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Cantonese Chow

July 15 & 16

About the Cuisine

China is a big country and the cuisine varies widely from region to region. In the United States, we’re most familiar with Sichuan cuisine with its red chili peppers, chili oil, and Sichuan peppercorns. In the Northeast part of China, the food is less spicy and centers around wheat – think noodles (mein) and buns (boazi).

Our chef, Shuer Marivn, was born and grew up in the south, Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton. Cantonese cuisine focuses on rice and rice products. Cantonese cuisine focuses on using fresh ingredients and letting the ingredients speak for themselves.

The Menu

Steamed Rice Rolls with Seasoned Minced Pork This quintessential Cantonese dish can be found everywhere in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and beyond. Made of rice flour and water, this dish is on the breakfast menus of mom-and-pop restaurants, dim sum restaurants, and in fancy tea houses. It is smooth, silky, and satisfying.Gluten-free. Vegan: Scallion Rice Rolls

Sticky Rice Meatballs I honestly can’t remember where I learned to make this dish. I’ve never seen them in restaurants, but I’ve been making these meatballs for my family for years. Maybe I invented this recipe! I marinate ground pork with ginger, cilantro, ground white pepper corns, chili peppers, tamari, rice wine, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Then I form them into walnut sized balls, and roll them in soaked sticky rice, and steam. Gluten-free. Vegan: Curry Potato Sticky Rice Balls

Congee with Minced Pork This rice porridge is the ultimate Cantonese comfort food – the equivalent of chicken noodle soup in the U. S. When one does not feel well, congee will soothe your body and soul. The porridge itself is bland, which is why we add condiments, such as fresh herbs, pickles, or scallion pancakes. Gluten-free. Vegan: Simple Congee

Braised Spareribs For smaller groups, I typically cook my ribs in a claypot because it enhances the flavor. But with star anise, cloves, dried red chili flakes, white peppercorns, Sichuan peppercorns, rice wine, tamari, Chinese balsamic vinegar, and a bit of brown sugar, these ribs are not lacking in flavor! I’ll braise them for 2-3 hours until they’re fall-off the bone tender. Gluten-free. Vegan: Stir-fried Sweet Potato Noodles with Mushrooms, Tofu, Carrots, Scallions, and Top with Sesame Black Seeds

Sauteed Eggplant This dish is popular throughout the eastern parts of China.I wish I could share fond memories of eating sautéed eggplants as a child, but. I hated them when I was a kid! Every Thursday, my school served sauteed eggplants and I refused to eat anything, because I didn’t like the eggplants in the same bowl with the rice and the meat. When I was in my teens, I’d toss eggplant in the garbage bin when my mom was not looking. But now, I love these eggplants sauteed fresh garlic, tamari, mirin, balsamic vinegar and rice wine. Gluten-free. Vegan.

Stir-fried Chinese Broccoli In Chinese households, having vegetables is very important. Normally, a family dinner should consist of a protein dish, a soup, two vegetables, and a starch. Stir-fried broccoli is one of the most common sides because its simple, quick, delicious, and healthy. Stir-fried it with garlic, rice wine, and salt. Very simple, healthy, and homey. Gluten-free. Vegan.

Sweet Potatoes and Ginger Delight Sweet potatoes and ginger soup was a very common dessert in southern China in the 1970s and 80s. It’s usually served at room temperature in the afternoon as a cooling dish since it is very hot and humid in southern China in the summer. I’ve added a little modern twist – coconut cream to boost its flavor and tapioca pearls for extra texture. Gluten-free. Vegan.

About the Chef

I was born and grew up in the south, Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton. I came to this country in 1983 as a foreign student at the University of Maryland at College Park. Shortly after graduation with a B. S. in business administration, I met my husband through a mutual friend. We got married and moved to Farmington, Ct. I have been a housewife since and raised three children. After three decades of living in Ct, I was tired of the snow and told my husband I wanted to move south. My criteria were: public transit, walking distance from a major university, and access to an international airport. Atlanta meets all those criteria. We arrived in Atlanta on New Year’s Eve 2019. We live in an apartment in Midtown. We walk everywhere in midtown and we use GT as our gym. We love Atlanta. I wish I could tell you that my grandmother or my mom inspired me to cook. I did not start cooking until I had my children. In fact, when I was growing up in Guangzhou, I hated food and hated eating. When my maternal grandmother offered me food, I ran away from home to my paternal grandfather’s house. I often dumped food into the drainage when my mom was not looking. Today, I believe wasting food is a sin. In reality, PBS’s food shows inspired me to cook. Also, since my parents and siblings are scattered around the world, once or twice a year, we meet in Sydney, Australia or in Hong Kong, where we feast together. So my food is pretty international. On a personal level, I truly believe food is therapeutic. That is the reason I love to cook. On a broader level, food unites people. That is the reason why we are here this evening. Bon Appetito.

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