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TOPICS INCLUDE: Empress Salad; Spareribs in tea; Kudos; Conferences

by Jacqueline M. Newman

Letters to the Editor

Winter Volume: 1999 Issue: 6(4) page(s): 6 and 18

We print as many letters as space allows; and we reserve the right to edit them. Again, we've received an unusually large number since the last issue and thus have included more of them.

My second issue of Flavor and Fortune arrived today and I loved it. In the mid-70's I took a course at a Southern California Community College, then left for a job overseas a couple of years thereafter. My recipes stayed behind in boxes stored on the top of a garage. Years later, wanting them, found that mice had dined and left shreds of favorite recipes including one for Empress Salad. Try as I may, and I have in many places, I find no recipe by that name. Is it possible that you have a recipe for Empress Salad?
MARJORIE: Thanks for fascinating e-mail about places you tried to locate this recipe. With your loving Flavor and Fortune, we would love to find your recipe, but we have not, so we appeal to our readers and hope someone else can help find your Empress Salad.

Dear Editor: Your March tea issue was very good. However, I am sad because you had no recipe for spareribs made in tea, which I thought is a major use of tea in Chinese cuisine.
ED: Such a recipe does exist, but we do not believe it exceptionally popular. Not wanting to disappoint one who compliments, it appears at the end of this column.

Am curious, is there anything auspicious in the name of your magazine?
ROSE ANN: The name Flavor and Fortune was selected by the Board of the Institute for the Advancement of the Science and Art of Chinese Cuisine to represent the flavorful and fantastic information about what is believed to be one of if not the greatest cuisine in the world. Justin Wolcott, a clever young man who does our computer repairs, turned our name into something auspicious. He set it up the letters in 'Flavor' to stand for: Food Lovers Are Very Outstanding Readers, and in 'Fortune' they represent 'Food On Restaurant Tables Uses Noodles Everywhere.'

From BONGO in NY:
Thanks for opening my eyes to Fujianese foods and restaurants. I have had stuffed Fried Yam Balls and an eel dish in that red wine sauce your spoke about. Any chance of getting these recipes?
BONGO: We are pleased to oblige, and would like to mention that there are several eel recipes in Volume 3(1) on pages 5 and 15; and that at we offer one for Yam Balls and another for eel at the end of this column.

Thanks very much for Flavor and Fortune. There is a wealth of excellent information presented in a most handsome journal.
Nancy: How kind of you to compliment our efforts. We hope that as an educator, you teach others about our 'handsome' magazine. The logo, typeface, and style were set out professionally; clearly we hired the right person. Many have written about 'good looks' and about our 'good content,' too. In this issue, thoughts are expressed about our 'exemplary magazine.' We will do our utmost to continue efforts to achieve comments such as those generously offered.

I read about the November 13th 'Alternative Health: Practices and Philosophies conference' and do plan to attend. My main interests are herbal therapies. And I mean spices and herbs, which may be different from the interests of many others. Do you know of a good source of this specific information?
Mr. ESAU: At a conference at Oregon State University in Corvallis Oregon, we purchased two CD-ROMs. The first called: The World According to Herbs--Culinary and Medicinal Uses. It has world-wide culinary and medical thoughts about herbs. The title of the second is: To Herb or Not to Herb: A Guide to Over the Counter Herbals and Botanicals. Both were prepared for by, and proceeds go to, the OSHU/VA Dietetic Internship. For information about price and availability contact: Dorothy Hagan, Diurector of the Internship at Oregon Health Science University, Portland OR 97201; phone: 503/494-7076; e-mail: hagland@oshu.edu
Spareribs in Tea
1 Tablespoon black tea leaves
1/2 cup water
2 pounds spare ribs, cut into individual ribs
1 Tablespoon corn oil
6 slices fresh ginger
1/4 cup minced onion
2 whole star anise
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
1. Steep tea in half cup of boiling water for five minutes, strain, and discard the leaves.
2. Blanch the ribs in five cups of water for one minute, drain, and discard the water.
3. Heat oil into a heavy deep pot, then add ginger and onions and stir-fry one minute. Next add the ribs and brown them.
4. Add all the other ingredients and five cups of water, cover and simmer for one hour. Then remove the lid and boil them for five minutes. Drain and serve.
Note: The remaining sauce can be reduced or thickened. Some or all can be poured over the ribs.
Yam Balls
1 pound of yams (or sweet potatoes)
1/2 pound glutinous rice flour or yam flour
1/2 pound red bean paste
2 Tablespoons additional glutinous rice flour
2 cups corn oil for frying
1. Steam yams, then mash them when hot and mix them with the flour and knead. as you would a dough, until smooth. Divide into twenty-four pieces, and flatten each of them.
2. Put one tablespoon of bean paste on each yam dough circle. Wrap it into a ball hiding all the bean paste within. Continue until all are made, then dust them with the additional flour.
3. Heat oil and deep fry the balls until golden, drain, and serve.
Eel Fujian Style
1 eel, about a pound or so
2 Tablespoons rice wine
1 scallion, minced
2 slices fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup yam flour
2 cups corn oil
1/4 cup red wine paste
3 Tablespoons Fukien Chiew or any rice wine
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 cup water
1 scallion, cut into one-inch pieces
1. Cut eel into two-inch sections, rinse, pat them dry; then marinate them with rice wine, scallion, and ginger for half an hour, drain, and reserve scallions and ginger drained well, eel, and liquid separately.
2. Coat eel with flour. Heat oil and deep fry until lightly browned, then drain them. Remove oil from the wok or pan, and set it aside.
3. Use one Tablespoon of this oil and heat it in a wok. Pat the scallion and ginger from the marinade dry and stir-fry them for a minute. Then add the wine paste, drained wine mixture, sugar, sesame oil, and water, and bring to the boil. Add eel and stir-fry for two minutes, remove, and serve.
Note: A recipe for the wine paste can be found elsewhere in Flavor and Fortune; do check the index listings.

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