WBEZ | Chinese New Year http://www.wbez.org/tags/chinese-new-year Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Eat this, drink that: exotic chocolate, lucky food, and more http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-02/eat-drink-exotic-chocolate-lucky-food-and-more-105556 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8475495947/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/fannyeggrolls.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Chinese-American egg rolls by Fanny Go for Chinese New Year 2013 (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p><p><strong>Saturday, February 16</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.greatermidwestfoodways.com/index.php/page/CHCFebruary2013.html">Culinary Historians of Chicago</a> presents <a href="http://www.wbez.org/chocolate-taste-pakistan-east-meets-west-crossover-confecti-105282">Chocolate With a Taste of Pakistan: East meets West in Crossover Confections</a> at <a href="http://www.kendall.edu/">Kendall College</a>. Owner/chocolatier Uzma Sharif, of <a href="http://www.chocolatuzma.com/">Chocolat Uzma Sharif</a>&nbsp;in Pilsen will discuss her influences, from her grandfather, a renown pastry chef in South Asia to her own role as Wolfgang Puck&#39;s head pastry chef at Chicago&#39;s Museum of Contemporary Art. Sharif will serve samples of her stunning spice and flower infused handmade exotic chocolates. Admission 5, $3 for students, FREE for Culinary Historians of Chicago members and Kendall students and faculty.</p><p><strong>Sunday, February 17</strong></p><p>The <a href="http://www.chicagochinatown.org/?page_id=2483">Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce</a> presents the <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/neighborhood_parades.html">Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade</a> on Wentworth from 24th to 22nd. Celebrate the Year of the Snake with fireworks, lion teams, a 100 foot mystical dragon,&nbsp;marching bands, floats, and <a href="http://www.chinese-tools.com/about/Miss_Friendship_Ambassador">Miss Friendship Ambassador</a>. While you&#39;re there, be sure to eat lucky egg rolls and&nbsp;<em>nian gao</em>, the sticky sweet glutinous rice new year cake available at any bakery.&nbsp;Admission FREE.</p><p><strong>Tuesday, February 19</strong></p><p>The<a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/_programsevents/_kitchen/_rethinkingsoup/rethinkingsoup.html">&nbsp;Jane Addams Hull-House Museum</a> presents&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/re-thinking-soup-honoring-edna-lewis-105295">Re-Thinking Soup: Honoring Edna Lewis</a>, the legendary African-American woman, chef, and restaurant owner.&nbsp;Chef Kocoa Scott-Winbush will read excerpts from Lewis&#39; highly acclaimed cookbooks, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307265609?ie=UTF8&amp;creativeASIN=0307265609&amp;tag=lklchu-20"><em>The Taste of Country Cooking</em></a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B0LP5I0?ie=UTF8&amp;creativeASIN=B00B0LP5I0&amp;tag=lklchu-20"><em>In Pursuit of Flavor</em></a>. Most definitely a Lewis soup will be served. Admission FREE.</p><p><strong>Wednesday, February 20</strong></p><p><a href="http://soupandbread.net/">Soup &amp; Bread</a> presents this week&#39;s theme, <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ApPhpdY9KXzPdDRfMUk3WFFoZlRNd2VvR0RJcjdJS1E#gid=0">All Things Cow-nsidered (&quot;Milk, cheese, butter, and beef. And leather...&quot;)</a> <a href="http://www.hideoutchicago.com/event/208453-soup-bread-chicago/">at the Hideout</a>, benefitting <a href="http://www.cchvchicago.org/">Central City Housing Ventures</a> food pantry, with bread from Publican Quality Meats and La Farine Bakery. Admission FREE soup and bread, donate what you can, beer additional, and remember: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/7071326897/">Everyone LOVES the Generous!