Ding Baozhen (1820-1886) was a governor of Sichuan province during the Qing dynasty. The emperor bestowed upon him the title Gōng Bǎo - "palatial guardian". He supervised the reconstruction of the Dujiangyan Irrigation System
. But he achieved immortality through the dish named for him: Kung Pao Chicken
. [more inside]
You can make jiaozi
. But you can't make it like this.
In Mamas Kitchen
was born in the experience of living in New York where a bodega
exists within blocks of a Jewish deli
which is around the corner from an Italian salumeria
which shares space with Chinatown
which abuts Soho's gourmet stores
. While this speaks of the legendary variety available in New York, it also tells of similarity, for in every bodega, every salumeria is someone shopping for the food that sustains physical life with a recipe
that nourishes our hearts.
Chinese food around the world.
Ethnic Chinese immigrants worldwide took their cuisine with them. New Yorkers are familiar with Cuban-Chinese restaurants
, owned by ethnic Chinese from Cuba who served steam tables of ropa vieja and chuletas right next to the pork fried rice and wonton soup. In Jamaica & Trinidad, Chinese immigrants pioneered jerk chicken lo mein and bok choy & callaloo stirfries.
Or how in Peru, Chinese Peruvians developed their country's restaurant industry and created a national dish, lomo saltado
along the way.
But then there's the Indian-Chinese food popularized by the descendants of ethnic Hakkas who moved to Mumbai in the 18th century. Personally, I'm partial to some lollipop chicken
or gobi manchurian
with a nice, cold Kingfisher.