k6p)
By Khushbu Shah June 24, 2016

The year 2016 has showed the world that pretty much anything is possible: The U.K. actually voted in favor of leaving the European Union, the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency is very real and restaurants can make dim sum dishes that make you ask, "Is it bun? Is it the nipple of a lactating breast? Is it a vomiting baby?"

Enter the Chinese dish from Hong Kong dim sum restaurant Dim Sum Icon that looks like all three:

danielfooddiary (https://www.instagram.com/p/BG0jYz_LVUh/?taken-by=danielfooddiary)

danielfooddiaryMUST WATCH. How u feel when boss chases u for work during weekends. LOL. ��
Hong Kong has the weirdest dum sum ever, a vomiting Kobitos bun.
That is milk custard by the way.
Follow @DanielFoodDiary on Snapchat to see what I ate in #HongKong #DFDHongKong

syisyisyii (https://www.instagram.com/p/BG0p0klFV3i/?taken-by=syisyisyii)

The dish — which is actually just a custard bun — is shaped like a perky breast. It has a strange baby's face that appears to vomit what Instagrammer Daniel's Food Diary wrote is "milk custard" when a hole is poked into the bun.

In reality, the dish is not part of the female anatomy, it's just a "vomiting Kobitos bun." Kobitos is a character from a popular series of Japanese books. This bun in particular appears to be modeled off of the "Hiding Peach Bottom Kobitos." Still, there is no denying its resemblance to a lactating breast.

This is not the only err, creative, bun Dim Sum Icon serves. It's also home to a bun that looks like it has the runs. When customers poke a hole on the backside of the Gudetama chocolate bun (Gudetama is a popular Sanrio character), the chocolate filling oozes out in a realistic manner that might make your stomach a bit queasy.

danielfooddiary (https://www.instagram.com/p/BG9fLG0LVbd/?taken-by=danielfooddiary) DIM SUM ICON

Click video for sound

danielfooddiary"That LOOK when someone s*** near you, literally" ��

Warning: Video may cause some to feel uncomfortable. �� #DFDHongKong

Makes the over-the-top culinary abomination that is Burger King's Mac n' Cheetos look G-rated, no?

Worth the click to see the instagram vids. Well, sort of...

06-28-2016, 03:36 PM
Amusing article. Anyone who has ever done research on China can relate. :rolleyes:


The Mysterious Origins of Hoisin Sauce (http://luckypeach.com/hoisin-sauce/)
The elusive history of a classic condiment.

The Internet-available information about hoisin sauce is all very, very shallow: it’s Chinese, it’s sweet, it’s good with many things. But what is it? Where does it come from? When was it created? Its name means “seafood,” but the sauce contains no seafood. The trail goes cold quickly if you want to know something substantive about the stuff that comes with your pho.

I reached out to Hong Kong– based food company Lee Kum Kee, which has been making hoisin for more than thirty years, hoping they could answer me. Their response:

Hoisin was traditionally used in southern Chinese cooking, specifically for seafood. The word hoisin is from the Chinese word for seafood. At that time it was used for stir-fries and dipping primarily. Now it has become a staple ingredient for all types of cooking and is used as a base, glaze, and marinade. It has become a multi-purpose sauce.

For a company that could fill swimming pools with the stuff, I was hoping for a little more insight. Plus, there’s plenty of informed opinion out there to the contrary: in a 1997 issue of the Chinese food-focused magazine Flavor & Fortune, Eva Koveos wrote, “Ironically hoisin means ‘sea freshness’ sauce in Chinese, but it contains no trace of seafood and usually is not served with it; rather it is popular in Chinese dishes containing poultry and pork.”

I was flummoxed. So I enlisted the help of Chinese-cuisine expert and scholar Fuchsia Dunlop to clear things up:

Hoisin sauce (hai xian jiang) is mainly a Cantonese thing. Many sources on Chinese ingredients don’t mention it at all. I did find one entry in a good culinary encyclopedia that says hai xian jiang is a collective name for seafood sauces, such as shrimp sauce, crab sauce, and clam sauce. I also found one Hong Kong chefs’ handbook that says it’s made from a smooth black bean sauce with added “seafood (hai xian),” cane sugar, garlic, vinegar, and five-spice powder. I’ve also found some recipes online that are made with fermented shrimp sauce.

So, without being able to answer you definitively, I would guess that it was originally a kind of sauce based either on fermented black beans or sweet fermented wheat sauce with some kind of dried/fermented seafood element added for extra umami flavor, as well as other seasonings, and that over time manufacturers cut back on the more expensive seafood ingredients. This seems the most likely explanation, because, as you know, hoisin sauce is more commonly used for ingredients such as pork, and not much for seafood, which would be the other logical reason for the name.

This would explain the absence of any seafood and/or shellfish product in today’s bottled hoisin. But I can’t fully corroborate any one theory about hoisin’s origins. Maybe hoisin once had seafood in it, maybe it didn’t. Maybe it made its way from China to Vietnam in the twentieth century, or maybe it evolved out of another bean-based condiment in Vietnam. Maybe it’s from Mars.

So after my futile quest for discovery, the most important facts about hoisin are those that you can confirm for yourself: it tastes good on char siu, Peking duck, and moo shu pork. It’s great in a Taiwanese-style pork bun. And it is very nice to have along- side a bowl of pho.

06-30-2016, 09:21 AM
Oh man....China...:rolleyes:

Beijing hotpot restaurant serves up Barbie doll wrapped in meat that you undress while you eat (http://shanghaiist.com/2016/06/30/hotpot_shop_serves_barbie_wrapped_in_meat.php)


A hotpot restaurant is drawing some heat online, thanks to its new menu item -- a Barbie doll wrapped up in strips of mutton.
Typically, a hotpot restaurant serves its customers with plates of meat that they cook at their leisure; however, one hotpot restaurant in Beijing provides diners with a beautiful female doll in a red gown.
Well, upon closer inspection, she's actually wrapped up in strips of mutton (芭比羊肉衣), Shanghai Daily reports. Therefore, if diners want to eat the mutton, they have to peel off each layer of meat, slowly undressing the Barbie, exposing her naked plastic to everyone.


While the restaurant owner must have thought that this was a brilliant idea to promote his hotpot shop, netizens on Weibo are a bit disgusted by the "sexist" display.
"Why can't we just eat meats without any kind of stupid tricks like this?" one asked.
"It's very disgusting. We don't even know whether the staff cleaned the doll or not," another commented.
"Let's just throw the doll into the hotpot! It's really time consuming to pull away all those strips of meat," one netizen joked.
Wait, where have we seen that meat dress before? Some netizens immediately thought of the recently possibly banned Lady Gaga, saying that the hotpot restaurant should stop trying to imitate Lady Gaga's style, because apparently it isn't working.


Apparently, this place didn't get the memo that China is trying to cut its meat consumpion in half.

By Katie Ngai
[Images via Weibo]

10-25-2016, 09:22 AM
Oh man....China...:rolleyes:

'They're so yummy!' Stomach-churning footage shows daredevil Chinese man eating LIVE LEECHES as they wriggle around on his chopsticks (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3866406/They-yummy-Stomach-churning-footage-shows-daredevil-Chinese-man-eating-LIVE-LEECHES-wriggle-chopsticks.html?ITO=applenews)

Footage posted online on October 22 shows the man tucking into leeches
He tried to dip the struggling worms into a plate of oil using chopsticks
Fat worms can be seen squirming in the plate of dipping sauce
The man is believed to be dining out with friends at a Chinese restaurant

PUBLISHED: 08:03 EST, 24 October 2016 | UPDATED: 09:38 EST, 24 October 2016

Bizarre footage posted online on October 22 shows the moment a man in China tucks into a meal of squirming leeches.
The man can be seen using chopsticks to dip three leeches into a small plate of oil in a restaurant thought to be in southern China.
The excited diner can be heard saying 'Wow, they are so yummy!' in Cantonese, a dialect spoken in southern China.
Unsettling moment shows man eating LIVE leeches in restaurant

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/10/24/11/39A8F6EB00000578-3866406-A_man_can_be_seen_using_chopsticks_to_dip_three_le eches_into_a_s-m-64_1477306084985.jpg
A man can be seen using chopsticks to dip three leeches into a small plate of oil

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/10/24/11/39A8F6FF00000578-3866406-It_s_a_real_challenge_to_hold_the_leeches_still_al ive_and_wiggli-a-65_1477306103081.jpg
It's a real challenge to hold the leeches, still alive and wiggling, using the two sticks. Some leeches was left squirming in the plate of oil
In the video posted online by Weibo user Lie QI Xiao Dao Dan on October 22, the man can be seen struggling to keep hold of the leeches with his chopsticks.
The animals are still alive and wiggling as the man tries to keep control using the two sticks.
A female diner can be heard saying: 'They are good quality. They are still moving!'
The man, struggles to capture the final leech which fell in the small plate of oil.
He says: 'Two leeches are not enough. Let me get a third one. It has to be big.'
The man then picks up a fat worm from a big plate of purple and red coloured leeches.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/10/24/11/39A8F72D00000578-3866406-The_eager_diner_was_playing_with_the_worms_to_show _off_the_fresh-m-69_1477306467714.jpg
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/10/24/11/39A8F70300000578-3866406-The_man_then_turned_to_big_plate_of_leeches_to_pic k_up_another_f-a-70_1477306474370.jpg
The man then turned to big plate of leeches to pick up another fat worm

The man tries to show off the freshness of his food. He says: 'Let them move a bit first. Otherwise people will say they are dead.'
The video then cuts to a close up of the man opening wide to eat more of the leeches.
He then gives a thumbs up before the video ends.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/10/24/11/39A8F75700000578-3866406-The_video_then_came_with_a_close_up_of_how_the_man _opened_his_mo-m-73_1477306598202.jpg
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/10/24/11/39A8F79000000578-3866406-The_contented_man_happily_gave_a_thumb_up_after_ea ting_the_live_-a-74_1477306607110.jpg
The video then came with a close up of how the man opened his mouth big to enjoy the fresh food

The clip, posted on October 22, is believed to be taken in a restaurant in southern China, home to Cantonese cuisine.
Cantonese cuisine virtually includes all edible food in addition to the common staple of pork, beef and chicken, Xinhua reports.
Other than leeches, a diverse species of worms and insects are common Cantonese dishes, including ****roaches, water beetles, cicada, according to the report.
However, most are cooked and processed before eating.

There's a vid on the other side of the link, but I don't recommend watching it.

02-10-2017, 09:26 AM
They will bring you good fortune! Food lover makes dumplings that look like mahjong tiles (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/peoplesdaily/article-4208596/Chinese-food-lover-makes-mahjong-alike-sweet-dumplings.html?ITO=applenews)

One man in China has put a creative spin on a traditional dessert dumplings eaten in winter
The food is typically enjoyed on the Lantern Festival at the end of Lunar New Year for good luck
Game lovers joked that people might eat the real mahjong tiles by mistake if they play while eating

PUBLISHED: 06:29 EST, 10 February 2017 | UPDATED: 06:30 EST, 10 February 2017

Food plays an important part in Chinese culture and different dishes are dedicated to different festivals.

A man from east China has put a creative spin on the traditional Chinese dessert dumplings, which are eaten on the last day of Lunar New Year celebrations in hope of good fortune.

Web users have been amazed by the pictures of his lucky food which are shaped after mahjong tiles, a popular game in China usually played by four people.

Tasteful game! A man in China has shared pictures of innovative dumplings which look like tiles of a traditional game

Vivid: The mahjong dumplings (right) look so real that people have joked that game players might mix the two by mistake

Got a sweet tooth? The dumplings are filled with red bean paste, like the ordinary sweet dumplings found in Chinese stores

According to People’s Daily Online, the images have attracted great attention on the Chinese social media because the Lantern Festival, the occasion to eat these dumplings, will fall on this Saturday.

Lantern Festival, also known as Yuan Xiao Jie, is an event characterised by its iconic red Chinese lanterns. The festival marks the first full moon in a Lunar New Year.

Traditionally, the festival also signals the end of a two-week-long Lunar New Year celebrations.

Normally, sweet dumplings eaten on the day are shaped like a ball, a reminiscent of the roundness of a full moon. The sweet dumplings are made of glutinous rice flour with various fillings such as sesame paste and red bean paste.

The food lover's mahjong dumplings, however, are decorated with dots, strokes and Chinese characters, just like the tiles used in the game.

Quick and easy: Shaped in a mold, the sweet dumplings can be made with glutinous rice flour, jam and red bean paste

Mahjong lovers commented on social media that these colourful dumplings might bring extra luck to the diners

Time to make your own! Mahjong dumplings can be made easily at home, with a simple recipe and few equipment

Mahjong lovers joked that the sweet dumplings will bring them luck. However, some are concerned that people might eat the real mahjong tiles by mistake if they have the food while playing the game.

Web user 'New Hao' said: 'What if people play pranks on the others and they eat the real tiles?'

According to China Daily, mahjong dumpling first appeared in China in 2015 at a one hotpot restaurant, called 'BaShu LongMen' in Shanghai. The dumplings come in a portion of four, available in peanut paste and black sesame paste and cost six yuan (70p) per bowl.

Ingredients: Mahjong tiles baking mold, food colouring or jam, glutinous rice flour and red bean paste

Mix glutinous rice flour and water to make a dough
Reshape the dough to a long stick and cut them into small pieces
Take a small piece of dough, flatten it with hands and place the red bean paste in the middle
Place the mixture into a mahjong tiles baking mold
Decorate the characters with food colouring or jam using an icing decorating pen
144 tiles in a set. That's a lot of dumplings if they make them all.

05-30-2017, 01:23 PM
This is a great culture clash piece. It reminds me of the situation we had with our 10th Anniversary and not decapitating the fish (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/ezine/article.php?article=257).

China Doesn't Understand the Concept of American Chinese Food (https://munchies.vice.com/en_us/article/china-doesnt-understand-the-concept-of-american-chinese-food?utm_source=vicefbus)
APR 27 2017, 11:00AM

Photo by Jamie Fullerton

Meet Fung and Dave, two Americans who opened up a Chinese-American restaurant in Shanghai, where the cooks shake their heads at dishes like crab rangoon and orange chicken and the customers don't understand the point of fortune cookies.

This article originally appeared on MUNCHIES in May 2014. Fortune Cookie closed in January 2016.

If you're a Westerner, even if the closest you've got to Asian culture is stumbling across the Great Wall on Google Earth, you know that Chinese people don't crack open fortune cookies after every meal. And as a Brit living in Shanghai since a year ago, I can confirm that rather than sweet and sour chicken, most Chinese people prefer a nice pile of crispy chicken feet.

In fact, as the wonderfully named former New York Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee pointed out in her 2008 TED Talk, most Chinese people don't even know what chop suey actually is. Since Chinese food first began being served in the USA in the 19th century, it has had generations to evolve and suit US tastes, so much so that it's completely disconnected to traditional dishes served in China, both now and then.

"In China they like bones, but we had the staff spend hours deboning the chicken," says Fung. "They were saying, 'Why are we doing this?'

Given that most Chinese people wouldn't recognize a plate of sticky orange chicken if it was splattered in their face, it seems an odd move to open an eatery almost exclusively serving American-style Chinese food in the middle of Shanghai. But that's what New Yorker Fung Lam and California-born Dave Rossi have done in the shape of Fortune Cookie, which opened ten months ago.

Photo by Jamie Fullerton
Above, Fung (left) and Dave (right). All photos by the author.

Having failed in their bid to launch a salad-based venue in Shanghai two years ago, the pair, who had quit white collar jobs and moved to China to try to launch a venue together, were craving American-Chinese comfort food and couldn't find it in China.

"When somebody feels like they've broken up with their girlfriend, they don't think, I really want a salad,'' says David. "We wanted orange chicken, something fried, and cold beer. We couldn't find it in Shanghai, so we decided to do it ourselves. When we signed the lease we thought, If this bombs, at least we can eat the food we've been missing for six months."

But it didn't bomb. Fung's family owns 15 Chinese restaurants in the US, the first of which his grandfather set up in Brooklyn in the 60s. Fung flew his dad, who is head chef of all 15 restaurants, over to Shanghai to train up the newly hired Chinese kitchen staff.

Photo by Jamie Fullerton

"In China they like bones, but we had the staff spend hours deboning the chicken," says Fung. "They were saying, 'Why are we doing this?' We also got them to fill wontons with cheese. They were thinking, What is going on? Some of them were eating cream cheese for the first time. They were shaking their heads."

Photo by Jamie Fullerton

When Fung transferred his family's fantastic recipes (including a rich orange chicken, Kung Pao chicken, General Tso's beef, and tofu chop suey) to China and served them alongside imported US beers, Western expats latched on quickly. But locals needed to be won over, too—a goal that was achieved when the pair started selling themselves as providing "American food" rather than "Chinese food with an American twist."

Photo by Jamie Fullerton

That's not to say that things haven't got lost in translation sometimes. "The first response from locals is always about portion size," says Dave. "They think they're huge. We had two petite women come in early on when we opened and order seven dishes. After the second one came out they just started laughing. Also, people hadn't seen the take-out boxes we use anywhere other than on The Big Bang Theory. Our Chinese assistant just said, "'Oh, that's what Sheldon eats.'"

In her talk, Jennifer 8. Lee showed a video of Chinese people looking bemused as they were shown fortune cookies for the first time. (Fortune cookies actually originated from Japan.) The responses have been similar over here: "A lot of our guests are opening their first fortune cookies," says Dave. "Some of them eat the paper or put it in their purse thinking it's a free gift."

Photo by Jamie Fullerton

Fung believes that it is quality rather than novelty that's earned them the respect of both locals and expats, though. "We're not finding recipes on the internet, we're doing this for real," he says. "Every American-Chinese family has their own recipe for orange chicken, and this is something my grandfather passed on. This food tastes like it does in New York and is legit, with 40 years of history."

Photo by Jamie Fullerton

As our interview wraps up, Dave hands me a fortune cookie. I break open to reveal a paper slip bearing a message so fitting, I suspect he may have set it up: If you build it, they will come.

Photo by Jamie Fullerton

Don't expect to get such poignant messages here in the near future. Fung and Dave say they wrote all the fortunes themselves (initially to replace the first batch they ordered that turned out to be written in Dutch), but have run out of ideas. Now they use suggestions written by customers and left in a collection box by the door. "They're always something ridiculously sexual," says Dave. "Or phone numbers with 'For a good time call…' next to them. And, of course, a huge amount of pictures of *****es."

09-14-2017, 12:23 PM
A somewhat odd story, but not unbelievable:


09-14-2017, 01:20 PM
Jimbo, this is near my 'hood. It created quite a stir in Santa Cruz, given their generally progressive leanings. O-Mei was well thought of when I went to graduate school at UCSC, but I hadn't eaten there in over a quarter century.

Ironically, I used to be part of the USA Omei Kung Fu Academy (http://www.martialartsmart.com/o-mei-emei-kung-fu-dvd.html) under Master Tony Chen (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/magazine/article.php?article=453). I was going to wear my old school shirt in there someday, just for laughs, but their menu didn't meet my dietary restrictions. Now those shirts will get filed alongside my Shaolin Temple stuff with swastikas (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?40342-Swaztika). :o

11-14-2017, 02:32 PM
Not limited to Chinese food, but related.

Asian-American Cuisine’s Rise, and Triumph (https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/11/10/t-magazine/asian-american-cuisine.html)

The American-Chinese restaurant is, like the diner and the mom-and-pop restaurant, a cornerstone of the American dining vernacular. Here, the interior of White Bear, which opened in 1989 in Flushing, Queens, and is known for its exceptional dumplings.
Anthony Cotsifas

NOVEMBER 10, 2017

On the plate, the egg looks like an eye plucked from a baby dragon. The yolk is the green-black of smoked glass, with a gray, nearly calcified halo, trapped in an oval of wobbling amber and emitting the faintest whiff of brimstone.

So begins the $285, 19-course tasting menu at Benu in San Francisco. The egg is a traditional Chinese snack, often called (poetically, if inaccurately) a 1,000-year-old egg, preserved for a few weeks or months in lye or slaked lime, salt and tea. It’s sold by street vendors, tossed into stir-fries and scattered over congee throughout China, parts of Southeast Asia and the world’s Chinatowns. To more than a billion people, it is an utterly commonplace food.

But to present it as an amuse-bouche at one of the most acclaimed fine-dining restaurants in the United States, to a predominantly non-Asian clientele, is radical. For despite America’s long, complicated love affair with Asian cooking, it is hard to imagine such a food, so alien to Western culinary ideals in appearance, aroma, flavor and texture, being served in this kind of setting, let alone embraced, a decade ago.

This, though, is the new American palate. As a nation we were once beholden to the Old World traditions of early settlers; we now crave ingredients from ****her shores. The briny rush of soy; ginger’s low burn; pickled cabbage with that heady funk so close to rot. Vinegar applied to everything. Fish sauce like the underbelly of the sea. Palm sugar, velvet to cane sugar’s silk. Coconut milk slowing the tongue. Smoky black cardamom with its menthol aftermath. Sichuan peppercorns that paralyze the lips and turn speech to a burr, and Thai bird chilies that immolate everything they touch. Fat rice grains that cling, that you can scoop up with your hands. (As a child raised in a Filipino-American household, I was bewildered by commercials for Uncle Ben’s rice that promised grains that were “separate, not sticky,” as if that were a good thing.)

These are American ingredients now, part of a movement in cooking that often gets filed under the melting-pot, free-for-all category of New American cuisine. But it’s more specific than that: This is food borne of a particular diaspora, made by chefs who are “third culture kids,” heirs to both their parents’ culture and the one they were raised in, and thus forced to create their own.

Could we call it Asian-American cuisine? The term is problematic, subsuming countries across a vast region with no shared language or single unifying religion. It elides numerous divides: city and countryside, aristocrats and laborers, colonizers and colonized — “fancy Asian” and “jungle Asian,” as the comedian Ali Wong puts it. (She’s speaking specifically of East and Southeast Asians, who followed similar patterns of immigration to the U.S. and who are the primary focus of this piece.) As a yoke of two origins, it can also be read as an impugning of loyalties and as a code for “less than fully American.” When I asked American chefs of Asian heritage whether their cooking could be considered Asian-American cuisine, there was always a pause, and sometimes a sigh.

The Cantonese dim sum parlor Golden Unicorn, which has been operating for 28 years in New York City’s Chinatown.
Anthony Cotsifas

But this is what happens in America: Borders blur. When there aren’t many of you — Americans of Asian descent are only 6 percent of the population, a legacy of decades of immigration quotas and denial of citizenship — you find common cause with your neighbors. The term Asian-American was not imposed on us, like “Yellow Peril” in the late 19th century or “Oriental”; it was coined in the 1960s by Yuji Ichioka, a California-born historian and civil rights activist, to give us a political voice. If we call this kind of cooking just American, something is lost.

The rise of contemporary Asian-American cuisine began with Korean-American chef David Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar, which opened in New York in 2004 and was followed four years later by fellow Korean-American chef Roy Choi’s Kogi BBQ truck in Los Angeles. Their approach to cooking is typically, reductively, framed as an East-meets-West marriage of big flavors and elevated (i.e., French) technique — as if every Asian cuisine were hellbent on storming the palate (some, like Cantonese, are, in fact, renowned for their subtlety); as if culinary refinement were proprietary to the West.

But the history of Asian-American cuisine goes further back than that, to the first tearooms and banquet halls set up by Chinese immigrants who came to seek their fortune in Gold Rush California in the 1850s. By the end of the 19th century, despite Congress’s passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 and attempts to condemn San Francisco’s Chinatown as a threat to the American way of life — “in their quarters all civilization of the white race ceases,” declared a pamphlet published by the Workingmen’s Party of California in 1880 — Cantonese restaurants were all the rage in New York. The food was cheap and fast, swiftly stir-fried in woks, a technique that remained a mystery for decades to most in the West. (One journalist, touring a Chinatown kitchen in 1880, did wonder if “the funny little things we saw at the bottom of a deep earthen jar were rat’s-tails skinned.”)

When outsiders came flocking in the 1890s, Chinese chefs altered and invented dishes to please them. This was less concession than calculation, capitalizing on opportunity. The work of immigrants — in food as in the arts — has always been dogged by accusations of impurity and inauthenticity, suggesting that there is one standard, preserved in amber, for what a dish should be or what a writer or artist with roots in another country should have to say. It’s a specious argument, as if being born into a culture were insufficient bona fides to speak of it. (Immigrants are always being asked to show their papers, in more ways than one.) The history of food, like the history of man, is a series of adaptations, to environment and circumstance. Recipes aren’t static. Immigrant cooks, often living in poverty, have always made do with what’s on hand, like the Japanese-Americans rounded up and shipped to internment camps during the Second World War, who improvised rice balls with rations of Spam, and the Korean and Filipino-Americans who, having survived on canned goods in the aftermath of war, eked out household budgets by deploying hot dogs in kimbap and banana-ketchup spaghetti.

Sometimes the nostalgia for this kind of food can be difficult to convey to those who don’t share the same history. At Bad Saint, a Filipino restaurant in Washington, D.C., the chef Tom Cunanan makes adobo with pig tails, a cheap, snubbed part of the animal that was treasured by Depression-era Filipino immigrants working in California labor camps. Diep Tran, the Vietnamese-American chef of Good Girl Dinette in Los Angeles, told me that she wishes she could serve a breakfast of nothing but baguette accompanied by condensed milk diluted with hot water, for dipping. “It’s refugee food,” she said. “Proustian, kind of like Spam. But people get upset; they think they’re being ripped off.”

Almost every Asian-American chef I spoke to — most of whom are in their late 20s to early 40s — came to the U.S. as children or were born to parents who were immigrants. (In 1952, the last racial barriers to naturalization were lifted, and in 1965, immigration quotas based on national origin — for Asia, 100 visas per country per year — were abolished.) Almost all had stories of neighbors alarmed by the smells from their families’ kitchens or classmates recoiling from their lunchboxes. “I was that kid, with ****y-smelling food,” said Jonathan Wu, the Chinese-American chef at Nom Wah Tu in New York. “I still feel that, if I’m taking the train with garlic chives in my bag.”
continued next post

11-14-2017, 02:33 PM
Nom Wah Tea Parlor, which claims to be New York City’s first dim sum restaurant, opened on Doyers Street in 1920.
Anthony Cotsifas

So these chefs’ cooking, born of shame, rebellion and reconciliation, is not some wistful ode to an imperfectly remembered or never-known, idealized country. It’s a mixture of nostalgia and resilience. It wasn’t taught — certainly not in the way other cuisines have been traditionally taught. Graduates of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., recalled that little time was devoted to Asian cooking; at Le Cordon Bleu in London and in Paris, none. One instructor took offense when Preeti Mistry, whose Indian-inflected restaurants include Juhu Beach Club in Oakland, Calif., likened a French stew to curry. Another told David Chang that pork stock, essential to tonkotsu ramen, was “disgusting.”