</a></p></p> Fri, 15 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-02/eat-drink-exotic-chocolate-lucky-food-and-more-105556 Eat this, drink that: First Look, lion dance, and high tea http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-02/eat-drink-first-look-lion-dance-and-high-tea-105427 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8384164935/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/firstlooknoodles.jpg" style="width: 620px;" title="First Look for Charity 2013 preview (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p><p><strong>Friday, February 8</strong></p><p>As a proud Girl Scout alumna, Troop Number 232 in Chicago, I&rsquo;m pleased to announce the Girls Scouts&rsquo; inaugural <a href="http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_cookies/how_to_buy.asp">National Girl Scout Cookie Day</a>! Where can you buy Thin Mints, the best of all girl scout cookies, in Chicago? There&rsquo;s a Cookie Finder app for that &mdash; <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/girl-scout-cookie-finder/id593932097?mt=8">iPhone</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gsa.gscookiefinder">Android</a>. Or kick it old school and <a href="http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_cookies/faq.asp">enter your zip code the Find Cookies! search box</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2012-02-10/chicago-auto-show-food-trucks-food-drive-first-look-and-more-96276">I went last year</a> and my advice to you is get the fuzzy, pink Cadillac slippers first &mdash; dudes too &mdash; at the <a href="http://www.chicagoautoshow.com/first_look/">Chicago Auto Show&rsquo;s First Look for Charity</a>, <a href="http://www.chicagoautoshow.com/first_look/first_look_benefiting_charities.aspx">benefitting 18 local charities</a>, at McCormick Place. Then grab food and drink from David Burke&#39;s Primehouse, Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar, Real Urban Barbecue, Moët Hennessy, and much more. The event is widely considered Chicagoland&#39;s largest single-day charitable event. Attire is black-tie required. Admission $250; please note, the event does not sell out.</p><p><strong>Saturday, February 9</strong></p><p>Bang a gong and get your lion dance on at the <a href="http://www.ccamuseum.org/">Chinese-American Museum of Chicago</a>&#39;s Deconstruction of A Lion Dance at the museum in Chinatown. Learn the story behind a Lion Dance and other Chinese New Year traditions, with celebratory snacks and dumplings. Please reserve by calling 312-949-1000 or email office@ccamuseum.org. Admission $12; $8 for members, students, and seniors.</p><p><strong>Sunday, February 10</strong></p><p>Live your lovely ever so ladylike Downton Abbey daydreams at a tea party. Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance presents <a href="http://www.wbez.org/tea-party-below-stairs-servants-life-early-20th-century-england-104080">Below Stairs: A Servants Life in Early 20th Century England</a> with guest speaker Leslie Goddard in character as Margaret Powell. Admission $55 in advance, $65 at the door; please note reservations are required by calling 312-380-1665.</p></p> Fri, 08 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-02/eat-drink-first-look-lion-dance-and-high-tea-105427 Ching Ming, Chicago-style http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-04/ching-ming-chicago-style-97861 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/chingmingincense_Chu.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/chingmingincense.jpg" title=""></p><p style="text-align: left; "><span style="text-align: left; ">The first tastes of spring may be marked by <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2012-03-22/which-we-call-ramp-97543">ramps</a>, smelts, or even <a href="http://www.wbez.org/event/2012-04-27/road-food-exploring-midwest-one-bite-time">food trucks</a> these days, but for thousands of years, for billions of Chinese around the world—including the diaspora in Chicago—they're heralded with the aroma of incense.</span></p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/chingmingfire.jpg" title=""></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; "><span style="text-align: left; ">This year Ching Ming falls on April 4, as it follows the lunar calendar. It's a day of ancestor worship, when families visit cemeteries to clean gravesites and offer favorite food and drink.