Blog Archives

Ready to Share My New Cookbook with You: Roz Weitzman’s World of Yunnan Cuisine

Roz Weitzman's World of Yunnan Cuisine

I am thrilled that my ebook, pdf and soft cover editions of “Roz Weitzman’s World of Yunnan Cuisine” are finished and ready to share with you on my newly launched website http://www.rozweitzmansworld.com!

It’s been such a fun (and tasty too) recipe writing, cooking, photographing, illustrating and getting ‘Chinese’-creative in the kitchen!

Buy it Now

Yunnan is located in southwest China and borders Myanmar, Lao and Viet Nam

What’s included?

70+ Yunnan recipes and beautiful illustrations of the food

  • completely made from scratch
  • few difficult to find ingredients
  • suitable for any cooking level whether you are a beginner or a pro
  • most use a simple wok and no fancy equipment
  • notes about Yunnan Tea Culture and Tea Brewing
  • interesting reads about Local Yunnan Food Culture including a ‘walk’ through a Local Wet Market
  • stories about the people in a Local Wet Market, ‘The Bread Couple’ and ‘The Fruit Lady’
  • how to cut ingredients the Chinese way with a cleaver

BONUS

  • meal menu plans
  • shopping and food prep tips
  • suggestions for how to spice it up or ramp it down
  • and more!


Why this book?

There any many, many cookbooks out there. So what sets  “Roz Weitzman’s World of Yunnan Cuisine”apart?

  • No hard-to-find ingredients – everyone has the access and budget!
  • No difficult techniques – Yunnan food isn’t tough to make!
  • Short prep and cook time – people are busy! Most recipes take 30 minutes or less to make.
  • No fancy equipment – all you need is a wok pan, a pot, a wok spatula and a cleaver.
  • Single/four-serving – but easily scalable to feed more or less!
  • No more boring Chinese Stir Fry!

Available in softcover, epub, mobi, and pdf!
Let me prove to you that ANYONE can cook mind-blowingly delicious and simple Yunnan Cuisine with accessible ingredients.

If you are a beginner: this is the perfect book for you. I will guide you, step by step, from grocery shopping –> prep –> creating inspiring food.

If you are an experienced cook: this is also the perfect book for you. Use my recipes, traditional Yunnan flavors, and methods as inspiration to build upon!

 
Order this book online , directly from Roz if you’re in China through a Chinese bank transfer or I’ll send to you in mid-July when I’ll be bringing copies to Toronto.
Soft cover book is $22.00 + Shipping or 132 RMB + Shipping

Buy it Now

Order this book now!

Feel free to forward this email to someone who likes cookbooks.

Advertisements

Articles & Recipes Published in www.gokunming.com

As a regular contributor and resident chef of the ezine, GoKunming, the following recipes and articles have been published to date:

Exploring Kunming Bread: Guandu Baba December 24, 2013

Yunnan-Style Sweet & Sour Ribs May 28, 2013

Yunnan Copper Pot Rice April 19, 2013

Yunnan-Style Hong Shao Rou March 19, 2013

Yunnan Mint & Green Onions February 27, 2013

Yunnan-Style Red Beans & Shiitakes January 29, 2013

Yunnan-Style Tomato Salad December 24, 2012

Yunnan Shredded Chicken With Chili Sauce November 29, 2012

Yunnan Spicy Taro & Greens November 11, 2012

Yunnan-Style Pork & Egg Custard October 2, 2012

Yunnan-Style Lotus Root & Pork September 16, 2012

Yunnan-Style Edamame Beans & Garlic September 1, 2012

Check out my illustrated version of my Chinese cookbook…

Looking to cook something different for dinner….check out my latest cookbook, Roz Weitzman’s World of Chinese Comfort Food, Illustrated Version at the Apple iTunes Store:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/roz-weitzmans-world-chinese/id646072788?mt=11

Roz Weitzman's World of Chinese Comfort Food, illustrated Version

Roz Weitzman’s World of Chinese Comfort Food, illustrated Version

My Yunnan Recipes Posted in gokunming.com

10 Yunnan Recipes on GoKunming.com! Check them out!

If you try any of these recipes, I would love to have your feedback in my Comment Box:

  1. Copper pot rice April 19, 2013
  2. Yunnan-style Hongshaorou March 19, 2013
  3. Mint and green onions February 27, 2013
  4. Yunnan-style red beans and shiitakes January 29, 2013
  5. Yunnan-style tomato salad December 24, 2012
  6. Shredded chicken with chili sauce November 29, 2012
  7. Spicy taro and greens November 11, 2012
  8. Yunnan-style pork and egg custard October 2, 2012
  9. Yunnan-style lotus root and pork September 16, 2012
  10. Yunnan-style edamame beans and garlic September 1, 2012