Neither does their cooking have much kinship with the “fusion” cuisine of the early 1990s, when non-Asian chefs like Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Gray Kunz began folding Eastern ingredients into otherwise Western dishes. (“Fusion” is another term that sits uneasily with Asian-American chefs. “I wouldn’t call myself ‘fusion,’ ” said Maiko Kyogoku, the owner of the idiosyncratic Bessou in New York. “To describe food that way? It’s an extension of myself.”) In spirit, Asian-American cooking is closer to other American-born cuisines with tangled roots: the Lowcountry cooking of coastal South Carolina, which owes a debt to slaves from West Africa who brought over one-pot stews and ingredients like okra, peanuts and black-eyed peas; and Tex-Mex, which is not a *******ization of Mexican food but a regional variant of it, cultivated by Tejanos, descendants of Hispanics who lived in Texas when it was part of Mexico and, before that, New Spain.

There’s also no one cultural touchstone or trauma that binds Asian immigrants: no event on a national scale that has brought us together. But part of what distinguishes our experience from that of other immigrants and people of color is the fraught, intimate relationship between our countries of origin and the U.S., which has been foe and protector, oppressor and liberator, feared and adored. In 1899, the British writer Rudyard Kipling urged the U.S. to “take up the White Man’s burden” in the Philippines after the Spanish-American War:

Go send your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need
[...] Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.

This begot more than a century of American military intervention in East and Southeast Asia, and a history of conflicting images: Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima; the Vietcong in black pajamas and the American atrocities at My Lai; teeming refugee camps and smiling American G.I.s handing out candy, decade after decade, to throngs of dark-haired, starving children.

Any immigrant is an outsider at first. But for Asians in America, there is a starker sense of otherness. We don’t fit in to the American binary of white and black. We have been the enemy; the subjugated; the “lesser” peoples whose scramble for a foothold in society was historically seen as a menace to the American order. And yet we’ve also been the “good” immigrants, proving ourselves worthy of American beneficence — polite, humble, grateful, willing to work 20-hour days running a grocery store or a laundry or a restaurant that will never be “authentic” enough, to spend every dime on our children’s test prep so that they get into the best schools, because we believe in the promise of America, that if you work hard, you can become anyone. If you try hard enough, you might even be mistaken for white.

continued next post

11-14-2017, 02:33 PM
Nom Wah Tea Parlor’s interior has remained virtually the same.
Anthony Cotsifas

Among the children of immigrants, Asians in America seem most caught in a state of limbo: no longer beholden to their parents’ countries of origin but still grasping for a role in the American narrative. There is a unique foreignness that persists, despite the presence of Asians on American soil for more than two centuries; none of us, no matter how bald our American accent, has gone through life without being asked, “Where are you from? I mean, originally?” But while this can lead to alienation, it can also have a liberating effect. When you are raised in two cultures at once — when people see in you two heritages at odds, unresolved, in abeyance — you learn to shift at will between them. You may never feel like you quite belong in either, but neither are you fully constrained. The acute awareness of borders (culinary as well as cultural) that both enclose and exclude, allows, paradoxically, a claim to borderlessness, taking freely from both sides to forge something new. For Asian-American chefs, this seesaw between the obligations of inheritance and the thrill of go-it-aloneness, between respecting your ancestors and lighting out for the hills, manifests in dishes that arguably could come only from minds fluent in two ways of life.

Thus the kaiseki at Niki Nakayama’s n/naka, in Los Angeles, always includes a pasta course. Her slyly voluptuous “carbonara” of abalone livers and egg yolks is a homage to Tokyo-style wafu spaghetti with briny pickled cod roe — only here it’s capped with shaved truffles. At Tao Yuan, in Brunswick, Me., Cara Stadler takes tiles of goat cheese made by a local creamery and sears them, as is done in Yunnan, to approximate rubing, a sturdy farmer’s cheese. But instead of merely sprinkling the cheese with sugar or salt, she counters its meatiness with a bright grace note of mint and watermelon from summer’s height. A Caesar salad might be supplanted by a canoe of romaine, grilled for a hint of smoke and loaded with dainty jako (dried baby sardines) and quail eggs as anchors, as at Bessou in New York. Or, as re-envisioned by Chris Kajioka at Senia, in Honolulu, it might be a mossy cliff of charred cabbage — a wink at an iceberg wedge — dusted with shio kombu (shredded kelp boiled in soy and mirin), soaked through with dashi and ginger, and surrounded by daubs of heady green goddess dressing and buttermilk turned to gel. It’s not so much a salad as a cheeky biography of it by the barbarian at the gates, achieving the quintessence of an American classic through Asian ingredients.

And while Asian-American cooking may not be expressed in or identified by a single set of flavors, one thing that does unite such disparate traditions is an emphasis on textures. Indeed, if the cuisine can be said to have revolutionized American food, it’s by introducing unfamiliar mouth feels — crackle where one doesn’t expect it, slime in a country that’s always shied away from that sensation — into our culinary vocabulary. Justin Yu, who recently opened Theodore Rex in Houston, rhapsodizes about “the crunch that you can hear in the back of your head”; unrendered, gelatinous animal skin, “a fun burst of fat and softness”; broths barely skimmed, or with a spoonful of fat added “to coat the lips.” The maverick Katsuya Fukushima, of Daikaya in Washington, D.C., once turned natto — a gooey, slippery skein of fermented soybeans, with the perfume of castoff socks — into an earthy caramel over soft-serve. Like Latin-American food, which made Americans crave heat, Asian-American cuisine has made “difficult” textures not only desirable but as integral to food as flavor itself. That certain ingredients still make some Western diners squeamish is part of its provocative fun.

But the question remains: Does calling this kind of cooking Asian-American cuisine deepen and contextualize our understanding of it, or is it just a label, like speaking of Asian-American art or fiction — a way of simplifying a complex story and making it a marketable cliché? The danger is fetishizing Asian features, a tendency that diminishes: If you are an exotic object or phenomenon, you may never become recognized or acknowledged as more. “White chefs are using these ingredients and saying, ‘Oh, it’s so strange,’ ” Tin Vuong, of Little Sister in Los Angeles, said. “It isn’t.” Instead of a historical matrix of Asian culinary traditions, “young cooks just see a big pantry,” Fukushima said. “Take a little bit of this, a little bit of that — there’s no soul to it.”

Chang believes that food “has the potential to sort of show that we’re all the same.” But even he isn’t entirely comfortable with the ubiquity of kimchi. “Let’s say you spent no time in Asia, you just found a recipe on YouTube,” he said. “That’s appropriation. It’s not about skin color. You have to have a story, pay respect to what it was and what it means.” At the same time, it seems reductive to expect Asian-American chefs to make food that somehow reflects their personal “story.” On season three of “Top Chef,” Hung Huynh, a Vietnamese-American contestant, was faulted for cooking that was technically dazzling but lacked explicit reference to his roots. “You were born in Vietnam,” Tom Colicchio, the head judge, said. “I don’t see any of that in your food.” (It’s hard not to hear an echo of the trope of the inscrutable Oriental, whose motives can’t be deciphered, and the common criticism of Asian-Americans at school and at work as being overly cerebral and lacking feeling.) The strictures of reality TV do demand a baring of the soul, but not all Asian-American chefs want to work with Asian flavors — and when they do, it’s not always in expected ways.

Must every Italian chef make lasagna, every French chef coq au vin? Anita Lo, who closed her fine-dining restaurant Annisa in New York earlier this year, cooked there for 17 years without fealty to one region or cultural tradition. This puzzled some diners. “I had someone come in and say, ‘Where’s the big Buddha head?’ ” she said. When publications request recipes and she submits one without Asian ingredients, the response is often, “We were really hoping for something Asian” — or Asian-ish: Anything with soy, apparently, will do. “I send in Japanese, which isn’t even my background, but that works,” she said.

Corey Lee’s “Benu” cookbook is filled with stories: of his grandmother foraging for acorns; of his mother forcing him to drink a tonic of brewed deer’s antlers; of his father bringing home live lobster for his son’s birthday, and of the joys of eating tomalley (the wet gray-green paste that acts as a lobster’s liver and pancreas) on buttered bread. All suggest that Lee’s dishes, however rarefied, are also deeply autobiographical. But Lee demurs, the way a novelist might, fending off a critic’s attempt to find in his books correlations to actual events, wanting them to stand alone as fully imagined works of art. “There’s great pressure for chefs to have a story,” he said. “Maybe there’s no story beyond, ‘I want to serve this food and it tastes good.’ ”

It’s the eternal plea of the minority, to ask to be judged not by one’s appearance or the rituals of one’s forbears but for the quality of one’s mind and powers of invention. Certainly our country was predicated on the right to shed one’s past and be reborn, to come from nothing and work your way up; in this, Asians may be among the most American of Americans. But why is the choice always between exotic caricature or rootlessness? The philosopher Slavoj Zizek argues that the embrace of “ethnic” restaurants is merely “tolerance” of a “folklorist Other deprived of its substance”: “The ‘real Other’ is by definition ‘patriarchal,’ ‘violent,’ never the Other of ethereal wisdom and charming customs.” Too often Asian-American chefs are presumed to double as educators or ambassadors, representing an entire race, culture or cuisine.

In the end, doesn’t it matter — not to others, but to ourselves — where we are from? And no, I don’t mean “originally.” I mean the forces that made us: the immigrants who raised us, with all their burdens and expectations, their exhortations to fit in but never forget who we are; and the country we grew up in, that is our only home, that taught us we are “other” but also seems, in some confused, tentative way, to want to learn something from us.

For Asian-American chefs, this is the conundrum, and the opportunity. The foods of their childhoods were once mocked and rejected by their non-Asian peers (and by their ashamed or rebellious younger selves); then accepted in dilute, placating form; and now are able to command audiences who clamor for their sensations and aggressive flavors, and who might be unnerved if they knew exactly what they were putting in their mouths. What may be most radical about Asian-American cuisine is the attitude that informs and powers it, reflecting a new cockiness in a population that has historically kept quiet and encouraged to lay low. It’s food that celebrates crunchy cartilage and gelatinous ooze, that openly stinks, that declares: This is what I like to eat. What about you? Do you dare?
Very intriguing notion.

11-22-2017, 09:43 AM
This one is just in time for Thanksgiving (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?7130-Happy-Thanksgiving). ;)

There's a vid. Oh yum....:o

NOT fine dining! Disturbing footage of restaurant diners eating LIVE seafood - including squirming fish on ice being cut open - reveals grim trend in China (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5099831/Diners-eat-LIVE-seafood-grim-trend-China.html)
Horrible videos show large fish still moving as people eat their severed flesh
An octopus, eels and grubs are also seen being eaten alive or shoved into bowls
China is not the only country in which this ethically questionable practice occurs
Live oyster and lobster is eaten in Europe and America, and live fish, octopus, squid and shrimp are eaten in Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Thailand
By Liz Dunphy For Mailonline
PUBLISHED: 07:38 EST, 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 05:07 EST, 21 November 2017

A shocking video has emerged of people eating live fish as they struggle and squirm in desperation in restaurants in China.

Horrible videos show large fish still moving despite being partially cut up and laid out on plates while being prodded with chopsticks by diners.

One fish, who has half its side slashed off with its flesh laid out in strips in front of it, can be seen repeatedly opening its mouth, as if gasping for breath, as someone prods at it.

A pot of wriggling eels are dumped in a large bowl of sauce on another dining table, and some of them make a dash for freedom, squirming across the table and onto the floor.

A man picks up a an octopus from a bowl of broth and shovels the wriggling creature, which scientists say feel pain and are intelligent, into his mouth as other diners laugh and joke as he does so.

The creature's tentacles reach out from his mouth and wrap around his face, grabbing at their assailant before he bites them off.

In another clip, a fish opens its mouth repeatedly as people pick up pieces of its mutilated flesh with chopsticks and eat it.

Large grubs wriggle about in a bowl of broth in another video.

But China is not the only country in which this ethically questionable practice of eating live seafood takes place.

Oysters are eaten live in many countries, including Britain, and restaurants in Europe and America serve live lobster.

Wendy Higgins of Humane Society International told MailOnline: ‘This video is truly sickening both in terms of animal cruelty but also in terms of what humans are capable of doing to our fellow creatures.

Table of nightmares: The fish, which have half their sides slashed off, can be seen repeatedly opening their mouths, as if gasping for breath, while people prod them with chopsticks

A large pot of wriggling eels are dumped in a large bowl of sauce on another dining table, and some of them make a dash for freedom, squirming across the table and onto the floor

'These fish and baby squid will have endured the unspeakable horror and pain of being eaten alive, all to satisfy diners' lust for extreme cuisine. Their ordeal is protracted and disgusting.
'There are no laws to protect animals like this in China, and it is that lack of legal recognition that can in itself encourage an attitude of disrespect.
'Basic respect for animals as sentient, thinking, feeling creatures is absolutely fundamental to protecting them; without that it becomes so much easier for people to divorce themselves from the pain and suffering that they commit.
'Some of these hideous scenes in the video are not a million miles away from what we may see in the new series of I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, where the live eating of grubs and bugs is broadcast to huge audiences for our entertainment.
'So whilst we absolutely should and must abhor the kind of violence we see at this restaurant in China, we should also take a good long look out ourselves.’

House of horrors: A man picks up a an octopus from a bowl of broth and shovels the wriggling creature, which scientists say feel pain and are known to be intelligent, into his mouth as other diners laugh and joke at the table

11-27-2017, 07:09 AM
I really don't like eating raw and squirming fishes.. is this even considered normal? Please enlighten me.

11-28-2017, 04:20 PM
My mom loves Chinese food, every time she visits us we would always take her to a Chinese restaurant.

11-28-2017, 04:43 PM
I really don't like eating raw and squirming fishes.. is this even considered normal? Please enlighten me.

I don't know about normal, but when I was in Keelung, Taiwan, I once ate a live shrimp. The only reason was because I was among guests being treated by hosts at a seafood restaurant. I didn't want to come across as rude. The live shrimp was grey-colored and tasted like semi-crunchy rubber and seawater. I really didn't see the appeal of it, and I only ate the one live shrimp. I took it as a cultural experience.

Some cultures don't understand people who eat pork or beef.

12-04-2017, 02:45 AM
Wow! I love that boobs bun. lol.

06-12-2018, 05:52 PM
I miss eating Chinese food especially dim sum and roast pecking duck.

07-11-2018, 01:09 PM
Snake restaurant in Hong Kong to close after 110 years, marking end of an era (https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/food-drink/article/2154739/snake-restaurant-hong-kong-close-after-110-years-marking-end)
Family-run She Wong Lam in Sheung Wan was hugely popular, with actor Stephen Chow a regular customer. But its snake handler is nearly 90, and no one in the family wants to continue the business

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 July, 2018, 6:48pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 July, 2018, 7:20pm
Bernice Chan


One of Hong Kong’s oldest snake restaurants is closing for good, ending more than 110 years of history in Sheung Wan.

Family-run She Wong Lam was hugely popular in the 1960s and 1970s, but with no one from the family’s younger generation keen to continue the business of looking after snakes and preparing them for soup, the restaurant will close its doors on July 15.

According to Lo Tin-yam, the fourth-generation owner, She Wong Lam’s manager, Mak Dai-kong, is in his late 80s and has decided to retire, so the Lo family feels it is the right time to close the Hillier Street shop.

“Master Mak is almost 90 and he is the boss of the shop. He has worked for four generations of our family,” Lo says by phone from Vancouver, Canada. “Since my grandfather passed away, my father [Lo Yip-wing] didn’t know much about the snake business and I know even less,” he says.

His family trusts Mak but are unfamiliar with the shop’s other employees, making it hard for them to continue the business, he explains.

Mak joined She Wong Lam in 1948, when he was 18 years old. Photo: Oliver Tsang

Lo says the date for closing She Wong Lam was chosen by his uncle and father, the latter now in an old people’s home in Hong Kong. Lo, an accountant, and his younger sister have lived in Vancouver since he was about eight years old and he does not intend to return.

“It’s very difficult to find people to work in this particular industry. It’s not for everyone,” Lo says.

Mak joined She Wong Lam in 1948, when he was 18 years old, and the founder, Lo Tai-lam, encouraged him to help out around the shop and eat snake soup to help build his strength.

She Wong Lam in Sheung Wan in 1972. Photo: SCMP

Mak gradually learned how to handle snakes, remove their fangs, extract the gallbladder, and make the shop’s signature snake soup.

The ingredients of snake soup include the meat of various snake species, chicken, pork, sugar cane, mandarin peel, and white pepper. It is garnished with chrysanthemum petals and finely sliced lemon leaves.

“In the past, when I saw my colleagues handling snakes, they told me I didn’t have to be afraid of them,” Mak said in an interview with the Post late last year.

Bottles of snake wine for sale at She Wong Lam. Photo: James Wendlinger

“Once their fangs have been pulled out, they are not venomous … I remember my first attempts at handling snakes. I got bitten by them but it wasn’t painful at all. Since then, I have never been afraid of snakes.”

Sidney Cheung Chin-hung, professor and director of the Centre for Cultural Heritage Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, has a copy of a flier from She Wong Lam promoting its snake gallbladder seasoned with ginger or pepper that dates back to 1910, and believes the shop was established in the early 1900s.

While fourth-generation owner Lo didn’t learn much about the snake business, he has a few fond memories to share about the business. The shop moved a few times during its more than 110-year history, but has always been in Sheung Wan. He also revealed how the shop got its name.

“My great-grandfather used to be busy in the back of the shop dealing with the snakes, and because people couldn’t see him, they assumed he was being lazy, which is why he got the nickname ‘Se Wong’, or ‘Snake King’,” says Lo. “She wong” is a Chinese euphemism for a lazy person.

Lo isn’t sure how or when his great-grandfather came to Hong Kong from the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, but Cheung is convinced the business was founded back in the dying days of the Qing dynasty.

One of his former anthropology graduate students, Esther Chok Wing-sum, says that in 1885 there were about 115 snake shops in Guangzhou. At the turn of the century, many snake handlers, including Lo’s great-grandfather, brought their knowledge and skills to the British colony of Hong Kong.

The younger Lo attributes the family’s financial success to the hard work of his great-grandfather and grandfather. At one point She Wong Lam sold snake gallbladder and soup not only in Sheung Wan, but at two other locations in the city.

Mak gradually learned how to handle snakes, and defang them. Photo: James Wendlinger

Hong Kong historian Cheng Po-hung says one of the shops was on the corner of Hennessy and Fleming roads in Wan Chai. The other was in Kowloon, he says, though no one we spoke to remembers the exact location.

Before the 1950s, Chok says, snake was a delicacy on par with shark’s fin and bird’s nest, which only the well-off could afford.

“A snake gallbladder was a few days’ salary at the time,” she explains. “It cost HK$20, but at that time the average person’s monthly salary was only HK$250.”

However, from the 1950s onwards, eating snake became increasingly affordable for the working class and grew more popular. “A bowl of snake soup would cost HK$8, but then it went down to HK$2 to HK$3,” Chok says.

continued next post

07-11-2018, 01:09 PM
Snake soup served at She Wong Lam. Photo: Edmond So

Lo says there was a Chinese opera theatre in Sheung Wan in the 1960s, close to She Wong Lam, and opera singers would patronise the shop regularly, downing snake gallbladder with alcohol to boost their stamina.

Celebrities such as actor Stephen Chow Sing-chi and former senior police officer Tsang Kai-wing (actor Eric Tsang Chi-wai’s father) were regular visitors. Lo says Chow would tell the staff to contact him when they had a particularly large cobra in stock, such was his appetite for the snake.

Historian Cheng says he has tried the reptile’s gallbladder, which his friends used to buy regularly from other snake shops. “They put it in a spoon, or a shot glass, and added alcohol to it,” he says.

“One time a group of us drank the gallbladder of three different snakes mixed with alcohol … it was translucent green in colour and tasted bitter. People think it helps you become physically stronger, but the gallbladder has bacteria in it,” he says.

Despite She Wong Lam’s success, Lo’s elders were acutely aware of how important it was that a member of the next generation learn the snake trade if the business was to continue.

“My great uncle asked me when I was in my 20s if I would go into the business, otherwise no one else would do it. But I have my life in Canada. I’m 50 years old now and I don’t even live there [in Hong Kong],” he says.

Mak extracts the gallbladder, and then makes the shop’s signature snake soup. Photo: James Wendlinger

Lo points out that other traditional trades in Hong Kong, such as making lanterns, bamboo noodles, hand-carved mahjong tiles, and neon signs, are also disappearing.

The younger generation move away and can’t come back. [Old] Hong Kong will disappearLO TIN-YAM
“The younger generation move away and can’t come back,” he says. “[Old] Hong Kong will disappear and instead have shops like Zara, McDonald’s and Fairwood, especially with rent being so expensive.”

A search on restaurant guide OpenRice shows 36 restaurants with the Chinese character for “snake” in their name still open in Hong Kong, at least four of them with more than one location. They may not necessarily be specialists like She Wong Lam, however, nor have live snakes on the premises.

Snake boxes with the word ‘poisonous’ on them at She Wong Lam in Sheung Wan. Photo: James Wendlinger

Historian Cheng thinks there is still a decent number of places to get a bowl of snake soup, and doesn’t expect them all to close any time soon. He says the owners of Shia Wong Hip in Sham Shui Po, for example, have taught their siblings the snake trade, and adds there are still many snake shops in that neighbourhood and in Yau Ma Tei.

After the closure of She Wong Lam, the Lo family, which owns the shop space, will rent it out. In the meantime, Lo says, they have contacted the Hong Kong Museum of History about collecting the snake cabinets, cages and tables. The wooden cabinets are more than 100 years old.

Diners enjoy bowls of snake soup at She Wong Lam. Photo: AFP

Lo says Mak designed his own pocket knife to make a sharp slit to extract the snake’s gallbladder, and to skin it quickly and efficiently. According to Cheng, designing their own knives is common practice among those in the snake business.

For Lo, the closure of She Wong Lam is also the end of a long chapter in the family’s history, and tinged with sadness. Five years ago, Hong Kong public broadcaster RTHK made a documentary featuring Lo and his son Lo Yun-hei, then three years old, visiting the shop. At the time he hoped the business would continue to the fifth generation.

The reality is that the family respects Mak’s wishes to retire, and Lo hopes to keep the shop’s name alive. “I do have the intention to move back to Hong Kong when I retire, and I still have the rights to the name, so maybe I’ll open a restaurant with the same name,” Lo says.

Chinese food (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food)
snakes (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?50682-snakes)

07-17-2018, 04:50 PM
I'm starving!!! I want to go out now and eat at the nearest Chinese restaurant. We have a small one here about 5 minutes away.

10-04-2018, 09:16 AM
In Italy, ‘Al Dente’ Is Prized. In Taiwan, It’s All About Food That’s ‘Q.’ (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/04/world/asia/taiwan-food-q-texture.html)

Taiwanese tapioca for sale at the Lehua Night Market in Taipei. It has the prized “Q” texture of Taiwanese food.CreditCreditBilly H.C. Kwok for The New York Times
By Amy Qin
Oct. 4, 2018

NEW TAIPEI CITY, Taiwan — As dusk falls at Lehua Night Market, the fluorescent lights flicker on and the hungry customers start trickling in, anxious for a taste of the local delicacies that give this island its reputation as one of Asia’s finest culinary capitals.

Neatly arranged pyramids of plump fish balls. Bowls brimming with tapioca balls bathed in lightly sweetened syrup. Sizzling oyster omelets, hot off the griddle. Deep-fried sweet potato puffs, still dripping with oil.

Take a bite of any of these dishes and you’ll discover a unique texture. But how exactly do you describe that perfectly calibrated “mouth feel” so sought after by local cooks and eaters alike?

Slippery? Chewy? Globby? Not exactly the most flattering adjectives in the culinary world.

Luckily, the Taiwanese have a word for this texture. Well, actually, it’s not a word, it’s a letter — one that even non-Chinese speakers can pronounce.

It’s “Q.”

“It’s difficult to explain what Q means exactly,” said Liu Yen-ling, a manager at Chun Shui Tang, a popular teahouse chain that claims to have invented tapioca milk tea in Taiwan. “Basically it means springy, soft, elastic.”

Q texture is to Taiwanese what umami is to Japanese and al dente is to Italians — that is, cherished and essential. Around Taiwan, the letter Q can often be glimpsed amid a jumble of Chinese characters on shop signs and food packages and in convenience stores and advertisements.

Q bars, Taiwanese tapioca and sesame doughnuts.Credit Billy H.C. Kwok for The New York Times

The texture is found in both savory and sweet foods, and is most often used to describe foods that contain some kind of starch like noodles, tapioca pearls and fish balls. If something is really chewy or extra Q, then it could be called QQ. Often, Q and QQ are used interchangeably.

“You can tell if bubble milk tea is good based on how Q the tapioca pearls are,” Mr. Liu said. “If the texture is perfect, it can be very satisfying.”

André Chiang, a Michelin-star chef and owner of RAW in Taipei, said he had recently been experimenting with the texture at his restaurant, which uses only locally sourced Taiwanese ingredients.

At the night market in Taipei. Q texture is to Taiwanese what umami is to Japanese and al dente is to Italians — that is, cherished and essential.Credit Billy H.C. Kwok for The New York Times

One dish he was trying out for the restaurant’s new menu featured langoustine, burned onion juice and white tapioca pearls that are cooked to bubbly Q perfection.

“It’s like al dente but not quite,” Mr. Chiang said. “It’s to the tooth but there’s also that added element of bounciness.”

Q is so well established in Taiwan that many in Hong Kong and over the strait in mainland China use the term as well.

Elsewhere in Asia, it is a familiar texture, though the term itself may not be used. Tteok-bokki, a Korean stir-fried rice cake, and mochi, a Japanese rice cake, for example, could also be considered Q. In Western cuisine, the texture is less commonly found, though one could describe foods like gummy bears and certain kinds of pasta as Q.

The origins of the term Q are unclear. Some say it comes from the Taiwanese Hokkien word k’iu. Say Q to an elderly Taiwanese, and chances are he or she will know the term. But no one can quite explain how and when the 17th letter of the English alphabet became shorthand for describing the texture of tapioca balls and gummy candies.

Milk curd, happy QQ balls (sweet potato balls) and konjac.Credit Billy H.C. Kwok for NYT; Ashley Pon for NYT; Billy H.C. Kwok for NYT

With the rapid proliferation of bubble milk tea shops and other Asian snack shops across the United States over the years, there has emerged a broader appreciation for this once “exotic” texture, even if the vocabulary to describe that texture has not exactly caught up.

“Most of my American friends like bubble milk tea,” said Tina Fong, a co-founder of Taipei Eats, which offers food tours around the city. “But when there’s Q texture in a savory dish, it can still be a bit strange to them. It really depends on the person.”

When it comes to the Chinese language, the letter Q is surprisingly versatile, and not used only to describe food. For example, many in China and Taiwan are familiar with 阿Q, or Ah Q, the protagonist of one of China’s most famous novellas by the writer Lu Xun.