</span></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; ">&nbsp;</div></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/chingmingaltar.jpg" title=""></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">Despite the setting, it's not a solemn day, but one to gather and hopefully enjoy the weather outside. One of the idiomatic translations for the day is to literally "walk the mountain". In the greater Chicagoland area there are a few cemeteries with Chinese sections. One of the most notable now is Mt. Auburn, southwest of the city.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/chingmingdrinks.jpg" title=""></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">Traditionally families might picnic at their family tombs, or you might see an influx at Chinese restaurants in nearby Westmont—like <a href="http://www.katysdumpling.com/">Katy's</a>, famous for their hand-pulled noodles.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/katy%27snoodles.jpg" title=""></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">You'll see a wide variety of food and drink offerings, usually including oranges which symbolize gold and luck. What food or drink would you want on your tombstone?</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/chingmingcemetery.jpg" title=""></div></div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 03 Apr 2012 08:51:32 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-04/ching-ming-chicago-style-97861 Friday Foodie Forecast: Ring in the Year of the Rabbit http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/friday-foodie-forecast-ring-year-rabbit <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-03/rabbit.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="400" width="400" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-January/2011-01-27/Rabbit.jpg" title="" alt="" /></p><p style="text-align: left;">Long life, prosperity and bounty - you don't have to break open a fortune cookie or rub Aladdin's lamp this week to be granted all three wishes - you can eat your way there. It is Chinese New Year once again, and this week's Forecast offers up plenty of edible options promising fortunes for foodies ready to ring in the Year of the Rabbit. <a href="http://www.chicagochinatown.org">Chinatown</a> is the obvious destination, and you'll probably see me at either <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=en&amp;um=1&amp;gl=us&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=shui+wah+chinatown+chicago&amp;fb=1&amp;gl=us&amp;hq=shui+wah&amp;hnear=Chinatown,+Chicago,+IL&amp;cid=14174573783806619508">Shui Wah</a>, <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=en&amp;gl=us&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=Lao+Szechuan+chicago&amp;fb=1&amp;gl=us&amp;hq=Lao+Szechuan&amp;hnear=Chicago,+IL&amp;cid=9844276538813714152">Lao Szechuan</a>, <a href="http://www.chinatownphoenix.com">Phoenix</a>, <a href="http://www.triplecrownchicago.com/">Triple Crown</a> or <a href="http://www.chicagotastycity.com/">Tasty City</a>, but if you're looking for, how shall I say, a more mainstream, slightly less ethnic experience, you've got some options in the city and suburbs as well. From noodles, fish and dumplings, to dragon dances, rolling the dice and red envelopes full of cash, all ensure 4709 to be one lucky and delicious year. <em>Gu</em><em>ng hay fat choy!</em></p><p><strong>A Bountiful 2011 at Big Bowl</strong></p><p>It is the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chinesezodiac.com/rabbit.php">Year of the Rabbit&nbsp;</a>&ndash; one&nbsp;of the luckiest signs of the Chinese zodiac - and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bigbowl.com/">Big Bowl's</a>&nbsp;Chinese New Year lineup of festivities to ring in 4709 ensures a prosperous year for everyone. The&nbsp;annual celebration - Feb 2 through Feb. 6 - begins with Executive Chef Marc Bernard's menu of specials inspired by fortuitous foods the Chinese traditionally eat for a bountiful new year. Menu items&nbsp;include &quot;long life&quot; noodles with Sichuan rabbit and chive blossoms, and crab wonton with BBQ rabbit soup, promising good luck, fortune and bounty for all.&nbsp;Each table will also be given complimentary spicy roasted peanuts to kick-off the evening. The&nbsp;Chinese name&nbsp;for the legume translates into &quot;longevity fruit,&quot; making it an ideal snack for traditional New Year wishes of a long life. The five-day celebration includes:</p><p><em>Good Luck Gamble&nbsp;</em><br /><em>February 2 &ndash; Chinese&nbsp;New Year's Eve&nbsp;</em><br />Each table can take a chance by rolling the dice&nbsp;this evening as gambling is symbolic of fortune for the New Year. Whatever number comes up will be deducted in dollars from the check.