Shark’s Fin and Sichaun Pepper Indeed!


Fuchsia Dunlop’s memoir is the best way to vicariously travel through China. Dunlop spent years exploring many of China’s provinces and has written several cookbooks, articles and even has a blog.

I heartily recommend this fascinating culinary trip through many of China’s provinces. Dunlop was the first foreigner to ever attend the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine. Going to culinary school is daunting enough, but to attend one where only Mandarin is spoken is quite another thing.

There is a page in the book where she illustrates just a few of the types of shapes you might have to use your cleaver to make. From eyebrow shapes to phoenix tails, to ox tongues, horse ears and domino slices. It make French techniques look like child’s play.


These are a few pages from her journal, there are more on her blog. Flavorista Tracey traveled to China last year to visit her son who spent 1 year there as an exchange student. I am sending her this book.

I have yet to make any of the recipes but she has a true version of Kung Pao chicken on her blog that I might try along with the Fish Fragrant Aubergines in this book. I’ll let you know how everything turns out.

If you love Chinese food and are curious to learn more,  this book and The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8 Lee are a must.

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