The Hakka Cookbook: Chinese Soul Food from around the World

The Hakka Cookbook: Chinese Soul Food from around the World

Linda Lau Anusasananan

Language: English

Pages: 312

ISBN: 0520273281

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Veteran food writer Linda Lau Anusasananan opens the world of Hakka cooking to Western audiences in this fascinating chronicle that traces the rustic cuisine to its roots in a history of multiple migrations. Beginning in her grandmother’s kitchen in California, Anusasananan travels to her family’s home in China, and from there fans out to embrace Hakka cooking across the globe—including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Peru, and beyond. More than thirty home cooks and chefs share their experiences of the Hakka diaspora as they contribute over 140 recipes for everyday Chinese comfort food as well as more elaborate festive specialties.

This book likens Hakka cooking to a nomadic type of “soul food,” or a hearty cooking tradition that responds to a shared history of hardship and oppression. Earthy, honest, and robust, it reflects the diversity of the estimated 75 million Hakka living in China and greater Asia, and in scattered communities around the world—yet still retains a core flavor and technique. Anusasananan’s deep personal connection to the tradition, together with her extensive experience testing and developing recipes, make this book both an intimate journey of discovery and an exciting introduction to a vibrant cuisine.

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onions, including green tops, for garnish Star anise Anusasananan_text.indd 29 5/16/12 9:27 AM Tuesday’s Family Banquet In my first years of school, I always felt like an outsider. We were the only Chinese family in a conservative, all-white retirement town. My father had opened the first Chinese restaurant in town. He worked long hours. The only time we saw him was Tuesday, the day the restaurant closed. Tuesday was the day of the family banquet. All through elementary school, I looked

sweet to pungent. A clear broth is poured over the arrangement, and a spoonful of coarse ground peanuts and sesame seeds tops it off. Much of the prep can be done a day in advance. Slice the vegetables into thin strips, about ¼ inch wide and 2 to 3 inches long. For most greens, simply slice the leaves crosswise and cut in half if too wide. Include the tender stems, unless the recipe specifies only leaves. To find descriptions of unfamiliar vegetables, check the Hakka Pantry (page 247). If you

At first glance, this neighborhood looks like any other Chinatown. Restaurants, gift shops, temples, and markets line the streets. Cabbages the size of bowling balls, long beans, bok choy, and silvery bean sprouts are mounded high on store shelves. Roast ducks the color of polished mahogany and glistening red barbecued pork hang in restaurant windows. Steamed pork buns, sweet dumplings, and cakes tempt from their glass cases. Yet a Latin vibe pulsates through this Chinatown: Spanish phrases are

handicrafts, teaching, and government to supplement the meager farm income. Others served as professional soldiers. Men and women became entrepreneurs, doing whatever they needed to survive. Being shunned forced Hakkas to fight for everything. In their close-knit communities, they developed group identities and protected their own, as evidenced by the impenetrable round, multistory earth fortresses they built in Yongding in Fujian Province. Their distinct dialect bound them together, but it also

9-inch shallow heatproof dish that will fit inside a steamer, such as a Pyrex pie pan, with the oil. Set the dish on a rack over 2 to 4 inches boiling water in a steamer or wok (if the bottom is round, place on a wok ring to stabilize). Preheat the dish, uncovered, over medium heat. If the water evaporates before you’re ready to steam, replenish with more boiling water. 3 In a blender, combine 1½ cups of the water, flour, baking powder, and salt; whirl until smoothly blended, holding the

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