<br /><br /><i>Lucky Rabbit&nbsp;<br /></i><i><span id="lw_1296151615_12" class="yshortcuts">February 3</span></i><i>&nbsp;-&nbsp;Chinese&nbsp;</i><i>New Year's Day</i><i>&nbsp;</i><br />On the first day of the New Year, all&nbsp;guests born in the Year of the Rabbit will receive a complimentary lunch or dinner . Rabbit years include 1927, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987,1999 and of course, 2011.&nbsp;<br /><br /><i>Happy Birthday to Me&nbsp;<br /></i><i><span id="lw_1296151615_14" class="yshortcuts">February 4</span></i><i>&nbsp;</i><br />The Chinese New Year calls for acknowledging &quot;everybody's birthday,&quot; a time when birth and renewal are celebrated. All guests will receive a hóng bāo (lucky&nbsp;<span id="lw_1296151615_16" class="yshortcuts">red envelope</span>), with a&nbsp;gift certificate for $10 or $25 to Big Bowl, or a card for a complimentary appetizer, dessert, housemade ginger ale or bottled Big Bowl sauce, tucked inside.&nbsp;As customary in Chinese families, all children will receive a hóng bāo with a crisp $1 bill.&nbsp;<br /><br /><i>Make Way for Dumplings&nbsp;<br /></i><i><span id="lw_1296151615_19" class="yshortcuts">February 5</span></i><i>, beginning at 9:30 a.m.</i><i>&nbsp;</i><br />Dumplings represent wealth and prosperity, and&nbsp;complimentary cooking class on making&nbsp;the doughy treats will be offered at two locations.&nbsp;All participants receive a complimentary bag of dumplings.</p><p>Rounding out the festivities, the Chinese believe that giving more will lead to more good luck.&nbsp;Oranges are especially significant during the New Year, and because the color symbolizes gold while the word &lsquo;orange' in Chinese sounds like wealth, in their honor,&nbsp;Big Bowl will donate up to $5,000 in proceeds to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wish.org/">Make-A-Wish Foundation</a>&nbsp;from the seasonal blood orange ginger ale sales.&nbsp;<br /><br />Big Bowl is located at&nbsp;<span id="lw_1296151615_24" class="yshortcuts">6 E. Cedar Ave., Chicago</span>,&nbsp;(312) 640-8888; 60 E. Ohio Ave., Chicago,&nbsp;<span id="lw_1296151615_26" class="yshortcuts">(312) 951-1888</span>; 215&nbsp;Parkway Drive, Lincolnshire,&nbsp;(847) 808-8880; 1950 East Higgins St., Schaumburg,<span id="lw_1296151615_27" class="yshortcuts">(847) 517-8881.&nbsp;</span>For&nbsp;more information on&nbsp;<span id="lw_1296151615_28" class="yshortcuts">Chinese New Year customs</span>, superstitions and recipes, visit&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.icebase.com/go2.shtml?KlLNRdOabjPnx8H3/9e227ba67ce3b79a/36c60146bf4e16a2/steve.b.dolinsky@abc.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">www.BigBowl.com</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="305" width="400" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-January/2011-01-27/benpao_dining2_295x225.jpg" title="Ben Pao Chinese New Year" alt="" /></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; color: black;" class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; color: black;" class="MsoNormal"><b>Celebrate at Sunda</b></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; color: black;" class="MsoNormal">The Year of the Rabbit&nbsp;&nbsp;signifies&nbsp;luck, tactfulness, and thoughtfulness,&nbsp;as well as a time when families reunite to celebrate long life, prosperity and health. From Jan. 31 through Feb. 6,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sundachicago.com/">Sunda</a>&nbsp;honors the New Year custom with traditional Chinese dishes offered throughout the week. &nbsp;The family-style meal, designed to be shared, starts off with&nbsp;<em>h</em><i><span id="lw_1296151615_33" class="yshortcuts">ot and sour soup</span>,&nbsp;</i>a dim sum duet &ldquo;from the heart&rdquo; of&nbsp;<em>s</em><i>hrimp or vegetable spring rolls,&nbsp;</i>and<i>&nbsp;s<span id="lw_1296151615_36" class="yshortcuts">ticky rice</span>&nbsp;</i>(sweet rice wrapped in lotus with mushroom, shrimp and chicken). Main dishes include<em>&nbsp;r</em><i>uby prawns&nbsp;</i>(secret glaze, honey, bell pepper, scallion),<em>&nbsp;b</em><i>eef shortribs&nbsp;</i>(<span id="lw_1296151615_37" class="yshortcuts">black pepper sauce</span>, caramelized onions, broccolini) and&nbsp;<em>p</em><i>ineapple chicken&nbsp;</i>(chicken, sweet and sour glaze, peppers).