WBEZ | bird flu http://www.wbez.org/tags/bird-flu Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Tempest in a chicken pot: Hainanese chicken rice http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-04/tempest-chicken-pot-hainanese-chicken-rice-106683 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8657825514/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/singaporechickenrice.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Hainanese chicken rice at Yet Con restaurant in Singapore (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">Having eaten nearly every kind of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-04/chinas-poultry-passion-persists-despite-bird-flu-blues-106432"><u>bird possible in Shanghai</u></a> despite the <a href="https://soundcloud.com/wbez-worldview/roger-ebert-and-global-film"><u>new bird flu</u></a>, then a half dozen <u><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-04/thick-and-thin-historic-kaya-toast-singapore-106603">eggs with kaya toast</a></u>, I saved the best for last: Singapore&#39;s national dish, Hainanese chicken rice.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">Hainanese chicken rice is a chicken stuffed with garlic, ginger, and scallions then poached whole. The bird is served&nbsp;chopped on the bone with savory white rice. The grains are first sauteed with garlic then cooked in the chicken&#39;s shimmering gold liquid.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; "><div class="image-insert-image ">In Chicagoland you can find similar chicken, listed on <a href="https://www.grubhub.com/chicago/go-4-food/"><u>menus as Princess Chicken</u></a> served with ginger scallion oil, or <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2008/09/hainanese-chicken-rice-singapore-recipe.html"><u>make chicken rice</u></a> yourself.</div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8656735603/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/singaporechickenwhole.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Hainanese chicken at Yet Con restaurant in Singapore (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">Yet Con restaurant, open since 1940, is Singapore&#39;s last remaining restaurant to prepare the chicken in the old Hainanese style (resulting in a bird some locals find too intense).</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8656743845/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/singaporechickenblock.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Hainanese chicken at Yet Con restaurant in Singapore (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">But even Yet Con&#39;s recipe has had to change slightly. Purists say the chicken in chicken rice should be cooked only until the red has barely set in the bones. Since the last bout of bird flu, that&#39;s changed.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8656729371/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/singaporechickenplate.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Hainanese chicken at Yet Con restaurant in Singapore (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">The pale pairing is a&nbsp;deceptively flavorful dish even without the ginger and &quot;chilli&quot; sauces.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8656750929/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/singaporechickensauces.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Ginger and chilli sauces at Yet Con restaurant in Singapore (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">Both beer and lime juice are served over ice to battle the year-round heat and humidity.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8657860706/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/singaporechickendrinks.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Tiger beer and lime juice on ice at Yet Con restaurant in Singapore (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">If you get to Singapore, I highly recommend the chicken rice at Yet Con, but get there fast. The elderly man working the abacus and hand writing checks is the owner and the last in his family line. Who knows, the restaurant may continue beyond him, as seems the trend in Singapore with a number of former white collar professionals preserving heritage cuisine.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">A big thanks to the invaluable <a href="http://ieatishootipost.sg/"><u>Singapore food blog ieatishootipost</u></a>.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;"><a href="https://twitter.com/louisachu"><u><em>Follow Louisa Chu on Twitter.</em></u></a></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8656808011/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/singaporechickenabacus.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Abacus and hand written checks at Yet Con restaurant in Singapore (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div></div></div></div></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 17 Apr 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-04/tempest-chicken-pot-hainanese-chicken-rice-106683 Life, death, and dumplings http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-04/life-death-and-dumplings-106530 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8627974560/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/qingtuanxihand.jpg" style="width: 620px;" title="Qing tuanzi: wild grass, glutinous rice, and red bean dumplings for Qingming Festival in Shanghai, China (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p><p>Like billions of Chinese worldwide this weekend, I&#39;d hoped to observe <em>Ching Ming</em> (Cantonese), or <em>Qingming</em> (Mandarin), to pay my respects to ancestors by visiting gravesites with family for a bit of spring cleaning, as well as leave offerings of food and drink.</p><p>But with the current bird flu scare, travel is noticeably down, while authorities destroyed more than 20,000 birds in live markets, though <u><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-04/chinas-poultry-passion-persists-despite-bird-flu-blues-106432">poultry is still being eaten</a>.</u></p><p>In Chicagoland, most locals now celebrate the holiday in the Chinese section at Mt. Auburn cemetery in southwest suburban Stickney, as I mentioned last year.