Wokipedia is a regular magazine column in which we introduce aspects of Chinese gastronomy, one letter at a time. This month, 'F' gets the treatment.
… fermented bean curd 腐乳
Fermented bean curd is often compared to cheese, not only for its funky flavor, but also for the similar texture, which is caused by the breakdown of proteins during the fermentation process. It is most often eaten as a condiment or used to flavor stir-fried vegetables. Red fermented bean curd (made with red yeast rice) is also used in Cantonese cuisine to marinate and color roasted meats like char siu pork.
…f uqi feipian 夫妻肺片
Despite the name – fuqi feipian means “husband and wife lung slices” – actual lung rarely features in this dish, which is usually made up of thinly sliced beef, tongue and tripe in a chili-laden sauce. It is named for a husband and wife duo from Chengdu who became famous for the dish in the 1930s. Fuqi feipian was one of the many oddly translated dishes that came under fire in the run up to the Beijing Olympics for misrepresenting Chinese cuisine and culture. However, one look at the English menus in most restaurants around town suggests that the campaign wasn’t a huge success.
… feet 凤爪／猪蹄
What many wouldn’t hesitate to throw away, Chinese cuisine often considers a delicacy. So it is with feet, whether that be chicken feet or pig feet (trotters to you and me). Both are prized for the gelatinous texture that comes from their preponderance of skin and tendons. Chicken feet can be found steamed on the menu of dim sum restaurants or as a packaged snack with vinegar and chili, while trotters are most often ‘red braised’ in a sauce rich in dark soy and sugar.
Photo: Ross Pollack (Flickr)
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