NEWLY PUBLISHED:  Have a look at my ecookbook, “Roz Weitzman’s World of Chinese Comfort Food” on Amazon.com and Lulu.com

Yunnan Copper Pot Rice – Tong Guo Fan 铜锅饭

Yunnan Copper Pot Rice

Yunnan Copper Pot Rice

In the FuXian Lake district near Kunming, there are many resorts popping up all on this deep, freshwater lake. It’s a summer resort destination for many tourists from the province as well as around China. The restaurants around the lake serve visitors delicious traditional delicacies native to the area. The most popular dishes are Copper Pot Fish and Copper Pot Rice. The popularity of their food arises from the use of simple, local ingredients (the fish come from the lake and Xuan Wei Ham is locally produced in Yunnan by salting and drying pork legs).

Xuan Wei Ham is used in this recipe and is reputed as one of the most famous hams in China; it’s a rich and tender pork, with a lovely aroma, a beautiful appearance and a delicious taste. Although produced in Yunnan since the mid-1700’s, the history of its popularity goes back 1909 when an entrepreneur in Xuan Wei City in the north-east of Yunnan Province to production into the ham-processing business to make this salt-cured and air or smoke-dried ham. Xuan Wei Ham has been a sought after food product and delicacy ever since it made it’s debut at the Panama-California Exposition from 1915 to 1917. This exposition was held in Balboa Park, San Diego, USA to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal.

This dish gets its wonderful flavour from the Xuan Wei Ham. You can find deceivingly small copper pot at a Kitchen Market at Da Shang Hui for around 220rmb. Mine is the smallest size and a cute little pot that would be triple or quadruple the price were it bought in North America. Using the proportions here, the finished dish just barely covered the bottom of the pot but nonetheless produced a scrumptious combination, reminiscent of my holiday at FuXian Lake and worth every penny – er…rmb!

Yunnan Copper Pot

Yunnan Copper Pot

Serves 2-3

2/3 cup oil, divided

1 cup uncooked rice

3 – 4 cups of water, divided

1 cup Yunnan Xuan Wei ham cut into 1 cm cubes, using the fatty pieces as well as the meat

2 large potatoes, peeled and cut in small 2 cm pieces

Yunnan Xuan Wei Ham

Yunnan Xuan Wei Ham

Coat the copper pot inner wall with 1 tablespoon of oil.

Coat the pot with oil

Coat the pot with oil

Soak the rice in 2 cups of water for two hours. Drain the water and place the rice in the copper pot.

Heat a wok. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and heat over medium high temperature. Fry the Xuan Wei Ham cubes in the oil until they are crispy and browned around the edges and have a pale-coloured, cooked appearance. Remove the ham with a slotted spoon and put the cubes into the copper pot, leaving the oil in the wok.

Add the remaining oil to the wok and heat to very hot. Dry the potato chunks with paper towel and then carefully add them to the oil to prevent oil splatter, frying and turning frequently until the potato chunks are cooked on the inside and golden brown and crispy on the outside, which will take about 10 minutes. You may need to add more oil.

Put the potatoes in the pot together with the rice and ham and stir, adding 2 cups of water.

Yunnan Copper Pot Rice - mix the ingredients together in the pot

Yunnan Copper Pot Rice – mix the ingredients together in the pot

Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil on a high fire. Once the water is boiling, give the ingredients one stir and turn the heat to low. Then cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Check the rice at 10-minute intervals and add more water if necessary.

Remove from the heat, place the pot on a trivet on the table and your delicious copper pot rice is ready to serve straight from the copper pot. Enjoy!

7 Yunnan Recipes on GoKunming – Check them out!

If you try any of these recipes, I would love to have your feedback in my Comment’s Box:

NEWLY PUBLISHED:  Have a look at my ecookbook, “Roz Weitzman’s World of Chinese Comfort Food” on Amazon.com and Lulu.com

More About the Local Wet Market

My local wet market is a convenient distance from my apartment, about 2 city blocks. A few times a week, I walk over to see the freshest and newest veggies and fruit of the season. Over the years I’ve learned that one should follow what the locals are eating. In that way I eat fresh and high quality produce. Locals go to the market for their food supplies each day. But early morning isn’t usually the best time to get fresh things. It’s widely known that this produce is left overs from the day before, so later in the day is a good time to shop.

