January 2nd, 2017
Mushrooms play a predominant role in countless Chinese dishes. Not only do they add an umami layer of flavor, but depending on the variety, they can impart texture as well. And while often, fresh ingredients are preferred over dried, it is not the case with funghi, particularly in Chinese cooking.
Chinese Chili Peppers & Peppercorns
October 31st, 2016
Order many a dish at a Hunanese or Sichuanese restaurant and you would expect to see bright red chilies on the plate and taste a spicy chili heat on the palate. Although these two regions are known for boldly flavored, incendiary favorites like kung pao chicken, dan dan noodles, or dry fried green beans….
Vinegars & Cooking Wines
May 10th, 2016
Every cuisine has its arsenal of vinegars and wines to fortify and intensify the flavor of its food. For Chinese cooking, there is Shaoxing wine and a variety of vinegars.
XO Sauce XO醬
May 30th, 2016
Walk down a Chinese market aisle and you’ll find an overwhelming display of sauces and condiments. But one that truly stands out and now even transcends its place in Chinese restaurants is the richly flavored XO Sauce.
Bean Curd 荳腐
January 25th, 2016
It’s a jiggly, blank canvas in flavor and appearance. Some may think it quite bland, but the beauty of bean curd, synonymous with “doufu” in Chinese and “tofu” in Japanese is its versatility and how it completely absorbs the flavor of a dish.
Hot Pot 火锅
October 31st, 2016
With winter’s chill setting in, there’s nothing like a simmering Chinese hot pot to warm you up. Perfect for large gatherings of friends or family, it’s an interactive way of cooking and dining. Think of it as the Chinese version of fondue. The Chinese name for it, huo guo, literally translates to “fire pot”, tracing back over 1,000 years…
Baijiu – Chinese White Liquor 白酒
November 20th, 2015
It’s one of the world’s most consumed liquors. And it’s not vodka, gin, or even tequila. It is a Chinese liquor, specifically baijiu (white liquor), which may not sound familiar and is certainly not commonly served in most San Francisco bars, but is consumed all throughout China.
October 19th, 2015
While charcuterie’s association lies primarily with France and its pâté and terrines, China offers its own delicious style of preserved and prepared meats.
September 21st, 2015
Fortune cookies may be the first thing you think of when it comes to sweet treats at the end of a Chinese meal. However, these curvy, crunchy cookies beholding a message of your fortune were invented in the United States.
Soy Sauce – The Chinese Staple 酱油
August 18th, 2015
It may live on the table at most any Chinese restaurant, but it serves a larger purpose than simply as a condiment. Soy sauce (or jiàngyóu in Chinese) can be considered the main foundation for flavor in a large amount of Chinese dishes whether it performs as the core ingredient in marinades, soups, or sauces.
Chinese Breads – Baos & Bings
July 21st, 2015
If you’ve ever had Peking duck or a pork bun, then you’re familiar with the soft, spongy vehicle that was meant for enveloping the delectable meat filling. But there are a much larger variety of breads in Chinese cuisine to explore.
June 17th, 2015
At first sight, flavored tea with tapioca balls or pearls may seem a very unusual beverage. The color of the tea can range from a pale milky tan to a pastel green or even the hue of orange sherbet depending on the flavor.
Chinese Tea 中国茶
May 19th, 2015
Having originated in China over 2,000 years ago during the Tang dynasty, tea (chá) is an integral beverage to any Chinese meal, from dim sum to dinner.
June 17th, 2015
It’s no surprise that some of the most popular and slurp-inducing Chinese dishes include chicken chow mein, wonton noodle soup, and beef chow fun. Noodles are considered an important ingredient in just about every part of China, as it should, considering that it dates back to the Han Dynasty of 200 BC.
The Art of Dim Sum
March 16th, 2016
Dim sum (dian xin in Mandarin) has been around for many centuries. Its literal definition is “to touch the heart” or appropriately “appetizer”, as it consists of small dishes of bite-size or individual portions either on small plates or bamboo baskets.
Chinese New Year!
February 16th, 2015
Chinese New Year (or Lunar New Year) is the most important Chinese holiday of the year. Chinatownis even more bustling than usual during this time as vibrant red lanterns and decorations adorn the streets, loud pops burst from firecrackers, and red envelopes filled with money are given to children.
Xiao Long Bao 中国茶
September 23rd, 2014
You might be familiar with them, love them, and even eat heaps of them. Also known as soup dumplings that originated in Shanghai, the Chinese name is pronounced “shout” (without the “t”) “long” (with a long “o”) bao (like “tao”).
Hong Shao Rou (Red-Braised Pork) 红烧肉
October 21st, 2014
A dish that has been referred to as Chairman Mao’s favorite meal, red-braised pork is a Chinese classic that has become more popular to the non-Chinese palate in more recent years. Even Daniel Boulud, a famous French Chef in New York, has his version of this recipe.
Dungeness Crab Season!
November 19th, 2014
November marks the beginning of the holidays, but for Bay Area food lovers it also means the start of shell-cracking Dungeness crab season. The season typically lasts until June or July of the next year, but the majority of the Bay Area’s bounty will be brought in by the end of this December, and early reports indicate this year’s catch will be decent.
Chinese Cookbooks for Gifting
December 17th, 2014
Whether it’s a gift for yourself as you plan a Chinese new year’s feast, or gifting the food lover, there are some wonderful books to choose from. Although many cookbooks cover Asian food in general, if you’re looking for a trusted resource on Chinese cooking, it’s best to hunt for one focusing on China or its regional cuisine.
Breakfast – The Chinese Way
January 19th, 2015
Chilly winter weather calls for warming, hot breakfast. Aside from the widely popular Cantonese dim sum, traditional morning meals consist of a variety of fare usually served warm or hot and vary depending on the region.