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Chinese Food and Cooking: Looking for direction

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LinZhenPu

I'd like to see more about what cooking utensils and appliances you use, what you use them for, where to get to cheap but good quality, how to get rid of ones that are too hard to take with you when you move.

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889

I'm a great fan of your posts: they're wonderful. Don't take the occasional lack of comments as significant; some dishes just lend themselves to more discussion.

Myself, I particularly like the posts describing stuff that's new and different, at least to me. I wouldn't steer away from the exotic and rare.

If you want to branch out a bit, consider a market survey of various common goods. For example,I see all sorts of different types of rice and soy sauce and such and have no idea how they differ. Even Sichuan pepper comes in many shades. So maybe a series of market primers would be interesting.

As for readership, it's just a fact that this is a relatively small forum. And after a week or so, your posts fall down the list and don't attract attention.

I actually thought you were doing these write-ups in preparation for launching your own website on Chinese cooking. You could even have a forum, and be a God mod yourself!

Whatever,I hope you continue making these valuable and interesting contributions.

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gato

加油, abcdefg. Your food posts are great. I was cooking quite a bit last year, but have gotten lazy lately. Will try to cook more often again later this year.

Maybe you could do some posts on cold dishes (凉拌菜) as they are quick and easy.

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abcdefg

Great ideas, guys. I think all of those are eminently doable. Let me put on my thinking hat and return with some ways to implement those suggestions.

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Shelley

Don't take the lack of green points or comments as a  lack of interest or having not done well, when I read your posts, I like to look at the pictures in the larger format, and read the words a couple of times, when I am busy I might just have time for a quick scan and intend to come back later for a more in depth read and comment.

 

Sometimes I don't get back for a couple of days, or it gets missed.

 

They are very much appreciated, you are, as you probably know, considered the forums resident foodie :) Any food questions we all expect a contribution if not a solution from you. :)

 

I would like to see more of what people of all ages and backgrounds in china eat, from traditional foods to things the young and up and coming kids eat. Is there the equivalent of nouvelle cuisine in China and so on?

 

As a nut allergy suffer I will probably never eat food in China, in fact it is one reason I will probably never go to China, but your posts help me join in without breaking out into hives and asthma attacks. :shock:

 

The idea of going over the basics would be helpful, how to make a sauce, or a stew etc. I am interested in what ingredients are in the standard jars of stuff that get used all the time for example what is in oyster sauce?

 

Keep up the good work, it is appreciated.

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imron
how I should proceed with the food and cooking articles I’ve been posting here over the past few years.

As I've mentioned previously, you're lacking a video series with you as a host.

 

It might also be useful to have a single thread, continually updated, which lists all of your threads in the first post (much like the Grand First Episode Project and similar).

 

Definitely don't be discouraged by the lack of green points and replies.  I always look forward to these posts even if I don't comment on them.

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abcdefg

Thanks Shelley and Imron. Some more great suggestions. And I appreciate the supportive comments.

 

As I've mentioned previously, you're lacking a video series with you as a host.

 

Haha, yes, Imron, I remember. Since I usually do these solo, I don't think I'll be able to provide video. Have to draw the line somewhere and it's just more of an investment in equipment and technique than I think I can manage. Maybe at some point down the line I'll become ambitious enough to take that next step.

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Luxi

I not only enjoy your posts, but have even put some into practice, with uneven results I hasten to add. I love the regional aspect in your posts, certainly the Yunnan background in many of them, and the occasional glimpses into street markets, colours, smells, peoples...It makes reading a pleasure even without tasting the dishes. Oh, 对了, the ones about teas are also appreciated  by this reader.

 

If you want requests and suggestions, I'd ask for a few more stews and non-stir frying dishes, my kitchen becomes a 狱 outpost when I stir fry anything, and the fire alarm rings an unbearably long time.

 

A single thread as suggested might be a very good way to find back the recipes. You could go over your posts, copy the recipes and paste them onto a blog...how about? (One Note has been doing it for me but I got all my recipes mixed up and then even my Notebooks in One Note got mixed up)

 

I've noticed a general shortage of up-voting in this forum lately, are we becoming too lazy to click on the arrow or is it that one clicks and nothing happens? I try to click when I see a helpful or interesting post, but maybe I've been forgetting. Will make a point to be more mindful.

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Shelley

Oh well reminded Luxi, yes the teas, I really really liked the tea posts. I got very involved with those and went on tea hunting adventures to my local china town and sampled some nice teas and some not so nice :)

 

Green arrows for all the tea posts, would have given more if it was allowed :)

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imron
It makes reading a pleasure even without tasting the dishes.

Yep.  I also enjoy the extra little details of Yunnan/Chinese life.

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davoosh

I'm guilty of not giving enough green points but I do enjoy the posts - the little anecdotes about Yunnan life and the sourcing of local ingredients and interactions with vendors etc. make for a nice read, even if I don't often cook Chinese food.

