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Wokipedia is a regular magazine column in which we introduce aspects of Chinese gastronomy, one letter at a time. This month, 'C' gets the treatment.
… Celtuce 莴笋
The odd-looking celtuce, or celery lettuce, is a type of lettuce grown for its thick stem, which is sliced and used as a vegetable, although the leaves are thought to have a higher nutritional content. Its clean, crisp flavor is great tossed in a cold salad or quickly stir fried.
… Culiu 醋溜
Culiu is a popular cooking style in northern China, with vinegar (cu) added during stir frying to produce a lightly sour flavor. Try it with thin slices of potato (醋溜土豆丝, culiu tudousi) or with northern China’s other great crop beginning with “C”, cabbage (醋溜白菜, culiu baicai).
… Cong 葱
In China, cong commonly refers to what we would call scallions (or spring onions, depending on where you’re from), while bulb onions are known as yangcong (洋葱, literally “foreign onions”). Like so many cuisines around the world, they form the basis of any number of dishes, the white part adding fragrance to braised dishes, the green part lending freshness to small parcels of Peking duck.
… Changfen 肠粉
Traditionally a southern Chinese breakfast dish (where it is pronounced cheung fun), these steamed rice noodle rolls are now a mainstay on dim sum menus around the world. Bland by themselves, the rolls come alive when filled with crisp prawns or a hearty helping of Cantonese cha siu pork and topped with a dressing of sweet soy sauce. Vegetarians might want to look out for changfen wrapped around fried dough sticks (油条, youtiao), a pleasing textural contrast.
Read previous editions of Wokipedia here.
Photo: Christoper (Flickr)
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