Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
abcdefg

The anatomy of garlic: A key Chinese cooking ingredient

Recommended Posts

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

ChTTay

You should definitely write a cookbook. Worst case self publish it on Amazon or something. 

 

Could target it at people who first come to China (or appear to have with the absolute lack of food knowledge)  and have no idea what they’re going to do food wise. You’ve got your great explanations, some vocabulary in there and some advice about buying. Then of course the recipe. That’s your USP right there. 

 

Of course people just wanting to try cooking real Chinese food would be interested to. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abcdefg

Thanks, @ChTTay -- I keep planning to do that, but I just keep cooking new stuff instead. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OneEye

It would be a no brainer purchase for me and I'm sure many others. While we're requesting, a book on tea would be amazing. :)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ChTTay

Sounds like you need to not “break the chain”. Do a little everyday - 500 words? 

 

 Didn’t  @imron have something called 100% for this? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TheBigZaboon

After reading this thread, and the one on the gift ham, I suggest that rather than a normal cookbook, you produce an e-media electronic version of your skills. The pictures, the detailed breakdowns and illustrations of vegetables, the visits to the market, and hopefully, the final product sizzling or bubbling on a mini-video would be the perfect setting for your expertise.

 

And I'm going to be very, very presumptuous here, and suggest that the Pleco sales platform would benefit from a saleable product with appeal far beyond the relatively small band of Chinese language learners it serves now. A basic cooking vocabulary and sentence app for Chinese language  (i.e., cut, slice, cube, and the like, boil, braise, fry, etc.) will help the language learners, and your already complete explanations on the food itself will appeal to any and all with an interest in Chinese food and cooking.

 

Whaddaya think???

 

TBZ

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ChTTay
38 minutes ago, TheBigZaboon said:

e-media electronic version

Agree! That’s also what I was getting at by amazon self published! ebook

😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
889

Every once in a while I come across a reference to 老蒜头, but I've never been clear what it is or what it's used for. So I looked it up:

 

https://www.jd.com/phb/zhishi/837b678bbea6b5a4.html

 

Seems to be used mainly as a health aid of sorts. But can you use it in cooking?

 

Also, as long as we're playing 20 questions, is garlic historically indigenous to China, or like chiles and potatoes, has it been around for only a few hundred years?

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abcdefg
12 hours ago, 889 said:

Seems to be used mainly as a health aid of sorts. But can you use it in cooking?

 

I don't know. I've seen white-skin garlic and purple-skin garlic locally, but I really am not familiar with aged garlic 老蒜。The guy from whom I usually buy garlic at the local market has a nearly impenetrable accent but I'll try asking him about it next time I go. He sells garlic and ginger; those are his specialties. He's the one who taught me about young ginger 生姜 and old ginger 老姜, so maybe he knows. 

 

12 hours ago, 889 said:

Also, as long as we're playing 20 questions, is garlic historically indigenous to China, or like chiles and potatoes, has it been around for only a few hundred years?

 

This is another of those things I don't know from any particularly authoritative source, but Baidu says garlic was brought in from the Western Regions during the Qin and the Han. 大蒜是秦汉时从西域传入中国... From other things I've read, "Western Regions" mainly refers to Qinghai, Xinjiang, and Tibet. Maybe even parts of Central Asia. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shelley

I think a good start to a book electronic or other would be just to collate all the posts here on the forum. Perhaps organise them in to related items or a timeline or a mixture of both.

 

If you think about it you have probably have written a good sized book here already:D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shelley

They look a bit like what we call spring onions here in the UK 

 

51-Spring-onions-800x534.thumb.png.505e47bbedb65a823f0fd6e8b4e8d3e1.png

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
889

But try to make spring onion cakes with 蒜苗 or 蒜苔 and you won't get the taste you expect, though the look may be similar.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abcdefg

Agree with @889 -- Spring onions have a somewhat similar appearance, but they have an onion taste, not a garlic taste. 

 

From a culinary standpoint, garlic has three parts: 1.) the garlic head, which stays underground until harvest, 2.) the single garlic stem or scape which ends in an unopened flower, and 3.) numerous garlic leaves. The leaves can be trimmed and used in cooking as 蒜苗 suanmiao. The single garlic stem which ends in an unopened flower, known as 蒜苔 suantai is cut away to allow the garlic bulb to grow larger. It incidentally provide a tasty cooking ingredient. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abcdefg
On 4/1/2019 at 3:57 PM, TheBigZaboon said:

After reading this thread, and the one on the gift ham, I suggest that rather than a normal cookbook, you produce an e-media electronic version of your skills. The pictures, the detailed breakdowns and illustrations of vegetables, the visits to the market, and hopefully, the final product sizzling or bubbling on a mini-video would be the perfect setting for your expertise.

 

I appreciate your vote of confidence, as i do that of other members who have commented favorably and urged me to publish a book of Yunnan food, Yunnan cooking, and Yunnan eating. I would love to do it; successful completion of such a project would bring me great joy. 

 

The problem is, you might as well be exhorting me to swim in the sea like a dolphin of fly in the sky like an eagle. I have no idea what needs to be done to publish such a book. I have no idea how to go about it. Don't know what steps are involved. 

 

Actually I have pretty good work habits and nearly always see my projects through to the end. I have a good record of task completion, seldom drop things half done. Also, I've never been accused of being lazy by friends in the know. But those desirable traits are not enough.

 

I need to know how to break down the project into its component parts; I need to know what needs doing and when. Tomorrow maybe I can Google the subject: "How to publish my book." 

 

Thanks for your urging and encouragement. If any of you have specific knowledge about how to tackle the project, please say so. I really do need help in understanding how to go about it.

