Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Simple Chinese Cooking

One of my goals for the new year was to have a dinner party every month. So far, I've kept to my promise (though in March it was an Easter brunch, not dinner). In February I made a Chinese feast for the Chinese New Year. I cooked several recipes from the book Simple Chinese Cooking by Kylie Wong. Based on my experiences with Wong's recipes, I couldn't recommend this book highly enough. The vegetable fried rice recipe with ginger is particularly good.

When I had set out to cook a Chinese meal I was a little nervous at the prospect of cooking a new cuisine (because really who actually cooks Chinese food, especially in New York). It really wasn't harder than any other kind of cooking. I did have to buy some staples of Chinese cooking like sesame oil, chili oil and rice wine vinegar, but the cooking itself was very straightforward. However, as a warning to all: The prep work for a Chinese meal is immense. I literally spent a whole day chopping, dicing and shredding, and I still wasn't ready when my guests arrived. (Dearest friends, thank you for your patience with the meal.)

I also used a recipe from the every reliable Every Day Food magazine (thank you, Martha). Specifically, I made these cold sesame noodles. A yummy recipe, but the noodles get a little soggy if you save them as leftovers.

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