After the publication of “The True Story of Ah Q” in the early 1920s, Ah Q became a symbol of the backwardness of Chinese culture. While the story’s narrator confesses to not knowing the origin of Ah Q’s name, some scholars say Lu Xun may have chosen Q as an implicit reference to its ****nym queue, or the braided ponytail that Chinese men were forced to wear to show their subjugation to the ruling Qing dynasty.

Tapioca pearls and bubble milk tea at Chun Shui Tang teahouse in Taipei, left and middle. A bowl of beef noodle at Taipei’s Lin Dong Fang beef noodle shop.Credit Ashley Pon for The New York Times

Some have also interpreted Lu Xun’s Q as a pictogram of a head with a pigtail.

There are many other uses for the term Q in Chinese as well. It could be used, for example, as shorthand for the English word cute, or to refer to the once-popular QQ messaging service from Tencent or the QQ minicar model from the Chinese carmaker Chery.

“Whether Q may be considered a Chinese character or not, it certainly has become a part of the Chinese writing system,” Victor Mair, a professor of Chinese language at the University of Pennsylvania, once wrote in a blog post.

Among Taiwanese, the appreciation for Q texture starts at a young age. On a recent sticky evening at Lehua Night Market, crowds ambled through the carnival-like pedestrian street, which was lined on both sides with vendors hawking things like hats, cellphone cases and, of course, delicious snacks.

A gaggle of mini revelers zeroed in on a stand with a neon sign that read “QQ popsicles.” Asked why Q texture was so appealing to Taiwanese, Lu Wei-chen, the owner of the stand, smiled as she handed a bright red jelly bar to a delighted toddler.

“It’s simple,” she said. “When you eat it, you will be in a good mood.”

Vermicelli and pig blood cake for sale at the night market.Credit Billy H.C. Kwok for The New York Times

Follow Amy Qin on Twitter: @amyyqin
Karoline Kan contributed research from Beijing.

This explains a great mystery to me. I've seen Q before in ads and such and never put this together.

Chinese food (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food)
Bubble Tea (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?69498-Bubble-Tea)

10-04-2018, 03:21 PM
...snake loose in the restaurant.

Live snake escapes from Guangzhou restaurant’s kitchen, gets caught by customer (https://shanghai.ist/2018/10/05/live-snake-escapes-from-guangzhou-restaurants-kitchen-gets-caught-by-customer/)
At least you know your snakehead soup is fresh!
by Alex Linder October 5, 2018


Recently, a live snake escaped from the restaurant of a kitchen only to be caught and returned by one customer. This happened where else but in Guangdong province.

Video shows that the snake’s escape caused quite a stir in the Guangzhou restaurant, causing some diners to flee and others to step forward to help catch the creature. In the end, it was a brave uncle who snared the serpent and presented it back to restaurant staff.

In China, the people of Guangdong have a well-earned reputation as adventurous eaters — a popular saying goes that they will “eat anything that has four legs except for a table, anything that flies except for an airplane, and anything that swims except for a submarine — while restaurants there do not have such an impressive reputation for food safety, at least you know that the snakehead soup is made fresh.

I hope that 'brave uncle' got his meal comped, at least.

snakes (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?50682-snakes)
Chinese Food (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food)

10-08-2018, 10:43 AM
HK$800 Ozaki beef sandwich. HK$800= $102.16 USD :eek:

Hong Kong label chasers lap up luxury food trends: Wagyu, white truffles, Wuliangye (https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/food-drink/article/2166759/wagyu-white-truffles-wuliangye-hong-kong-label-*****s-lap)
Always keen to try the next new and trendy thing, Hongkongers don’t mind having their egos exploited if it also means proving their crazy rich credentials

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2018, 12:31pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 October, 2018, 7:10pm
Andrew Sun


Hong Kong people want the best of everything and they know the brand names to prove it. From fashion to jewellery to restaurants by celebrity chefs, there is no better way for them to prove their crazy rich credentials than to engage in label chasing.

Bars and restaurant owners are as aware of this tendency as any other type of business. They’re not afraid to exploit our egos by pushing on us their most ostentatious ingredients. After all, Hongkongers don’t just enjoy wearing bling, they like to eat it too.

When red wine got a little too mass market for the oenophile nerds – I mean, connoisseurs – a snifter of whisky became the routine drink in expensive bars. Trend snobs would boast about single malts, dusty bottles from obscure distilleries, and the impressive number of years their drink was aged in oak barrels. Then, when the oracles of alcohol declared the best stuff was made in Japan, the lemmings started looking eastward.

As that fad plays itself out, booze brands are now pushing other bandwagon products. Have you noticed Chinese baijiu is suddenly being used in more cocktails? I suppose it’s to wean us before suggesting we should do the alcohol in straight-up shots. Once you’re hooked, naturally you’ll want to move some of the whisky bottles to make room in the cabinet for some Mao-tai and Wuliangye.

When wine got too widespread, oenophile nerds starting reaching for the single malts. Is luxury Chinese baijiu next? Photo: Alamy

The same marketing trick happens with food, too. I remember only being able to order buffalo mozzarella in restaurants. Now it’s available in supermarkets, so the fancy trattorias want to sell me burrata instead. Stuffing cream into mozzarella is, of course, more premium and, naturally, pricier. And just like that, mozzarella is relegated to second-class status.

Burrata – a cut above your mass market mozzarella. Photo: Alamy

I also remember when Kobe was the best beef you could eat. We were lured with mythic stories about the cows being massaged and fed beer. Then wagyu came along. Even though Kobe is technically a type of wagyu (which means “Japanese breeds of beef”), the label stuck and people who don’t know any better think wagyu is more elevated than Kobe.

Is wagyu better than Kobe? Who cares – as long as it’s trendier.

As wagyu started selling by the cattle load, producers began raising them in other places. In Australia, it was crossed with cattle breeds like Angus, so wagyu suddenly started appearing in steakhouses and French restaurants. Burger joints used it to make really marbled patties for their luxury sliders. At Repulse Bay’s Fratelli pasta bar, they even have an Italian wagyu beef on the menu. Will a McWagyu be next?

This summer, a hot new beef name arrived in Hong Kong. Elephant Grounds’ pop-up cafe with Japanese brand Wagyumafia introduced us to an HK$800 Ozaki beef sandwich. What is Ozaki? It’s wagyu raised in Miyazaki in southwest Japan, but specifically on a farm owned by rancher Muneharu Ozaki. You want exclusive? Post pop-up, the beef is only available in one Causeway Bay restaurant, Marble.

A piece of the HK$800 Ozaki beef sandwich from the Elephant Grounds pop-up in Causeway Bay. Photo: Bernice Chan

But the most successfully marketed luxury ingredient in Hong Kong has to be truffles. Around this time every year, restaurants with Michelin stars (or Michelin-star ambitions) will start shaving white truffles all over their dishes for status-seeking diners who essentially tell them, “Here’s my money, please show everyone what a big deal I am.”

If you want a Michelin star, stick white truffle on the menu. Photo: Alamy

We can thank 8½ Otto e Mezzo chef Umberto Bombana for introducing us to this heavenly aromatic fungus; he was using white truffles way back in his days at Toscana, when the Ritz-Carlton was in Central. But his annual Alba truffle auctions are now little more than an excuse for tycoons to compare the size of their … wallets.

As the truffle obsession has grown, the rest of the year we want black truffles from France, Australia and even China. To give the grovelling masses a taste, there are synthetically simulated bottles of truffle oil to use with pizzas and pastas. Personally, too much truffle makes me slightly nauseated, so no thanks to all those eight-course truffle meals so popular in Hong Kong.

Of course, I say that because I’m broke. If I wasn’t, maybe I would be ordering an Ozaki steak marinated in 30-year-old whisky, topped with burrata, white truffles and plenty of gold leaf.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Pursuit of the best of everything leaves us vulnerable to fads

10-15-2018, 08:46 AM
Shanxi shop leaves a sweet taste with its vinegar ice cream (https://shanghai.ist/2018/10/15/shanxi-vinegar-ice-cream/)
'Delicious' and 'sweet and sour'
by Jethro Kang October 15, 2018 in Food


In China, vinegar is a no-brainer addition to everything from noodles to breaded pork cutlets, but a store in northern China is using it to flavor something rather unconventional: ice cream.

A dessert shop in Taiyuan, the provincial capital of Shanxi, has recently created the sweet treat with the sour condiment as the highlight.

The ice cream is made from milk, sorghum, peas, barley, and Lao Chen Cu (老陈醋), a type of aged vinegar the province is famous for.

“We use mature vinegar that has been fermented for three years to five years,” store employee Chen Yichao told Xinhua News Agency.


According to Chen, it took many experiments to make the vinegar ice cream palatable.

“Some people don’t like the flavor,” he said, “but we are catering to those who dare to try new things.”

There seems to be a lot of adventurous eaters: over 200 cones are sold everyday, according to China Global Television Network, and Chen said it accounted for at least 60 percent of their total daily sales. Each vinegar ice cream cone costs ¥10.

In a Weibo video by China News, a lady described the flavor as “delicious” and “sweet and sour.”

Lao Chen vinegar is considered to be one of the four famous vinegars in China. It has a history of over 3,000 years and it’s thought to be the first style of vinegar in the world.

[Photos via CGTN]

I don't eat ice cream any more for dietary reasons, but I would give this a taste. I love vinegar. I guess it's the Chinese in me. ;)

Addiction to ice cream... (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?15293-Addiction-to-ice-cream)
Chinese food (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food)

11-06-2018, 11:10 AM
This article is a few months old but rat lungworm is back in the news with another recent death of an Australian who ate a slug on a dare.

Two people got rat lungworm from eating raw centipedes. Could you be next? (https://www.popsci.com/rat-lungworm-eating-raw-centipedes?fbclid=IwAR2vIhCVyD7x2wtVtamXbQoK4K5yqY W4kCXk9ms4lKvIshZhgGBAgTPd3g4)
The answer is yes—even if you don't like eating bugs.
By Sara Chodosh July 31, 2018

A beautiful lungworm.
Punlop Anusonpornperm

Rat lungworm is, thankfully, one of the few parasites that sounds more disgusting than it is. Unfortunately, it’s even more terrifying than its gross name would suggest.

Two poor humans who recently got infected—as reported Monday in the journal American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene—contracted the parasite by eating raw centipedes, which might give you a false sense of security. ‘I don’t eat centipedes,’ you think, foolishly. Nor do you likely live in a small rural town in Guangzhou, China, where the mother and son pair reported to the hospital with persistent headaches. (Of course, you may live in a small rural town in Guangzhou and/or enjoy the occasional centipede snack, but our reader analytics tell us this is statistically unlikely).

But rat lungworm isn’t confined to Asia and the Caribbean anymore: It’s in the U.S., too. And you don’t have to indulge in conscious entomophagy for the disease to strike you.

First, though, let’s talk about what the heck rat lungworm is. As the name implies, the parasitic roundworm that causes angiostrongyliasis (the scientific name for the disease) lives inside rat lungs, specifically inside the pulmonary blood vessels. Infected rats excrete the worms in their feces, where it can go on to infect other critters like snails, slugs, frogs and, yes, centipedes. Cooking any of these animals kills the parasite, so escargot fans needn’t worry, but eating any of them raw may very well pass the roundworms on to you. You, a human, are what epidemiologists call an incidental host. Angiostrongylus cantonensis isn’t trying to infect you, but if it finds itself in your bloodstream it’ll make itself at home.

Once inside you, the worms can get into your central nervous system, where they can cause eosinophilic meningitis. Meningitis is, generally, inflammation of the meninges, which is the membrane surrounding your brain and spinal cord. The eosinophilic type is rare and is so-called because it involves a proliferation of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell that fights parasites. That is, in fact, how many cases of rat lungworm are diagnosed in humans. There’s no blood test, so diagnosis relies on doctors picking up on certain clues enough to think to test the cerebrospinal fluid for high levels of eosinophils.

That was the case for this mother and son, who reported to the hospital a few weeks apart complaining of persistent headaches. The mother, 78, also had cognitive impairment and sleepiness. The son, 46, had some neck rigidity. It was only after questioning that the doctors discovered both had eaten raw centipedes in the previous days, and thought to look at their cerebrospinal fluid.

Those symptoms aren’t exactly typical of rat lungworm, though. The neck stiffness and headaches are classic signs of meningitis in general—the inflammation in the meninges causes both. But most people with meningitis also have much more serious symptoms. Many report nausea, vomiting, fever, abnormal sensations in the arms and legs, and changes to vision. As the disease progresses, some people can develop other neurological problems and can even die. That being said, rat lungworm isn’t always horrifying. It doesn’t even always cause meningitis. Some people don’t have any symptoms, others get minor headaches or a stiff neck, but their bodies mostly fight off the parasite without them ever noticing.

The other parasite that causes rat lungworm, Angiostrongylus costaricensis, can also cause abdominal pain since it often travels to the intestines. The Centers for Disease Control notes that the pain can be severe enough to mimic appendicitis, and it’s often only once surgeons remove the appendix that they realize what’s actually causing the pain. If the worms stick around, though, people can develop internal hemorrhaging from their intestines as the worms get stuck in capillaries and cause inflammatory reactions as they die. (Okay, maybe this is grosser than it sounds after all…).

This used to be problem mostly in Asia and the Caribbean. That’s where the parasite circulated between the rat and snail/slug populations. A 2013 study found that the disease is spreading, though, largely as a result of global shipping patterns in cargo ships and planes, which can carry rats and snails or slugs without anyone realizing. That same study found infected apple snails in New Orleans and infected flatworms in Hawai’i, as well as other infected mollusks and many, many rats. A 2015 study found the parasite in the Giant African Land Snails that hang out in Florida, too. Some researchers have expressed concern that climate change could expand the reach of these critters, thus also broadening the area that the parasite can come in contact with humans.

Now, you may be thinking at this point that you still don’t eat uncooked snails and slugs. To that we will say that you don’t eat uncooked snails and slugs intentionally. Some people certainly do eat these creatures raw, whether for supposed medicinal purposes (which was why the two people in the case report consumed the centipedes raw) or on a dare, or simply because they enjoy it (no judgement). But many of us have probably eaten some raw slug unintentionally on a bit of poorly-washed lettuce. And you don’t have to eat the slug or snail itself—larvae can hide inside the slime. You can get infected without even realizing it. Besides, it’s not just slugs and snails. Shrimp, frogs, and crabs can give you the disease, too, and so can water that’s harbored any of those animals.

People living in Hawai’i have already gotten infected (and so did one teen who was just on vacation there). Several people have ended up in comas, and a study of the 84 cases of rat lungworm in Hawai’i from January 2001 to February 2005, researchers found that at least 24 of the cases were attributable to A. cantonensis.

These cases don’t seem to have been treated for the parasite specifically, but rather were given medicine to improve their symptoms. Similarly, the CDC doesn’t list a specific treatment for rat lungworm. Both of the Chinese patients in this recent case study were treated with albendazole (an anti-parasitic) for 21 days and dexamethasone (an anti-inflammatory steroid) for 15 days, which seems to have resolved the disease.

If you live around the Gulf of Mexico or in Hawai’i, rat lungworm could be a growing problem for you. So yes, avoid eating raw or undercooked slugs or snails (not that most of us would know the proper cooking technique for a garden slug), but also don’t drink from the garden hose or handle any of these critters that you find near your house without washing your hands afterwards. Thoroughly wash all your produce, too. And maybe just stay away from raw centipedes generally.

11-14-2018, 08:56 AM
It's about time...:)

The Launch Of The MICHELIN Guide Fine Cantonese Food (https://guide.michelin.com/sg/news-and-views/the-launch-of-the-michelin-guide-fine-cantonese-food/news)
This special edition compiles the best addresses for Cantonese cuisine across 15 countries in Asia, Europe and the United States.
13 November 2018

https://d3h1lg3ksw6i6b.cloudfront.net/media/image/2018/11/13/0f4a2906abbb4d6281c90e4124e2b093_WhatsApp+Image+20 18-11-13+at+10.56.28+AM.jpeg

Michelin has just unveiled the latest edition of its MICHELIN Guides with a new title dedicated to one of the world’s most celebrated cuisines: The MICHELIN Guide Fine Cantonese Food.


This is the first time that the teams of the MICHELIN Guide have created a selection that does not cover a particular geographical area but which compiles the best addresses offering a regional specialty.

Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guides comments: "The MICHELIN Guide is now acclaiming, internationally, Cantonese gastronomy, which enjoys a worldwide reputation and is appreciated both in Asia, Europe, North America and in the Pacific”.

The selection lists some 291 establishments from different editions of the Guide, of which 78 are starred restaurants, 62 are Bib Gourmand restaurants and 151 are restaurants awarded a MICHELIN Plate.

These include the four Cantonese establishments around the world with the highest three-Michelin-star status: The Eight in the Grand Lisboa Hotel in Macau, Lung King Heen and T’ang Court in Hong Kong, and Le Palais in Taipei.

These different addresses are located in 15 countries from China to the United States through Italy. Asia has the largest number of starred Cantonese restaurants with 69 establishments, while Europe has eight and the United States one.

This special edition of the MICHELIN Guide pays tribute to one of the most famous Chinese cuisines that has seduced gourmets from around the world, demonstrating the expertise of the Michelin inspectors and their ability to appreciate the most varied cuisines with a universal criteria.

Banner image courtesy of Lung King Heen.

Written by Rachel Tan

Rachel Tan is Digital Associate Editor at the Michelin Guide Singapore. A former food magazine writer, she has a degree in communications for journalism but is a graduate of the school of hard knocks in the kitchen. When not at the keyboard, she might be found devouring food fiction or slaving over the stove with a kid on her hip. In the words of Anais Nin, she writes to taste life twice.

11-30-2018, 09:15 AM
Andrew Zimmern apologizes after criticized for 'offensive' comments about Chinese restaurants (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/andrew-zimmern-apologizes-after-criticized-offensive-comments-about-chinese-restaurants-n940921)
The celebrity chef's remarks about the quality of Chinese-American restaurants, such as P.F. Chang's, were criticized for being culturally insensitive.

Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods" host Andrew Zimmern, a four-time James Beard award-winning chef, samples Taiwanese noodle soup and pork roll at Happy Stony Noodle in Elmhurst, Queens in New York on July 20, 2017.Kathy Willens / AP file

Nov. 27, 2018 / 3:14 PM PST
By Agnes Constante

Celebrity chef and “Bizarre Foods” host Andrew Zimmern has apologized for controversial remarks he made about Chinese-American restaurants

“The upset that is felt in the Chinese American community is reasonable, legitimate and understandable, and I regret that I have been the one to cause it,” Zimmern wrote in a statement posted to Facebook on Monday. “That is the very last thing I would ever want to do.”

The apology follows Zimmern's interview with Fast Company, published last week, where he discussed the opening of his latest restaurant Lucky Cricket, a Chinese restaurant that includes a Tiki bar, at a mall in a Minnesota suburb. The goal, he said, was to introduce Midwesterners to "hot chili oil, introduce them to a hand-cut noodle, and introduce them to a real roast duck," and to open 200 of those restaurants across middle America.

“I think I'm saving the souls of all the people from having to dine at these horses--- restaurants masquerading as Chinese food that are in the Midwest,” he said.

Angry Asian Man

To quote @hooleil: "If a dish hasn't been eaten or reimagined by a white person, does it really exist?" https://www.eater.com/2018/11/20/18105239/andrew-zimmern-lucky-cricket-chinese-restaurant-chain-minnesota …

3:30 PM - Nov 20, 2018
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Why Does Andrew Zimmern Get to Create the Next P.F. Chang’s? (https://www.eater.com/2018/11/20/18105239/andrew-zimmern-lucky-cricket-chinese-restaurant-chain-minnesota)
The chef and TV host wades into questions of appropriation with his new Chinese restaurant chain, Lucky Cricket

106 people are talking about this
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Zimmern's remarks were widely criticized for being culturally insensitive.

"The Midwest’s 'horses--- restaurants' are what paved the way for Zimmern’s venture and more broadly, Chinese cuisine in America," Washington Post contributor Ruth Tam wrote in response. "Chinese American food may have originated in the nation’s coastal cities, where immigrants first opened shop, but I’d argue that this cuisine’s ability to thrive in the Midwest with fewer Asian patrons cemented its lasting role in this country. These 'horses---' restaurants may not clear Zimmern’s bar for authenticity, but despite adversity, they created a time-tested model for immigrant food and helped make Chinese food not only ubiquitous, but part of American identity."

Serena Dai

So Andrew Zimmern basically called into question a Chinese guy's Chinese-ness and authority to sell Chinese food — while promoting his own authority to sell Chinese food as a woke white guy


Andrew Zimmern wades into questions of appropriation with the launch of his new Chinese restaurant chain Lucky Cricket https://www.eater.com/2018/11/20/18105239/andrew-zimmern-lucky-cricket-chinese-restaurant-chain-minnesota?utm_campaign=eater&utm_content=chorus&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter …

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2:10 PM - Nov 20, 2018
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119 people are talking about this
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Eater restaurant editor Hillary Dixler Canavan also criticized Zimmern for inaccurately portraying the Chinese-American restaurant experience. During Zimmern's interview with Fast Company, he said, “Someone else is going to be the next P.F. Chang's, and I don't want them to blow it. And is it up to me to do it? …. I certainly think I'm in the conversation. And just because I'm not Chinese, I leave that to the rest of the world to judge.”

He also suggested that P.F. Chang's was a “ripoff” because it was owned by the son — “a rich, American kid on the inside” — of culinary figure Cecilia Chang, who is credited with introducing America to traditional Chinese cuisine.

"With one glib comment, Zimmern basically erases [Philip] Chiang’s experience of race in America because he was from a rich family," Dixler Canavan wrote. "Calling Chiang’s cultural purity into question in order to give his own work on Lucky Cricket a pass is deeply misguided, if not outrageously offensive."

She added, “Zimmern not only makes a value judgment about authenticity … but he also makes it without questioning why he gets to pass judgment in the first place. That act of 'translating' on behalf of the presumably white audience — the idea that American diners need to have something unfamiliar 'made more palatable' to get them to the table — has shades of a strange, increasingly outdated form of cultural elitism.”

In his apology, Zimmern said he did not intend to portray himself as the expert of quality Chinese or Chinese-American food or culture, and that some of what he said was taken out of context.

He noted that many people in Minnesota only know the Chinese food found at airports and malls.

“For those folks, I hope to open their eyes to the greatness of Chinese and Chinese-American cuisines and the people who put it on the plate,” he said. “And hopefully, since Americans in general inhale other cultures first through their mouths, if they can love the food they can become more accepting and understanding of the people.”

Follow NBC Asian America on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

CORRECTION (Nov. 28, 2018, 10:26 a.m. ET): An earlier version of a photo caption in this article misspelled the name of a TV show hosted by Andrew Zimmern. The show is "Bizarre Foods," not "Bizzare Foods."

I do think poorly of P.F Chang's too, but just because it's overpriced. I'll never eat at Lucky Cricket. I'm not convinced that Zimmern can even make a decent dish of crickets. That's not because he's white, mind you, it's because his thinking is too narrow.

11-30-2018, 04:09 PM
:) Now that he's getting a mouthful of bad press he's offering up a dish of sweet 'n sour crow with cashew noodles.

12-10-2018, 09:14 AM
I was only in Singapore for a few days and missed the street food. My bad. :o

Singapore Hawker Stands with Michelin Stars (https://www.foodandwine.com/travel/singapore-hawker-stands-michelin-stars-where)


If Crazy Rich Asians has you craving Singapore's famous street food, you're not alone.

MARIA YAGODA August 20, 2018
If you're one of the millions of people who saw Crazy Rich Asians this weekend, chances are you're craving Singapore street food, even if you've never had it before. The film, which takes place largely in Singapore, shows vivid scenes of hawker centers—massive dining complexes with food stands serving just about every kind of dish you could imagine at super-affordable prices.

Singapore has one of the most renowned street food scenes in the world; two of its hawker stands have earned Michelin stars (which the very, very dreamy Nick Young, played by Henry Golding, points out in one scene), and many more have been recognized by the guide for their quality and value.

If you're considering planning your own pilgrimage to Singapore—perhaps not for a crazy rich wedding, but rather for some excellent snacking—check out the two hawker stands below that have earned Michelin stars, plus a handful that boast Michelin's "Bib Gourmand" designation.

Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle Stall

Chan Hon Meng ROSLAN RAHMAN/Getty Images

When Chan Hon Meng won his first Michelin star in 2016 for his Singapore stall, it made him (and Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle, which also won that year) the first street-food establishments to be recognized by the prestigious guide—ever. This earned Chan Hon Meng's stall the additional honor of being cheapest Michelin starred meal in the world. (A portion of soya chicken rice costs roughly $1.42.)

Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre

Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle

Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle ROSLAN RAHMAN/Getty Images
Owned and run by Tang Chay Seng, this fantastic noodle spot is the other first hawker stand to earn a Michelin star. (Don't miss the noodles with minced pork.)

466 Crawford Lane, #01-12, Tai Hwa Eating House

In 2018, several hawker stands were awarded Michelin's "Bib Gourmand" designation, which "recognizes restaurants and street food establishments offering quality cuisines" at a maximum price of roughly $32 U.S. dollars.

Below, find a few notable Bib Gourmand hawker stands worth checking out:

Chai Chuan Tou Yang Rou Tang (mutton soup)

Eminent Frog Porridge (frog porridge)

Rolina Singapore Traditional Hainanese Curry Puffs (curry puffs)

Outram Park Fried Kway Teow (fried kway teow, a stir-fried rice noodle dish)

Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow (fried kway teow, a stir-fried rice noodle dish)

Tai Wah Pork Noodle (spicy egg noodles with pork, meatballs, and dumplings)

You can see the full list of Singapore's Michelin-starred restaurants for 2018 here (https://guide.michelin.com/sg).

Chinese food (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food)
Crazy Rich Asians (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?70914-Crazy-Rich-Asians)

01-04-2019, 11:29 AM
More on Zimmern above. (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food&p=1311699#post1311699)

In the Twin Cities, Asian chefs feel the sting of Andrew Zimmern’s insults. They say his apology isn’t enough. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/in-the-twin-cities-asian-chefs-feel-the-sting-of-andrew-zimmerns-insults-they-say-his-apology-isnt-enough/2018/12/26/77beee1e-ff37-11e8-862a-b6a6f3ce8199_story.html?utm_term=.0490941c2856)

From left, Chef Chris Her of Union Kitchen, Eve Wu, and her husband, Eddie Wu, owner of Cook St. Paul. (Courtney Perry/For The Washington Post)

By Tim Carman December 26, 2018

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Sitting at a large round table at Grand Szechuan, its lazy Susan loaded with plates of mapo tofu, dan dan noodles and other Sichuan specialties, Eve Wu says she’s done with Minnesota nice. She’s angry, and her pique is directed at one of the Twin Cities’s most powerful personalities, Andrew Zimmern, the bespectacled chef and TV host who recently insulted Chinese American food during a widely circulated video interview.

