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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, 'D' gets the treatment.

… Dalian huoshao 褡裢火烧
These elongated, crispy pies are said to have been invented in 1876 by a couple from Shunyi (the “dalian” in the name does not refer to the Liaoning port city). Wheat pastry skins are wrapped around a variety of fillings and folded into their signature oblong shape, before a brief turn in the pan to turn them golden brown. Think of them as a portable version of jiaozi – they’re great with a filling of pork and scallions.  

dou zhi 豆汁 
One of the most famous (or infamous) local Beijing breakfast dishes, dou zhi, or mung bean juice, is a by-product of the mung bean noodle manufacturing process. After the starch is extracted from the beans, the leftover liquid is fermented, to produce thick, sour “milk” with a slightly eggy aroma. Probably best not consumed while hungover. 

Dongpo pork 东坡肉
Dongpo pork is a braised pork belly dish named after Northern Song Dynasty poet Sun Dongpo, although debate rages (in a quiet, scholarly way) as to whether he actually came up with the recipe himself, or it was simply named after him. In the best renditions of the dish, pieces of pork with a 50:50 ratio of fat to meat are first braised in rice wine, before being steamed. It is now considered one of the representative dishes of Zhejiang cuisine (one of the “eight great traditions” of Chinese cooking).

Dandan noodles 担担面
The “dan dan” of dandan noodles refers to the carry pole that was used by the walking street vendors of yesteryear Sichuan. The vendors would carry noodles in one end and sauce in the other, so they could whip up a bowl quick as a flash should a hungry customer come along. The noodles are beloved for their numbing and spicy Sichuan flavors, with most versions featuring a mixture of minced pork, preserved vegetables, chili oil, Sichuan pepper and scallions.

Read previous editions of Wokipedia here.

More stories by this author here.

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Photo: Andrea Nguyen (Flickr)


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