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The Yunnan Cookbook: Recipes from China’s land of ethnic diversity

$26.95

by Annabel Jackson and Linda Chia

From the yaks which graze at altitudes so high that vegetables cannot grow, and the paradise of Shangri-La; through the flower markets of Kunming, the dramatic tea terraces of Pu-er, and forest floors covered with wild mushrooms; to the tropical south where market stalls brim with brilliant red chillies and shimmering purple eggplants.

Yunnan, an exotic land of former kingdoms which borders Tibet, Sichuan, Burma, Vietnam and Laos, is the most bio-diverse province in China. It is quite possibly the most beautiful part of the country, and also the most culturally rich. Each ethnic minority has its own distinct cooking ingredients, aromas and flavours – all brought together for the first time in this unique cookbook.

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Product Description

From the yaks which graze at altitudes so high that vegetables cannot grow, and the paradise of Shangri-La; through the flower markets of Kunming, the dramatic tea terraces of Pu-er, and forest floors covered with wild mushrooms; to the tropical south where market stalls brim with brilliant red chillies and shimmering purple eggplants. Yunnan, an exotic land of former kingdoms which borders Tibet, Sichuan, Burma, Vietnam and Laos, is the most bio-diverse province in China. It is quite possibly the most beautiful part of the country, and also the most culturally rich. Each ethnic minority has its own distinct cooking ingredients, aromas and flavours – all brought together for the first time in this unique cookbook.

The cuisines – We take five main ethnic minorities, each of which has their own “capital” or “kingdom” in Yunnan, including the cooking of Kunming which is perhaps more Han but still very varied and interesting:
• the DAI people – in Jinghong
• the BAI – in Dali
• the NAXI – in Lijiang
• the WA – in Lincang
• the TIBETANS – in Shangri-La
• plus the HAN – in Kunming

The background – Recipes are mixed with background essays:
• small essays on each ethnic group, their traditions and traits
• the background of Yunnan, its natural beauty, flowers and agriculture
• festival foods, including Lunar New Year celebrations
• foraging for mushrooms
• the story behind Yunnan ham
• vine growing

The people – Besides recipes and essays, The Yunnan Cookbook includes portraits – written and photographed – of people involved in food production from each of the ethnic groups. For example, a Wa woman who has trained as a cheesemaker and makes European-style cheeses at a small dairy farm in Lincang, a Naxi woman who runs a restaurant in Lijiang and Han farmers who harvest corn on the banks of the Yangtze.

REVIEWS

“These days it’s easier to sample the cooking of the Dai and Naxi as they’ve opened restaurants in Jinghong and Lijiang, but if you want to try their dishes at home then this book is the key. … It’s beautifully illustrated with location photographs by San Lin and, as you turn the pages, you really get a sense of the region. Recipes are interspersed with snatches of travelogue and it brought back fond memories of my time in Lijiang, Kunming, Dali Lake and Xishuangbanna. … The recipes are clear, with many dishes illustrated with mouth-watering pictures and, best of all, they work. It’s good to see ethnic food traditions of China being championed and this is a valuable contribution to the Chinese culinary scene.” Rupert Parker, Huffington Post

“The customs and traditions of some of China’s minorities based in southwest Yunnan are under threat, as modernization and tourism creep in. A new cookbook spotlighting cuisine from this diverse southwestern province aims to help preserve their culinary traditions. The Yunnan Cookbook: Recipes from China’s Land of Ethnic Diversity mixes recipes with colorful descriptions of the many ethnic minorities and styles of cooking that make up China’s most diverse region. … In addition to recipes, the book offers vignettes from daily life — from a breakfast in a Tibetan village to a flower festival to profiles of local chefs.” – Debra Bruno, Wall Street Journal