Eve and her husband, Eddie Wu — she’s a baker, he’s a chef with a Korean-influenced diner — are so incensed they’ve partnered with Hmong American chef Chris Her to host a series of pop-ups to foster conversations around the issues raised in Zimmern’s interview: white privilege, cultural appropriation and casual racism. About 100 people showed up for the first pop-up, on Dec. 7, at Eddie Wu’s Cook St. Paul, where they dined on kimchi fried rice, mandu dumplings, Hmong sausage and other dishes served in a box stamped with the word “horse----,” a derogatory term that Zimmern used to describe the mall-level cooking often foisted off as Chinese food in America.

If you’re wondering what Hmong and Korean fare have to do with Chinese cuisine, you need to understand how Zimmern’s insults landed with Her and the Wus. When Zimmern dissed Chinese American food — P.F. Chang’s in particular, which Zimmern labeled a “rip-off” — they say he dissed the culinary efforts of all Asian immigrants and Asian Americans who have tried to find their way in the U.S. mainstream.

“I’ll back P.F. Chang’s and their family any day of the week. Asians forever!” says Eve Wu. “If we have to be the generation that is going to be calling out problematic behavior, because in the past it hasn’t been, then I’m going to do it. . . . I will do a 100-year war with him.”

Eve Wu’s indignation is just the most vocal example of the responses generated by Zimmern’s interview with Fast Company, which was published to coincide with the debut of Lucky Cricket, the “Bizarre Foods” host’s 200-seat Chinese restaurant and tiki bar in a Minneapolis suburb. The interview has shaken the faith that some had placed in Zimmern, a former drug addict who cleaned up his act in the Twin Cities and become one of the region’s brightest lights. He is, after all, a guy who has spent much of his career exalting the food of foreign countries, not denigrating immigrants’ attempts to assimilate into America.

In the interview with Mark Wilson, Zimmern said he wanted to introduce Midwesterners to Sichuan chile oil, hand-cut noodles and Peking duck. Lucky Cricket, Zimmern suggested, could even morph into a 200-outlet chain, kind of like P.F. Chang’s, but for “authentic” Chinese cooking. Zimmern, a 57-year-old white man from New York, set himself up as the savior of Chinese food in the Midwest.

“I think I’m saving the souls of all the people from having to dine at these horse---- restaurants masquerading as Chinese food that are in the Midwest,” Zimmern said.

Andrew Zimmern at Lucky Cricket. (Courtney Perry/For The Washington Post)

Looking back on that interview, conducted this summer at the Minnesota State Fair, Zimmern is at a loss to explain how those words could have tumbled from his mouth.

“I let myself get carried away and have too much fun as opposed to realizing that I was working,” he says at Szechuan Spice in the Uptown neighborhood. “You stop being mindful, and you say something flippant. You’re not being precise with your words.”

Zimmern would spend the better part of a stone-cold Tuesday with me in the Twin Cities, where the temperature never cracked freezing. Wearing a knit cap and a thick yellow parka, Zimmern led me on a tour of some of his favorite Chinese restaurants, ending with a stop at Lucky Cricket.

Zimmern’s affection for Chinese food, he says, began in childhood. He remembers being 3 years old and occupying a window seat with his father at Bobo’s in New York’s Chinatown, coming to grips with a lettuce wrap of minced squid and shrimp. Over the next 54 years, when not grappling with his addictions, Zimmern says, he became a serious student of Chinese cookery, learning its history, its techniques, its leading practitioners.

“I believe Chinese cooking and Mexican cooking are the two great cuisines in terms of depth and breadth. They outpace French and Italian,” he says, navigating his white Mercedes E400 rental into the parking lot at Mandarin Kitchen in Bloomington.

During its weekend dim sum, Mandarin Kitchen is as packed as a subway station at rush hour. But on this afternoon, Zimmern quickly secures a table without needing to pull his hat down low to hide from selfie hunters. He’s on the prowl for whole king crab, but there is none today. Zimmern settles for a whole lobster, with ginger and scallions, and half a roast duck.

As if on cue, the Rev. Stephen Tsui, an 85-year-old retired Lutheran minister, approaches Zimmern, clutching a copy of the China Tribune. The paper had just published a story about Zimmern’s interview and the fallout. Tsui, a longtime Zimmern fan, is indignant. “They don’t know that he’s promoting [Chinese] culture,” Tsui says. “I defend on him. I understand him more than many other people.”

Zimmern is grateful for the unsolicited support. He also swears it’s not a setup for a visiting journalist. “I didn’t tell the restaurants I was coming,” he says. continued next post

01-04-2019, 11:30 AM
Restaurant owner Eddie Wu hangs a sheet of posters he had printed for a pop-up event. (Courtney Perry/For The Washington Post)

At other Chinese restaurants in the Twin Cities I visited without him, the reactions to Zimmern's comments are more reserved, a mixture of forgiveness, frustration and the kind of resignation that comes, perhaps, from hearing one too many authenticity hounds bad-mouth your menu. At David Fong's, a Chinese American landmark in Bloomington, third-generation restaurateur Edward Fong says Zimmern was simply trying to distance Lucky Cricket from previous generations' efforts to integrate Chinese cooking into their communities. Fong views Zimmern's remarks as little more than self-interested, poorly conceived marketing.

“I think he understands that he didn’t just insult Chinese independent restaurants like ourselves,” Fong says, “but he really insulted people who like to come to our restaurants, which is a lot of people.” Then he allows himself a good laugh, perhaps a last one.

Over at Rainbow Chinese on Nicollet Avenue — a stretch widely viewed as a culinary destination — chef and owner Tammy Wong stands in her spotless, stainless-steel kitchen outfitted with high-powered woks. She’s laying out her magnificent life story: She’s the oldest daughter born to ethnic Chinese parents living in Cho Lon, Vietnam, which has long been a magnet for Chinese immigrants and refugees.

Wong’s family fled Vietnam after the fall of Saigon, landing in New York City and eventually settling in Minneapolis in 1983. Four years later, her father decided to open a restaurant, even though no one in the 11-member clan knew the first thing about running such a business. Wong had to improvise, cobbling together a menu from dishes she spotted at other Chinese American restaurants. The food leaned on her family’s Cantonese traditions, but was modified to appeal to the Scandinavian palate of the region.

Ingredients weren’t always available (84-year-old David Fong recalls growing bean sprouts in his basement and ordering canned tofu from San Francisco), and minds weren’t always open to new flavors. Early Chinese menus, by necessity, included General Tso’s chicken, chop suey and even hamburgers.

Over time, both Fong’s and Rainbow Chinese developed loyal followings based on their personalized takes on Cantonese cooking. If reluctant at first, Wong came to embrace her role as chef. She constantly tinkers with her menus, whether incorporating produce from farmers markets or re-engineering sauces to feature fresher, more healthful ingredients. These days, she also tries to cater to Minnesotans who grew up eating Thai, Vietnamese or Laotian dishes.

“I would not call [my food] Chinese American,” Wong says. “If it’s anything, I would call it Chinese Minnesotan.”

Both Wong and Edward Fong view their food as a legitimate expression of Cantonese cooking, informed by local tastes and available ingredients, like any other regional cuisine. They don’t take kindly to having their efforts — and their family’s efforts — diminished by Minneapolis’s favorite son.

“I was not right away totally offended” by Zimmern’s comments, Wong says. “But I just felt that, ‘Oh, my God, this maybe offended a lot of other people.’”

Zimmern steps into the kitchen at Lucky Cricket. (Courtney Perry/For The Washington Post)

As he offers quick reviews of the dishes before him at Szechuan Spice — generally positive, by the way — Zimmern stops cold when I relate what Wong and the Fongs had told me. Zimmern had already read a fair number of comments online. He knew his words had offended. But hearing from people whom he knows, and respects, hits him hard.

“Welcome to how awful I feel,” he says, tears welling in his eyes.

“Who wants to hurt someone that you care about? And to do so just out of flippance and stupidity?” he continues. “That’s the kind of stuff I used to do before I learned that mindfulness and words matter.”

Zimmern says he wants to do more than apologize to the people close to him. He wants to make amends, and one way to do so, he says, is just to shut up and listen. He wants to hear their truth and their opinions on such topics as cultural appropriation. (For the record, no one I spoke to cares much if Zimmern cooks or profits off Chinese food.)

Eve Wu would like Zimmern to listen, too. The celebrity chef was invited to the first Horse---- pop-up, but he never showed. (Zimmern says he never saw the invite.) Wu wants Zimmern to reconcile two seemingly incompatible positions: A man who has made a career out of elevating foreign foods, and a man who would call some Chinese American food “horse----.” She wants him to square his affection for immigrant culture with his view of immigrant Philip Chiang, co-founder of P.F. Chang’s, whom Zimmern described as Chinese on the outside but a “rich American kid on the inside.” (Chiang’s email response: “I am not going to get involved in his muck. I am totally comfortable with who I am and with who I am not.”)

Although she’s angry, Wu is also sympathetic. She knows it’s hard to confront your contradictions. She’s living proof of it: She’s Korean by birth, adopted by a conservative white family. She’s experienced the sting of racism while, at the same time, dealing with the “inner monologue” of a white woman who calls the police on any perceived threat.

“It’s like, dude, I get it,” Wu says. “I get it, Andrew Z. It’s tough [stuff], but I just did it. You can do it.”

Sichuan wontons with chile oil and scallions at Lucky Cricket. (Courtney Perry/For The Washington Post)

Maybe Zimmern can start the unpacking at Lucky Cricket, which has already drawn criticism for its awkward amalgam of Chinese fare and tiki culture. As Zimmern trots out some dishes to sample — Sichuan wontons, crispy glazed 18-hour ribs, soy sauce noodles — we begin to dissect the establishment, from the food on the table to the Easter Island-like heads in the bar.

With each element that we analyze — Zimmern points out the chicken-and-waffles riff on the menu, I note the thin layer of chile oil beneath the wontons, which traditionally swim in the hot stuff — it becomes clear Lucky Cricket is not the temple to authenticity that he intended. It’s fusion. It’s a sexier, 21st-century version of the Chinese American establishments that he had dismissed in the first place. They both meet customers where they are.

“I happen to think of it as fusion, too,” Zimmern says. “That’s why I regret so much the flippant way I described the restaurant. . . . Words matters, and the imprecision of that matters. My imprecision matters.”

Imprecision may explain another twist in the Lucky Cricket saga: Its next location may not be in the Midwest, the land Zimmern wants to save from inferior Chinese fare. Among the cities where Zimmern and his business partner, McDermott Restaurant Group, are scouting locations is Las Vegas, that neon beacon in the desert where image, not authenticity, is the coin of the realm. sexier? srsly?

01-21-2019, 12:59 PM
What Chinese cuisine was like in 1970: the cookbook that introduced Americans to the real deal (https://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/food-drink/article/2182729/what-chinese-cuisine-was-1970-cookbook-introduced)
An Encyclopedia of Chinese Food and Cooking did not dumb down Chinese cuisine for its audience
However, odd way of listing ingredients makes it difficult to follow the recipes
20 JAN 2019


I love old cookbooks because they give us a glimpse of what the cuisine was like in a particular time and place.

“An Encyclopedia of Chinese Food and Cooking” was first published in 1970 and is subtitled “1000 Recipes Adapted to the American Kitchen”, so you’d be correct in assuming that the recipes call for canned water chestnuts and bamboo shoots – fresh versions would have been hard to find back then in the United States, as would Chinese rice wine, for which sherry is substituted.


Unlike some Chinese cook*books written around that time, the cuisine isn’t dumbed down for its American audi*ence; instead, the authors try to educate them on the cuisine’s vast array of dishes, describing regional differences, ingredients and their preparation, and cooking methods and utensils.

They also give sample menus, including some for banquets (which you probably wouldn’t want to cook at home unless you have a lot of help).

Unfortunately, they have an odd way of presenting the recipes: each ingredient is given a letter. In the instructions for diced chicken with chillies, the recipe reads: “Preparation: I. Bone B and dice, mix with C, D, E. II. Wash and discard stem and seeds of G, H; dice. III. Mix M, N, O. Cooking: 1. Heat A, add B-E mixture, stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, remove to dish. 2. Pour excess A back into frying pan and heat. Add F, G, H, I, stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, add J, K, L, stir until done (1 to 2 minutes). 3. Return B-E mixture to pan, add M-O, mix well and serve”.

It’s not the easiest recipe to follow.

The dishes include shrimp toast, lion’s head meatballs; ginger pigs’ feet; braised sea cucumber; salt-roasted chicken; steamed porkspare ribs with salted black beans; steamed eggplant with minced meat; stuffed bean curd; sweet and sour pork; roast pork; steamed fish; and caul fat shrimp rolls.

Shrimp toast? Was that like avocado toast? I could go for some shrimp & avocado toast.

04-08-2019, 03:45 PM
8 CHINESE DISHES FOREIGNERS DON’T DARE TO EAT (http://blog.tutorming.com/expats/8-chinese-dishes-foreigners-dont-dare-to-eat)
Pierre Cerchiaro | March 26, 2019


Food plays an important role in Chinese culture. As a result, traditional Chinese cuisine offers a wide range of foods and dishes that can sometimes be considered very strange by Western people.

In order to stay aligned with lucky numbers, in this article we will introduce 8 Chinese dishes that may seem weird for foreigners, but actually taste really good.



In western countries, chicken feet, 鸡脚 jījiǎo in Mandarin, are more likely to end up in the trash can. In China it is a refined dish. Chinese people cook chicken feet in a lot of different ways, such as boiled, in soup, grilled, with ginger, caramelized, crispy...

Cooking them is a long process and it takes hours to soften the little meat that surrounds the bones. Locals don’t waste food and cook almost everything. There is even a Chinese saying that "anything that has four legs and is not a table can be eaten".



Don’t worry, Chinese people don’t drink the blood.

Duck blood, 鸭血 yāxuě in Chinese, is basically cubes of clotted duck blood and is usually cooked in a spicy soup. You can find it in every hotpot restaurant. Duck blood is really tasty and is also known for its health benefits. If you go to China, you should definitely try it, it is ‘bloody’ good!



Let's talk about Taiwan and its stinky tofu. Although its name is not appealing, it clearly defines what to expect when you smell it: it stinks. If you go to Taiwan, you don't have to look for a place that sells stinky tofu. Just visit the famous night markets and wait for the strong smell to come to your nose.

It doesn't seem appetising, but like French cheese, the taste is just amazing. Stinky tofu is a fermented tofu with a potent smell (and a strong taste). Stinky tofu (臭豆腐 chòu dòufu) mixed with duck blood in a spicy soup is the best.



As we said before, Chinese people don't like wasting food, so intestines should be eaten too. If you go to a hot pot restaurant, it is really easy to find duck intestines (鸭肠 yācháng) or pork intestines (猪肠 zhūchàng). In Beijing, you can even eat it for breakfast.

Pork or duck intestines can sound weird, but they are really tasty, and Chinese people know how to cook it perfectly.

continued next post

04-08-2019, 03:45 PM


In China, the century egg (皮蛋 pídàn) is a well-known culinary specialty that consists of macerating eggs for several weeks. Result? An egg with a dark green yolk and the egg ‘white’ which has turned translucent brown.

In regards to the taste, it is similar to hard-boiled eggs, but has a very strong sulphur smell.



In some western countries, we like eating chips or peanuts as appetizers. In China, they prefer pig's ears (猪耳朵 zhū ěrduo). Pig's ears can be first boiled or stewed, sliced thin, and then served with soy sauce or spiced with chili paste.

China has a lot of popular side dishes, and pig's ears are one of them. If you go to China, you should definitely try it.



Considered a refined dish in Hong Kong, snake soup (蛇肉汤 shéròu tāng) is believed to ensure longevity. Cooked in boiling water, snake meat then looks strangely like chicken (and tastes a little bit like it too). It is mostly common in Hongkong, but you can also find some places that sell snake soup in mainland China or Taiwan.



Grilled pig's brain (烤脑花 kǎo nǎohuā) can sound really gross and not appetising at all, but once again, Chinese people really know how to make it taste good. The grilled pig's brain is a traditional snack in the Sichuan-Yunnan region. It is prepared by mixing the pig's brain with sea pepper, pepper powder and other condiments.

It is very soft and smells really good. When eating a bite, the brain melts in your mouth and offers a delicious spicy taste. If you have the chance to visit Chengdu, Chongqing, or the beautiful province of Yunnan, don't hesitate to ask your local friends to bring you to a restaurant that sells it.

Chinese and Western cultures are extremely different, and so is the food. Thus, we may be surprised and reluctant when visiting China for the first time. However, it is important to be open-minded and at least try some of these dishes when eating with local people. You may be surprised by how good it tastes.

If you want to try but are too scared, just think that if they Chinese people eat these, you can eat them too :)

Pierre Cerchiaro is a contributing writer at TutorMing. He is a French expat working in Taiwan and has had both studying experience in China and Taiwan. He is passionate about the Chinese language and is a foodaholic.

I've eaten all of these back in my carnivorous days. And this is kid's stuff as far as exotic Chinese food goes. :rolleyes:

04-10-2019, 08:35 AM
This cultural appropriation issue and the stereotype of dirty Chinese food is so complex. Don't take this the wrong way - cultural/racial issues are so touchy now - but I kinda liked the 'dirt'.

Of course, authentic Chinese food in China is a whole different thing. The Americanized version with chop suey and even Kung Pao chicken is very surreal.

I'm trying to imagine cultural appropriation of other cuisines like Mexican or Italian. I guess that's what Taco Bell and Olive Garden is. :rolleyes:

A New York restaurant promised ‘clean’ Chinese food, sparking claims of cultural appropriation (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/voraciously/wp/2019/04/09/a-new-york-restaurant-promised-clean-chinese-food-sparking-claims-of-cultural-appropriation/?utm_term=.3e6e3da91af8)
By Maura Judkis
April 9 at 5:44 PM

(Amanda Voisard for the Washington Post)

It wouldn’t be right to blame the disastrous opening day for Lucky Lee’s, an optimistically named Chinese American restaurant in New York, on bad luck. What happened was not an arbitrary curse from the universe. Rather, it was a series of missteps that led the restaurant into the bull’s-eye of America’s ongoing conversation about culinary appropriation.

Chef/owner Arielle Haspel, a nutritionist, set out to open a restaurant that pays tribute to the Chinese food she and her Jewish family ate growing up in New York — except she planned to make versions of popular dishes, such as lo mein and kung pao chicken, without gluten, wheat, refined sugar, genetically modified organisms, MSG or additives. She has described the restaurant as a “clean” Chinese restaurant for “people who love to eat Chinese food and love the benefit that it will actually make them feel good.”

View image on Twitter (https://twitter.com/mackenzief/status/1115469589222178816?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5 Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1115469589222178816&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fnew s%2Fvoraciously%2Fwp%2F2019%2F04%2F09%2Fa-new-york-restaurant-promised-clean-chinese-food-sparking-claims-of-cultural-appropriation%2F)

MacKenzie Fegan
Ohhhh I CANNOT with Lucky Lee’s, this new “clean Chinese restaurant” that some white wellness blogger just opened in New York. Her blog talks about how “Chinese food is usually doused in brown sauces” and makes your eyes puffy. Lady, what? #luckylees

9:20 PM - Apr 8, 2019
122 people are talking about this
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Haspel later clarified on social media that she meant “clean” to indicate ingredients without additives, an accepted definition of the word in the holistic community but one that conjured up an ugly stereotype that immigrant restaurants are dirty. By positioning her restaurant as one that will “actually make [people] feel good,” she seemed to imply that other Chinese restaurants couldn’t do the same. Other posts alluded to the perceived unhealthiness of Chinese food: One post, since deleted, called lo mein a dish that “makes you feel bloated and icky the next day.” But Chinese food, with its abundance of vegetables, can be quite healthful. In fact, many of the less-healthful selections you find in Chinese restaurants are Chinese American dishes that were adapted to appeal to American diners’ predilections for sugar and fat.

The problems were compounded by the fact that Haspel named the restaurant after her husband, Lee, who is also white. Here is where the conversation about cultural appropriation gets tricky. The issue is not that a white person is making food outside their cultural heritage. San Francisco Chronicle food critic Soleil Ho has outlined the ways that cultural appropriation can be done right: primarily, when a creator gives credit to the people whose food they’re making and is deferential toward the group and its cuisine’s history.

Based on Haspel’s previous statements, you could argue that her deference is lacking. But the name of the restaurant adds another layer, as classical pianist Sharon Su pointed out in a lengthy Twitter thread about her disappointment in the restaurant. (Su later deleted part of the thread because of threats.) Many Chinese immigrants whose family names were Li or Le Anglicized the spelling of their names to Lee. Though Lee is Haspel’s husband’s real first name, the name could also give customers the impression that the restaurant is Asian-owned, lending it what critics would characterize as a false sense of authenticity.

Sharon Su
· Apr 8, 2019
Replying to @doodlyroses
2) “Lee” is a surname spelling a lot of Asian immigrants chose when they came over (as opposed to “Li” or “Le”) because adopting an American spelling was a way to minimize their Asian-ness and assimilate into a predominantly white American culture

Sharon Su
(I am aware Lee is her husband’s name but it’s still a super duper problematic choice of nomenclature for a Chinese-themed endeavor)

6:23 PM - Apr 8, 2019
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But the nuance of why, exactly, Lucky Lee’s has fallen short in the eyes of Asian Americans doesn’t always come across in 240 characters on social media, so the restaurant’s defenders seem to believe, based on their social media posts, that people are criticizing the restaurant only because its owners are white. Meanwhile, the restaurant’s Instagram has been flooded with negative comments from Chinese Americans expressing their hurt over Haspel’s language, and from defenders decrying the “mob” and “cancel culture” that brought critics to the page. Yelp has placed an “unusual activity” alert on the restaurant’s page because of an influx of one- and five-star reviews reflecting both viewpoints.

The incident echoes the recent controversy over celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern’s Minneapolis restaurant, Lucky Cricket. In opening the Chinese restaurant, Zimmern said he was “saving the souls of all the people from having to dine at these horse‑‑‑‑ restaurants masquerading as Chinese food that are in the Midwest.” He said he aspired to replicate the success of the upscale chain P.F. Chang’s, but then described founder Philip Chiang as Chinese on the outside but a “rich American kid on the inside.” He apologized for his remarks after an outcry from the Chinese American community, which reminded the host that its immigrant cuisine evolved as a means of survival.

Cathy Erway (https://twitter.com/cathyerway/status/1115627763300483074?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5 Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1115627763300483074&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fnew s%2Fvoraciously%2Fwp%2F2019%2F04%2F09%2Fa-new-york-restaurant-promised-clean-chinese-food-sparking-claims-of-cultural-appropriation%2F)

Lucky has become code for something awful.
Lucky Cricket: Andrew Zimmern's new Chinese restaurant (dragged by @hooleil)
Lucky Cat: Gordon Ramsay's upcoming "authentic Asian" restaurant, with no Asian chef
Lucky Lee's: nutritionist Arielle Haspel's "clean" Chinese restaurant

Eater NY

New NYC Chinese restaurant Lucky Lee’s is facing backlash to racist language, like an Instagram post that claimed dishes like lo mein at Chinese-American restaurants leave diners "bloated and icky" https://ny.eater.com/2019/4/9/18301861/lucky-lees-chinese-open-controversy-nyc?utm_campaign=ny.eater&utm_content=chorus&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter …

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7:49 AM - Apr 9, 2019
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After the outcry, the restaurant apologized via its Instagram page. “Some of your reactions made it clear to us that there are cultural sensitivities related to our Lucky Lee’s concept. We promise you to always listen and reflect accordingly,” the post said, before explaining the origin of the name and the use of the word “clean” and its implications for other restaurants. “When we talk about our food, we are not talking about other restaurants, we are only talking about Lucky Lee’s.”

05-09-2019, 09:45 AM

05-22-2019, 07:01 AM
I've had prepared ants before. They were marinated in soy sauce and very salty, more of a seasoning than a staple, but they are supposed to be high in protein.

Anhui university serves up steamed eggs with ants, students go back for seconds (http://shanghaiist.com/2019/05/22/anhui-uni-serves-up-steamed-eggs-with-ants-students-go-back-for-seconds/?fbclid=IwAR1SN148_Zhh0NdT8xcR_cy7n0tMFsWGm0Nxp8M1 Bb6_FS9L4MYg8ktr2MA)
Would you give it a try?
by Natalie Ma May 22, 2019 in News


While a colony of ants in a cafeteria dish might appear like an obvious health code violation, in fact, at one college canteen in Anhui province, it is a specialty.

Cooks at Fuyang Normal University are currently serving up a dish of steamed eggs cooked with a generous amount of ants to provide a bit of crunch. Photos have gone viral on Chinese social media this week of the unusual dish and canteen staff have claimed that it is actually quite a popular option among students — some even went back for seconds after their first taste.

“In my opinion, it tastes pretty good. It’s salty,” one student told reporters. “It tastes a lot like steamed eggs, but because there are ants inside, it’s a bit crunchy.”

05-24-2019, 09:03 AM
That's a quite unusual dish I've never tried this before. But I think if ants were marinated in sauce, it should be tasty.

06-04-2019, 07:55 AM

06-17-2019, 10:15 AM

A guide to all the Chinese hot pot styles (https://www.goldthread2.com/food/guide-all-chinese-hot-pot-styles/article/3014340)
Team Goldthread
JUN 13, 2019
In China, hot pot is king.

The premise is simple: a group of people gather around a simmering broth and dip raw slices of meat, vegetables, and other ingredients until they’re fully cooked.

Eating hot pot in Chengdu. / Photo: Nicholas Ko

But China is a big country, and just as there are different languages spoken, there are also numerous varieties of hot pot.

The ingredients vary by region, and the soup flavors can range from flowery fragrant to numbingly spicy. In Jiangsu province, for example, the broth often includes chrysanthemums.

Chrysanthemum hot pot at The Drunken Pot, a hot pot restaurant in Hong Kong. / Photo: The Drunken Pot

The origins of hot pot are disputed, but some archaeological evidence suggests hot pot in China might date back nearly 2,000 years.

“At first, it was popular in China’s cold north,” says Richard Zhang, director of the Sichuan Cuisine Museum in Chengdu. “People used it to cook all kinds of meat. Further developments in cooking technology led to the development of more variations of hot pot.”

The concept really took off in the early 19th century, when Sichuan hot pot as we know it today began to emerge.

Dividers help keep diners’ meals separate in a hot pot. / Photo: Shutterstock

Boatmen in the province would boil their meats in a communal spicy broth to keep warm and stretch their limited budgets as far as possible.

Some enterprising locals spotted an opportunity and began using giant communal pots to prepare the broth.

They also introduced the dividers that many people use today to keep their ingredients separate from other diners’ meals.

Regardless of where hot pot originally came from, no one region can claim a monopoly on gathering around a table and cooking together. Here are some of the different styles of hot pot you might encounter across China.

