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Sichuan (China) Cuisine in Both Chinese and English

by: Lu Yin and Du Li

Chengdu China: Si Chuan Ke Xue Ji Shu Chu Ban She 2014, Hardbound
ISBN: 978-7-5364-6964-8

Winter Volume: 2016 Issue: 23(4) page(s): 17

In its preface by Linda Lioa Bokang, we are told that Sichuan Cuisine is one of the most loved of local favors. It has a long history, high reputation, and is an inseparable part of China's culinary culture. The book's one hundred and eighty recipes were organized and tested in 2008 by the Sichuan Higher Institute of Cuisine and the Sichuan Gourmet Association. They use this region's wide range of ingredients, seasonings, and cooking techniques, and make dishes in many categories, and include unique local folk customs in their food culture.

The recipes were selected using newspaper and internet voting and input of local experts, their English checked by two well-known food experts, Fuchsia Dunlop of Britain's BBC and Professor Shirley Cheng of Hyde Park New York's Culinary Institute of America. Both are masters of this cuisine and taught in culinary schools in Chengdu, this province's capital city. Actually first published in 2010, my 2014 edition includes dishes assigned to different experts comparing preparation processes, background information, and more.

Sichuan, in the upper reaches of the Cangjiang River, is referred to as 'The Land of Abundance.' It uses more than thirty different cooking techniques in its recipes, most using more than one of them in a dish. Their fertile fields and well-stocked rivers include numbing, hot, sweet, salty, sour, and many bitter flavorings in foods from six waves of immigration that married foods from different regions with people from their many ethnic groups.

There is well salt from Zigong, sugar from Neijiang, Baoning vinegar from Langzhou, Pixian chili bean sauce from Zhingba, fermented soybeans from Yungchuan, Hanyuan's Sichuan peppers, Yibin's yacai, Nanchong's dongcai, Chengdu's erjingtiao chili peppers, and more used in many of their dishes, snacks, and hot pots. This province has more than five thousand local dishes and is still inventing others. A noted expression here is "China is an ideal place to feed the appetite, Sichuan the best place to satisfy the taste buds."

They are in the book’s appetizer; seafood, mountain, river, poultry, meat, and vegetable hot dishes; hot pots, and snacks. It features seventeen featured seasonings and twelve culinary terms showing color photographs of every dish in large and small color photographs for every recipes it includes.
Chicken Curd
400 g chicken breast
20 g tender leafy vegetables
300 g egg white
2500 ml consomme
2 g salt
50 g cornstarch-water mixture
1. Cut the chicken into strips and transfer to a mixer. Add water into the mixer and stir into a paste. Transfer to a big bowl, add egg white, salt, and cornstarch-mixture and stir into chicken batter. Blanch vegetables and set them aside.
2. Heat wok, add the consomme and bring to the boil. Pour in the chicken batter, simmer until fully cooked, then ladle into a soup bowl. Pour some consomme into the soup bowl and put the blanched vegetables on the chicken; then serve.

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