Staple Ingredients of the Chinese Pantry

A couple of days ago, Aileen from Canada wrote to ask me what my favorite brands of some staple Chinese pantry items were. I thought that was a fair question, and is one I have been asked often, so I figured it was high time I got around to actually writing a post listing what […]

Wok Wonderings

I get emails all the time about woks. Where to buy them, what to look for in them, and what to do with them once they come home. Most of them have pretty standard, simple answers, but sometimes I get more complex questions which deserve to be answered publicly. In my experience, for every one […]

More on MSG and Glutamates

When I wrote the post on monosodium glutamate yesterday, I neglected to really explain what glutamates are. Simply put, they are amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. There are specific glutamate receptors on our tongue, which allow us to experience the taste which in Japan is called “umami.” This fifth taste is […]

Let’s Talk About MSG

Long considered to be the culprit in an ailment that has reached “urban mythic status,” even as repeated scientific studies have absolved it of responsibility, MSG, otherwise known as monosodium glutamate, is often considered a “persona non grata” in the kitchens of American Chinese restaurants and home kitchens alike. Blamed as the origin of a […]

Welcoming the Year of the Pig!

Last night was the opening of the week long celebration of Chinese New Year and ushered in the Year of the Pig. Babies born during this year will be gifted with extra luck and wealth, according to the ancient beliefs in Chinese astronomy. In celebration, this week all of my posts will be relating to […]

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