Beijing hot pot is served in a volcano-shaped copper pot. / Photo: South China Morning Post

Beijing hot pot: Lamb is king

Beijing hot pot inherits its central ingredient—mutton—from the surrounding region’s nomadic tradition.

Thinly sliced meat is cooked in a volcano-shaped copper pot prevalent in Mongolia.

The broth is seasoned with mushrooms, ginger, and scallions.

Other ingredients to be cooked in the pot include stomach meat, sliced lamb, tofu, green vegetables, and thin rice noodles.

Purists will insist that the ingredients must be added in that precise order.

https://cdn.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/styles/1320w/public/d8/images/2019/06/13/scmp_08jan18_fe_hotpot06_jonw1274a.jpg?itok=pmDet4 ZM
Sichuan hot pot is characterized by mouth-numbing chili and peppercorn. / Photo: Jonathan Wong/SCMP

Sichuan hot pot: Numbs the senses

Sichuan province in China’s southwest is home to a spicy variety of hot pot that has become internationally renowned, due in part to international chains like Haidilao and Xiaolongkan.

There are actually two main varieties of Sichuan hot pot—one originating from the capital of Chengdu and the other from the neighboring municipality of Chongqing—but both rely on chili and peppercorns that give off a mouth-numbingly spicy flavor known as mala 麻辣.

Local wisdom says that the heat of mala helps people deal with the region’s hot summers and cold winters.

Unlike in Beijing, there’s a much wider choice of ingredients for people to choose from. Anything goes from congealed blood to cheese balls and live shrimp.

Hot pot culture is strong in this part of China. Chongqing residents often claim that one in five restaurants in the city is a hot pot place. (Check out our video above about Chongqing hot pot culture!)

https://cdn.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/styles/1320w/public/d8/images/2019/06/13/handout_15dec17_fe_vegan8708_8708.jpg?itok=1I4hWjd T
Yunnan hot pot heavily features mushrooms. The province is home to 90% of China’s mushroom species. / Photo: Grassroots Pantry

Yunnan hot pot: Mushrooms take center stage

The mountains of Yunnan province in China’s southwest are home to 90% of all mushroom species in China. As a result, mushrooms are a popular ingredient in hot pot broth.

(Watch: We went hunting for wild mushrooms in Yunnan)

Hot pot restaurants can be generous in their offerings. The province is blessed with a diverse variety of mushrooms, some rare and expensive, making hot pot restaurants here a prime spot for fungus aficionados.

Like in neighboring Sichuan province, chili peppers are often thrown into the broth for an extra kick.

Guangdong hot pot involves a lot of seafood. / Photo: Sohu

Guangdong hot pot: Light and fresh

The southern province of Guangdong, home to Cantonese cuisine, is known for its fragrant soup base and emphasis on seafood.

Because the climate is hot and humid year-round, spicy is not the preferred flavor profile.

Instead, Guangdong hot pot deploys light seasonings like spring onions, ginger, peanut oil, and soy sauce.

Fresh seafood is a must. Common ingredients include fish fillet, fish balls, and shrimp.

https://cdn.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/styles/1320w/public/d8/images/2019/06/13/scmp_31aug16_fe_porta_131_chen_xiaomei_012_.jpg?it ok=S7nsrF1S
Coconut chicken hot pot from Hainan. / Photo: Chen Xiaomei/SCMP

Hainan hot pot: Coconut milk and chicken

An increasingly popular variation of hot pot is coconut chicken from Hainan, an island province just south of Guangdong.

In recent years, restaurant chains have popped up across China serving this style of hot pot that uses chicken and coconut milk as the main broth ingredients.

Hainan has a largely tropical climate. Coconut trees grow on plantations across the island, and poultry is raised on many farms, giving birth to this unique style of hot pot.

I've never been that fond of Hot Pot. It bugs me when restaurants make you cook your food. If I'm cooking my own food, I can just do that at home. :rolleyes:

06-25-2019, 03:24 PM

Where Did the All-Too-Familiar Chinese Zodiac Placemat Come From? (https://www.eater.com/2019/6/18/9347323/chinese-zodiac-paper-placemats-chinese-american-restaurants)
Chances are if you’ve been to a Chinese restaurant in America, you’ve seen one of these

by Jaya Saxena Jun 18, 2019, 10:27am EDT
Photography by Esra Erol

“Tiger people are aggressive, courageous, candid, and sensitive,” the placemat informed me. “Look to the Horse or Dog for happiness. Beware of the Monkey.” By the time I saw this, I think, I knew I was a Scorpio — also aggressive, also sensitive under my protective exoskeleton. But now, another mystical way of ordering the world was telling me the basic tenets of who I was — a Tiger person — an act of discovery achieved just by looking down while waiting for my wonton soup.

Regardless of whether you have any Chinese heritage or cultural connections, if you’ve ever eaten at a Chinese-American restaurant, you probably remember something about what your birth year means within the Chinese zodiac. Maybe you’re a noble and chivalrous Boar, or a wise but vain Snake. Or maybe you just remember the red and gold, nearly symmetrical design on top of the placemat. Typically, the mat features a thick red border, and perhaps a wheel in the middle, but there are always drawings of the animals associated with the 12-year cycle, and descriptions of what your year has in store for you. (It’s currently the year of the pig.)

There are multiple histories about how the Chinese zodiac system came to be. The 12 Earthly Branches ordering system — which encompasses understandings of time and astrology — is prevalent in several Asian cultures, and is based on a 12-year cycle that just about lines up with the orbit of Jupiter. The most prevalent accompanying myth describes a race in which animals competed to be the first to reach the Jade Emperor; the Emperor would name one year for each animal in the order they completed the race. Variations of the myth unfurl different ways in which the animals ended up in their final order, with the narratives corresponding to the accompanying “personality traits” of each animal.

The zodiac is a way of assessing yourself, a series of patterns to compare your life with and see what makes sense
But no one seems to know where the zodiac placemat came from, or which illustrated version might be the first. The original artist’s name was either never on or was erased from the current versions of the designs. “I’m not sure who originally created these placemats,” says Kian Lam Kho, a food writer, cookbook author, and co-curator of “Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy: Stories of Chinese Food and Identity in America,” a 2017 exhibit at the Museum of Chinese in America. “But the Chinese zodiac has been a common cultural symbol among non-Chinese in the U.S. for many years.”

There are a few places that currently print the zodiac menu, the foremost probably being Kari-Out, a New York-based company run by Howard Epstein. The company is best known for popularizing the modern soy sauce packet, which was a re-imagination of Epstein’s father’s freezer pop packaging business, but the company now sells all manner of Chinese restaurant staples. CNN reported in 2001 that “the near universality of Kari-Out packets testifies to the company’s huge market share, which has also allowed it to branch out into wholesale restaurant-supply distribution for items like napkins, chopsticks, and cardboard containers.” However, a call to the company yielded no answers as to where they got the design, though one administrative assistant said they’ve been printing it since at least the ’90s.

According to Lam Kho, the placements likely served as an easy-to-parse bridge for people familiar with Chinese-American cuisine, who could be made interested in learning more. “They were designed to share a bit of Chinese culture to the restaurant patrons,” he says. Catherine Piccoli, curator of “Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant,” an exhibit currently on display at the Museum of Food and Drink in New York City, agrees. “For some Chinese-American restaurateurs in the mid-20th century, I think there definitely is a move towards education,” she says. But its omnipresence in Chinese-American restaurants tells the story of the changing role those restaurants played in American lives, and how their proprietors used Orientalism to drive acceptance of their culture.

Chinese restaurants in the U.S. date back to the first wave of immigration from China, predominantly from Guangdong (then known as Canton), in the mid-1800s. It was spurred by the Gold Rush, and then work on railroads, farms, and in laundries. In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act as white Americans increasingly blamed Chinese immigrants for low wages and a lack of jobs. “Out of sheer necessity, Chinese had to find or develop forms of self-employment because most forms of work were denied to them,” writes John Jung, a professor emeritus in psychology and a historian of Chinese-American history, in Sweet and Sour: Life in Chinese Family Restaurants. Restaurants popped up both as places for the predominantly male Chinese population to cook their own cuisine for each other, and as a business opportunity — especially since Chinese immigrants were often unwelcome or segregated from other communities.

“You see early on… the menus are pretty standard,” says Piccoli. They were black text on white paper, no illustration or design, just a list of food. These restaurants were typically located in Chinatowns, and because they were run by Chinese people for Chinese people, there was no signaling necessary.

continued next post

06-25-2019, 03:25 PM
https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/-OKShFGNCeFryyGYq_MYi2C4el8=/0x0:5184x3456/920x0/filters:focal(0x0:5184x3456):format(webp):no_upsca le()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/16350202/chinese_zodiac_menus.jpg

The rise of Orientalist design in Chinese-American restaurants begins at the turn of the 20th century. By this point, Chinese restaurants were at least a familiar sight to non-Chinese people, and some diners who fancied themselves adventurous began to pop in — the way the bohemian class always prides themselves on their willingness to eat at a “hole in the wall.” Chinese business owners realized they could capitalize on, and expand, this new consumer base, and “courted business from tourists and the curious with remodeled restaurants designed with a typical Oriental motif both inside and out,” writes Jung. They brought in bamboo shoots, the dragons slithering along menu spines, Buddha statues sitting on windowsills. By 1903, there were over 100 of these Chinese-American restaurants between 14th Street and Times Square in Manhattan.

While some of these design changes were just restaurant owners trying to see what brought customers in, other times, these aesthetic changes happened as a result of more pernicious, and unforeseen, factors. After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, city officials saw the resulting damage to Chinatown as an opportunity to get rid of the Chinese population in such a valuable section of the city’s real estate. The Chinese government stepped in, vowing to build its consulate in the heart of old Chinatown, and with the rebuilding came a redesign. The Chinese Businessmen’s Administration “worked with a white American architect to rebuild, and purposely rebuilt in the sort of stereotypical way that we think of Chinatowns,” Piccoli says. “They were trying to… create a Disney-fied version, trying to attract outsiders to come and spend money at these businesses.” That aesthetic included roofs that looked like pagodas, big gates at the neighborhood entrance, lions, and other details.

A change in immigration law sparked another catalyst for the change in aesthetics — and the customer base. In 1915, restaurant owners were added to a list of exceptions for merchant visas, allowing some proprietors to recruit employees from China and bring them to the U.S. According to Piccoli, only “the main investor in a ‘high-grade establishment’” would qualify for the visa. In response, Chinese Business Associations, using a rotating credit of funds pooled together from immigrant communities, helped Chinese-Americans and new Chinese immigrants start these “high-grade establishments,” setting them up as investors and instructing them on what to build. Chinese Business Associations, which coordinated the opening of multiple businesses, created the now-familiar standardization of Chinese-American restaurant: teak carving and hanging lanterns, bamboo-inspired patterns, and menus with a more “Oriental” design.

Though we don’t know specifically when this placemat showed up, “there really is this standardization,” Piccoli says. “So then something like a zodiac placemat ends up some place and it kind of travels.”

Paper placemats, especially ones with “ethnic” designs, became popular across multiple kinds of restaurants in the ’60s and ’70s. “During that period there are other types of placemats designed for Italian, Mexican, Greek diners, and other types of cuisine,” says Kho. “I would not be surprised if the design were created by restaurant supply companies.” And the rise of the New Age movement — spurred in no small part by the popularity of Hair, which opened on Broadway in 1968, and its song “Age of Aquarius” — resulted in an increased appreciation for zodiacs of all kinds.

Though the Western zodiac is a staple of newspaper columns and quizzes, it tends to regain its popularity in uncertain times. It’s a way of assessing yourself when the world is confusing and therapy is expensive, a series of stories and patterns to compare your life with and see what makes sense. Yes, some people excuse all of their behavior by saying they’re an Aries, but at its best, the zodiac is a starting point for conversation. Do you feel like an Ox? Why or why not? In the ’70s, as the Vietnam War and the oil crisis raged, and Richard Nixon’s 1972 visit to China reinvigorated American interest in Chinese food, a Chinese zodiac placemat would have felt familiar enough, but also provided a new point of conversation.

Given the racism Asian-Americans still face, some restaurateurs remain focused on getting Americans away from the “chop suey house” stereotype and ensuring the perception of Chinese culture doesn’t get reduced to pagodas and dragons. Others see those visual markers as things to honor in their own right, proof of a past generation figuring out how to survive and thrive in a country that was happy to eat their food but disrespect them otherwise. The placemat was an attempt to be understood — eat this, see me, please be kind.

But while some chefs have repurposed Orientalism yet again as an ironic meta-commentary on Chinese-American cuisine, at this point, most restaurants using the Chinese zodiac placemat probably don’t have a better explanation than “that’s what we have.” It’s standardized, to the point that some Chinese restaurants even have a zodiac section of their website, and it’s rooted enough in the American consciousness to have inspired this Jewish spinoff. However it got here, it’s not going away. And it’s a lingering testament that its initial effect — to normalize a piece of Chinese culture to an unfamiliar audience — worked, at least enough to know if you’re a Boar or an Ox.

Correction: This piece has been corrected to reflect that Kian Lam Kho was the curator of an exhibit at the Museum of Chinese in America, not MOFAD.

Interesting...never thought about this.

07-16-2019, 08:30 AM
Great article. This is what we should've been doing back in the day when Kung Fu Tai Chi (https://www.martialartsmart.com/Kungfu-magazine.html) used to run feature articles on Chinese recipes (not my idea - I put an end to that after so many complaints :o ).

The legend of a beggar's chicken (https://www.shine.cn/feature/taste/1907148368/)
Li Anlan
11:09 UTC+8, 2019-07-14

In “The Legend of the Condor Heroes,” the fate of the protagonist was changed by a titillating chicken.

When Huang Rong stole a chicken and baked it in clay to provide some good nutrition to Guo Jing, the delicious aroma attracted Hong Qigong, chief of the Beggars’ Sect and the “Northern Beggar” of the Five Greats.

The chicken was so tempting that in order to eat the chicken, Hong agreed to teach Guo martial arts, and Huang agreed to prepare fine cuisine for him every day in return.

Hong taught Guo “Eighteen Dragon-Subduing Palms,” the most powerful of all external martial arts in the novel.

This chicken scene from “The Legend of the Condor Heroes” by Louis Cha, the late Chinese martial arts writer widely known by his pen name Jin Yong, is one of the most memorable writings about food in Chinese wuxia literature, a genre of martial arts and chivalry fiction that centers on the adventures of kung fu heroes.

Xu Jingjing / SHINE

Huang Rong makes begger’s chicken for Hong Qigong in “The Legend of the Condor Heroes.”

Beggar’s chicken is a traditional dish from Hangzhou which wraps a stuffed chicken in clay and bakes it on low heat so the meat of the chicken can absorb all the rich flavors of the spices and fall apart easily.

If conditions permit, the dish is perfect for camping as no pan or pot is required — simply dig a hole, make a fire and bury the clay wrapped chick-en inside to cook.

Beggar’s chicken is a fun dish in Chinese culinary culture, and there are different stories of how the dish was created.

One legend has it that after a beggar stole a chicken from a farm, he had no pots to cook it, so he came up with the idea of wrapping the chicken in lotus leaves and used clay to seal it. He set it in a hole and lit a fire, burying the chicken so it would cook.

When the beggar dug up the chicken and smashed open the clay, he was surprised to find an extra tender, juicy and aromatic chicken, cooked to perfection with little effort.

Another legend associated with beggar’s chicken was when Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) traveled to Jiangnan (south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River) as a commoner. He was lost in the wild, and a beggar gave him a cooked chicken which he considered a delicacy. The hungry emperor found the chicken delicious and asked the beggar for the name of the dish.

The beggar was embarrassed to say a beggar’s chicken, so he called it the wealthy’s chicken. This is why it’s called wealthy’s chicken in some places.

Li Anlan / SHINE

Beggar's chicken is a classic Hangzhou dish.

In modern cooking, the simple, rustic dish has evolved to feature delicious fillings of mushroom and finer seasoning with spices and herbs.

Beggar’s chicken is preferably cooked with sanhuangji, the free-range yellow chicken known for tender and juicy meat.

One original tale about the recipe said to wrap the chicken, still with its feathers on, directly in clay, and when the clay is baked dry, the feather would be removed along with the clay to reveal the cooked chicken meat. For sanitation and easy application concerns, beggar’s chicken mostly uses lotus leaf, which is large enough for bigger birds, to wrap the plucked, rinsed and seasoned chicken before sealing it with clay. That way, the chicken is not only cleaner without touching the clay, but also takes in the fresh fragrance of the lotus leaf.

When making the dish at home, the smaller Cornish hen is the more convenient option. The chicken can be wrapped inside a lotus leaf and sealed with dough, a less messy substitute for clay that’s easily prepared with ingredients already in the pantry.

In the fall, sweet and starchy chest-nuts can be stuffed inside the chicken, which will be cooked in the delicious chicken jus.

Beggar’s chicken is often cracked open with a small hammer when it’s being served.

Cooking foods that are wrapped in fresh leaves is a traditional Chinese technique that aims to seal in all the delicious juices and flavor of the meats and vegetables.

Lotus leaves, being refreshing and large in size, can be used as a wrap-per to make more delicacies such as chicken and glutinous rice in lotus leaf, a Cantonese dim sum dish that stir-fries glutinous rice, shiitake mushrooms and marinated chicken and then stuffs the mixture in fresh lotus leaves and is then steamed until it’s fully cooked.

The leaf allows the chicken and glutinous rice, both ingredients that require extensive cooking to achieve the desired texture, to cook won-derfully with every bit of the juice preserved inside the leaf pocket.


Chicken and glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaf

The dish was said to be born at the night markets in Guangzhou when vendors used to make steamed chick-en and glutinous rice with bowls, but opted for lotus leaves as they were easier to carry and sell. Apart from shiitake mushrooms, the classic lotus leaf chicken and glutinous rice also adds dried scallops and salted duck egg yolks for that extra umami flavor.

Zongzi, the traditional Chinese snack made to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival, is another iconic dish cooked by wrapping ingredients in fresh leaves.

There are different leaves to choose from when making zongzi, the more common varieties are reed leaves and ruoye (indocalamus leaf).

Wrapping glutinous rice with sweet or savory fillings in fresh leaves is a way to add extra flavor and make the snack easier to store.

In Yunnan cuisine, banana leaves are used to make special baked and grilled dishes.

The technique known as baoshao uses the large, thick and firm fresh banana leaves as the cooking utensil. After cutting the leaves in desired shapes and sizes, the banana leaves are blanched briefly in boiling water to further improve elasticity so they won’t break apart when wrapping the foods.

All kinds of ingredients, ranging from fresh fish marinated in ginger, garlic, chili, mint and cilantro, pig’s brain seasoned in heavy flavored sauce, to tofu and mushrooms, can be folded and wrapped inside the ba-nana leaves. The leaves can seal in the moisture of the ingredients and maintain the heat after the dish is served.

The pockets of food are then fixed with wooden sticks and grilled over an open fire. The cooking time varies depending on the type of ingredients — vegetables cook faster than meats and whole fish, and when it’s time to open the banana leaves, you are greeted by the rich aromas of spices and fresh ingredients.

The legend of a beggar's chickenHelloRF
In Yunnan cuisine, the banana leaves are used to make special baked and grilled dishes.

Source: SHINE Editor: Fu Rong

Chinese food (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food)
Jin Yong aka Louis Cha (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?52605-Jin-Yong-aka-Louis-Cha)

10-01-2019, 08:10 AM
Century eggs: How are they really made, and where are they from? (https://www.scmp.com/magazines/style/people-events/article/3019300/century-eggs-how-are-they-really-made-and-where-are?_ga=2.221953050.309762709.1569942242-865420789.1569603205)
Origins series
The preserved egg is served in the most humble of establishments through to restaurants with three Michelin stars. Here’s how to spot a quality one
Vicki Williams
Published: 12:00pm, 22 Jul, 2019

Considered a delicacy in Hong Kong, preserved eggs would not win an award for visual appeal, with their translucent dark exterior that has a jellylike texture, and a greenish-black oozing yolk with a hint of ammonia. James Corden, host of The Late Late Show with James Corden, frequently uses these eggs in his “Spill your guts or fill your guts” segment, threatening to feed them to his guests if they don’t answer personal questions.
Also known as century egg, hundred year egg, thousand year egg, skin egg and black egg, the preserved egg is served in the most humble of establishments through to restaurants with three Michelin stars

What Corden doesn’t know, however, is that when the eggs are of good quality they taste absolutely delicious.


Also known as century egg, hundred year egg, thousand year egg, skin egg and black egg, the preserved egg is served in the most humble of establishments through to restaurants with three Michelin stars.

They also have a history dating back to the Ming dynasty, most likely originating in Hunan. “In China, methods have been developed to preserve eggs in such a way as to cause chemical and physical changes in both egg white and yolk, imparting a new flavour … the earliest known description of an egg preservation method is that of Wang Zizhen during the Ming dynasty,” wrote Hou Xiangchuan in his article Hunger and Technology: Egg preservation in China, for the Food and Nutrition Bulletin, a peer- reviewed academic journal.

A common misconception is that the preservation method originally involved horse urine

Like many foods or dishes with a long history the origin of preserved eggs is said to be accidental. There are several variations. One tells the tale of a discovery of duck eggs by a homeowner – in a shallow pool of slaked lime used for mortar two months after construction – who decided to taste them. Another involves a man who accidentally spilled his tea with tea leaves in the ash where his ducks laid their eggs. On cleaning the ash later he found some eggs he had previously missed, and decided to try them. Most variations agree that on trying them the discoverer thought the flavour would be improved with the addition of salt.

A common misconception is that the preservation method originally involved horse urine. Interestingly the direct translation of the name for the eggs in Thailand and Laos is “horse urine egg”, most likely due to the associated ammonia smell.

Traditional preservation methods involving raw eggs, ash, salt, slaked lime, clay and rice husks, are still practised. However, with more understanding of the chemistry behind the process, there have been simplifications, which achieves the same result in weeks instead of months.

While chicken and even quail eggs can be used, Hou writes that duck eggs produce the best results. Duck eggs are used by Kowloon Shangri-La Hong Kong and Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong.

As for telling a quality product from an inferior one, Cheung Long-yin, executive Chinese chef, Kowloon Shangri-La says, “You cannot judge the quality by its appearance. A folkloric [and unproven method] is to tap it lightly with two fingers. If you feel it bounce outward as if there is a vacuum between the shell and the egg, it is of good quality.”

Duck eggs are the best choice when making preserved eggs. Legend has it that if you tap the egg lightly with two fingers and you feel it bounce outward, it is a good quality century egg.

Once cut open it is a different story, says Cheung, “It gives an acquired fragrance of egg, with a slight odour of ammonia, but tastes like egg on the palate with a creamy and succulent flavour. It should have a slightly runny, gooey, creamy egg yolk, and small traces of the yolk stick to the knife after cutting.”
It should have a slightly runny, gooey, creamy egg yolk, and small traces of the yolk stick to the knife after cutting
Cheung Long-yin, executive Chinese chef, Kowloon Shangri-La
A typical way to enjoy the eggs is by pairing with pickled ginger. “There are several elements,” says Four Seasons’ executive Chinese chef Chan Yan Tak. “The egg is alkaline from its preservation process, and the acidity in pickled ginger brings it to a balance. In terms of texture, the egg is silky smooth, so when you eat it with crunchy pickled ginger, it enhances the flavours.”

Congee with preserved eggs. Century eggs smell like horse urine but taste like egg with a creamy and succulent flavour.

They are also served as a topping for congee, said to be a good introduction to the eggs for novices. Numerous dishes also include the eggs. In Shanghai and Taiwan they are combined with cold silken tofu, light soy sauce, young ginger and sesame oil. In Hong Kong they can also be found in pastries as well as mooncakes.
Where are Singapore noodles from if not from Singapore?
Kowloon Shangri-La is now serving “golden” preserved eggs, which have a more attractive golden albumen, an orange yolk and milder taste. No doubt more appealing to overseas guests.

Kowloon Shangri-La make mini mooncakes with traditional and “golden” preserved eggs. The golden eggs have a more attractive golden albumen, an orange yolk and milder taste.

The eggs are said to work with a full-bodied Bordeaux or sparkling wine with a larger bubble.

When we first moved back to Cali, my dad made a pilgrimage to SF Chinatown and got some of these. I was 8 and coming from PA, had never seen them before. I was aghast. But I've since developed a taste for them and now I luv 'em. Such was growing up Chinese American.

12-04-2019, 01:57 PM
I'm not into Hot Pot. If I go out to eat, I don't want to have to cook my own food. I want someone else to cook it. And cook it thoroughly.

A man ate hot pot and got tapeworms in his brain. He had to be dewormed. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/11/27/man-ate-hotpot-ended-up-with-tapeworms-his-brain/)

A Chongqing hot pot. (iStock)

By Lateshia Beachum
November 27, 2019 at 6:52 a.m. PST

A Chinese man sought medical attention for seizures and a headache that lasted nearly a month. Doctors found that tapeworms from undercooked meat were causing his pain.

Researchers at the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University published a paper last week that details the plight of 46-year-old construction worker Zhu (an alias for the patient) in the eastern Zhejiang province of China who bought pork and mutton about a month ago for a spicy hot pot broth.

Days later, the man started feeling dizzy, having headaches and experiencing epilepsy-like symptoms such as limb twitching and mouth foaming while trying to sleep at night, according to the report.

Co-workers witnessed one of Zhu’s episodes and dialed for emergency help. He was seen at a hospital where scans and tests showed that he had multiple intracranial calcifications, abnormal deposits of calcium in blood vessels to the brain; and multiple intracranial lesions, according to researchers.

Medical staff wanted to examine him further, but he dismissed their concerns because he didn’t want to spend more money, according to the report.

The symptoms that sent Zhu to the hospital persisted after he left, researchers reported. He became frightened.

He spoke with his relatives about seeking medical treatment before deciding on care at the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University Medical College.

Huang Jianrong, the hospital’s chief doctor, consulted Zhu and learned that he had eaten pork and mutton not too long ago, according to the report.

The chief physician recommended an MRI, which showed the man to be suffering from multiple brain lesions and tapeworms in the brain, the report stated.

The tapeworms were the root of Zhu’s symptoms, but he was confused about how his hot pot meal led to a brain invaded by parasites, researchers said.

Jianrong explained to Zhu that the meat for the hot pot probably was tainted with larval tapeworms that survived because of the pork and mutton being improperly cooked, according to the report.

Zhu admitted to just simmering the meat, explaining that the bottom of the spicy pot was red, which obstructed his ability to see if the meat was thoroughly cooked, researchers wrote.

The construction worker fully recovered after doctors dewormed and reduced the pressure on his brain, the report said.

Researchers wrote that because the brain has the largest blood circulation, it is often affected by the ingestion and infection of parasites entering the body through contaminated meat or water. The impact, they said, can cause severe brain damage and be fatal.

Neurocysticercosis occurs when a person swallows microscopic eggs passed in the feces of a person who has intestinal pork tapeworm, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can be prevented by practicing good hygiene such as hand washing and treating people infected with intestinal tapeworm.