&nbsp;Sides and dessert are included as well.&nbsp; The Chinese New Year menu is available for $40 per person. Live performances of the&nbsp;<a href="http://that/">Dragon Dance</a>&nbsp;will also take place in the dining room on Thursday, February 3 at 7pm, bringing good fortune to all. Sunda is located at&nbsp;110 W. Illinois Street. For more information, visit&nbsp;<a href="http://sundachicago.com/" style="text-decoration: underline;" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">sundachicago.com</a>.</p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; color: black;" class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; color: black;" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Bao at Ben Pao</strong></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; color: black;" class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://www.benpao.com/">Ben Pao</a> is also ready to usher in some extra luck and good fortune with its annual&nbsp;<span id="lw_1296151615_41" class="yshortcuts">Chinese New Year celebration</span>&nbsp;beginning Jan. 28 through Feb. 13. Guests will enjoy&nbsp;custom cocktails made with fresh squeezed juices and infused liquors,&nbsp;and&nbsp;specials including <em>xiao long bao</em> (traditional dumplings with broth inside), long life noodles with <em>char siu</em> pork and a hot and sour whole crispy fish (dinner only). Each dish again representing foods that ensure a fortuitous New Year &ndash; noodles for long life, whole fish for prosperity and dumplings for bounty.&nbsp;The traditional lion dance &ndash; similar to the one performed in <a href="http://www.chicagochinatown.org">Chinatown</a> &ndash; will take place Feb.&nbsp;4&nbsp;and 5 at&nbsp;6:30 p.m. The performers will begin outside to scare away bad spirits and then weave through the restaurant bringing good luck and an upfront view to guests tableside. Ben Pao is located at&nbsp;52 W. Illinois St.&nbsp;&nbsp;Reservations can be made by calling&nbsp;<span id="lw_1296151615_46" class="yshortcuts">312-222-1888.</span></p></p> Fri, 28 Jan 2011 12:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/friday-foodie-forecast-ring-year-rabbit Friday Feast: The Big Easy way to eat Chinese http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/friday-feast-big-easy-way-eat-chinese <p><p style="text-align: center; "><a rel="attachment wp-att-14761" href="/dolinsky/2010/02/friday-feast-the-big-easy-way-to-eat-chinese/14713 /img_2708-2"><img class="size-full wp-image-14761" alt="" width="186" height="249" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//IMG_27081.jpg" /></a>&nbsp;<br /><em>catfish po-boy and jambalaya from The Big Easy<br />(photo by Steve Dolinsky)</em></p><p>As I <a target="_blank" href="/dolinsky/2010/02/gearing-up-for-fat-tuesday-not-so-easy/14558">mentioned previously</a> in this space, Hyde Park's newest restaurant - <a target="_blank" href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/Dining/Dining-Guide/index.php?neighborhood=Hyde+Park&amp;listing=44959">The Big Easy</a> - has already gone through some growing pains in its first month. Despite the drama, I'm featuring it on <a target="_blank" href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/channel?section=resources/lifestyle_community/food/restaurants&amp;id=7098198">ABC 7 today</a> at 11 a.m. While some dishes were just so-so (Who dat serving up the po-boy?) and the popular jambalaya is awkwardly stuffed into a pan-fried chicken breast, the etoufee had a nice, slow burn and the gumbo was rock-solid. Still, I had those dishes under the tenure of Jennifer Gavin, who has since left the building, so not really sure how her successor has been faring this week. Stay tuned.</p><p>The next few days are nuts. Mardi Gras festivities will be concurrent with paczki-gulping Poles, while Chinatown gears up for a New Year's celebration Sunday afternoon, about the same time significant others will be judging how committed their significant others are, finagling Valentine's Day reservations. Strange days, indeed.