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TOPICS INCLUDE: Mail and zip codes; Kudos; Utah eatery; Mango pudding; Chow Mein sandwich; Jim Leff's book

by Jacqueline M. Newman

Letters to the Editor

Spring Volume: 1999 Issue: 6(1) page(s): 12 and 26


We print as many letters as space allows and the readers repeatedly ask for more, so we bow to their requests. Continue sending them in as we do look forward to them. Some of those selected are edited for space, appropriateness, and other needs.

From BERNARD:
My magazine did not arrive on time; am I still on your mailing list?
BERNARD:
Yours was the first but later came five other complaints, the most for any issue. The postmaster advises that December is their busiest month, that rates and mailing systems are changing, and that your address did not have the preferred five plus four zip code numbers. Therefore readers: PLEASE send your 5 4 Zip codes to ensure speedier delivery and reduce mailing costs that went up January 10th of this year.

LAURA, GRACE, SUSAN, and JOHN of NY:
Best issue yet, Loved the fourth issue of your fifth year. Your fifth was certainly auspicious, and a hard act to follow. Can not wait to see your efforts in the sixth and beyond. Also, how do you keep balance between items I know and those I do not know fascinates me.
To ALL: Took the liberty of tieing your items together. Your separate letters were among many compliments received. Thanks to you and others, too numerous to list, to those who donated, and those who renewed their subscriptions early. We appreciate hearing from you and knowing that you enjoy the magazine. You show that by subscribing and donating to ISACC. Subscription costs do not cover half of our expenses. For our part, we will continue to provide a wide variety of materials for your enjoyment.

MARY ANN writes:
How do Asian restaurants make those exceptionally thin carrot strings?
MARY ANN: You took the words out of my mouth, as the expression goes. We were going to evaluate two new pieces of equipment, but will deal with one that answers your query. In the next issue, when we had planned to run that piece we will have recipes for its use. In the meantime, outstanding chefs do that and all kinds of vegetable cutting using but one piece of equipment, the cleaver. For those without years of experience, Joyce Chen Products is now importing a great hand operated spiral slicer that meets your needs (See the picture of it). The suggested retail is $35.00 and it is available at Oriental Pantry (1-800/828-0368), Sur La Table (1-800/243-0852), William Glen (1-800/842-3322), William Sonoma (1-800/541-2233), The Wooden Spoon (1-800/431-2207), and other fine stores.

From HARVEY in Westfield NJ:
Sorry, this magazine is far too advanced for me. Some of the recipes are in never, never land. Do not renew.
HARVEY: As you can see from the sample of positive letters above, let us advise they arrive in a ratio of fourteen positives to one negative (the most ever received in any quarterly time frame); you are in the minority. Easy recipes and discussions about things you know are less interesting and less valuable than new ideas and recipes you do not know. For the record, the index of issues to date has more than two hundred recipes ranging from Braise Beef Steaks to Vegetarian Wraps. Check it out. As our parent Institute's name says, we try to accommodate areas for The Advancement of the Science and Art of Chinese Cuisine. A look at every year's index, and the five year one in this issue, there is variety in articles and in types of recipes. The staff joins me in suggesting that you try a simple Chinese cook book or two for a while and then check us out some months down the road. Advise next year as to how we measure up.

From GREGORY of the MANDARIN RESTAURANT in BOUNTIFUL UTAH, near Salt Lake City:
Enjoy your publication and am always a strong supporter of Asian cuisine and culture. Our restaurant is ten minutes from Xiao Li (reviewed in Flavor and Fortune's Volume 5(4) on pages 12 and 19). Yes, weekends are crushing but you would never have to wait in line for seating on weekdays. Check out our website and get more information about us at: www.citysearch.com/slc/skedros
Mr. SKEDROS: Next time we are in your city, we will check your restaurant out. In the meantime, we did check out your website, and recommend our readers do the same. From it, they can learn about your place. Many colleagues tell us your foods do delight. We congratulate your restaurant in this, its 22nd year. Keep on providing customers with new ideas and old favorites. They know a good thing and are staunch supporters of your efforts.

From SANDRA FAYE in California:
Please advise more about mango pudding. It is available here, particularly in Chinese restaurants that cater to young folks. Is it tapioca flour that keeps in so firm?
SANDRA FAYE: There are many ways to make this relatively new dessert imported from restaurants in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, the very best I ever tasted were not on a menu (for obvious reasons) but was available at a now defunct vegetarian eatery called Poti. I can not ask their chef since he has disappeared. From one restaurant that won a Jade Chopsticks award a few years back--See Flavor and Fortune's Volume 4(2) on page 14, we learned just before you asked, that his Mango Pudding used tapioca and arrowroot flours. What he also did was to use powdered not fresh mango. They were not firm, looked like an upside down peach, did hold their shape, and were served in a puddle of creme fraiche. One day he admitted learning to make this dessert while working in a French restaurant. Classically, he was westernizing a classic dumpling filled with pieces of and mashed mango, sometimes lychees, that are steamed for about twenty minutes, then served. I am off to San Francisco soon and if I learn more on your coast, will advise. Perhaps in the meantime, other readers can advise us both.

From JASMINE of BEDFORD MA:
I live in the town that touts the Chow Mein Sandwich. Do you have a recipe for another Chinese or Chinese-style sandwich that uses a hamburger bun as does the one in my town?
JASMINE: Here is one found composited from several newer Chinese cook books. It is tasty but no relative to the Chow Mein Sandwich I ate with Imogene Lim in Bedford MA. Why, because this one can be eaten as one does a hamburger, with your fingers. I have never seen anything similar to Bedford's creative sandwich. Imogene, do send us a recipe of the Chow Mein Sandwich for our next issue.

From BOB of MASSAPEQUA NY:
Has Jim Leff's restaurant guide come out; and if so, where is the nearest Chinese restaurant? I am an eclectic eater, bet his book will please those of us who frown on the high-powered restaurant critics. I loved Tindo and want to know others he recommends.
BOB: Yes it has, and though it has two restaurants in Nassau County where you live, neither is Chinese. I recently went to Tindo and loved its home-style cooking (See his review in Flavor and Fortune's Volume 5(3) on pages 21 to 22). As to Chinese restaurants reviewed in his book, he only discusses and recommends thirteen of them. Unfortunately, one is already out of business. Three get four stars (including Tindo), an equal number get three and a half, two get three stars, and two each get two and a half and two stars each. As to location, several are in Flushing, the rest in Chinatown. Though it was on the list to review, there were not enough Chinese restaurants to warrant doing so. Buy the book, or seek it out in the library for complete details. Rather than reviewing it, suffice it to say that the Chinese restaurants are: Do I Tru, Tindo, Jade Palace, Kam Chueh, The Nice Restaurant, Hop Lee, Joe's Shanghai, Sweet-n-Tart Cafe, Happy Buddha, White Bear Ice Cream and Wonton Shop (now history), Fortune Gourmet, New Siu Sam Yuen, and Noodle 88. There is also a Chinese/Norwegian/American restaurant; it is in Brooklyn.

                                                                                                                                                       
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