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TOPICS INCLUDE: Dried meat; Why use unusual ingredients; Kudos

by Jacqueline M. Newman

Letters to the Editor

Spring Volume: 2001 Issue: 8(1) page(s): 8 and 28

From LINDA via e-mail:
I commend your wonderful magazine and wish you continued success.
LINDA: Your message is a wonderful way to start our eighth year of publication, and we thank you and others who continue to send kind thoughts. We hope to continue deserving them.

Can you tell me where to purchase dried beef made the Chinese way? And, is this called beef jerky?
NANCY: Starting with the second question first, the answer is no because classically, jerky was from the Carribean and parts thereabouts. The Indians called their version pemmican, and the Chinese just call it dried beef. Let me advise that they also dry pork, lamb, and other meats. As we are based in New York we suggest:
Ping's Dried Beef, 58 Mulberry Street, New York City; phone: (212) 732-0850, and
New Beef King, 89 Bayard Street, New York City; phone: (212) 233-6612.
Both sell mail order; and both make the meats in thin slices or chunks. No matter where you live, you can enjoy dried items and use them in dishes such as: Oyster Flavor Pork or Beef, Spicy Pork, Fruit Flavor Beef, Thick Curry Spicy Beef, and Spicy Muscle. Note: For mail orders, there is a one pound minimum and costs vary beginning at about ten dollars per pound. It is well worth it because pre-packaged dried meats in Asian supermarkets are not as fresh nor as tasty. Should you want to try your hand at making your own, at the bottom of this column are two different ways to do so.

From STEVE in WORCESTER VT: I find many good articles in your publication, but do wonder why you continue to print so many recipes with such obscure ingredients?
What I love about your magazine is that you step up to the plate and print the ordinary and the extraordinary. Pork recipes are a dime a dozen, but my cookbooks have only one single recipe for silkworm pupa. Funny thing is that recently I saw them in an herb food store, dried of course. Wondered what you do with them, the staff there looked blank when I asked. Now, I must go back and try them. Do thank M. Leung, whoever he or she may be.
STEVE and SARA: Your letters arrived the same day. They speak to the dilemma this and every food editor has. Thanks to both of you for writing, and for enjoying the fruits of many people's labors.

From LOUISE in Longview WA:
Along with my renewal, I want to send a note to say how much I have enjoyed your quality publication. I have learned much and enjoy it immensely. After reading the two reviews from the Vancouver BC area, we made a trip up there and found another wonderful Chinese restaurant in Richmond BC. It is Wing Kee, No. 3 Road just south of the intersection of Westminster Road. Our meal was reasonably priced and the authentic Chinese food excellent. We look forward to going there again.
LOUISE and OTHERS who offer kind words: Your many complimentary letters warm our hearts. They make all efforts worth while. Louise, yours was but one of many shared experiences. We share it because when we called a friend who lives there, she concurred and spoke, as you did, of the loyal families and friends who adore the place. We thank you one and all for the compliments, welcome your continued input and your readership, and we hope to continue bringing you enjoyable reading and learning.

We enjoy reading your magazine, particularly the: Vegetables as Food and Medicine: Part One in the Winter issue. Can not wait to read the following issue.
To the DOZENS, all Chinese, who complimented that article and the one titled: Fruits as Medicine, many thanks. How many of you are American-born Chinese? We wonder if the interest is the same no matter where you were born. We also wonder what information of a similar nature you want to read about other than Part Two of Vegetables as Food and Medicine in this issue.
Many Flavored Beef Slices
2 scallions
2 slices fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon black or white pepper
1 small chili pepper
1 teaspoon dried tangerine peel
2 Tablespoons coarse salt
1 pound flank steak
1. Mix scallions with two tablespoons warm water and set aside for half an hour. Strain solids out pressing out as much liquid as you can. Reserve this scallion water.
2. Do the same with the ginger reserving the ginger water.
3. Grind peppers, tangerine peel, and salt. Then add half of both scallion and ginger juice and make into a paste. Add the rest if needed.
4. Simmer the beef for twenty minutes. cool and cut into very thin slices.
5. Spread the paste over every piece of meat and pack then tightly into a small jar or container, close, and put this into the refrigerate for two days.
6. Remove slices, rinse them, and put on a baking sheet. Bake at 200 degrees F until very dry; this takes several hours, then cool and store in a very dry place.
Note:These can be frozen and re-baked for about an hour before use. Traditionally only a small amount of this meat is used as a snack item, often served with tea or with dim sum.

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