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Cultural Revolution Cookbook, The

by: Gong, Sasha and Seligman, Scott

Hong Kong China: Earnshaw Books Ltd. 2011, Paperback
ISBN: 978-98819984-6-0

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Fall Volume: 2012 Issue: 19(3) page(s): 23

Start out learning about the cultural revolution and Sasha Gong's experiences during it. The book helps provide a time-line/chronology of those times, 1949 through 1979. Then enjoy the seventy recipes in chapters titled: Vegetables and Tofu; Poultry; Pork; Beef and Lamb; Seafood; Eggs; Rice and Noodles; Soup; Dessert.

With city folk sent to the countryside in those tough times, and food in short supply, many folk famished, too. One easily understands why the recipes are simple though heathy. Each one has a full-page color photograph of its completed dish, and a sentence or two with cookery comment. Most use little seasoning and few accompaniments; also signs of those times. Every recipe, on its ingredient/preparation page, includes a political poster and an explanation of why it is related. Most have a color picture of the completed dish, a quote or explanation, and a date.
Pan-fried Salmon in a Fragrant Sauce
2 scallions
3 to 4 Tablespoons cooking oil
1 large salmon filet, about half- to one-inch thick
2 Tablespoons thin soy sauce
1. Slice the scallions on the bias into two-inch lengths.
2. Heat the oil in a flat-bottomed pan until it begins to smoke. Add the salmon and pan-fry on one side for about ten seconds or longer if a thick filet, then turn it over and add the scallions.
3. After another ten seconds, cover the pan tightly and turn off the heat. Allow the pan to sit on te burner for one additional minute, then remove from the wok.
4. Sprinkle with soy sauce, and serve.

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