Mom's recipe for spring onion oil has shallots, rendered pork lard & spring onions. There's also a vegetarian recipe for spring onion oil without lard. Just add spring onion oil to 'thick' noodles eg egg noodle, udon, soba or spaghetti together with soy sauce, spring onions, rocket, peanuts and chilli oil. Street hawkers in sweltering Changsha sell Liang Fen, aromatic tossed noodle salad. Liang Fen has noodles, coriander, cucumber & mouth-numbing red chilli oil. In Yunnan Liang Fen is a cooling jelly topped with crushed peanuts, fresh fruit, sweet syrup, brown sugar & lime juice.
In Chapter 6 of Lu Yu's Cha Jing, he wrote about the mythical ShengNong said to have crystal stomach so he could see tea cure 72 poisonous herbs at once in own belly! He describes fascinating issues about tea including history and typology. Tea was sometimes drunk with dried ginger, cinnamon and scutellaria in China far back as 2nd century AD. He said we drink alcohol to remove stress/sadness, but tea for a clear head and he advised to not use water source that’s too fast flowing or stagnant agmonst various things.
One Victorian traveller brought rhododendrons, jasmine, azaleas, peonies, magnolias, kumquat (and tea) from the far east. The story of tea thief Robert Fortune, a botanist who served the British Empire by snatching tea to India. Robert Fortune (the Scot who stole tea from China) travelled in Chinese dress (& pigtail) to avoid unwelcome attention. How tea thrived in India/SriLanka only after Robert Fortune stole 20,000 teaplants and all the secret knowhow. Download Robert Fortune's book 'Journey to the Tea Countries of China' free of charge.
Beijing's ritzy Qianmen district was home to 2 very special shops little over 100 years ago, a teashop & a silks shop. 2 Beijing shops c1900 used very advanced marketing principles including Ming Cha An Bu 明茶暗布 ('bright tea dim cloth'), Mary Portas would be proud! Fine teas should be viewed in good lighting as Zhang Yi Yuan Teashop showed back in 1908. Tea requires light to view whilst silks/cloths are best viewed in subdued natural light as at Beijing's Rui Fu Xiang founded 1893. The fine Beijing teashop Zhang Yi Yuan was famous for its aromas because teas were scented onsite.
Bubble tea has become a 'fast food' kids drink from disposable plastic cups with an extra wide straw. Bubble tea's called 'bubble' cos of the chewy pearls/boba of yam, tapioca, sago or jelly, or else the foam topping. Original bubble tea consisted of hot Taiwanese black tea, tapioca pearls, condensed milk, syrup or honey but are now mainly a mixture of coloured syrups. Delicious Dragon Well bubble tea caught my eye at a Hangzhou street stall & recreated in London with purple yam mochi. Recipe for Singaporean Nonya ice dessert called Chendol.
A blog post to mark the International Women's Day by referencing the Bai Cha tea banquet ceremony which brings the village women happily together, with no men around! Many Chinese tea customs specifically involve women. Tea plays an important role for a woman at every stage of her life, in Chinese culture. Chinese bride must move in with husband's family. On the 3rd day her parents pay a visit, with tea gifts for groom's parents. Wives traditionally serve special sweet & salty teas during the 15-day spring festival.
A heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped us inaugurate chaya teahouse this weekend, after such a long gestation period! Here is a review by tea lover Erin in yelp.co.uk. And here are a few of the pictures.
4 Nourishing brews to tide over this persistent winter chills. The Oolong Sweet Potato Congee with light oolong tea that is colourful and packed full of vitamins A and C. Roasted Rice Cha that is nutritious and very warming to the body. The Onion, Carrot, Potato and White Pepper Soup is a delectable peppery soup which sweet onions and carrots that is perfect with rice. Black Glutinous Rice with Matcha Coconut Milk Black that isbelieved to build up blood and strengthen the heart.
"What temperature should I brew this tea at?" is one of the most frequently asked questions. This blog attempts to explain how the ancients "read" the temperature of water without a thermometer.