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8607880503/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/shanghaixiaolongbao.jpg" style="width: 620px;" title="Xiaolongbao with black vinegar and ginger in Shanghai, China (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><p style="text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: left;">I was just leaving Shanghai, my father&#39;s hometown, not that it mattered. My grandparents were once buried in one of the cemeteries that no longer exists, dug up during the Cultural Revolution, now developed into modern high-rises. My uncle&#39;s ashes were buried at sea, which is increasingly preferred.</span></p><p style="text-align: left;">One consolation: I told my dad I was bringing home not only&nbsp;<em>qing tuanzi</em>, but from Godly. The vegetarian restaurant open since 1922 and recognized for its intangible cultural heritage in China, was once a favorite of his mother, the grandmother I never knew.</p><p style="text-align: left;">My dad said, &quot;What are&nbsp;<em>qing tuanzi</em>?&quot;</p><p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8627974560/" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/qingtuanxipackage.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="Qing tuanzi: wild grass, glutinous rice, and red bean dumplings for Qingming Festival in Shanghai, China (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;"><em>Qing tuanzi</em> are distinctively bright spring green glutinous rice dumplings filled with sweet red bean paste. Their color comes from wild mugwort juice. They&#39;re now found throughout Shanghai, but are a specialty of&nbsp;Suzhou, about 60 miles west of Shanghai, an hour and 30 minutes drive or only an hour by high speed bullet train.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8607912649/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/shanghaifacetime.jpg" style="width: 620px;" title="FaceTime over tea, mangosteens, and mandarines in Shanghai, China (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">Clearly they&#39;re not nearly as famous as&nbsp;<em>xiaolongbao</em>, Shanghai&#39;s iconic soup dumplings. The green dumplings may look like mochi but my first bite revealed something completely different. They&#39;re firmer in texture, with a tart almost effervescent flavor, like the white<em> nian gao</em> (steamed sweet sticky rice cake) that my maternal grandmother used to make.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">You can actually <a href="http://item.jd.com/1016996018.html"><u>order <em>qing tuanzi</em> by Godly </u></a>online. I&#39;m not sure about the shipping, but in our world, old meets new and it seems anything is possible.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;"><a href="https://twitter.com/louisachu"><u><em>Follow Louisa Chu on Twitter.</em></u></a></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8627964264/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/qingtuanxiinterior.jpg" style="width: 620px;" title="Qing tuanzi: wild grass, glutinous rice, and red bean dumplings for Qingming Festival in Shanghai, China (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div></div></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 08 Apr 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-04/life-death-and-dumplings-106530 China's poultry passion persists despite bird flu blues http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-04/chinas-poultry-passion-persists-despite-bird-flu-blues-106432 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://instagram.com/p/XnJqX7xRpQ/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/shanghaichickensilkie.JPG" style="height: 620px; width: 620px;" title="Silkie chicken at Lotus supermarket in Shanghai, China (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p><p>Greetings from Shanghai, where <u><a href="http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1205499/new-case-bird-flu-infection-reported-nanjing">a new strain of bird flu</a></u>&nbsp;has killed two men and caused four more people to become critically ill. A patient diagnosis leaked to the Chinese social media site Weibo offered details of the most recent patient: a woman who worked as a poultry butcher in a Nanjing market. On March 30, doctors confirmed she was infected with H7N9 avian influenza. There is no vaccine for this version of the flu.</p><p>In the meantime, despite <u><a href="http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2013/04/bird-flu-deaths-has-china-edge/63729/">reports to the contrary</a>,</u>&nbsp;and the lack of any visible signs of an emergency plan in action, I can tell you that from here, the taste for poultry lives on in Shanghai.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8613383581/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/shanghaismokedduck.jpg" style="width: 620px;" title="Jasmine Tea Smoked Duck at Jardin de Jade in Shanghai, China (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">In the few days I&#39;ve been here, I&#39;ve eaten tea-smoked duck, tea-smoked goose, and even chicken feet for breakfast.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">At the Lotus supermarket, located at the foot of Shanghai&#39;s most famous landmark, the&nbsp;<u><a href="http://www.orientalpearltower.com/en/">Oriental Pearl Tower</a></u>, I found blue-black-skinned Silkie chickens, as prized as ever. In Chicago you can find them at the live markets, too.&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/insert-images/shanghaismokedgoose.jpg" style="width: 620px;" title="Tea smoked goose at Xin Wang Tea Restaurant in Shanghai, China (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Lean and gamy, Silkies are used most often as a traditional Chinese tonic soup, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-03/wisconsin-ginseng-sex-drugs-and-root-robbers-106315"><u>fragrant with ginseng</u></a> and other medicinal herbs &mdash;&nbsp;a rather ironic cure-all given the present state of things.</div></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://instagram.com/p/XnJE5vRRom/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/shanghaichickenfeet.JPG" style="height: 620px; width: 620px;" title="Chicken feet on breakfast buffet at Kerry Hotel in Shanghai, China (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><p><a href="https://twitter.com/louisachu"><u><em>Follow Louisa Chu on Twitter.</em></u></a></p></p> Tue, 02 Apr 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-04/chinas-poultry-passion-persists-despite-bird-flu-blues-106432