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Published Monday, November 19, 18 | By PaulvHill

Contributed by Dennis Howell BACON WRAPPED WATER CHESTNUTS
Ingredients: 24  Round  toothpicks (Heavy duty – Round) 1 can of “Whole” water chestnuts 3/4 cup dark brown sugar 1 lb thin sliced bacon – cut in half 1 Tb. Chinese cooking wine 1 glass baking dish or pie plate  Preparation: Drain water chestnuts, dry on paper towel then place in small bowl. Add cooking wine and let set for 20 minutes. Dredge bacon in large bowl on both sides with sugar. Place 1 chestnut on bacon and wrap bacon around it and spear it all the way through with a toothpick to secure it. With this method, you can turn the bacon during the cooking  as needed. This preparation can be done hours in advance. Cooking: Preheat oven to 375’. Put the wrapped water chestnuts in the glass baking dish or foil lined pan and into oven and cook till however well you like it cooked (I like mine crisp). You will have to turn some of them during the cooking cycle.  Place on very lightly oiled serving dish. Enjoy    

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Published Monday, November 19, 18 | By PaulvHill

contributed by Ronna Fleischman Tea is the national drink of China. It plays an important role, not only in daily life, but in Chinese history and culture. Tea is associated, in some way, to Chinese literature, art, philosophy and religion. Chinese tea is closely connected with Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.  The Buddhists used to drink tea for deeper understanding of Zen philosophy. Ancient tea drinkers were thought of as gentlemen, highly respected by society, because drinking tea was considered a show of personal morality, education, principle and status. Chinese teahouses were popular with academics, who enjoyed drinking tea while they studied, or met with friends for inspired discussions. Chinese tea-drinking also brought about the production of brewing and drinking vessels, which contributed to China’s rich porcelain culture. Read More 

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Published Monday, November 19, 18 | By PaulvHill

Chinese restaurant is an establishment that serves Chinese cuisine outside China. Most of them are in the Cantonese restaurant style, often adapted to local preferences, as in the American Chinese cuisine and Canadian Chinese cuisine. The Chinese restaurants in the Netherlands usually combine Cantonese and Indonesian meals on their menu. Chinese takeouts (the United States and Canada) or Chinese takeaways (the United Kingdom and Commonwealth) are also found either as components of eat-in establishments or as separate establishments and serve a take-out version of Chinese cuisine.

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Published Monday, November 19, 18 | By PaulvHill

contributed by Ronna Fleischman After a long history of fighting food shortages, China is now self-sufficient in terms of food production. However, the Action Plan on Food Safety, published by China’s Ministry of Health in 2003, described serious risks related to food-induced illnesses, biological and chemical pollutants in food, and food safety supervision by the government. A number of scandals arose, illustrating the severity of the situation, both for native consumers and others around the world trading with China. As a consequence, ensuring food safety became a government priority. In 1965 China introduced its first food safety law—Regulations on the Administration of Food Hygiene. These regulations mainly affected state-owned food producers. The main concern at this time was the security of the food supply rather than the safety of the food itself, and came shortly after the terrible Three-Year Famine. These first regulations failed due to the collapse of the legal system in China in the decade following. Read More 

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Published Monday, November 19, 18 | By PaulvHill

contributed by Ronna Fleischman

Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and sour soup is reputed to be good for colds. To increase the health benefits, feel free to add 2 or 3 teaspoons of finely chopped ginger. For a vegetarian version, leave out the pork. Serves 4. Ingredients
  • 1 cake tofu
  • 2 ounces pork tenderloin
  • Marinade:
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoots
  • 2 tablespoons black fungus (Wood Ear) or Chinese dried mushrooms or fresh mushrooms
  • 1 small handful dried lily buds
  • 6 cups water  and 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red rice vinegar, white rice vinegar, or red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • White pepper to taste
  • Hot chili oil to taste, optional
Directions
  • Shred pork. Mix marinade ingredients and marinate pork for 20 minutes.
  • Cut tofu into small squares. Cut bamboo shoots into thin strips and then into fine slices. To reconstitute the fungus, soak in warm water for 20 minutes. Rinse, and cut into thin pieces. (If substituting Chinese dried mushrooms, soak to soften, then cut off the stems and cut into thin strips. If using fresh mushrooms, wipe clean with a damp cloth and slice.)
  • Bring the water to a boil. Add the bamboo shoots, fungus or mushrooms, and the lily buds. Stir. Add the tofu. Bring back to a boil and add the marinated pork.
  • Stir in the salt, sugar, soy sauce and vinegar and sesame oil.
  • Test the broth and adjust the taste if desired. (If using chicken broth, you may want to add a bit more rice vinegar).
  • Mix the cornstarch and water. Slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the soup, stirring while it is being added. Let the broth come back to a boil. As soon as it is boiling, remove the broth from the stove.
  • Slowly drop in the beaten egg, stirring in one direction at the same time. Add the green onion and the white pepper to taste. Drizzle with chili oil if desired. Serve hot.
Read More 

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Published Monday, November 19, 18 | By PaulvHill

contributed by Ronna Fleischman  Chinese cuisine is considered an art form in its own right. Chinese cooking involves understanding the combination of the ingredients as well as the complex process and special equipment needed. Different ingredients are cooked using different methods, while the same ingredients can be used in various dishes but provide different flavors and appearances.   Read More 

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Published Monday, November 19, 18 | By PaulvHill

contributed by Ronna Fleischman The culinary map of China can be divided into four major quadrants, based on geographical area: Northern or Beijing (Peking) Cuisine China’s North has two very long and distinct seasons, winter and summer. Winters are dry and cold, with temperatures often below freezing. Summers provide intense heat and rain. Its climate, as well as diverse terrain (hills, valleys and rivers) provides great variety in agriculture.  The mainstays of wheat and corn are especially important to the Northern China economy and dominate their dietary needs. Wheat flour is used extensively for noodles, stuffed buns, and dumplings. Although little rice is grown in this region, other plants such as barley, millet, soybeans, cabbage, squash and apples predominately appear in northern Chinese cooking. Read More 

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Published Monday, November 19, 18 | By PaulvHill

contributed by Ronna Fleischman In China, the word for alcohol, “jiu” is used to mean all types of alcoholic beverages, from “pijiu” (beer) to “putao jiu” (wine) and all liquors, simply called “jiu”.  In modern China, alcoholic beverages are classified by the general population by how much intoxication it delivers for the money.  Table wine is at the bottom of the consumer preference list, whereas brandy is closer to the top. Chinese cultural norms encourage social drinking and discourage solitary drinking. Despite the custom of toasting and the playing of drinking games, the Chinese tend to remind themselves not to drink too much when with friends. Most social drinking takes place with a meal. It is still generally frowned upon for a woman to be seen drinking in public, particularly in Chinese-style bars. And drinking and driving, although outlawed in China, is unfortunately common. Read More 

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Published Monday, November 19, 18 | By PaulvHill

Chinese cuisine is an important part of Chinese culture, which includes cuisine originating from the diverse regions of China, as well as from Chinese people in other parts of the world. Because of the Chinese diaspora and historical power of the country, Chinese cuisine has influenced many other cuisines in Asia, with modifications made to cater to local palates. The preference for seasoning and cooking techniques of Chinese provinces depend on differences in historical background and ethnic groups. Geographic features including mountains, rivers, forests, and deserts also have a strong effect on the locally available ingredients, considering the climate of China varies from tropical in the south to subarctic in the northeast. Imperial, royal and noble preference also play a role in the change of Chinese cuisines. Because of imperial expansion and trading, ingredients and cooking techniques from other cultures are integrated into Chinese cuisines over time.

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