The parasitic infection mainly affects people who live in subsistence farming communities in developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, according to the World Health Organization.

In March, the New England Journal of Medicine published a paper about an 18-year-old man in India who died of neurocysticercosis after experiencing seizures and confusion.

More recently, a 42-year-old New York woman was diagnosed with the same parasitic infection when doctors went in to remove a cancerous tumor from her brain only to find a tapeworm instead.

The CDC estimates that there are about 1,000 cases of neurocysticercosis in the United States each year, with most cases being reported in New York, California, Texas, Oregon and Illinois.

12-09-2019, 03:40 PM

The Jewish Christmas. And We Don't Mean Chanukah (https://www.finemediumandbroad.com/c/The-Jewish-Christmas-And-We-Dont-Mean-Chanukah?fbclid=IwAR0_-H_DD7_tcxnVI3W32TirLVSgLa-GNeYd4AvIgT54bIqQBaDJUExVXt8).
While most of America is celebrating Christmas, this is what your Jewish neighbors are doing.
NOV.03,2019 / UPDATED ON NOV.16,2019

Every year since I can remember, I woke on Christmas morning knowing there would be no presents, nothing from Santa, not a note saying“better luck next year” or “here’s your lump of coal.” There would be no half-eaten cookies by the fireplace or milk gone from the glass. And there would be no hoof prints left from Santa’s reindeer or marks on the roof from his sleigh. No, I wouldn’t be unwrapping presents that day, and I definitely wouldn’t be eating a Christmas dinner with my family.

Instead, I would wake up on Christmas, and it would feel like any ordinary day. Since year one, the day would consist of me, my brother, my parents, and possibly some of our friends going out to a movie at a local mall and then having a nice, long dinner at a local Chinese restaurant. Yep, Chinese food on Christmas, because as you might have guessed, I’m Jewish.

Chinese Food? Really? Yep. You might have heard about Jewish people eating Chinese food on Christmas. Maybe it was through a joke someone told you, a popular movie or an episode of a television show, or one of the songs that went viral. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s no joke. It’s very real, and it’s how I look forward to celebrating Christmas every year.

Fried Rice and Popcorn. So why do we eat Chinese food on Christmas while the rest of the world eats beautifully prepared home-cooked meals? It’s simple. Chinese restaurants are pretty much the only thing open on Christmas. You might find a few other restaurants open if you really try, but the Chinese restaurants are always open, and always reliable on Christmas. Come on, how many Jewish Chinese people have you met? Because of this, it has become a tradition, not just for me, but for many Jewish families.

But, Chinese restaurants aren’t the only thing open on Christmas. As Brandon Walker sang in his viral YouTube video, we “eat Chinese food on Christmas, [and] go to the movie theatre too.” While the malls might be closed and all the shops dark and locked up, most movie theaters stay open on Christmas. That means we have our whole day planned. It’s movies and popcorn in the morning, and Chinese food at night.

While I’d like to take credit for Jewish people eating Chinese food on Christmas, American Jews have been doing it since the beginning. At the end of the 19th century, as Jewish and Chinese people began immigrating toAmerica, the Jewish people started eating Chinese food. During the hours that most other Americans were at church on Sundays, American Jews would be eatingChinese food. This continued on to Christmas and has been a tradition for Jewish families around America ever since.

Oh, this isn’t a complaint or a plea for sympathy. As Christmas approaches and you’re thinking of unwrapping presents, I’m thinking of egg rolls … okay, perhaps not exactly. Merry Christmas.

Chinese food (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food)
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?52814-Merry-Christmas-and-Happy-Holidays)

12-11-2019, 08:01 AM
More on Lucky Lee's (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food&p=1313403#post1313403)

'CLEAN' CHINESE RESTAURANT OPENED BY WHITE COUPLE AND CRITICIZED FOR RACIAL INSENSITIVITY CLOSES AFTER 8 MONTHS (https://www.newsweek.com/clean-chinese-restaurant-closed-one-year-1476547)

A Chinese restaurant that promoted clean eating has closed after just eight months in business.

The New York City restaurant, named Lucky Lee's, announced its closure via an Instagram post on Sunday. The establishment's time in business was met with allegations of racism and cultural insensitivity, as the restaurant was opened by a white couple, health coach and chef Arielle Haspel and her husband Lee Haspel.

Lucky Lee's, named after Lee Haspel, offered a casual menu of modified takes on American Chinese fare like General Tso's chicken and lo mein. The menu was developed with an eye to those with dietary restrictions, saying that its offerings were "gluten-free, wheat-free, peanut, cashew and pistachio free... with non-GMO oil, and without refined sugar or food coloring."


Shortly after Lucky Lee's opened, Haspel received pushback from critics who believed that her marketing language played into existing stereotypes of Chinese restaurants being dirty and unhealthy.

The business' Yelp page was quickly inundated with negative reviews as people rejected the implication that Chinese food could not be healthy and satisfying.

Patrons who ordered food from the restaurant also seemed unsatisfied, with one customer writing on Yelp that their dish tasted like "a suburban mom trying to dress up her steamed broccoli with some ethnic seasoning added at the last minute."

Haspel rejected criticisms, claiming that her restaurant was being respectful to Chinese cooking traditions, despite posting on her blog that "You know the morning after you go to your favorite chinese restaurant or sushi joint and you feel bloated, your eyes are puffy and your rings hardly fit on your fingers?"

"There are very few American-Chinese places as mindful about the quality of ingredients as we are," Haspel wrote in an Instagram post. "We're excited to offer it to people who want this type of food, and it can make them feel good and they can workout after and they can feel focused after and it will add to their health."

Lucky Lee's marketing also tapped into disproven concerns about MSG, a common ingredient in many Asian cuisines that quickly adds umami and depth of flavor.

luckyleesnyc's profile picture
luckyleesnyc (https://www.instagram.com/p/B5vzclrJl9m/?utm_source=ig_embed)
It is with a heavy heart that we are shutting down our woks and ovens tonight. We have truly loved feeding and entertaining you and your families. We are very proud of our food and the space we created, but a lot needs to come together to make a restaurant work in New York City and we wish it could have succeeded as we hoped. Thank you to our talented employees who cooked with love and enthusiasm daily. Thank you to you, our amazing customers and neighbors who dined with us and ordered delivery week after week. Thank you also to all who partnered with us to help make our vision a reality. We feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to serve you. While we are heartbroken to say goodbye to Lucky Lee’s, we know that the future still looks bright and delicious. Happy and healthy holidays to all of you. #bewell #luckyleesnyc


The restaurant has disabled comments on their farewell Instagram post.

Haspel's previous food experience came with a stint in nutrition school and gigs as the host of two online cooking shows. She also runs a wellness jewelry company, The I Love Me Collection, that sells rings and necklaces "to inspire women to love themselves and treat themselves well."

Chinese-influenced restaurants owned by non-Chinese people often come under fire. When celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay opened his "authentic Asian eating house" Lucky Cat in London this summer, he was criticized for not having a single person of Asian descent in the kitchen, as well as insensitive cocktails like the "Lucky Geisha."

New York is notorious as a city for new restaurants to survive in. According to a 2011 study, 80 percent of eateries in the city close in the first five years of operation.

12-27-2019, 08:09 AM
Chinese Restaurants Are Closing. That’s a Good Thing, the Owners Say. (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/24/upshot/chinese-restaurants-closing-upward-mobility-second-generation.html?)
The share of Chinese restaurants has fallen in metro areas across the country in the last five years. Many owners are glad their children won’t be taking over.

A selection of dishes at Nom Wah Tea Parlor, which has been serving dim sum since the early 20th century.Credit...Colin Clark for The New York Times

By Amelia Nierenberg and Quoctrung Bui
Dec. 24, 2019

KINGSTON, N.Y. — More than 40 years after buying Eng’s, a Chinese-American restaurant in the Hudson Valley, Tom Sit is reluctantly considering retirement.

For much of his life, Mr. Sit has worked here seven days a week, 12 hours a day. He cooks in the same kitchen where he worked as a young immigrant from China. He parks in the same lot where he’d take breaks and read his wife’s letters, sent from Montreal while they courted by post in the late 1970s. He seats his regulars at the same tables where his three daughters did homework.

Two years ago, at the insistence of his wife, Faye Lee Sit, he started taking off one day a week. Still, it’s not sustainable. He’s 76, and they’re going to be grandparents soon. Working 80 hours a week is just too hard. But his grown daughters, who have college degrees and well-paying jobs, don’t intend to take over.

Tom Sit has cooked in the same kitchen for 45 years, making Chinese-American dishes and putting his own spin on the recipes.Credit...Lauren Lancaster for The New York Times

Across the country, owners of Chinese-American restaurants like Eng’s are ready to retire but have no one to pass the business to. Their children, educated and raised in America, are pursuing professional careers that do not demand the same grueling labor as food service.

According to new data from the restaurant reviewing website Yelp, the share of Chinese restaurants in the top 20 metropolitan areas has been consistently falling. Five years ago, an average of 7.3 percent of all restaurants in these areas were Chinese, compared with 6.5 percent today. That reflects 1,200 fewer Chinese restaurants at a time when these 20 places added more than 15,000 restaurants over all.

Even in San Francisco, home to the oldest Chinatown in the United States, the share of Chinese restaurants shrank to 8.8 percent from 10 percent.

Chinese restaurants are losing ground in metro areas around the country

Share of restaurants in metro areas that are ...
New York City
San Francisco
Source: Yelp
It doesn’t seem that interest in the cuisine has faltered. On Yelp, the average share of page views of Chinese restaurants hasn’t declined, nor has the average rating.

And at the same time, the percentages of Indian, Korean and Vietnamese restaurants — many of which were also owned and operated by immigrants from Asian countries — are holding steady or increasing nationwide.

The restaurant business has always been tough, and rising rents and delivery apps haven’t helped. Tightening regulations on immigration and accounting have also made it harder for cash-based restaurants to do business.

But those are not Chinese-restaurant-specific factors, and do not explain the wave of closings. Instead, a big reason seems to be the economic mobility of the second generation.

“It’s a success that these restaurants are closing,” said Jennifer 8. Lee, a former New York Times journalist who wrote of the rise of Chinese restaurants in her book “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles” and produced a documentary, “The Search for General Tso.” “These people came to cook so their children wouldn’t have to, and now their children don’t have to.”

The retirements of the restaurant owners also reflect the history of Chinese immigration to the United States. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act halted what had been a steady rise in people coming from China. It was not revoked until 1943, and large-scale immigration resumed only after 1965, when other race-targeting quotas were abolished.

China’s Cultural Revolution, an often violent social and political upheaval that started in 1966, prompted many young people to emigrate to the United States, a country that projected an image of freedom and economic possibility.

Eng’s opened in 1927 in Kingston, N.Y. Here’s how it looks now.Credit...Lauren Lancaster for The New York Times

Mr. Sit left Guangzhou, in southern China, in 1968. He hiked, climbed and swam his way to Hong Kong, filling his pants with pine cones as an improvised flotation device.

“There was just no future,” he said. “The only way to get freedom and to get a good job was to go to Hong Kong.”

In a family scrapbook, Mr. Sit pasted calendar entries with the dates he left Guangzhou and arrived in Hong Kong. He considers June 21, the day he climbed out of the sea, an unofficial birthday.Credit...Lauren Lancaster for The New York Times

In 1974, he immigrated to the United States and started working at Eng’s, which opened in 1927. Although he had never worked in a restaurant, the heat from the woks was much less intense than what he experienced at a Hong Kong plastics factory where he had worked.

Unlike Mr. Sit, some immigrants had been chefs in China. They served Hunan and Cantonese foods on linen tablecloths to bejeweled, curious diners at places like Shun Lee Palace in New York.

“There was the golden age of Chinese cooking in America, starting in the late 1960s and early 1970s,” said Ed Schoenfeld, a restaurateur and chef who has worked in Chinese restaurants since the ’70s. “We started getting regional practitioners of fine regional cuisine to come to this country and do their thing.”

At Eng’s, they make their egg rolls thick and crisp, packed with celery instead of cabbage.Credit...Lauren Lancaster for The New York Times

Mostly, though, the newly minted chefs cooked quickly and cheaply. They adapted their method of cooking to American tastes, developing dishes like beef chow fun, fortune cookies and egg drop soup, often brought home in the signature takeout containers.

“They were not precious,” Ms. Lee said. “These people did not come to be chefs; they came to be immigrants, and cooking was the way they made a living.”

Other immigrant groups follow a similar pattern. With social mobility and inclusion in more mainstream parts of the economy, the children of immigrants are less likely than their parents to own their own businesses.

More economically mobile immigrant children are less likely to be self-employed

continued next post

12-27-2019, 08:10 AM
Change in the self-employment rate between first- and second-generation immigrants



El Salvador

More self-















































Less self-




South Korea











Average income rank for boys from poor families


Source: Analysis of Current Population Survey by Robert Fairlie, UC Santa Cruz, “Intergenerational Mobility of Immigrants Over Two Centuries,” Ran Abramitzky, Leah Boustan, Elisa Jacome and Santiago Perez.
“In some ways, the children are regaining the status of the first generation that they have lost while migrating,” said Jennifer Lee, a professor of sociology at Columbia University and co-author of “The Asian American Achievement Paradox.” (She is not related to Jennifer 8. Lee.) “The goal has never been to continue those businesses.”

When they do become entrepreneurs, these children tend to work in industries like tech or consulting, rather than in food service or nail salons.

Most common fields for self-employed immigrants
In first generation

Computer Services


Nail Salons




Beauty Salons

Computer Services

Grocery Stores



Nail Salons


Dry Cleaning



Gasoline Stations


Shoe Repair

In second generation
Computer Services





Computer Services


Beverage Mfg.



Legal Services

Legal Services


Real Estate

Admin. Support





Real Estate

Source: Current Population Survey, 2015 through 2019

In the past decade, some members of the second generation have also chosen to take charge of family restaurants. Nom Wah Tea Parlor, a New York dim sum restaurant that opened in 1920, has stayed a family business: first run by the Choy family, then the Tangs.

Wilson Tang took over Nom Wah Tea Parlor from his uncle in 2011, and has since expanded to more locations.Credit...Colin Clark for The New York Times

The 41-year-old owner, Wilson Tang, left a career in finance to succeed his uncle in 2011. Initially, his parents balked at his decision.

“As immigrants, it’s the only thing you can do; if it’s not restaurants, it’s a laundromat,” Mr. Tang said. “For me to choose to go back to owning a restaurant? That was tough for them to accept.”

Since then, Nom Wah has expanded: to another Manhattan location, to Philadelphia and to Shenzhen, China. On any given night, groups of guests wait for a table outside the Chinatown location for up to an hour, huddled in the bend of Doyers Street.

“I had this unique opportunity to preserve something that was from old New York,” he said. “I still work extremely hard. But I also know how to use marketing tools, like the internet.”

In a parallel effort, the team behind Junzi Kitchen, a fast-casual Chinese restaurant chain based in New York, recently raised $5 million to research and buy places like Eng’s, rebranding them with Junzi’s modern take on the cuisine.

“They are still going to have their usual beloved Chinese takeout services, but we are providing an upgraded version of that,” said Yong Zhao, the founder and chief executive.

But family-run Chinese restaurants are typically not being passed to the next generation. Some may close up shop, sell their businesses to other first-generation immigrants or move on and see their former storefronts become something else entirely.

Faye Lee Sit and Mr. Sit are both in their 70s and thinking about retirement, but don’t want to trust just anyone with the restaurant.Credit...Lauren Lancaster for The New York Times

Mr. Sit has not yet found the right person to run the restaurant, and has no immediate plans to close. “To take over Eng’s, you have to keep the heart in Eng’s,” he said. “You need to have a loyalty to the business, not just someone who thinks, ‘I’ll make one year, two years of money, I don’t care.’”

Ms. Sit feels more ready to retire than her husband. Normally talkative, he can be evasive whenever the family tries to bring up a successor.

“They’ll have to work hard,” she said, her eyes sparkling as she teased her husband, “like Tom Sit. Maybe then he’ll let them take over.”

If he ever actually does hand Eng’s to someone else, Mr. Sit will miss his customers, and miss running an operation.

But he is proud of what he built. He is proud that his daughters, American-born educated professionals, are working jobs they have chosen, jobs they love.

“I hoped they have a better life than me,” he said. “A good life. And they do.”

Correction: Dec. 24, 2019
An earlier version of this article misstated the year Tom Sit immigrated to the United States. It was 1974, not 1976.

Amelia Nierenberg is a reporter on the Food desk. @AJNierenberg

Quoctrung Bui is a graphics editor and covers social science and policy for The Upshot. He joined The Times in 2015, and previously worked for National Public Radio covering economics and everyday life. @qdbui

The graphs didn't copy well. You'll have to follow the link if you want to see them properly.

12-27-2019, 08:57 AM
FOOD Andrew Fiouzi 2 weeks ago
THE RISE AND FALL AND RISE AGAIN OF MSG (https://melmagazine.com/en-us/story/the-rise-and-fall-and-rise-again-of-msg?utm_source=pocket-newtab)

You probably know monosodium glutamate from its link to so-called ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’ — and that’s precisely the problem

I’m a casualty of the MSG subterfuge. I was fooled more than a decade ago — when I was still an impressionable high school student in the suburbs of L.A. In “the valley,” the main street — Ventura Boulevard — was beset by sushi spots, weed dispensaries, and of course, a bevy of Chinese restaurants.

Some of these were hiding in strip malls behind beige signs and tinted windows, while others stood alone, clear, beneath the glow of a neon-lit sign, one of its letters sometimes burned out — an easy tell that the food was worth the wait. My favorite, The Plum Tree Inn, boasted an aquatic experience in the form of a tank that housed lobsters that could be delivered to your table — all you had to do was order the special. I loved it there.

Until, that is, the anti-monosodium glutamate lobby told me that if I loved myself, I shouldn’t love those places anymore.

For the uninitiated, monosodium glutamate, more commonly (and ominously) known as MSG, is a chemical compound often used to enhance the flavor of food. It’s kind of like salt, only supercharged. “In 2002, the discovery of the umami taste receptor officially established umami as the fifth basic taste,” explains Taylor Wallace, a food scientist at George Mason University. “MSG combines sodium (like that in table salt) with glutamate, the most abundant amino acid in nature and one that provides umami, a savory taste.”

So despite its unsettlingly scientific moniker, MSG is nothing more than sodium mixed with one of the 20 amino acids crucial to the human body. “MSG is glutamic acid, which is an amino acid that, when it forms a salt with sodium, changes to glutamate instead of glutamic acid,” says Wallace. “And so, if you think about it, your body is made up of many essential amino acids, one of which is glutamic acid.” As per John Mahoney’s 2013 BuzzFeed article on MSG, we consume this substance in three different ways: Through proteins that contain glutamic acid; foods like Parmesan cheese, tomatoes, seaweed or soy sauce; and lastly through MSG itself — “of which the FDA estimates that most of us eat a little over a half a gram of every day,” according to Mahoney’s article.

But the decades-long hysteria around MSG has largely ignored the facts above, and indeed its history, which — though easy enough to uncover — isn’t widely known. The substance was originally discovered by Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda in 1907, after he noticed a common flavor between foods like asparagus, tomatoes and the broth his wife made with seaweed. “Ikeda was as enterprising as he was curious, so soon after his discovery, he refined and patented a way to produce pure glutamic acid, stabilizing it with a salt ion to create what we now know as monosodium glutamate,” reports Mahoney. “He called the company he founded to produce MSG Ajinomoto (‘the essence of taste’), thus forever linking umami, the taste, with glutamic acid, the chemical. It remains one of the largest producers of MSG in the world today.”

But despite being created by a Japanese chemist, MSG would, as we all know, gain notoriety in the U.S. due to its association with Chinese-American cuisine. “A lot of it has to do with political, social and cultural trends that were happening in the 1960s,” says journalist Thomas Germain, who has previously written about the MSG debate for the Columbia Undergraduate Research Journal. “So at the beginning of the 1960s, a writer named Rachel Carson published a book called Silent Spring, which is about the dangers of pesticides and chemical companies.” Carson’s book, says Germain, spurred an idea “that became really popular in the U.S.” — namely, that chemicals and additives that are made artificially are inherently dangerous and able to harm you in mysterious ways. “You don’t even realize it’s happening,” Germain says in summary of the book’s main takeaway about pesticides. “It can be invisible, almost.”

Germain continues to say that just a few years later, in 1968, Dr. Robert Ho Man Kwok — a then-recent Chinese immigrant — wrote a letter to the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine, stating that he got headaches when he ate in Chinese restaurants, but didn’t get them with his own home cooking, reasoning that the culprit might be MSG. “Almost immediately, this idea caught on and it just exploded,” says Germain.

Compounding this, Germain notes in his article on MSG that, in 1969, a different study showed a “causal link” between MSG, headaches and CRS [Chinese Restaurant Syndrome]. “That same year, Washington University’s Dr. John Olney published an article in Science which found that mice dosed with MSG developed brain lesions, stunted skeletal growth, obesity and female sterility,” writes Germain. “A few years later, Olney published a new study that found similar defects in infant primates.”

As Wallace points out, though, these rat studies were highly medically problematic, with rats being given an IV injection of MSG at levels far above those you’d ever experience with your food. Even had those studies been more realistic, he adds, they still wouldn’t necessarily be relevant. “We do a lot of rat studies at George Mason, but the bad thing about rat studies is, it’s only about 10 percent of the time they translate to what actually happens in humans,” he says. “It’s kind of like how chocolate is a neurotoxin in dogs, but we can all eat chocolate and we’re just fine. It’s the same thing with rats.”

A similar example, according to Wallace, occurs in studies on saccharin. “If you drink 20,000 Diet Cokes a day for 15 years, maybe it’s detrimental, but who’s going to consume that level of it?” he says. “And when you have an intravenous injection, that’s completely different than what happens when you digest something and it’s broken down and then absorbed.”

Beyond the dubious nature of these studies, there’s also the simple fact that MSG isn’t unique to Chinese food — it’s in everything from Campbell’s soup to Doritos to Ranch dressing, not to mention that it’s naturally found in, for example, kelp. So why, then, did Chinese restaurants shoulder the brunt of the MSG hysteria?

“At the base of it, it’s really xenophobia that’s been passed down,” says food and travel journalist Kristie Hang. “MSG is found in so many food items, but no one complains or even thinks twice about it until they set foot in a Chinese restaurant.” Germain agrees, telling me that the anti-MSG narrative plays into a long history of anti-Chinese racism in the U.S. “Part of that has to do with the fact that this was happening at the height of the Cold War,” he says. “So the idea that the Chinese were doing something that was sneaky and harmful with chemicals was just a very easy idea to believe for a lot of Americans. It was just this confluence of all these different ideas that hit at once that made it the perfect storm to strike fear in the hearts and stomachs of America.”
continued next post

12-27-2019, 08:57 AM
crass iron skillet
· Nov 24, 2019
Controversial food opinions are frequently used to be Overtly Racist about different people's cuisine https://twitter.com/jonbecker_/status/1196805486907052033 …

Jon Becker
Please quote tweet this with your most controversial food opinion, I love controversial food opinions

crass iron skillet
If you are "allergic to MSG" but it only strikes when you eat Chinese food and not when you eat a tomato, then you're having headaches because you're a dehydrated racist

7:32 AM - Nov 24, 2019
Twitter Ads info and privacy
440 people are talking about this
According to Wallace, in spite of the fact that you’ve probably heard someone tell you that they have an “MSG intolerance,” or that they’re “allergic to Chinese food” because of the MSG, the truth is, that’s physiologically impossible, considering “seven pounds of your body weight is actually made up of glutamic acid.” For those reasons, Wallace says that even though there’s been plenty of pressure advocating for an MSG ban, it’s always remained on the FDA’s “generally recognized as safe” food list.

It should be noted that some researchers believe there are those who’ve shown signs of genuine MSG sensitivity. “In my research on the effects of MSG in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome and the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, I observed headache (including migraine), diarrhea, gastrointestinal pain and bloating, extreme fatigue, muscle pain and cognitive dysfunction — all of which improved when subjects were put on a diet low in free glutamate, and which returned with re-introduction of MSG,” writes Kathleen Holton, a professor in the School of Education, Teaching and Health and the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at American University, for Live Science.

Interestingly, Hang tells me that it’s not just non-Chinese people who share the anti-MSG opinion. “Chinese and Chinese-Americans have thought very lowly of their own food as well,” she says. “It’s a cultural perception, unfortunately.”

But as is often the case with the winds of food trends, the direction appears to be changing. Thanks in large part to chefs like David Chang, who have worked to rewrite the narrative around Asian cuisine being considered “cheap food,” MSG is no longer the universal food ingredient pariah it once was.


As per Mahoney’s BuzzFeed article, one of the focuses of Chang’s Momofuku research and development lab in New York’s East Village is to find different ways to achieve the much-sought after umami flavor provided by MSG. And although technically speaking, what they’re developing there is done via a natural fermentation process, the final product is chemically identical to the much maligned non-essential amino acid. “It just so happens that inside that tin of MSG is the exact molecule Chang and his chefs have worked so hard for the last three years to tease out of pots of fermenting beans and nuts,” writes Mahoney. “It’s pure glutamic acid, crystallized with a single sodium ion to stabilize it; five pounds of uncut, un-stepped-on umami, made from fermented corn in a factory in Iowa.”

In addition to Chang’s reinvestment in MSG as a viable, non-hazardous flavor enhancer, researchers are also actively working to dispel the unfounded and racist MSG narrative. Most recently, Wallace and his team at George Mason found that glutamates like MSG can actually help reduce America’s sodium intake. “MSG contains about 12 percent sodium, which is two-thirds less than that contained in table salt, and data shows a 25 to 40 percent reduction in sodium is possible in specific product categories when MSG is substituted for some salt,” Wallace told Eureka Alert. “As Americans begin to understand that MSG is completely safe, I think we’ll see a shift toward using the ingredient as a replacement for some salt to improve health outcomes.”

Which brings us back to my decade-long abandonment of an entire nation’s cuisine, all because of a three-lettered ingredient I was brainwashed to believe was no good for me. The Plum Tree Inn, my favorite Chinese restaurant in the valley, has since shuttered its doors, and as such, I will never eat there again. This, I accept as my deserved punishment for a decade of ignorance. But as anyone who lives in any American city knows, Chinese restaurants are plentiful, and never have I been more excited to get some MSG — by way of a giant helping of sesame chicken — back in my belly.

Andrew Fiouzi
Andrew Fiouzi is a staff writer at MEL.

As my family hails from Hawaii, we had aji-no-moto on the table right next to the salt, pepper & soy sauce when I was growing up, long before the MSG thing hit.

01-16-2020, 08:48 AM
I'm making a separate indie thread 'Chinese restaurant syndrome' (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?71669-Chinese-restaurant-syndrome) off the 'Chinese food' (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food) thread now.