Vegetables at local wet market in China

Skins of pomello are taken off the fruit by making regular cuts into the skin and then removing the fruit all in one go!

Pomello skins at Local Wet Market

When I first began living in China the wet market was a scary place for me. The strange smells, so many completely foreign products and produce, different methods of doing daily business with no prices marked and the almost complete lack of cleanliness were overwhelming to me. Stacks of eggs of all kinds, shapes and sizes like small quail eggs, preserved duck eggs, and large ostrich eggs were daunting. I didn’t like buying eggs that weren’t refrigerated, or meat that was left out in the open, covered with flies, not to mention the animal parts hanging from hooks. Quite strange to me were the meats cut on chopping boards made from slices of tree trunks with a metal ring and two handles attached around the outside. But now it seems perfectly normal to me, maybe better than those plastic cutting boards we are all using these days!

Cleaver and Tree Trunk Cutting Board at Local Wet Market

Squabs or quails are cooked in turning roasting ovens and sold whole. The smells are enticing.

Roasted Squab For Sale at Local Wet Market

Getting used to the units of measurements was a bit difficult at first, but quickly I got to know the measures. Chinese foods are sold by the ‘jin’ which is 500 grams or a little over one pound and vendors will usually quote the price per jin. Smaller measures are ‘ke’ which is a gram, and ‘liang’, a tenth of a jin or 50 grams. And purchasing from the same vendors is to your benefit, building a relationship of trust and friendliness.

You won’t find fresh herbs at the local wet market; the closest thing you will find is cilantro and now in this southern climate I can buy fresh mint. I’ve got a new recipe for mint and green onion that I am looking forward to preparing, so that will likely be my next post. Cilantro is plentiful and a fantastic herb to use in dressings, sauces, soups and is added to all main dishes both for colour and splendid taste. Multiple varieties of garlic, ginger, and green onions also make cooking a real treat.

As time has gone on, I grown to love my trips to the market, even regularly trying new things that I’ve never eaten before. This local cake is sold by vendors on street corners. I’ve wanted to try it but felt I’d be getting too heavy a dose of dirt along with the cake so I never did. But the man sells his cake covered well and therefore the hygiene seemed better. The cake is sprinkled with sesame seeds…I love sesame seeds… and has the taste of a ginger/honey cake. A little on the dry side but nice just the same.

Yunnan Spice Cake Sold at Local Wet Market

Yunnan Spice Cake Sold at Local Wet Market

Now shopping at the local “wet” markets is always extremely rewarding. Not only are the financial rewards great, with the costs being low for locals, but it helps keep plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in my diet. Shopping in the local wet market made me become aware of the economy and resources around me.

I’ve been told that there is a Kunming market that sells Gan Ba Jun or Dried Beef Mushrooms that have already been cleaned and sell for a very healthy sum. One day when I am really in ‘desperate need’ of the scrumptious taste, I’ll figure out where to go to get them, but buying that without being cleaned is not is the cards. I had bought one and half pounds of them for a party a while back and it took three of us 5 hours to clean them. So that’s not the kind of fun activity for me!

As promised, my recipe for Gan Ba Jun Wild Mushrooms:

Gan Ba Jun Mushrooms, Yunnan Style

Gan Ba Jun Mushrooms, Yunnan Style

Serves 4

½ cup oil (for some good reason, the Chinese insist on using a lot of oil for cooking wild mushrooms – I have yet to learn why)

8-10 long green chillies, sliced

1 pound gan ba jun wild mushroom pieces

½ teaspoon salt

Heat the wok, add the oil and heat the oil. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the chillies.

Add the mushrooms and cook over a medium to medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes, or until well cooked. Add the salt.

Dish up on a serving platter and eat with rice.

A Trip to the Countryside Outside Kunming

A Trip to the Countryside Outside Kunming

Being a teacher, I was invited to join my friends with their children who were off to celebrate Teacher’s Day. The skies were blue and the weather was end-of-summer-like. A perfect day to go to the farm and pick our own vegetables.

In Canada, when you say you are going to the farm, you picture a huge, flat piece of rolling land out in the country. A farm in Yunnan is a very different picture. Yunnan’s mountainous terrain makes it almost impossible to find flat land.  This farm was nestled in the valley of rolling land and the plots of vegetables are interspersed with handmade rivulets of fresh water from the fish pod at the center of the valley. We picked corn, potatoes, romaine lettuce, squash, eggplant hot chilli peppers, cabbage, green onions, cilantro, mint, runner beans, and radishes. Sitting by the first rivulet, we spent more than an hour chatting in the sun, diligently cleaning the fresh produce with fresh clean water by the stream while the children ran up and down the hills, trying to catch fish, and feeding and chasing the donkeys.  