“If you mention Yunnan to the average food lover, the chances are they’ll know the province is famous for three things: ham, mushrooms and crossing-the-bridge noodles. In their book, Annabel Jackson and Linda Chia aim to show us that Yunnan cuisine is much broader than we think. Some of the more unusual dishes include potato rice; pumpkin pancakes; fried Yunnan goat cheese with tomato salsa; Naxi stir-fried potatoes with pickled vegetables; steamed taro and broccoli with grated carrot; mint and pomelo salad; sour-spicy fish and tomato soup in clay pot; aromatic lemon honey chicken; roasted bell peppers stuffed with pork and tofu; and twice-cooked pork belly with kumquats.” – Susan Jung, South China Morning Post

“This book is a must-have for any chef interested in authentic Yunnan cooking, truly a unique source of cultural and culinary information.” – Foodies West

“This collaborative cookbook mixes recipes with insightful vignettes giving the reader a real flavour of the many ethnic minorities and styles of cooking that make up the province of Yunnan. … The vibrant colours chosen for the outer sleeve continue inside the book reflecting the vibrant human story that is told. About the rags to riches story of the Naxi restaurant owner or the story that explains the dish called Toasted Duck. This isn’t like other cookbooks, destined to sit with all the others, it deserves to be left on the coffee table to invite more people in.” – Chef Kevin Ashton

“Curiosity motivated me to check out this book. I’m not familiar with Yunnan cuisine at all. What I know of Chinese food are Cantonese and Mandarin, definitely nothing from the Yunnan region. Honestly, I didn’t even know where Yunnan was until I read the book. Written for both the novice and the seasoned cook, the cookbook is well-organized and easy to follow. There is a glossary that lists alternative names of ingredients (for example, Sichuan peppercorn = Chinese prickly ash / hua jiao). … Interspersed between chapters and recipes are stories and anecdotes on Yunnan life with accompanying photographs.” – Snap Happy Foodie

“Ever since The Yunnan Cookbook by Annabel Jackson and Linda Chia arrived on my desk and in my kitchen, I have been massively inspired! The diversity of flavours, the freshness, the different ethnic groups and their foodways, as well as the simplicity of most recipes.” – Marlena Spieler

“China is a vast country that is too hard to comprehend in its entirety. Looking at the cuisine of one region gives one a much better sense of a piece of its culture than a broad Chinese cookbook. British journalist Annabel Jackson and Australian chef Linda Chia have put together a spectacular collection of over 100 authentic recipes from the Yunnan region of China in their cookbook.” – Simple Living & Eating

“Yunnan is a diverse area that borders Tibet, Sichuan, Burma, Vietnam, and Laos. The cuisine is as diverse and rich as the people and is rarely covered in English-language cookbooks. … This book is beautiful. Photography from San Lin celebrates the sights in the province and Trio Photo’s food shots are drool-worthy. Even recipes that aren’t quite my cup of tea look fantastic. Jackson and Chis share stories of the places and people of the province along with the recipes that celebrate the best of that corner of the world. … For a different take on Chinese food, The Yunnan Cookbook does not disappoint.” – In the Kitchen with Shelly

Additional Information

Dimensions 216 x 216 mm
Pages

248

Binding

Hardcover

Recipes

120

Illustrations

Full-colour photographs

About the authors

Annabel Jackson is the author of 11 books, including four cookbooks. Her interest is the relationship between cooking and culture, as evidenced in books like Vietnam on a Plate and Taste of Macau. She has been based in Hong Kong for more than 20 years, and published The Foods of China cookbook for Marks & Spencer. She is also a food and wine educator, consultant and journalist. She is convivium leader of Slow Food Hong Kong.

Linda Chia was born in Sydney to Cantonese parents, and spent her young adult life living in an Italian community, which redefined her skillset in the kitchen. She is the principal consultant for her own company which provides NGO services in Yunnan. She today focuses on agricultural projects with the objective to grow clean and organic food in a sustainable way. Linda’s passion for food and interest in nutrition has led to her promoting the local and regional foods of Yunnan.