And I don't think all Asians are cringing. I think only the Chinese Amer-azns are cringing. The Japanese are laughing because aji-no-moto is a Japanese thing, and the rest probably don't care.

Asians cringe at 'Chinese restaurant syndrome' in dictionary (https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/asians-cringe-chinese-food-syndrome-entry-dictionary-68276203)
A social media campaign backed by a Japanese seasonings company is targeting the persistent idea that Chinese food is packed with MSG and can make you sick
By TERRY TANG Associated Press
January 14, 2020, 11:25 AM
5 min read

https://s.abcnews.com/images/Entertainment/WireAP_c965bd68812c49c7bd8f69f6cbf04ea0_16x9_992.j pg
People are seen in the window eating at a Chinese restaurant decorated with menu items on its shop front on Friday Jan. 10, 2020, in New York City. A social media campaign backed by a Japanese seasonings company is targeting the persistent idea that Chinese food is packed with MSG and can make you sick. So entrenched is the notion in American culture, it shows up in the dictionary: Merriam-Webster.com lists “Chinese restaurant syndrome." as a real illness. But much of the mythology around the idea has been debunked: monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG, shows up in many foods from tomatoes to breast milk, and there's no evidence to link it to illness. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)People are seen in the window eating at a Chinese restaurant decorated with menu items on its shop front on Friday Jan. 10, 2020, in New York City. A social media campaign backed by a Japanese seasonings company is targeting the persistent idea that Chinese food is packed with MSG and can make you sick. So entrenched is the notion in American culture, it shows up in the dictionary: Merriam-Webster.com lists “Chinese restaurant syndrome." as a real illness. But much of the mythology around the idea has been debunked: monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG, shows up in many foods from tomatoes to breast milk, and there's no evidence to link it to illness. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
The Associated Press
A social media campaign backed by a Japanese seasonings company is targeting the persistent idea that Chinese food is packed with MSG and can make you sick.

So entrenched is the notion in American culture, it shows up in the dictionary: Merriam-Webster.com lists “ Chinese restaurant syndrome " as a real illness that has been around since 1968. But much of the mythology around the idea has been debunked: monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG, shows up in many foods from tomatoes to breast milk, and there's no evidence to link it to illness.

“For me, it’s another thing to point to other people and say ‘Look, if you think racism toward Asians doesn’t exist in this country, like here it is,'” said restaurateur Eddie Huang. “I know how white people see us. ‘They’re cool, they’re acceptable, they’re non-threatening. But they’re weird, their food.'"

Huang, a New York City-based chef and author (his memoir inspired the ABC sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat”), and TV's “The Real” co-host Jeannie Mai are launching a social media effort Tuesday with Ajinomoto, the longtime Japanese producer of MSG seasonings. They plan to use the hashtag #RedefineCRS to challenge Merriam-Webster to rewrite the definition.

When reached for comment Tuesday, Merriam-Webster said it had not received complaints before about “Chinese restaurant syndrome" but would reconsider the term.

“Our aim is always to provide accurate information about what words mean, which includes providing information about whether a use is offensive or dated,” senior editor Emily Brewster said in a statement. "We’ll be reviewing this particular entry and will revise it according to the evidence of the term in use.

Shifts in culture and attitudes put the dictionary in a constant state of revision, she added.

Before joining the effort, neither Huang nor Mai had any idea the phrase was in the dictionary.

“The dictionary I thought was a reputable kind of Bible that was fact-checked all the way through in order to get us information,” said Mai, who is Vietnamese and Chinese. “'Chinese restaurant syndrome' is truly an outdated, super racist term.”

The symptoms are listed as numbness of the neck, arms, and back as well as headaches, dizziness, and palpitations. It affects people eating food but “especially Chinese food heavily seasoned with monosodium glutamate.”

The campaign isn't looking to wipe the phrase out, but update it.

“I actually think it'd be interesting if they just kept it and just noted this is an outdated, antiquated thing,” Huang said. “I do think these things are important to remember and point to.”

Huang and Mai say the campaign is not about trying to help boost sales at Ajinomoto, which was founded in 1908 after a Japanese professor figured out how to isolate glutamate from a seaweed broth.

“They’re already selling tons of their products. They don’t really need my help to be honest,” Huang said.

So, how did the myth endure for more than five decades?

It started with a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine in 1968, according to Robert Ku, author of “Dubious Gastronomy: The Cultural Politics of Eating Asian in the USA.” Dr. Ho Man Kwok, who was Chinese American, wrote a letter speculating that some Chinese restaurants left him feeling numbness and other symptoms. Other readers, doctors themselves, then wrote in saying they experienced something similar. Some researchers claimed that MSG was the source, Ku said. The journal's editors decided to call it “Chinese restaurant syndrome.”

“For a long time, Chinese restaurant syndrome was considered a legitimate ailment that the medical community seemed to back,” Ku said.

The New York Times picked up on the debate. Chinese restaurants everywhere were putting up signs and menus that said “No MSG” because of the backlash.

It wasn't until the 1990s that specialists doing more research began disproving the syndrome, Ku said. They found MSG was in just about every processed food.

“It made no sense that only Chinese food that has MSG causes these ill effects but you can't get it from Campbell's Soup,” Ku said.

MSG comes from glutamate, a common amino acid or protein building block found in food, according to Julie Stefanski, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. Glutamate is present in foods like ham and some cheeses.

The Food and Drug Administration says MSG is generally recognized as a safe addition to food. In previous studies with people identifying as sensitive to MSG, researchers found that neither MSG nor a placebo caused consistent reactions, the agency said.

At a Chinese restaurant in Phoenix, some patrons had never even heard of the term.

Linda Saldana is bothered by one culture’s food getting singled out.

“I’m obviously not Asian,” said Saldana, who was having lunch with her husband, son and two nieces. “But if that was to be said about Mexican food, I’d feel a little offended because how could food cause all that?”

——— Terry Tang reported from Phoenix and is a member of The Associated Press’ race and ethnicity team. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ttangAP

01-23-2020, 08:35 AM
I've only seen this lone source for this news so far so I find this highly suspicious...

Coronavirus blamed on bat soup as pics emerge of people eating the Chinese delicacy (https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/world-news/scientists-blame-coronavirus-bats-pics-21337997?fbclid=IwAR3VW2oyOuJHJQqLLZBoOgb-76ZSAXLUjC8dZtQDAD6-Bb3E_Wdz-vM4JKk)
Bats could "host" the coronavirus, according to experts, and pictures have emerged of locals in Wuhan tucking into bat soup
By Emma Parker Tiffany Lo
19:33, 22 JAN 2020 UPDATED12:30, 23 JAN 2020

The spread of the deadly coronavirus could be down to soup made from bats as photos emerge of people in a Chinese city eating the delicacy.

Experts suggested bats could host the virus, which has killed 17 people, in a paper published in the China Science Bulletin – admitting the pneumonia-like virus was "underestimated" by the research community.

China has confirmed over 500 cases of the disease and has since quarantined Wuhan as the coronavirus continues to spread.

It is not yet clear how the virus has spread between humans and bats but scientists believe “there may be an unknown intermediate”.

But Daily Star Online can reveal the "unknown" link may be down bat soup which is an unusual but widely consumed Chinese delicacy.


Footage of people eating the potentially lethal soup emerged on social media this week.

In one clip, a girl can be seen putting a black bat into her mouth with a pair of chopsticks as she sits down for dinner with friends.

On a separate occasion a Wuhan resident took a picture of a dead bat grinning at the camera before eating it.


The animal’s cooked insides can be seen in the disturbing image, with parts of the broth floating inside its stomach, along with its teeth.

In a statement released to the South China Morning Post, scientists said: "The Wuhan coronavirus’ natural host could be bats … but between bats and humans there may be an unknown intermediate."

News of the bat soup comes as the Foreign Office warned Brits not to travel to Wuhan amid fears of a global outbreak.

Figures suggest 552 cases have been confirmed in the country across 22 different provinces.

Actual figures are likely to be much higher, with leading Virologists suggesting billions could be at risk.


The SARS-like virus has seen cases confirmed in China, Japan, Korea and the US.

Chinese authorities have told people to stop travel in and out of Wuhan and cars are believed to have been blocked by authorities.

Professor Neil Ferguson, director of the Medical Research Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, said the estimated number of people infected with coronavirus in Wuhan is around 4,000, with a range between 1,000 and 9,700.

Coronavirus (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?71666-Coronavirus-Wuhan-Pneumonia)
Chinese Food (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food)

01-24-2020, 08:31 AM
Bryan Ke·News·January 23, 2020·2 min read
Snakes, Wolf Puppies and Rats Sold at Market Where Coronavirus Originated (https://nextshark.com/coronavirus-wuhan-seafood-market-origin/?fbclid=IwAR3bc_F4t7QJY36ojydZA0hPUn9yh3lwASWIXAIo Qhs4kZ6mMmnnHW-8yck)


A menu filled with a variety of exotic wild animals was reportedly sold at a market in Wuhan, Hubei province, China where the coronavirus originated.

Some of the wild animal meat mentioned on the price list of a vendor at the Huanan Seafood Market includes live foxes, crocodiles, wolf puppies, giant salamanders, snakes, rats, peacocks, porcupines and camels.

There are a total of 112 items mentioned on the list, according to AFP via Straits Times.


“Freshly slaughtered, frozen and delivered to your door,” the price list of the vendor said. “Wild Game Animal Husbandry for the Masses.”

Although the exact source of the outbreak remains undetermined, Dr. Gao Fu, the director of the Chinese center for disease control and prevention, said in Beijing on Wednesday that authorities believe the virus most likely came from “wild animals at the seafood market.” continued next post

01-24-2020, 08:31 AM

However, AFP was unable to directly confirm the authenticity of the circulating list as the news agency’s phone call to the vendors went unanswered and attempts to reach them via social media were rejected.

The same vendor’s now-shuttered storefront was shown in the picture posted by Beijing News on Tuesday while authorities wearing white hazmat suits investigated. It also quoted merchants saying the trade in wildlife took place until the market was shut down for disinfection shortly after the outbreak. continued next post

01-24-2020, 08:32 AM

Sellers in the market were the first few people to become infected with the virus when they fell ill between Dec. 12 and Dec. 29. Earlier this month, a total of 59 people had been infected, but recent reports show that 571 people have now also been infected in just a few weeks, while 17 deaths have been recorded, CNN reported.

The infection, however, is not contained nor limited to China only. The disease has now spread to other Asian countries, including South Korea, Japan and Thailand as well as the United States.

People in China and other Asian countries continue to practice the consumption of many exotic animals that some consider a delicacy or attribute to positive health benefits not yet proven by science.

However, the practice brings growing health risks to humans, according to Dr. Christian Walzer, executive director of the U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society’s Health Program. About 70% of all new infectious diseases come from wildlife and chances of the spreading of pathogens increases with habitat encroachment.

“Wildlife markets offer a unique opportunity for viruses to spill over from wildlife hosts,” the doctor said. “It is essential to invest resources not only into discovering new viruses, but more importantly, in determining the epidemiological drivers of… (the) spillover, amplification, and spread of infectious diseases.”

Feature Image via Weibo/Inkstone

Coronavirus (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?71666-Coronavirus-Wuhan-Pneumonia)
Chinese Food (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food)

01-27-2020, 09:28 AM
More on bat soup (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?71666-Coronavirus-Wuhan-Pneumonia&p=1317405#post1317405) here. Interesting how that story was 2017 originally.

‘Sorry about the tasty bat’: Chinese online host apologises for travel show dining advice as Wuhan virus spreads (https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3047683/sorry-about-tasty-bat-chinese-online-host-apologises-travel-show)
Wang Mengyun says she had no idea the animals are a reservoir of disease when she filmed the programme in Palau three years ago
Emergence of new coronavirus similar to other bat-borne pathogens revives calls for ban on eating exotic species
Laura Zhou
Published: 2:11pm, 26 Jan, 2020

Wang Mengyun says she is sorry for an online travel show segment about bat soup filmed in 2016. Photo: Sohu

With the death toll from a coronavirus outbreak racing past 50, a Chinese internet celebrity has apologised for posting a video three years ago promoting bat as a tasty food.
Wang Mengyun, host of an online show about international travel, wrote on her microblog that she was not aware that bats could be a virus carrier when she appeared in the video posted in 2017.
“[I] had no idea during filming that there was such a virus,” Wang wrote online on Wednesday. “I realised it only recently.”
She said the video was filmed in Palau, an archipelago in the western Pacific, about three years ago, when she and her team were shooting a tourism programme and trying some local dishes, including bat soup.
In the video, Wang and another Chinese woman hold up a cooked bat and smile to camera.
“The bat tastes very fresh, like chicken meat,” she says.
“I didn’t know that bat is a primary reservoir of viruses ... I really did not check the information or explain its dangerous nature,” she said.
The video was taken down but reposted by Chinese internet users after cases of pneumonia-like illness emerged in the city of Wuhan in central China late last year.
The virus soon spread across the country and overseas, killing 56 people and triggering a fear of contagion.
According to the National Health Commission nearly 2,000 cases of the new coronavirus have been confirmed, with 324 of them in a critical condition.

China coronavirus: a look inside the sealed off city of Wuhan

While health officials and researchers are struggling to determine the origins of the virus, scientists from the elite Chinese Academy of Sciences said on Friday that its genome was 96 per cent identical to a bat coronavirus.
This echoed the findings of David Robertson, a bioinformatics specialist at the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Virus Research, and statistician Jiang Xiaowei of Xian Jiaotong-Liverpool University, who wrote in a medical discussion forum that new coronavirus’ genome data was “most closely related” to three other bat coronaviruses.
The outbreak in Wuhan has also triggered heated discussion on mainland China about banning consumption of exotic animals, which were sold at a wet market thought to be a source of the cases.
Some internet users said Wang should have been aware of the deadly nature of wild animals, given the suspected exotic species origins of a deadly 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), which killed 774 people worldwide.
“[Wang] filmed the video in 2016 but since 2003 Sars we have been warned to say no to wild animal consumption,” one Weibo user wrote. “She said it was [filmed] overseas but what she did was trying to show people that bat was attractively tasted.”
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This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: host of online travel show apologises for posting video of eating bat in 2017

Coronavirus (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?71666-Coronavirus-Wuhan-Pneumonia)
Chinese Food (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food)

01-27-2020, 03:15 PM
Wildlife Consumption Linked to Deadly New Strain of Virus (https://wildaid.org/illegal-wildlife-consumption-linked-to-deadly-new-virus/?fbclid=IwAR2mu5k1YdZuHyzeJCoGYNt7tEm9zj5mfvUl6yUp FY-XxUp0X2Q9X2ovdZA)
January 24, 2020


With more than 800 people infected and 26 confirmed deaths, a new virus outbreak from China has put a spotlight on the consumption of wildlife. While the government has stepped up its efforts to limit such consumption in response, WildAid is working with our partners in China and Vietnam to implement effective and long-term solutions.

The new coronavirus (known as 2019-nCoV) was first reported in Wuhan City, China, on December 31, 2019, and has since been detected in travelers to other countries. The Huanan Seafood Market in the central city of Wuhan came under scrutiny after experts suggested the new type of virus came from wild animals kept in unhygienic conditions and illegally sold for consumption. A menu circulating online lists animals like live foxes, crocodiles, civets, snakes, rats, seafood and other wildlife for sale.

China’s Ministry of Natural Resources, along with numerous other ministries have urged people to immediately stop consuming wildlife and in a recent social media post, they repeated that “refusing to eat wildlife is also a way to protect ourselves.”

The Chinese authorities had been “remarkably open” amid an “enormously demanding” situation, said Prof Neil Ferguson, the director of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College in London.

Chinese authorities have issued daily briefings, putting in place strict measures to control the disease, including closing wildlife markets and banning travel in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, as well as in 11 other nearby cities. China’s National Health Commission Vice-Minister Li Bin warned the flu-like virus can be transmitted from human to human and urged the public to minimize public gatherings. The timing of the outbreak is particularly worrisome as hundreds of millions of people are expected to travel for the Lunar New Year beginning on Saturday, January 25th.

“The openness and willingness by the authorities to quickly shut down the markets and call on the public to stop consuming illegal wildlife products has been very encouraging,” said WildAid China Representative Steve Blake. “Momentum to end this dangerous and often devastating consumption of wildlife has been building here for years, but this is the first time we’re seeing such a complete stance to end it from both the government and the public.”

The Chinese public has taken to social media to vent their frustrations, demanding stricter enforcement of wildlife markets and trade. A public service announcement with musician Jay Chou and WildAid, which warns the public about illegally consuming wildlife, has gone viral with over 14 million views in just a few days on Weibo.

“Some people think it’s clever to eat these cute animals, pangolins,” Chou says in the PSA. “In fact, it’s dangerous. There are serious risks of picking up parasites or catching diseases, and the scales for medicine? They’re keratin, just like your fingernails…and these animals are becoming endangered. Never eat pangolins or use their scales. When the buying stops, the killing can too.”

For 20 years, WildAid has been campaigning to end consumer demand for illegal wildlife products to save endangered species, which in turn can help protect public health.

Past epidemics like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) have entered the human population from animals. China bans the trafficking of a number of wild species or requires special licenses, but many exotic species are still widely consumed illegally.

The coronavirus, which has no known vaccine, has also been reported in South Korea, Thailand, Japan and elsewhere outside China. This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first U.S. case in which a man infected with the virus flew from Wuhan to Everett, Washington. Meanwhile, India, Nigeria, Japan and the United States have all implemented airport screening procedures. Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough or trouble breathing with serious cases leading to pneumonia, kidney failure and death.

Coronavirus (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?71666-Coronavirus-Wuhan-Pneumonia)
Chinese Food (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food)
WildAid Tiger Claw Champion (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?57416-WildAid-Tiger-Claw-Champion)

01-29-2020, 10:06 AM
‘Made in China’: how Wuhan coronavirus spread anti-Chinese racism like a disease through Asia (https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/health-environment/article/3048104/made-china-how-wuhan-coronavirus-spread-anti-chinese)
Xenophobic chatter about Chinese eating habits is going viral on the internet
Such ignorance isn’t just unpalatable – in misdiagnosing the problem, it’s dangerous, too
Kok Xinghui
Published: 8:00pm, 29 Jan, 2020

A video by Chinese social media influencer Wang Mengyun, in which she tries bat soup has been held up by some as evidence of ‘disgusting’ Chinese eating habits – even though the video was shot in Palau. Photo: Sohu

As Singaporeans gathered over the Lunar New Year weekend, jokes were cracked about Chinese eating habits and how a propensity to eat “anything with four legs except the table and everything that flies except planes” had given rise to the Wuhan coronavirus.
One meme said there was no need to worry – the virus would not last long because it was “made in China”.
The jokes, tinged with racism, soon grew into a call for the city state to ban Chinese travellers from entering. A change.org petition started on January 26 had 118,858 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon. Among those calling for health to be prioritised over tourism dollars was Ian Ong, who wrote: “We are not rat or bat eaters and should not be made to shoulder their nonsense.”
Xenophobic chatter about mainland Chinese and their eating habits has spread across the world since the first cases of the novel coronavirus 2019 (2019 n-CoV) emerged in China’s Hubei province in December.
The virus has now infected more than 6,000 people, most of them in mainland China where at least 132 people have died. Dozens of people have been infected in the rest of Asia – including 10 in Singapore and seven in Malaysia.
Some countries, including the Philippines, have stopped issuing visas on arrival to all Chinese nationals. Papua New Guinea has gone further, shutting its air and seaports to all foreigners coming from Asia.

Passengers arriving from Guangzhou, China, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. The Philippines has stopped issuing visas on arrival to all Chinese nationals. Photo: EPA

In Malaysia, there have been calls to block Chinese tourists and social media posts claiming the outbreak is “divine retribution” for China’s treatment of its Muslim Uygur population. Some mosques in Malaysia have also closed themselves off to tourists.
In Japan, a shop in a mountain town prompted an apology from tourism authorities after it posted a sign saying: “No Chinese are allowed to enter the store. I do not want to spread the virus.”
From noon on Wednesday Singapore has blocked the entry of tourists who had visited Hubei province in the past 14 days, or who hold passports issued in the province. Malaysia has also stopped issuing visas to Chinese travellers from Hubei.
The Singapore government has said the travel ban was due to global trends showing that most of the infections were in people who had been to the province and the country wanted to minimise import of the virus to Singapore.
The growing stigma has even reached European shores. Graduate student Sam Phan wrote in the British newspaper The Guardian about how a man on the bus in London had scrambled to get up as soon as Phan sat down. “This week, my ethnicity has made me feel like I was part of a threatening and diseased mass. To see me as someone who carries the virus just because of my race is, well, just racist,” he wrote.
In Canada, Toronto website BlogTO said a stigma was also attached to Chinese food, noting that a similar thing happened during the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), which infected 8,000 people globally and killed nearly 800. The website noted racist comments on its Instagram post about a new Chinese restaurant, which some posters urged diners to avoid because it “may have bat pieces in there or whatever else they eat”.
The comments were in part a reference to a video of a Chinese social media influencer tucking into a bowl of bat soup. Some posters have claimed the video is evidence of “disgusting” Chinese eating habits, though the video was in fact filmed three years ago in Palau, a Pacific island nation where bat soup is a delicacy.
continued next post

01-29-2020, 10:07 AM
Wrongly accused? The Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan. Photo: Simon Song

It is still unknown how the coronavirus made the jump from wildlife to humans, but early on in the outbreak the Huanan Seafood Market in the central city of Wuhan was widely assumed to be the origin of the disease. The market has a thriving wildlife trade, selling animals from foxes to wolf puppies, giant salamanders to peacocks and porcupines.
However, in recent days research has emerged suggesting the market may not be the source of the virus.
The medical journal The Lancet on January 24 said that of the first clinical cases, 13 out of 41 had no link to the market.
The first patient showed symptoms on December 1, meaning human infections must have occurred in November 2019 given the two-week incubation period. Researchers said the virus could have spread in Wuhan before the cluster within the market was discovered.
Similarly, the virus’ genome has been sequenced but researchers are not sure if it comes from bats – as Sars did – or snakes. Still, experts said it is not so much about what meat is eaten, but how thoroughly it is cooked and the hygiene precautions taken during food preparation.
“The chef is at greatest risk,” said infectious disease specialist Leong Hoe Nam, who was closely involved in Singapore’s fight against Sars, which killed 33 people and infected 238 in the city state.
Leong said anybody could catch a virus from an animal.
“It is a case of the right person meeting the wrong virus at the wrong time. It could happen to anyone studying viruses, or meeting the bats in the most inopportune time,” he said, referring to a case in Melaka, Malaysia, when a bat flew into a house and infected a 39-year-old man and his family.
Painting the coronavirus as a Chinese problem was like “dealing with the problem with a sledge hammer, implicating all Chinese nationals rather than dealing with bad food safety practices and diets”, said National University of Singapore sociologist Tan Ern Ser.
Nanyang Technological University (NTU) sociologist Laavanya Kathiravelu said xenophobic social media posts were an extension of colonial-era stereotypes.
“Chinese, in these xenophobic accounts, are seen as taking resources away from deserving local populations, and having uncouth behaviour. More broadly, this can also be seen as informed by older stereotypes of Chinese as dirty, having bad hygiene and undesirable culinary practices,” she said.
Even Singapore government ministers have spoken out.

Singapore’s National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, pictured with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, has cautioned his countrymen against ‘turning xenophobic’. File photo

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs a task force set up to deal with the virus, said on Monday: “I want to assure Singaporeans that the government will do everything we can to protect Singaporeans and Singapore but this does not mean overreacting, or worse, turning xenophobic.”
Singaporean playwright Zizi Azah, who is based in New York, said it was illogical to pin the virus on a race. “Illness knows no geographical or racial boundaries and it really is the luck of the draw, isn’t it? Where something starts and where it gets to,” she said.
Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib, director of the Centre for Interfaith Understanding, cautioned against the effects of dehumanising Chinese people as uncivilised. “It is not due to ‘Chinese-ness’; the fact that these people are Chinese is incidental, not the reason for the emergence and transmission of the virus. The virus could have emerged in any other part of the world, just as Ebola started in Congo and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Singapore’s Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung on Monday called for empathy, saying that Singaporeans would not have liked it if during the Sars outbreak other countries had asked Singaporean expatriates to leave.
“We’re an international hub, we can well be quite hard hit by such epidemics. So I’d say do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you. We all must tackle the problem objectively.”
In Malaysia, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad clarified that any mosques that had closed themselves off to tourists had not done so on the government’s advice.
“This is not a government policy and it is an irresponsible act,” he said on Wednesday, warning the public against spreading fake news that could stir racial tensions.
“Even though we believe in freedom of expression, it does not mean we can be antagonistic and agitate the feelings of others.”

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: racism aimed at chinese spreads fear and panic

Coronavirus (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?71666-Coronavirus-Wuhan-Pneumonia)
Made in China (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?66168-Made-in-China)
Chinese Food (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food)

03-02-2020, 08:47 AM

Voices & Opinion
The Challenge Facing China’s Wild Animal Trade Ban (http://www.sixthtone.com/news/1005240/the-challenge-facing-chinas-wild-animal-trade-ban-?fbclid=IwAR0y7IjykNky_t8gDGFRSywZAeNONKYE8j020nZm irqWISpkWYDUkOpOwT0)
If the country is serious about curbing the wild animal trade, it needs to rethink its approach.

Feb 27, 2020 5-min read
Zhou Hongcheng
Professor of food culture
Zhou Hongcheng is an assistant professor of Chinese food culture at Zhejiang Gongshang University.

On Feb. 24, China announced it would implement a “comprehensive” and immediate ban on the trade and consumption of wild animals nationwide. The move cemented an earlier emergency ban enacted amid the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, which has killed 2,800 and sickened over 80,000 worldwide as of Feb. 27.

But whether it will have a lasting impact is another question. This isn’t the first time a zoonotic coronavirus has devastated China or sparked a legislative and popular backlash against wild animal consumption. SARS, which some scientists believe jumped to humans from masked palm civets at a wet market in southern China, killed nearly 800 people around the world from 2002 to 2004. While recent research has cast doubt on the theory that COVID-19 originated in a live animal market in the central city of Wuhan, virologists still believe it was likely transmitted to humans from wild animals, possibly endangered pangolins.

In the wake of the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak, China updated its existing rules governing the wildlife trade, but a combination of loopholes and muddled enforcement has continued to render them largely ineffective. If we want this time to be different, we first need to understand the cultural and commercial drivers of the trade, as well as the flaws in the current regulatory and enforcement system.

Chinese have consumed wild animals for thousands of years, though contrary to stereotypes abroad, they are hardly a fixture of the country’s dinner tables. In its most basic form, the practice was a matter of survival: China had a large population, limited arable land, and a long history of natural and man-made disasters. In times of need, many ordinary Chinese turned to wild animals and plants for sustenance.

In non-emergencies, the traditional notion that “like nourishes like” led many to believe that eating animal parts could have a beneficial effect on the diner’s corresponding body part. For example, braised beef tendon was seen as a curative for frail knees, and sheep’s ***** as a virility booster.

