06 January 2007

Noodles and Tea

Anyone who's read this blog for a while knows I love Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid's cookbooks. I've had Flatbreads & Flavorsfor about 8 years now and it's still my favorite cookbook; Hot Sour Salty Sweetand Seductions of Riceare high on my list of favorite cookbooks. I haven't had a chance get to see their Mangoes & Curry Leavesbut hopefully it will come to a library near me sometime.

But! They have a new cookbook coming out in a year about China. And this isn't going to be your typical Chinese cookbook. When Alford and Duguid go somewhere, they don't stick to the basics, they go to the unusual places. So this Chinese cookbook will cover Xinjiang province and Tibet and all the "other" parts of China that are often sadly ignored in Chinese cookbooks (Xinjiang province in particular is missing in almost every Chinese cookbook I've ever seen). From their website:

Our current working title for the book is Noodles and Tea: Culinary Travels Beyond the Great Wall, as a way of indicating that we are in China, but in the regions around the edge, from Tibet to Mongolia, from Xinjiang to the hills and mountains of Guizhou and Yunnan. We are delighted to be getting to regions new to us (Guizhou province for example) as well as revisiting places we came to know well in the late eighties and nineties, such as Tibet, Yunnan, and Xinjiang.

We’re now at the editing stage, though there are also a number of recipes that need more work. We’ve had a good time figuring out grilled kebabs from the oasis towns of Xinjiang and several breads, including an interesting and easy round loaf baked by Kazakhs in a kind of dutch oven. We are still struggling with the Uighur stretched noodles; if anyone has any information that could help with this, please write. We know the technique, but we can’t get a dough that is happy being stretched and flung.

I have to admit that I'm pretty excited. :) And I wish I'd asked the Uyghurs we knew how to make those noodles. I always wanted to.


  1. I haven't looked at the others, but my husband and I just picked up Mangoes & Curry Leaves last night with the help of multiple stackable coupons and some gift cards at Borders. It's absolutely gorgeous. We plan on trying out some recipes this next week.

  2. You'll have to let me know how the recipes turn out. I'm looking at a gift certificate for Amazon right now and am deciding if I'll finally purchase Seductions of Rice or go with Mangoes and Curry Leaves. I can always check Seductions of Rice out at the library again...

  3. I just got Home Baking a month or so ago... I've not made anything from it yet, but it looks (and reads) great. It was a bargain book at Borders and I got it for like $7.99...

  4. Shea, if you try anything from HomeBaking, let me know. That's the only one I haven't even had an interest in trying, but now that I read the reviews more carefully, I see that there are a number of international recipes in it. When it first came it out, it sounded like more run-of-the-mill recipes, but I think I was wrong.

  5. I plan on trying it (Mangoes & Curry Leaves) out most of this week starting on Tuesday or Wednesday. I'll let you know how it goes.