MARCH COOKBOOK OF MONTH: Fuchsia Dunlop
MARCH COOKBOOK OF THE MONTH (Trumpets sound) Both Fuchsia Dunlop Books
Start hoarding black vinegar and salted chilis....Cookbooks of the Month for March are REVOLUTIONARY CHINESE and LAND OF PLENTY by Fuchsia Dunlop.
I hope that MMRuth or anyone else who's got the time and interest, will post some internet threads. I know there are several recipes if you search for "UKFood and Dunlop". She also works for the BBC and they probably have recipes.
I've decided that, rather than have a huge number of separate threads, and since both books have almost identical chapter names, I'm only going to post a combo thread for each chapter The title will just be (for example) Fuchsia Dunlop - March Cookbook of the Month Appetizers. So folks will post for either book in the chapter threads.
Noodles, Dumplings and Other Street Treats
Vegetables and Bean Curd
Stocks and Soup
Revolutionary Chinese has an extra chapter, Preserves and Stocks, and I'm making a separate thread for that.
Let's get going!!!
Thank you, oakjoan, I think this is going to be so fun. Here are the links to the chapter threads oakjoan has set up:
Noodles, Dumplings and Other Street Treats http://www.chowhound.com/topics/49466...
Poultry (and eggs) http://www.chowhound.com/topics/49466...
Vegetables and Bean Curd http://www.chowhound.com/topics/49466...
Stocks and Soup
Sweet Dishes http://www.chowhound.com/topics/494668
Hot Pot - http://www.chowhound.com/topics/494846
Preserves and Stocks (Revolutionary Chinese only) http://www.chowhound.com/topics/49466...
[EDITED BY THE CHOWHOUND TEAM TO ADD A LINK].
Here are the links Gio sent me yesterday:
"Following is the list of Fuchsia Dunlop's recipes I have garnered from various web sites. On a few of the pages you will have to scroll down a bit to find what you want. There are multiple recipes on some pages, however all the recipes I found are listed here. I have included an online conversion chart since many measurements are in metric."
Spring Rolls with Three Silken Threads (San Si Chun Juan)
Pock-marked Mother Chen's Bean Curd
Peng's Home-Style Bean Curd
Sichuanese Dan Dan Noodles (Dan Dan Mian
Eight Treasure Black Rice Porridge
Slow-Braised Pork (Babi Pongtay
Chairman Mao's Red-Braised Pork (Mao Shi Hong Shao Rou
Mind Blowing Fish-Fragrant Pork Slivers (Yu Xiang Rou Si
Flowering Chives with Smoky Bacon
Stir-fried Bacon with Bamboo Shoot
Beef with Cumin
Fried Beef Slivers
Lamb Pilaf (Polo
Kung Pao Chicken
General Tso's Chicken (Dunlop'sTaiwanese version
Dong'an Chicken (Dong An Zi Ji
Fragrant and Hot Tiger Prawns
Kung Pao Shrimp
Fisherman's Shrimp with Chinese Chives (Yu Jia Chao Xia Qiu
Dry-Fried Green Beans (Gan Bian Si Ji Dou)
Fried Cucumber with Purple Perilla (zi su jian huang gua
Eight Treasure Wok Pudding - Ba Bao Guo Zheng
On Line Conversion Chart:
And to add even more thanks: Thanks for Gio and MMR for the links.
As I have previously posted, the link for Lamb Polo (pilaf) contains an actual video of Fuchsia withstanding the bland stupidity of the host of the program on which she is a guest. And I cannot praise the Polo dish enough - fab.
Hunan Beef With Cumin (US) - http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/14/din...
Red Cooked Beef with Turnips - http://www.tigersandstrawberries.com/...
Tofu and Eggs - http://www.recipezaar.com/279586
Home Made Hunan Salted Chilis - http://www.recipezaar.com/282754
Velveted Fish - http://www.recipezaar.com/280874
Smacked Cucumbers - http://www.recipezaar.com/260377
Sounding Radish Slivers (Xiang Luo Bu Si) - http://www.recipezaar.com/260317
Pan Fried Cucumbers - http://www.recipezaar.com/260314
Authentic Black Bean Chicken - http://www.recipezaar.com/260313
Xiao Sun Zi Chao Rou Mo (Slender Bamboo Shoots With Ground Pork) - http://www.recipezaar.com/260315
I picked up my "Land of Plenty" from the library yesterdy and have to say I am a bit overwhelmed. There is a ton of background material, but I am still a bit confused about ingredients.
First - dark soy sauce. Anyone know how this compares to Thai dark soy sauce (very sweet molasses flavor). I am allergic to wheat, so can't use the Pearl River brand.
Peppers - I think I figured this one out, but when she refers to whole sichuan pepper that means whole peppercorns, but when it is Sichuan chilis than it is a hot chili. I have a bunch of arbol chilis and Indian hot red chilis - OK to sub?
That is all for now. I am excited to try the recipes, since I can never eat Chinese out.
jsaimd, Chinese typically use the dark soy sauce for color, and the light soy sauce for flavor. It is no big whoop to substitute regular soy sauce (or Kikkoman or Kikkoman Light etc) if you can't find the Chinese light/dark ones.