As the above examples show, such customs aren’t necessarily tied to the consumption of wild or exotic animals. But there is a long-standing belief in China that the rarer something is, the greater its value. Rare or hard-to-obtain meat was — and sometimes still is — thought to have extremely potent medicinal effects. It could also be a powerful symbol of filial piety, love, and respect, as in the folk story of the woman who cut flesh from her thigh to cook a medicinal porridge for her mother-in-law.

One domestic media outlet found over 100 possible exceptions to the new rules, including sika deer, red deer, and ring-necked pheasant.
- Zhou Hongcheng, professor
These customs have been reinforced by the tenets of traditional Chinese medicine, which makes liberal usage of ingredients extracted from wild animals — such as tiger bone, pilose antler, and deer fetus. Pangolins are another common source of curatives. And while the consumption of pangolin meat is illegal in the country, an exception for TCM practitioners has long allowed the scales of farm-bred pangolins to be prescribed for medicinal use — a loophole that has greatly complicated efforts to protect the species.

China has had a wildlife protection law on the books since 1988, but its single-minded focus on encouraging the commercial rearing and breeding of species over conservation has led many critics to dub it the “wildlife exploitation law.” In particular, species categorized as one of the “three haves” — having “ecological, scientific, or social value,” like pangolins — were eligible to be bred and sold by licensed farms, which have become a key pillar of rural economies in impoverished parts of the country.

In addition to forming a regulatory blind spot — the relevant authorities generally lack the resources to ensure wildlife farms are operating legally and within regulations — farm-raised wildlife muddies the waters for what is and isn’t legal to consume. The latest ban, despite its claim to be “comprehensive,” does little to clear things up. One domestic media outlet found over 100 possible exceptions to the new rules, including sika deer, red deer, and ring-necked pheasant.

It doesn’t have to be this way. On Feb. 25, the day after China announced its nationwide ban on the wild animal trade, the southern megacity of Shenzhen unveiled its own version of the rules, including a white list with just nine types of meat on it. On the city’s black list were a number of species, including turtles, snakes, and some types of birds that local authorities believed posed a risk to public health, despite still being legal to raise under national law.

That’s a far simpler and more effective approach than the convoluted new national ban, but it may not be enough on its own. One of the primary reasons China is so vulnerable to zoonotic diseases is the very nature of its cities — and the places where animals, both wild and domesticated, are sold.

Wet markets have been linked to numerous infectious disease outbreaks in China over the years, from SARS to bird flu, and their close proximity to residential areas makes them a sizeable community risk. COVID-19 might not have originated in a Wuhan wet market, but the market’s central location almost certainly helped accelerate its spread.

Wet markets’ reputations as incubators for disease makes them easy targets during epidemics, and local governments around the country have responded to the current crisis with bans and cleanup campaigns. The eastern province of Zhejiang, for example, has not just cracked down on the wild animal trade, but also the sale of live poultry.

These campaign-style enforcement efforts cannot achieve lasting change. As long as small markets are allowed to sell and slaughter live animals, resource-strapped local governments will be hard-pressed to monitor and regulate their compliance with health and sanitation codes. To reduce the risk of animal-to-human transmission, slaughter and packaging operations should be moved to large-scale, advanced, and easier-to-monitor operations away from residential areas.

The guiding principles of any legislation should be clarity and practicability
- Zhou Hongcheng, professor
Ultimately, the guiding principles of any legislation should be clarity and practicability. Banning the wildlife trade altogether while carving out a broad array of exceptions for different species and market needs clearly hasn’t been effective. And although Shenzhen’s new guidelines are admirably clear, they likely go too far: One of the delights of any cuisine is variety, and banning all but the most common livestock outright will likely cause resentment that could set back the conservation movement. We need to assess the risks and conservation needs of each individual species before making a clear and definite decision one way or the other.

Meanwhile, we should take steps to lower demand for wild animals. There is research showing young Chinese are already less interested in wild animal consumption than older generations. We should encourage this trend through health and scientific education, such as by pointing out the lack of scientific evidence for most TCM remedies. Higher taxes can also be used to slowly discourage consumption of wild animal byproducts.

Changing long-ingrained eating habits will take time. Rather than rushing in with a blanket ban, we should rationally examine the issue, identify the core problems, and work to resolve them, step-by-step.

Translator: David Ball; editors: Wu Haiyun and Kilian O’Donnell.

(Header image: A Chinese pangolin strolls in the soil, June 2017. IC)

Pangolins (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?70061-Pangolins)
covid-19 (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?71666-Coronavirus-(COVID-19)-Wuhan-Pneumonia)
Chinese food (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food)
Weird stuff in TCM...... List it! (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?50433-Weird-stuff-in-TCM-List-it!)

03-01-2021, 10:03 AM
Cecilia Chiang, Who Revolutionized American Chinese Food, Dies At 100 (https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2020/10/28/532900657/cecilia-chiang-who-revolutionized-american-chinese-food-dies-at-100)
October 28, 20205:43 PM ET
Heard on Morning Edition
Neda Ulaby - Square

Cecilia Chiang poses in her kitchen in 2014. She told NPR that when she first arrived in the U.S., she was shocked by the food most Americans considered to be Chinese.
Eric Risberg/AP

The chef and restaurant owner who helped change the way Americans think about Chinese food has died. Cecilia Chiang was twice a refugee before she opened the influential San Francisco restaurant The Mandarin and taught Chinese cooking to Julia Child and James Beard. Chiang died Wednesday in San Francisco. She was 100 years old.

The documentary Soul of a Banquet explains that Chiang was born into a wealthy Shanghai family with two full-time chefs — one from the north and one from the south. (The film also features drool-inducing close ups of her specialties, like red cooked pork and fish stuffed with ginger and pepper. Don't watch it while you're hungry.) Speaking to the camera, former Gourmet magazine editor Ruth Reichl says food connected Chiang to a vanished era: "She has this taste memory that goes back to a time that — there aren't a lot of people alive who remember the food of that China, the great food of the great houses, when what you had were chefs who had been classically trained."

That China no longer exists. In 1937, when Japan bombed Shanghai, Chiang had just started college. She and an older sister fled, walking hundreds of miles to the city of Chengdu. Eighty years later, Chiang told NPR about getting robbed by soldiers and hiding from low-flying Japanese warplanes. "Now I think about it, I was very brave," she said.

Chiang had to flee her home a second time when the Communists took over. She wound up in the U.S., where she was both shocked and amused by the food most Americans considered to be Chinese — like gloppy chop suey.

"They think chop suey is the only thing we have in China," she said with a laugh. "What a shame."

So Chiang resolved to open a high-end Chinese restaurant that served authentic fare. "Everybody said, 'You cannot make it. You cannot speak English. You don't know anything,' " she recalled. But starting in 1961, tourists, dignitaries and celebrities — from Mae West to John Lennon — flocked to The Mandarin for then-unfamiliar food like tea-smoked duck and twice-cooked pork.

To this day, Cecelia Chiang's DNA can be found all over American Chinese food. Her son founded the chain P.F. Chang's and the son of one of her chefs founded Panda Express.

In early 2017, Chiang told NPR how she lived to be so old: "I always think about the better side, the good side of everything. I never think about, Oh, I'm going to fail. Oh, I cannot do this. Oh, I feel sorry for myself."

Instead, Chiang wrote books, starred in a PBS documentary series and won the most prestigious award in American cooking (from the James Beard Foundation) when she was 93 years old.
Interesting. I never knew.

05-24-2021, 09:34 AM
For decades, Chinese food has been under-appreciated on the world stage. That's finally changing (https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/modern-chinese-restaurants-cmd/index.html)
Maggie Hiufu Wong, CNN • Published 23rd May 2021
https://dynaimage.cdn.cnn.com/cnn/q_auto,w_1078,c_fill,g_auto,h_607,ar_16:9/http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.cnn.com%2Fcnnnext%2Fdam%2Fassets% 2F210521142725-05-the-chairman-hong-kong-interior.jpg
Hong Kong (CNN) — In 1997, restaurateur Danny Yip moved back to Hong Kong from Australia.
Having worked in the food and beverage industry since the 1980s, he vowed he would never open another restaurant again.
"It was overwhelmingly exhausting," he recalls during an interview with CNN Travel.
Instead, upon returning to his home city, he founded a successful internet company.
It didn't take long before he broke his vow.
Missing the action and the fun of the industry, he sold his company in the 2000s and opened The Chairman, a humble two-story Cantonese restaurant located in a quiet street in Hong Kong's Sheung Wan district.
It ended up being a sound decision -- today, The Chairman is widely considered to be the epitome of modern Chinese restaurants.

First Chinese restaurant to win No.1
The Chairman won the top spot in this year's Asia's 50 Best Restaurants Awards -- the first-ever Chinese restaurant to win the accolade, which is decided on by an academy of 318 voters spread throughout Asia.
"It's a straightforward restaurant -- no frills, no gimmicks, just brilliant ingredient-focused Cantonese food," says William Drew, director of content for the World's 50 Best Restaurants, which organizes the awards.
"Perhaps its success is in part down to diners reevaluating what's most important and concluding that unshowy destinations that are really dedicated to sourcing the best ingredients and creating imaginative and delicious dishes should be highly valued."
An obvious example of this is The Chairman's "Camphor Wood Smoked 7 Spiced Goose," which took months to develop -- and it's not even on the menu. Diners need to pre-order it.
https://dynaimage.cdn.cnn.com/cnn/q_auto,w_602,c_fill,g_auto,h_339,ar_16:9/http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.cnn.com%2Fcnnnext%2Fdam%2Fassets% 2F210521131700-01-the-chairman-wood-smoked-goose.jpg
The Chairman's famed "Camphor Wood Smoked 7 Spiced Goose" dish takes three days to prepare.
The Chairman
First, the goose is marinated in the juices of chicken, duck, pigeon and goose for two days. Then it's steamed in low heat for eight hours.
Finally, it's smoked in a gentle camphor wood fire, with a chef having to change the wood midway through the process.
Three days of labor results in tender and moist slabs of goose meat and supremely intense flavors that require no accompaniments.
"The Chairman is notable for its consistency through the years, but at the same time it has never stood still. It does not try to be anything it is not, but the culinary team are forever exploring new ingredients and creating new dishes," adds Drew.
To Yip, earning the top spot is a win for Chinese cuisine in general.
"Being a Chinese restaurant, it was a special moment not just to us but means everything to whoever is working in Chinese restaurants," he says.
"Many young chefs won't consider Chinese cooking when they first join the industry. Internationally, there are many cuisines that have ranked better than Chinese -- French, Japanese, even Scandinavian and South American. Many doubted Chinese, questioning if there is energy left for this old cuisine."

The world's complicated relationship with Chinese cuisine
Looking at previous Asia's 50 Best Restaurants lists since 2013, only Lung King Heen -- the upscale Michelin three-star Cantonese restaurant in Four Seasons Hong Kong -- managed to come close to the top, ranked No. 9 and No. 10 in 2014 and 2016, respectively.
The Chairman came in second last year. It was also the only Chinese restaurant to grace the World's 50 Best Restaurants List in 2019, ranking 41st. (The 2020 edition of the World's 50 Best Restaurants awards was canceled because of the pandemic.)
https://dynaimage.cdn.cnn.com/cnn/q_auto,w_602,c_fill,g_auto,h_339,ar_16:9/http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.cnn.com%2Fcnnnext%2Fdam%2Fassets% 2F210521135901-04-the-chairman-steamed-fresh-flowery-crab.jpg
The Chairman's steamed, fresh flowery crab.
Courtesy The Chairman
When it comes to the Michelin Guide, it's also uncommon to see Chinese restaurants earn plaudits outside of Asia.
Back in 2009 when the first Hong Kong and Macau edition of the Michelin Guide was released, Lung King Heen became the first-ever Chinese restaurant to win three stars in the French guide's 109 years of history.
Today, five out of 10 three-star restaurants in the 2021 guide are Chinese.
Elsewhere in the region, Sazenka recently became the first Chinese restaurant to be awarded three Michelin stars in Tokyo's 2021 guide.
Over in Europe, A. Wong, which serves pan-regional Chinese cuisine with a modern take, became the first Chinese restaurant to win two Michelin stars outside Asia with the release of this year's London Michelin Guide.
So why is it rare for Chinese restaurants -- in spite of their global popularity and long history -- to get international recognition, compared to cuisines like French or Japanese?
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London restaurant A. Wong has two Michelin stars.
Murray Wilson/A Wong
Andrew Wong, chef-owner of restaurant A. Wong, offers a possible explanation.
"During the cultural revolution, imperial chefs emigrated to England, the US, Canada and other parts of Europe. This is important because it has stemmed the growth of Chinese cuisine on a global scale," says the chef, who studied anthropology before taking over the Chinese restaurant his grandparents founded in London.
"Those chefs traveled, used their techniques and integrated them into other cultures with success. They made Chinese food one of the most loved cuisines globally.
"However, because we've enjoyed such a long history of interpreting and reinterpreting our cuisine within international cities, some things have been lost somewhere along the lines. Communication on the technique, craft, dedication, sourcing and obsessiveness about ingredients has been lost within Chinese gastronomy."
However, things have been looking up for Chinese cuisine in the last decade.
More modern Chinese establishments are popping up around the world, in line with an increased willingness among diners to try unfamiliar cuisines.
A. Wong's "Taste of China" menu, for example, takes London diners on a journey around China, serving local dishes that are well-researched and well-seasoned with historical stories.
"The stars are now lining up, and international chefs will be looking to learn about technique, ingredients and new flavors from Chinese chefs," says Wong.
continued next post

05-24-2021, 09:34 AM
The Chairman's blueprint
It's impossible to talk about the Chairman's success without highlighting the soul of its kitchen -- chef Kwok Keung Tung, better known as Keung Gor (Brother Keung).
Yip asked Kwok to join the Chairman after tasting the experienced chef's version of dry fried beef noodles -- a classic Cantonese diner dish that tests a chef's wok skill -- more than a decade ago.
"You need guts to be able to create that 'wok hei' (breath of the wok) in Chinese cooking," says Yip. "And there aren't many dry fried beef noodles that can pass that test in the city."
To lure Kwok to his team, Yip promised the chef complete autonomy in the kitchen, allowing him to create cuisine he'd never experienced before.
"The traditional way of doing things isn't a bad way but it could be boring," says Kwok.
"Sometimes you want to try something new. At Chairman, Danny offers a much bigger box. Here, we could come up with the strangest ways to cook things. When you see something, you will get inspired."https://dynaimage.cdn.cnn.com/cnn/q_auto,w_602,c_fill,g_auto,h_339,ar_16:9/http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.cnn.com%2Fcnnnext%2Fdam%2Fassets% 2F210521163638-06-the-chairman-chefs.jpg
Chef Kwok Keung Tung (left) stands with The Chairman founder Danny Yip outside the restaurant.
Maggie HIufu Wong/CNN
Outside service hour, Yip and Kwok spend hours together, refining and reinventing their menus.
During CNN Travel's visit, they debate some of the most challenging Chinese dishes to cook, coming to consensus on cold-chop chicken, a simple dish in which the poultry is scalded in hot broth then plunged in cold ice.
"It's challenging to further refine cold-chop chicken," says Kwok. "The traditional recipe doesn't allow enough time for the flavors to get into every inch of the chicken."
Yip agrees, adding: "It's the simplest way to cook the chicken, focusing only on the original flavor. But our version is pretty good -- and different."
In The Chairman's take, the chicken is brined in cold stock for hours, allowing them to maximize the flavors without overcooking it, says Yip.
Working together since the opening of the restaurant in 2008, the duo has developed hundreds of dishes together, along the way fostering a deep sense of mutual understanding.
This is a different approach from traditional Chinese restaurants, which are mostly recipe-oriented.
By focusing on ingredients, concepts and the essence of the food -- a core concept of Cantonese food -- The Chairman has created its own interpretation of Chinese cuisine and identity.
"Don't you find it boring if every Chinese restaurant is serving the same menu?" Yip asks.

Authentic Chinese food with international appeal
The success of The Chairman has inspired fellow Chinese chefs far beyond Hong Kong.
"I was thrilled that The Chairman won. For me, it sent a message that Chinese cuisine is finally holding their heads high on an international level," says Xu Jing-ye, the young chef and co-owner of 102 House in Foshan, China. It helps the international food and beverage industry to take Chinese food more seriously,"
Xu's small, private kitchen-style restaurant was included on Asia's 50 Best Restaurants inaugural "Essence of Asia" list this year.
"Many restaurants' chefs follow the recipes passed down by their own mentors. But they didn't think about the reasons behind the recipes." says the young chef.
"The Chairman breaks the very strict boxes for Chinese cuisines traditionally. It has inspired me a lot. They create authentic Chinese food that is appealing internationally."
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A plate of 102 House's braised, dried noodles with sole.
Jim Cheung Hin/ 102 House
At 102 House, Xu cooks traditional Chinese cuisine while experimenting with different techniques and ingredients. All the dishes strive to achieve the essence of authentic Cantonese food: clean, umami-filled, crisp, smooth and tender.
"Many people mistook internationalization with merely adding Western ingredients or by its presentation," says Xu.
"But this isn't internationalizing Chinese cuisine. What we need to do is to help the international audience to understand Chinese food."
Thanks to a new crop of young chefs who are passionate about revolutionizing Chinese cooking styles while preserving the cuisine's essence in their own unique ways, this process is already underway.
"When we have creative thinking, we would be very close to rising to the top internationally," says Yip.
"Chinese cuisine has a strong and broad foundation in cooking techniques. Our ingredients are bountiful, our legacy rich. I don't think it's difficult for Chinese cuisine to catch up on the international stage."
Top image: Interior of Hong Kong restaurant The Chairman.
Now I'm kinda hungry.

05-26-2021, 08:49 AM
Legacy of a tai chi master
Followers reflect on how the martial art helped them 60 years after Tung Ying-chieh's death (https://asia.nikkei.com/Life-Arts/Life/Legacy-of-a-tai-chi-master)

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Mak Tai-kwong, 90, pictured during his working days at Hong Kong's She Wong Lam snake soup shop. He credits a lucky break there in 1948 as having changed his life.
MATHEW SCOTT, Contributing writer
May 23, 2021 08:00 JST
HONG KONG -- Ninety-year-old Mak Tai-kwong looks and moves like a man decades younger. He attributes tai chi to saving his life and prolonging it.

In 1948, when the people of Hong Kong were struggling with chronic food shortages in the aftermath of World War II and work was scarce even for those willing and able, Mak said a lucky break at the She Wong Lam snake soup shop in the then-portside suburb of Sheung Wan changed his life.

"I was very weak, and had no food to eat," said Mak who was 18 in 1948. "Life was hard but I got the job selling snake soup and the snake shop owner saw how weak I was and he paid for me to learn tai chi. In 1948, I started learning Yang style tai chi, and I learned from Tung Ying-chieh, and that's why I am still here today."

This year marks the 60th death anniversary of Tung (1897-1961), who helped take the Yang style of tai chi to the world as it became arguably the most popular form of the martial art practised. Apart from Hong Kong actor Donnie Yuen and his Chinese peer Jet Li, American rock star Lou Reed, of Velvet Underground fame, was also a famous tai chi student.

In December, the centuries-old practice of tai chi -- or taijiquan in Mandarin -- was officially recognized by UNESCO as an "intangible cultural heritage." There are five main schools of the martial art -- Chen, Wu Hao, Wu, Sun and Yang.

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Top: Tung Ying-chieh (seated) established tai chi schools in Hong Kong before taking his teachings to other cities in Asia. Bottom: One such tai chi school was in Bangkok, Thailand.
Tai chi is estimatedto be practiced daily by hundreds of millions of people globally. But back in the 1940s, tai chi was unheard of outside China.

A generation of tai chi masters had over the two decades after WWII gravitated south to Hong Kong from across China to escape political upheavals that led to civil war in the country. Tung was one of them.

Tung, a disciple of Yang Ch'eng-fu (1883-1936), helped develop the Yang style of tai chi based on the teachings of the founders of the martial art -- the Chen family in central Henan Province -- that evolved from combat skills and self-defense (considered to be external to the body) to heath and meditative benefits (internal).

In the early days, Tung had a reputation as a bruiser. Legend has it that Tung took on and beat a British boxer who dwarfed him in size in Nanjing in the 1930s. He then shared his winnings among fans and fellow martial artists.

After seeing out the war in the relative safety of Macao, which was then neutral territory as a Portuguese colony, Tung started opening tai chi schools in Hong Kong.

Now his "empire" extends to the U.S. "He had great teachers, with a lot of skill," explained Tung's great-grandson Alex Dong, who runs the Alex Dong International Taijiquan Association of more than 100 teachers from New York City.

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Top: Scenes from one of the many tai chi guide books authored by Tung Ying-chieh (middle). Bottom: Tung travelled regularly to meet with his students to help them master the art of tai chi.
Tung's fighting days were over by the time he opened his Hong Kong schools, and had started to travel through Asia to share his more peaceful methods, although he still enjoyed the thrill of a battle.

On Jan. 17, 1954, Tung helped organize and played the role of ringside referee for an infamous "Death Duel," the lead-up to which had held Hong Kong in its grip. It was staged between Tung's tai chi student Wu Gongyi and a student of the “white crane” style of kung fu, Chen Kefu, after weeks of press hype.

After less than two tepid rounds of action, a draw was called but the true purpose of the fight was served. According to local media, including the South China Morning Post, more than 200,000 Hong Kong dollars ($35,000) had been raised for the 50,000 victims of a fire that had recently ripped through the Shek Kip Mei squatter village in Hong Kong.

After less than two tepid rounds of action, a draw was called but the true purpose of the fight was served. More than 200,000 Hong Kong dollars had been raised for the 50,000 victims of a fire that had recently ripped through the Shek Kip Mei squatter village in Hong Kong.

"We all knew he was strong but he was a very kind man, amiable and very approachable," recalled Mak in Victoria Park. "He was quite a solemn person, not easily angered."

Tai chi's recognition by Unesco took close to a decade of lobbying from China, and from followers of the form. Dong said it was long overdue.

"When people practice tai chi they always tell me they feel better," Dong said. "I always tell my students tai chi is one of the few exercises that teaches you about you. It gives you the chance to feel your own thoughts, recognize you own movement and your way of thinking."

Among those daily participants in Victoria Park is 65-year-old Fanny Tung-cheng, who was married to Tung's great grandson Tung Kwai-sun before he passed away in 1994.

"Yang tai chi is popular because it is based on a fighting style and also it is basic," she said. "Practising every day keeps you active and healthy and that's the way we should all live our lives."

Chinese-food (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food)
White-snake-spits-its-tongue (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?4153-White-snake-spits-its-tongue)

07-20-2021, 07:09 PM
‘Karen, Queen of Congee’ draws backlash over brand ‘improving’ ancient Asian dish for the Western palate
Carl Samson
Tue, July 20, 2021, 10:58 AM·4 min read
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A breakfast brand that “improves” congee for the Western palate has stirred controversy over the weekend after Twitter users accused it of cultural appropriation.

Company background: Founded in 2017 in Eugene, Ore., Breakfast Cure sells packets of various “congee” flavors that emphasize “organic, gluten-free, whole grains and a wide variety of ingredients.” It calls each of its servings a “bowl of zen.”

Breakfast Cure was founded by Karen Taylor, a licensed acupuncturist who started eating congee some 25 years ago and became interested in the process of slow cooking grains for better digestion. Since then, she says she has tried different combinations to find “some really tasty, healthy ones, some based on ancient tradition and some [her] own creations.”

There are currently 13 flavors of Breakfast Cure’s prepackaged “congee.” These include “Apple Cinnamon,” “Coconut Blueberry Bliss,” “Golden Spice,” “Karen’s Kitchari,” “Mango and Sticky Rice,” “Masala Chai Spice,” “Mega-Omega,” “Om Berry,” “Pear-Fection,” “Pineapple Paradise,” “Romano Bean Dream,” “Tangled Up in Blueberry” and “Three Treasures.”

The brand says its “simple congee method” spreads the wisdom that warm, cooked foods “heal, soothe and energize.” Listed benefits include hydration, gentle cleansing and an overall metabolism and energy boost.

What critics are saying: The company started receiving backlash over the weekend after one Twitter user accused it of cultural appropriation. Other users have since joined to criticize its methods and statements.

In a thread, Twitter user Casey Ho (@CaseyHo) shared screenshots of Breakfast Cure’s Instagram posts, including a photo of its all-white team. She also shared what appears to be an earlier version of Taylor’s blog post titled “How I discovered the miracle of congee and improved it.”

In her original post, Taylor wrote that she has spent a lot of time “modernizing” congee “for the Western pallet [sic]” so that “you” can eat it and find it “delicious,” not “foreign.” The post appears to have been edited as of this writing, but a quick Google search still shows the original title.

Chinese American writer Frankie Huang (@ourobororoboruo) is one of Breakfast Cure's critics, writing: "Like a broken record, I must say that it’s unbelievably annoying to see white people 'interpret' cultures of millions and billions of living people like they’re archeologists. Being treated like we are dead makes me want to lie down."

Jenn Fang of Reappropriate (@reappropriate) also took a jab at Breakfast Cure: "Congee isn’t just 'boiled rice,' it also contains some specific and traditional flavor profiles one shouldn’t just totally ignore; and certainly not treat as bizarre or unappetizing... It’s definitely offensive for anyone trying to 'reinterpret' congee to do so by framing the traditional version as gross and icky, and that their 'reinterpretations' will save it in some way by making it better or easier for white folks."

Taylor, who was once referred to as "Our Founder and Queen of Congee” on the company website's Meet the Team page, is now solely called "Our Founder." The "Queen of Congee" title prompted some users to poke fun at Taylor's first name, Karen, a pejorative alias that has come to represent problematic white women on the internet.

Company responds: In a statement to NextShark, Breakfast Cure apologized for their problematic language and vowed to continue supporting the Asian American community. The company said they have donated to the Asian Mental Health Collective and are currently supporting Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Read Breakfast Cure's full statement below:

"At Breakfast Cure, the heart of our mission is to create delicious whole food breakfasts to give you the fastest homemade meal possible. Our Oregon porridge is inspired by traditional rice congee, an incredible, healing dish with references dating back to 1,000 B.C.

"Recently, we fell short of supporting and honoring the Asian American community and for that, we are deeply sorry. We take full responsibility for any language on our website or in our marketing and have taken immediate steps to remedy that and educate ourselves, revising our mission to not just creating delicious breakfast meals, but becoming a better ally for the AAPI community.

"Previously, in March we donated 15% of sales to the Asian Mental Health Collective, posting our support and denouncing Asian hate. We will continue to donate 1% of all sales or 10% of profit, whichever is larger to non-profit and activist organizations. Currently, all purchases support Asian Americans Advancing Justice."

Featured Image via Made With Lau

Chinese-food (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?16444-Chinese-food)
Cultural-Appropriation (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?70722-Cultural-Appropriation)