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Asian Food on the Web

by Gary Allen


Spring Volume: 2000 Issue: 7(1) page(s): 17 and 18

Here is a brief look at some electronic sources of information about Asian cookery and cuisines. The bulk of this list consists of websites, of course, but it also includes some listservs and newsgroups listed at the end. In the next issue, I will cover some of the more traditional sources of information (books, libraries, magazines, trade groups, etc.).

Why Asian and not just Chinese? That is a good question. The answer lies in the fact that many readers are Chinese and all are interested in Chinese cuisine. However, some were Chinese, born in and/or interested in other Asian countries. Some may also be Asians who have lived in China. Slightly more than half are neither Chinese nor Asian but are interested in all things Asian. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, one of the goals of the publisher of Flavor and Fortune, The Institute for the Advancement of the Science and Art of Chinese Cuisine, is to share information about Chinese and related cuisines.

The list is in alphabetical order and neither I nor the publisher nor any of their employees take credit nor blame if the sites are exceptional or exceptionally poor. They are intended to be the beginning of your own master list of resources, to be enlarged or altered as you see fit. Do send the editor others you know about and we'll include them in future issues for other readers to use. Also, keep in mind that the web is evolving, expanding, and sometimes retreating; these were available at the time this article was prepared. Check them out to be sure that they still exist and that they are of interest to you.

A Taste of Thai
These are Thai recipes from a company that sells prepared Thai ingredients.

Appreciating the Character of Japanese Sake
Here one finds literary excerpts about sake.

Asian Recipe Links
This site has recipes from Afghanistan to the Philippines, Singapore to Korea.

Bangkok Cuisine's Home Page
This home page has Thai recipes and links to other sources.

Chinese Cooking
This site offers a good introduction to Chinese cuisine. It is organized by ingredients, spices, and techniques. The recipes are divided by region.

Chinese Food and Culture
A rapidly evolving site of things Chinese and Asian with information and recipes from some Chinese culinary luminaries including Deh-Ta Hsiung, Ken Hom, and Martin Yan; and (coming soon if not already up and running) a link to the magazine you are now reading.

Ethnic Recipes
This is a searchable database of classic Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian, Singaporean, Thai, Tibetan, and Vietnamese dishes.

Frieda's Specialty Produce
You'll find press releases and product information about hundreds of Asian, Latin, and exotic forms of produce, including recipes for most of them.

Global Gastronomy
More than just Asian, this site is devoted to recipes, food history, and food lore of all regions. Also has links to many other food sites, only a couple of which are specifically Asian.

Japanese Cuisine
Links are available here to Japanese recipes, restaurant listings, culinary travel tips, and sushi restaurants worldwide. There is a sushi glossary, some sushi bar etiquette, a tour of Tokyo's Fish Market, and lists of sites about Japanese culture.

Joyce Chen's Products
This site shows and details their products, has infomation about the late Joyce Chen, and has some recipes.

Kosher Asian Recipes
This site has Chinese, Indian, Malaysian, Thai, Burmese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Laotian, Sri Lankan, and Singaporean recipes compatible with kosher dietary guidelines. There is also an Asian Kosher Ingredient List, Cooking Techniques; information about Asian Jews, and about hospitality.

Manong Ken's Carinderia
You'll find Filipino cooking, an English introduction to Filipino cuisine, the Frugal Gourmet about Filipino food, Filipino cookbooks, substitutions for hard to find ingredients; vegetables, fruits, spices, and other Philippine ingredients; recipes; a listing of Filipino restaurants outside of the Philippines.

Mini Asian Food Directory
This site is also known as: 'Singapore Unofficial Food-Secret Asian Food Directory.' It has hundreds of Asian food links.

Muoi Khuntilanont's Kitchen
Information about Thai cuisine and recipes for their traditional food are found here.

New Zealand Wasabi
Look here for Japanese food and folklore, wasabi facts, and recipes using wasabi.

Oriental Foods
Asian recipes and cooking techniques, and a place to find ingredients, gadgets, and cookbooks, nutrition, cooking calculator, Asian food and culture, and links to other sources. There is a search engine and an on-line newsletter, too.

Oriental Pantry
Books on Asian ingredients, housewares, gifts and groceries, as well as custom made fortune cookies. The site also has recipes, mostly Chinese and Japanese.

Rolling Your Own Sushi
There are recipes here and how-to methods with photographs.

Sushi a la Carte
This site has sushi lore, etiquette, ingredients, and sushi vocabulary.

Taste of China
You'll find recipes, some in Chinese and some with photos.

Thai Features
This is an online magazine of Thai cookery and recipes, plus detailed articles on specific ingredients.

Thai Recipes
Traditional Thai recipes exported from cookbooks are generated at this site using MasterCook II software.

The Tokyo Food Page
Here is a guide to Japanese cuisine and eating in Tokyo. There are also recipes, articles on Japanese cooking, restaurant listings, culinary travel tips and links to other sites.

Web Resources for Japanese Food
This site provides links to many Japanese sites not listed on the Tokyo or other food pages.

Other than specific websites, and we've just scratched the surface, we recommend using newsgroups on the web. They are an ever changing feast of discussions, collections of articles, items on subjects of interest to particular groups of users, and more. Interested users submit questions, provide answers, send in interesting tidbits and add items to the discussion, or they may be passive observers (called "lurkers"). Deja and Remarq are search engines with internet discussion networks designed to follow these 'threads,' or series of questions and replies, to a single subject. Here are two that have had and now share items of interest.



Both of these sites allow searches for specific topics that may have been discussed in one of the many newsgroups on the Web. Deja offers more controls, while remarq offers greater speed. Normally, one cannot join in on the discussion with the rest of the list subscribers, without subscribing-but these search engines automate the subscription process for you. They also allow you to track threads that are of particular interest to you.

There are some promising Usenet newsgroups for those interested in Asian foods: They are:


Listservs are like newsgroups, but cannot be 'subscribed to' via the two search engines described above. Instead, one subscribes to them by sending an e-mail message to the administrator of the listserv, asking to subscribe. After you have been recognized by the listserv administrator, any new material added to the listserv will automatically be e-mailed to you. Here are a few Asian food listservs: Instructions on how to subscribe to them are included below.

List: asia-owner@cuy.net
Administrator: majordomo@cuy.net
Subscribe: subscribe asia> in body of message
(all Asian subjects, including food, culture and travel)

Boston Sushi Society List (BSS-L)
List: bss-l@netcom.com
Administrator: listserv@netcom.com
Subscribe: subscribe bss-l firstname lastname

List: j-food-l@jpnknu01.bitnet
Administrator: listserv%jpnknu01.bitnet@pucc.princeton.edu
Subscribe: subscribe j-food-l firstname lastname
(Japanese food and culture)

Many listservs are available in digest form--that is, one can receive all the daily postings to the list in one e-mail (as opposed to receiving all the postings separately). When you subscribe, you will receive an e-mailed confirmation--along with complete instructions on how to post messages to the list, as well as how to unsubscribe. Print out that message and keep it for future reference (some of the more popular listservs can generate over-whelming amounts of e-mail, and you may begin to feel like the sorceror's apprentice).
Gary Allen is a writer and educator at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) where he has taught design principles for bakers, and currently team-teaches a seminar on food and culture. He has written The Resource Guide for Food Writers (Routledge, 1999) and co-authored Remarkable Service (a book on professional table service, for the CIA, soon to be published by Wiley and Sons).

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