&nbsp;<!--break-->One of the big parties for Mardi Gras is taking place on the South Side.&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://cajunjoynt.com/">Lagniappe Creole Cajun Joynt</a> is planning a big party on Tuesday night, beginning at 6 p.m. They're going to have&sbquo;&nbsp;a live video stream from Mardi Gras festivities in New Orleans and a few special surprise guests. Tickets are&sbquo;&nbsp;$20; order in advance and <a target="_blank" href=" http://mardigrasparty.eventbrite.com.">receive&sbquo;&nbsp;a free 'super hurricane</a>.</p><p><strong>Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! (&quot;Let the good times roll!&quot;)</strong></p><p>Tonight at 10 p.m., I'm continuing my monthly series, &quot;My Country, My Cuisine,&quot; by eating some Northern-style Chinese food with my friend, Wen Huang. Wen is from Xian, in the far reaches of Northern China, and when he craves the taste of home, he prefers <a target="_blank" href="http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-8&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;q=3139+South+Halsted+Street,+Chicago+IL+60608&amp;fb=1&amp;split=1&amp;gl=us&amp;cid=0,0,16470546205373235011&amp;ei=Fl3CSZ6zGYaBtge30JndCg&amp;z=16&amp;iwloc=A">Ed's Potsticker House</a> in Bridgeport. I've never been a huge fan of Ed's thick, pencil-shaped potstickers, but their soup dumplings proved surprisingly good, and the Chairman Mao's pork - redolent with Chinese spices, oil and fatty pork, nestled into toothsome noodles, was just the elixir I needed on a cold night.</p><p>Gung Hay Fat Choy, and may you take long nap after consumption of much Chinese food...</p></p> Fri, 12 Feb 2010 07:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/friday-feast-big-easy-way-eat-chinese Something You Should Eat: Brisket Crepe http://www.wbez.org/dolinsky/2010/02/something-you-should-eat-brisket-crepe/14277 <p><p>In honor of the Chinese New Year this week, I'm spending some extra time there, scouring out the greatest dishes. As much as I love the mapo tofu from <a target="_blank" href="http://maps.google.com/maps/place?client=safari&amp;rls=en&amp;oe=UTF-8&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=double+li+chicago&amp;fb=1&amp;gl=us&amp;hq=double+li&amp;hnear=chicago&amp;cid=10144478267087798311">Double Li</a> and the welcoming hot pots at <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tonygourmetgroup.com/restaurant.aspx">Lao Szechuan</a> and the &quot;Toronto&quot; fried rice at <a target="_blank" href="http://www.chinatownphoenix.com/">Phoenix</a>, I've recently been enjoying the dim sum service at <a target="_blank" href="http://www.triplecrownchicago.com/">Triple Crown</a> (still nothing near the experience at <a target="_blank" href="http://maps.google.com/maps/place?client=safari&amp;rls=en&amp;oe=UTF-8&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=shui+wah+chicago&amp;fb=1&amp;gl=us&amp;hq=shui+wah&amp;hnear=chicago&amp;cid=14174573783806619508">Shui Wah</a>, but that's another story). One of the items I had off of the menu recently was something they call the &quot;brisket crepe.&quot; It's essentially slowly-braised brisket, jammed with all sorts of wonderful spices like star anise and five-spice, then slowly-cooked in a clay pot with a slightly thick rice flour crepe. The sauce alone is worth devouring - maybe over rice the next day.</p><p>As much as I think the dim sum is worth checking out at Triple Crown, the brisket crepe is absolutely something you should eat. Video after the jump: <!--break-->&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center; "><object width="320" height="180"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=9268842&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autoplay=0&amp;loop=0" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=9268842&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autoplay=0&amp;loop=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="320" height="180"></embed></object></p></p> Tue, 09 Feb 2010 07:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/dolinsky/2010/02/something-you-should-eat-brisket-crepe/14277 Chinese New Year: A toast to Tiger http://www.wbez.org/dolinsky/2010/02/chinese-new-year-a-toast-to-tiger/14275 