OK to substitute one chili for another in my book.
Think of her wonderful recipes as a general guide - if you like it more sweet, then add more sugar. If you don't like to use too much salt, then add less of it. I cooked in an authentic Chinese restaurant for 4 years and the first thing I learned from Lao Li was, "there are no recipes." Everything is done to taste, smell and sight.
scoopG, thank you for that insight.
Another question: When she doesn't specify "dark" or "light" soy sauce, and just says "soy sauce" (I think I noticed a recipe in there where she didn't specify, though, I'm not now sure which one) what is the default?
Also, I've noticed in some of the BBC recipes she refers to "groundnut oil"--I think that's peanut oil, right?
Finally, is it okay to use cornstarch instead of potato flour?
re: The Dairy Queen
TDQ, Just regular old soy sauce or you can experiment with a variation of the light and regular if you like! Potato flour is also called potato starch. Is it available there in one those Chinese markets around 28th and Nicollet? Of course there are more around the TC metro area I'm sure. I find it is better than cornstarch - lighter. (Or maybe I've been using too much cornstarch all these years!)
Not sure what she means by groundnut flour. I always use peanut oil anyways.
Okay, yes, I went back to Shuang Hur today and got the potato starch. Oddly enough, I wasn't able to find any mushrooms there except fresh oyster mushrooms. We asked three different people where they were and they just referred us to someone else. I think it helps if you call it fungus, but, still, in the end, I concluded they just don't have a lot of mushrooms. Perhaps Southeast Asian cuisine (which forms the base of the Twin Cities Asian Community) doesn't use a lot of mushrooms? We ended up buying Wood Ear mushrooms (at Lunds, a local high-end grocer) instead of "Cloud Ear" mushrooms, but now I see the warning on page 58 of LOP that you should avoid buying these mushrooms as they don't have a lot of flavor. :(. So, I'm still on the search for "cloud ear."
Anyway, thank you and Caitlin for the additional insights on the soy sauce and "groundnut oil" aka peanut oil.
re: The Dairy Queen
Your'e welcome TDQ. Lunds! What a store. Love their potato salad BTW. :) Cloud Ear is black - bought dry and when re-constituted in water it softens up. Very light, almost rubbery in texture. I would not worry about the mushrooms myself. I made her "Steamed Bacon with Mushrooms" from her Hunan book and found that the use of 4-5 exotic mushrooms was a bit too much - remade it with regular white and cremini mushrooms and it was more tasty. Oyster mushrooms almost look like bean sprouts - thin with a a bit of a head on their tip.
I am gone for the next week with no access (I think) so I hope I don't miss much!
I bought Chinese mushrooms in Chinatown today - couldn't figure it out myself, ended up with the following, with the help of an employee:
Cloud Ears - Auricula - I bought "compressed auricula" (Yu Yee Brand)
Silver Ear Fungus - "White Jello" - dried (no brand name in English, packed for Golden Gate Supply company)
I wonder if this might help:
"Cloud Ears (Auricularia Polytricha) are ruffle-edged, thin, Black Mushrooms. Cloud Ears are similar in appearance to Wood Ear except Wood Ear are black with a brownish - tan inner color, whereas Cloud Ear Mushrooms are black with a slightly lighter shade of black as their inner color. Cloud Ears have a more delicate, mild flavor and are much smaller in size than Wood Ear. Cloud Ear Mushrooms reconstitute to a puffy like, soft, firm, smooth texture and delicate flavor."
ETA: I think scoopG is right in saying not to worry too much about the difference between cloud ears and wood ears. My copies of Dunlop are still in transit, but I have a couple of Szechuan cookbooks that say they can be used interchangeably. I'd never even heard of cloud ear mushrooms before and always used wood ear. Perhaps I didn't know what I was missing, but recipes using wood ears always seemed just fine to me.
I know this is very late for your dinner tonight, but Chinese chives are similar, if not exactly like, garlic chives. I've had them growing in my garden for years. They have a flat leaf rather than round like the chives most people are familiar with.... and bloom with a white flower head in August. They are milder in flavor than garlic and regular chives. Gosh I wish I could send you some....But they're dormant now here in the northeast.
Yesterday I saw bundles of Chinese flat chives *and* garlic chives (with the buds) at most of those green grocer carts around Canal St. Everybody with bok choy had them, and they are at every Asian grocery store I went to that had fresh greens.
It must be the season somewhere! I'd never noticed them before, but since I was looking at the Dunlop book . . .
I posted a topic on the General Chowhounding Topics board requesting recommendations for online sources for Chinese spices and ingredients since I, and probably others, do not live in a major city.
In the Sichuan book, Fuchsia offers 4 online sources, two of which are inactive, one she says has limited selection of Chinese, and the other is http://adrianascaravan.com/
I have no experience with any of the online sellers, but googling one of the very specific ingredients led to a few places that look promising
and the Asia Society's http://www.asiafood.org/
even amazon.com has some chinese ingredients