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abcdefg

Many thanks to everyone who contributed. Here's what I've distilled from your posts as to content suggestions and topics of interest:

  1. Cooking utensils and appliances for use in the home on the China Mainland. (LinZhenPu)
  2. A critical market survey of common ingredients available here. (889)
  3. More about cold dishes 凉拌菜, particularly ones that are quick and easy. (Gato)
  4. I would like to see more of what people of all ages and backgrounds in china eat, from traditional foods to things the young and up and coming kids eat. Is there the equivalent of nouvelle cuisine in China and so on? (Shelley)
  5. The idea of going over the basics would be helpful, how to make a sauce, or a stew etc. I am interested in what ingredients are in the standard jars of stuff that get used all the time for example what is in oyster sauce? (Shelley)
  6. As I've mentioned previously, you're lacking a video series with you as a host. (Imron)
  7. It might also be useful to have a single thread, continually updated, which lists all of your threads in the first post (much like the Grand First Episode Project and similar). (Imron)
  8. If you want requests and suggestions, I'd ask for a few more stews and non-stir frying dishes, my kitchen becomes a outpost when I stir fry anything, and the fire alarm rings an unbearably long time. (Luxi)
  9. More abut tea (Luxi and Shelley)

I've begun work on an index thread of prior articles (ingredients and recipes) to make the information that is already here more easily used for reference. It can be updated as we proceed. Chinese Forums is already such a fine resource for so much other China lore, maybe it can become a go-to place for China food and cooking information as well.

 

Other projects will follow as time permits with the exception of producing videos. Just don't think I'm up to that challenge, and don't want to promise something I'm unable to deliver.

 

Thanks again!

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Shelley

This all looks good.

 

I don't think the lack of videos is a problem, actually if I am trying to follow one of your recipes the fact the it is text and pictures makes it easy to follow.

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Zeppa

I like your posts on food. What I particularly like is the way you describe how you go to the market and decide what to buy. This makes it personal but it also makes it possible for me to think what I might buy in a Chinese shop in London (like See Woo for example). Your posts act like a guide through a very foreign world. Like Shelley, I don't think videos would improve it for me.

Something about ingredients would be great - I mean, it's already there, but there's always room for more.

 

Do people know Madame Huang's blog? She has just published a book on Chinese cooking and a guide to dim sum. I think she's an American who lived in Taiwan. I will get the dim sum book but the other book I need to see first.

http://carolynjphillips.blogspot.co.uk/

 

I already mentioned it because she talked about making moon cakes. I think she does the same thing abcdefg does in that she guides us foreigners through the maze. It's also something that works online where you can write longish single posts or messages rather than a book of three hundred.

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Flickserve

Like Imron said, do a video and include going to the market to buy utensils and food. Also include a Chinese and English transcript that we can download and learn from.

Lastly, invite all of us round for a tasting session. :). If we can't come round, at least we have the materials to learn how to get around the market, order what we need and cook it ourselves whilst also being able to have a discussion about it in Chinese.

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Angelina

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abcdefg
Lastly, invite all of us round for a tasting session.

 

You are welcome any time you are in town, Flickserve! Just give me a call.

 

I like your summary of these project goals:

 

If we can't come round, at least we have the materials to learn how to get around the market, order what we need and cook it ourselves whilst also being able to have a discussion about it in Chinese.

 

Your post also gave me a related idea which might be useful to others. Namely a glossary of common Chinese food-related terms. They could be useful in the grocery store and in the restaurant as well as in the kitchen. Someone more ambitious than myself might even want to make such a glossary into flashcards.

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Alex_Hart

加油!I think a big part of it is going to be lurkers - I often see guests and anonymous users prowling your posts. Indeed, that's how I originally used this forum until I really wanted to comment. 

 

Would have to say that I really appreciate your vegetarian posts - a week in China has dispelled any illusions that I may have had about it being easy to avoid meat here. 猪油 and meat used as 味道 seem unavoidable, at least in 杭州. Your tea posts have also pushed me to take an elective in "tea culture" while I'm here (whenever it is offered!). A big disappointment is my failure (so far) to track down the markets that you always discuss - the people I've spoken to have no idea what I'm talking about (年轻人  :wall ) as they prefer to shop in malls that put America to shame or in Walmarts that are fancier than the fanciest American Walmart. The search goes on. 

 

While my dorm has a kitchen, it's not particularly... clean ( :help ). I'm looking forward to exploring the art of Chinese cuisine when I visit my girlfriend's home in October, or when I finally find an apartment. In the meanwhile, I continue to look forward to your excellent posts!

 

Also would agree with the index - a sticky with the title and link to different recipes would be awesome. 

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Angelina

There are markets, you haven't found them yet. Usually, a residential area would have their own market. 

 

I (a vegetarian) have been living in Hangzhou for a few years, haven't had any difficulties. 

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