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><img width="306" height="310" alt="" title="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-16/tiger-jpg.jpeg" /></p><p>There won't be any ball drops on Saturday night, and thankfully, no one trying to decipher what Dick Clark is saying. Yet more than a billion people on the planet will be celebrating and partying as another year begins anew. The Year of the Tiger, 4708, begins this weekend (and no, it's not sponsored by Accenture). As cocktail waitresses around the country raise a glass, serious Chinese restaurants will be serving special meals for at least a week. In Chicago, it seems as if there are at least one or two new restaurants each year that are willing to go the extra mile -- both within and beyond Chinatown -- and provide at least a starter's guide to savoring the holiday like an ex-pat.</p><p><!--break--> Most dishes that are served during New Year celebrations have some type of special significance or symbolic importance. The dishes will typically contain an ingredient that correlates to a word or phrase, for example: a wish of wealth and a prosperous new year -- <em>gung hay fat choi</em> -- is translated as black sea moss with smoked, dried oysters. &quot;Joyful laughter&quot; = walnut shrimp; &quot;birds of happiness welcome the spring&quot; = roasted squab.</p><p>Chinatown's Chamber of Commerce always dominates the New Year's celebrations every year, kind of like Steven Colbert hogging airtime from his guests. It's hard not to: you've got a killer location, an ancient-looking pagoda on Wentworth and dozens of regional Chinese dishes all within a few blocks.</p><p>But this year, a number of other restaurants are getting in on the act.&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.benpao.com/">Big Bowl </a>is featuring a special menu; so is <a target="_blank" href="http://www.sundachicago.com/">Sunda</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.benpao.com/">Ben Pao</a>.There's also going to be an Argyle Street Chinese New Year's Parade in Uptown, a week after the big one in Chinatown. This area is sometimes referred to as &quot;New Chinatown.&quot; Perhaps that's a response to the fact that Vietnam also goes by the Lunar calendar as well. Their holiday -- known as <em>Tet</em> -- also begins on February 14 this year. The Vietnamese also have symbolic dishes they traditionally serve during Tet: Banh chung&sbquo;&nbsp;and&sbquo;&nbsp;Banh tet are essentially tightly-packed sticky rice cakes with pork or mung bean fillings wrapped in banana leaves. These two items represent Heaven and Earth. You can also find a sweet version of Banh tet with plantain filling.</p><p>Now don't get me wrong, I think it's a fine idea to have another parade for the North Side, but isn't having a <em>Chinese</em> New Year's parade on Argyle kind of like throwing a Hannukah Potato Latke festival on Devon? I mean, there are <em>some</em> Jews up there, but it's kind of dominated by Indians and Pakistanis. Same thing on Argyle: you've got tons of Vietnamese joints, a handful of Asian markets and just one predominant Chinese restaurant: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.sunwahbbq.com/">Sun Wah BBQ</a>. The restaurant recently moved to larger digs around the corner, on Broadway, and they're especially excited about this year's parade since they've arranged to have a marching band, floats, both lion <em>and</em> dragon dancers as well as a first for the area: official firecrackers. At the restaurant, they're planning on offering a 10-course blowout menu, with every dish relating to some type of traditional saying or New Year's wish, including such timeworn phrases as: &quot;Good luck at the forefront!&quot; (fried chicken); &quot;May you have a house filled with pearls&quot; (fried rice) and &quot;may we have family unity this year?&quot; (pan-fried cake). <a target="_blank" href="http://www.chicagochinatown.org/cccorg/home.jsp">Chinatown's Parade</a>: On Wentworth from 24th St. to Cermak Rd. Parade step-off time is 1 p.m., although there are other activities starting as early as 11:30 a.m. Argyle St. Parade: Feb. 20, 11:30 a.m.</p></p> Mon, 08 Feb 2010 07:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/dolinsky/2010/02/chinese-new-year-a-toast-to-tiger/14275