Chinese Recipes, Culture, and History
I was recently sent the beautiful book above, Feeding the Dragon: A Culinary Travelogue Through China with Recipes, to review. I watched my mailbox anxiously because I’m absolutely obsessed with Asian food and have always been intrigued by China, it’s beautiful people, and it’s history and customs.
As soon as it came, I tore into the package with anticipation – I could almost hear Chinese music playing as I examined the cover. This exceptional book exceeded my every expectation and it’s my honor to share a little bit of the book with you.
If, like me, you’ve always wanted to visit China, this is the next best thing. The amazing pictures, the tales, and the recipes give you a feeling of being there – of walking through the fields and down the streets, immersing yourself in the culture and delighting in the people and food.
Some of the recipes included in Feeding the Dragon:
- Stir-Fry Potatoes and Peppers
- Chocolate Sesame Balls
- Spicy Stir-Fry Peanuts
- Guotie Pot Stickers
- Shanghai Fried Noodles
- Wonton Soup
- Tea Eggs
- Youtiao Fried Dough Sticks
- Chicken Lettuce Cups
- Macanese Almond Cookies
- Macanese Fried Rice
- And many, many, many more!
Book Description from Amazon.com:
With little more than two backpacks, a camera, and a tarp, Mandarin-speaking American brother and sister Nate and Mary Kate Tate traveled more than 9,700 miles throughout China to share the country’s inspiring culture and cuisine with kitchens in the West. What began as a travelblog (feedingthedragon.com) documenting the duo’s journey has evolved into a visual narrative of food, culture, and travel inside Feeding the Dragon.
Arranged by the authors’ travel itinerary to highlight the uniqueness of nine specific regions in China, Feeding the Dragon is part cookbook and part cultural travelogue, overflowing with sumptuous but easily prepared authentic dishes. From Buddhist vegetarian dishes enjoyed on the snowcapped mountains of Tibet to lamb kebabs served on the scorching desert of Xinjiang Province, one hundred recipes are presented alongside first-person narratives and travel photographs.
Western cooks will find healthy recipes brimming with authentic ingredients and flavors, such as Lychee Martini and Shanghai Soup Dumplings, Pineapple Rice, Coca-Cola Chicken Wings, Green Tea Shortbread Cookies, and Wild Mushroom Salad. Feeding the Dragon also provides handy reference sidebars to guide cooks with time-saving shortcuts such as buying premade dumpling wrappers instead of making them from scratch, or using a blow-dryer to finish your Peking Duck. A comprehensive glossary of Chinese ingredients and their equivalent substitutions complete the book. Feeding the Dragon is not an Americanized adulteration of classic Chinese cuisine. Instead, the Tates offer readers and cooks a beautiful journey through Chinese history, culture, tradition, and food.
“This is a heartwarming and often gripping tale of a brother-sister team who bike back roads, slog muddy fields, trudge across mountains, and navigate ancient alleyways to explore the kitchens and culinary soul of China. The recipes they gather from China’s wonderfully hospitable people will tantalize your taste buds as Nate and Mary Kate’s decade-long adventure inspires your sense of wanderlust.” –James McGregor, author of One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China
“Feeding the Dragon is a stunning achievement; it’s a foodie’s Far East fantasy come true, with pictures and recipes to match.” –Adam Roberts, creator of The Amateur Gourmet
“The Tate siblings are my kind of travelers, my kind of eaters, and my kind of cooks. In Feeding the Dragon, they have combined adventure travel, history, and culture to create a personal, fun, and interesting cookbook. The photos, recipes, and stories are all fabulous. I love this cookbook!” –Lisa See, author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Shanghai Girls
MACANESE FRIED RICE
Serves 4 – 6
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
juice of 1/2 lime
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
2 large eggs, beaten
3 cups cooked long-grain white rice, chilled (See Below)
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen and thawed)
4 ounces chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
1/3 cup pitted green olives
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, Asian fish sauce, and lime juice and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute for 3 minutes, or until the onion starts to turn translucent. Pour in the eggs and scramble until they are just set, and then immediately toss in the rice and stir until well mixed. Decrease the heat to medium and add the bell pepper, corn, chorizo sausage, olives, and the sugar mixture, and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Remove the wok from the heat and let rest for 4 minutes before serving.
How to Make Rice (Page 257)
When people eat white rice in China, they usually eat the short-grain variety. Short-grain rice contains more starch than long-grain rice, which makes it clump more and consequently easier to pick up with chopsticks. Long-grain rice, which doesn’t clump, is better suited for fried-rice dishes. We encourage you to invest in a rice cooker, which makes the rice come out perfectly every time. However, if you don’t have a rice cooker, you can easily cook rice on the stovetop with this recipe.
1 cup short-grain or long-grain white rice
1 cup water for short-grain rice, or 1-2/3 cups water for long-grain rice
Combine the rice and water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stir a few times, and then decrease the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, covered, for 18 minutes. Do not lift the lid.
Remove the saucepan from the burner and let rest, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with chopsticks or a fork before serving.
I can’t tell you how much I’d love for you to have a copy of your own Feeding the Dragon. I’m BEYOND excited about this cookbook and can’t wait to try each of the many recipes. If you love Chinese food and have always wished you could create the same type of magic you taste in “Chinese Carry Out” foods in your own kitchen, this is your chance.
Take a closer look at Feeding the Dragon: A Culinary Travelogue Through China with Recipes by clicking the link. This book’s a real beauty and the recipes will rock your very world.