 

23 hours ago, Shelley said:

I think a good start to a book electronic or other would be just to collate all the posts here on the forum. Perhaps organise them in to related items or a timeline or a mixture of both.

 

Thanks, Shelley, that's helpful. I tend to use seasonal ingredients and cook spring food in the spring, autumn food in the fall. Maybe arranging content by seasons would be the way to go. Especially since here in Yunnan fresh vegetables and fruits have relatively short growing seasons. One day the ingredient you seek is nowhere to be found, then for a few weeks it's everywhere you look. And finally, without warning, it disappears until next year. 

 

Seasonal, regional cooking is what I mainly do and it's what I write up for you in these forum pages. So perhaps what I publish should be a guide to the authentic seasonal and regional food of Yunnan: How to shop for ingredients, how to make good dishes with them at home, how to find these items in restaurants if you happen to just be visiting the area.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bibu

@abcdefg

 

reminds me a lot of China touring books by Laowai, her e is one, LOL

 

But that's all shove be'ind me - long ago an' fur away 
An' there ain't no 'busses runnin' from the Bank to Mandalay;
An' I'm learnin' 'ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells:
"If you've 'eard the East a-callin', you won't never 'eed naught else."
No! you won't 'eed nothin' else
But them spicy garlic smells,
An' the sunshine an' the palm-trees an' the tinkly temple-bells;
On the road to Mandalay...

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abcdefg

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren't no Ten Commandments an' a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin', an' it's there that I would be
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
O the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay !

  • Like 1
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
somethingfunny
On 4/1/2019 at 6:23 AM, abcdefg said:

 

When the garlic is eventually harvested, the bulb is gently dug up and the long leaves are left attached. It is hung upside down for weeks or months to get firm and dry. Then the garlic bulbs are trimmed and sold. Some are held back to divide into cloves and plant for next year's crop.

 

This is interesting.  Is that the same for the garlic I buy in the supermarket here in the UK?  It hangs for week or months but then as soon as I buy it then a day later it's already starting to sprout.  I think I'm storing it wrong.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shelley

It needs to be really dry.

If you put it in the fridge that is moist environment. Just in your kitchen is probably moister than where is was dried.

 

All these pots are glass or ceramic to keep it dry but allow it to breath. https://www.google.com/search?q=garlic+storage+pot&rlz=1C1CHBD_en-GBGB796GB796&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiP98PErLThAhVKQRUIHUwfBm8Q_AUIDygC&biw=1176&bih=688

 

Terracotta is good because it absorbs moisture in the air and keeps it off the garlic.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abcdefg

Shelley nailed it! Agree completely with her comments. Don't put garlic n the refrigerator. Keep it in a cool dry place in the kitchen, out of direct sunlight. 

 

    1155714221_garlicpot-800px.thumb.jpg.d397dde8c0ca80f01e4f892d0aec3ef7.jpg

 

 

I used to have a terracotta garlic pot that looked a lot like this one. It had holes on both sides. It was ideal. Seeing it now makes me want to go seek out another one to replace it. Garlic kept a very long time and never spoiled. It was a worthwhile investment. 

 

In those days (back in the US) I also used to frequently make roast garlic.  Would trim the top off a whole head of garlic and drizzle it with olive oil.  Then wrap it in aluminum foil and roast it in a low-heat over until it was soft. Or I would just tuck a couple heads of garlic into a corner of the oven when I was baking bread. Used that roast garlic as a condiment and even sometimes as a spread. Dynamite topping for pizza. So much rich flavor! 

 

 

Now, here in Kunming I have a cheap plastic one, which has lots of openings in its lid. Inherited it from my landlord. Works pretty well, because the climate here is cool and dry. Ginger 老姜 requires the same storage conditions, and I keep it together with my garlic, as shown here. 

 

1880661436_IMG_7452-800px.thumb.jpg.f7b22fe8611d3d06e1e65efacd78cb86.jpg          1549156453_IMG_7456-800px(2).thumb.jpg.07cdb79719947d150cd7b0379223c0c0.jpg

 

 

Quote

I think I'm storing it wrong.

 

If nothing else, keep it in a paper bag with an open top. Just set it in a cupboard. Never leave it in the plastic bag that came from the store. 

 

In learning about garlic, I found quite a few videos, Youtube as well as Chinese ones, describing the process with clear pictures. Most were posted by home gardeners, people who grew lots of garlic, mostly for their family and friends. One grew extra to sell in a farmer's market. How it is planted and harvested varies a lot with the climate. For example, one garlic gardener from Main had a very different schedule from another gardner in Texas. Not really surprising. Lots of China's garlic comes from Shandong 山东省, but Yunnan produces much of its own, mainly in and around Dali 大理市。

 

How it is hung and stored also seems to vary. Most discussions that I found suggest not trimming the tops or removing the roots ("the beard") for weeks or months, mainly depending on climate. Also, since not all garlic varieties are the same, the curing process is not uniform and must be adapted accordingly. 

 

705891851_fromvid-800px.thumb.jpg.f93007624770a2834c3e23e589c63197.jpgIt's hung like this, with the bulb down, in a barn or someplace similar which is cool and dry and with good air circulation. When I said "hung upside down" in an earlier part of this thread, that was misleading. What I meant was bulb down, as shown here.  (I will go back and fix it right now.)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kay Anne
On 4/1/2019 at 1:23 AM, abcdefg said:

Dusuan 独蒜

 

I would love to be able to grow this at home in the US.  I did a search but can't find anything...

 

p.s. Definitely do a cookbook of some form!  Well done, beautiful pictures.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...