The women are afraid of the UV rays of the sun, since Yunnan is in a high altitude plain…almost 2000 meters high…so we are closer to the sun and therefore the harmful effects. I took the job of shelling the beans.

We barbecued the corn in their husks and potatoes in their skins on an open fire.

The kitchen, no running water, hundreds of flies, a huge wok built into the counter with a wood-burning fire underneath, concrete floor…the farmer’s kitchen. All the women joined in the cooking, each one doing a different dish. I watched and took notes – more fodder for my next cookbook, Secrets of Yunnan Cuisine.

I was impressed to see an entire little plot of mint growing, I never did see mint in Beijing or in Qingdao, so this was a treat. When I mentioned this to QiuPing, the fact that also loved the taste of mint and now use it in many of my dishes, she said she would make me a special dish. Yes, she was right, it was special. The mint dish is in the bottom left hand corner.

We all joined in a wonderful vegetable lunch served outside under the canopy of the pine trees and beside the open fire pit.

Yunnan Mint and Green Onion

Serves 4

 

3 tablespoons oil

2 – 3 cups chopped fresh mint, leaves and stems

2 – 3 cups chopped green onion, white and green parts

1 teaspoon Chinese chicken bouillion granules*

1-2 teaspoons soy sauce

 

Heat the wok, add the oil, and wait for the oil to heat up again. Add the mint and the green onion in equal proportions and stir-fry for one to two minutes or until the greens are almost cooked, but still brightly green in colour.

 

Ass the remaining seasonings and mix thoroughly, continuing to cook for an additional minute.

 

Serve hot with other dishes and steamed rice.

Dian Dou Hua, the Yunnan Version of Custard

Another specialty of Yunnan Province, Dian Dou Hua (豆花), or Dofu Hua (豆腐花) is literally translated as bean curd flower.

Dou Hua is soft, warm tofu served covered with toppings that add crunch and flavour. This popular Chinese snack or addition to a meal is custardy tofu topped with a variety of tangy toppings from mild flavours of green onion, soy sauce, and sesame oil to intensely flavored chilli oil, pickled vegetables, and stir-fried meat mixtures. The toppings are savoury, spicy, tart, and rich.

My first experience with Dian Dou Hua was in a Kunming restaurant called Square Street Restaurant near the International Conference Centre and the old Kunming Airport. This place serves up traditional local Yunnan/Kunming cuisine and they offer the most refreshing bright yellow and light German Beer made at their own microbrewery. The Dian Dou Hua must be ordered in advance (ordered in the morning for a dinner reservation). It comes to the table in a very hot crock-pot that has been cooked in a very hot and larger cooking crock-pot with many other orders of this simple yet delicious delicacy.

At the table, one must wait about 10 minutes for the dofu to do it’s thing – that is, it arrives in liquid form and congeals to a soft, custard-like consistency, just like ‘baby food’ – and smooth as silk. Once it sets up, the Dian Do Hua is ladled out into small bowls and served with a spicy, chilli oil sauce containing small amounts of ground meat, pickled vegetables and chopped chillies. I’m not much for spicy but in this province, the word is ‘spicy’ for most dishes and I am getting used to the attraction of hot and spicy. The combination of the smooth, mushy dofu and the crunchy, spicy topping is enchanting.

Perhaps they do the same thing here in Kunming, but I’ve never see it but in Sichuan Province in Chengdu, Dou Hua vendors carry a pole across their shoulders with two large baskets attached at either side. One of the baskets contains the steaming Dian Dou Hua and the other contains the bowls and fixings.  First, the tofu is spooned out and then some ground Sichuan pepper or prickly ash is added. Then a sprinkle of MSG, a tablespoon of soy sauce, chili oil, chopped preserved vegetables, bits of ground meat, crunchy dried soybeans, and last of all chopped green onion.

Last time I was at the Square Street Restaurant I took home a small container of the special sauce that they use. There is a dofu seller in my local wet market and I know they sell Dian Dou Hua. I wanted the same taste but eaten at home so today I purchased a 12-ounce cup of Dian Dou Hua for one yuan (the equivalent of 16 cents), heated it up slightly in the microwave along with a spoon of sauce and enjoyed a gorgeous mix of texture and taste of Yunnan for lunch.

%d bloggers like this: