5@5 - Make the most of your dim sum experience
September 15th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Instead of your typical weekend plate of scrambled eggs, head out for some dim sum - a Cantonese tradition of communal small plates.

Feeling hesitant? Chinese culinary authority Ed Schoenfeld from the newly opened dim sum-inspired restaurant, Red Farm, is here to cart you toward success.

Five Ways to Up Your Dim Sum IQ: Ed Schoenfeld

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Filed under: 5@5 • Asian • Chinese • Think

Shark fin soup faces extinction in California
September 4th, 2011
08:50 AM ET
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A Chinese delicacy may soon disappear from California restaurants if a bill to ban the sale of shark fins makes it through the state Senate.

A symbol of wealth and luxury, shark fin soup was once prized by Chinese emperors for its rarity. Today, it's typically served at weddings and banquets to demonstrate a host's good fortune.

But it comes at a high price, for one's wallet and the environment. Shark fins, which fetch up to $600 per pound, are sometimes acquired through the controversial practice of finning: a shark's fins are cut off and the rest of its body is tossed into the ocean.

California, home to 1.1 million Chinese-Americans, is one of the largest importers of shark fins outside Asia. The California Shark Protection Act would make it illegal to possess, sell or trade shark fins.

The state Senate is expected to take up the legislation next week.


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Filed under: Asian • Chinese • Cuisines • Culture • Fishing • News • Sustainability

Sundays are for Dim Sum
July 5th, 2011
09:15 AM ET
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Food says so much about where you’ve come from, where you’ve decided to go, and the lessons you’ve learned. It’s geography, politics, tradition, belief and so much more. World-renowned chef, author and Emmy winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits Los Angeles' Koreatown in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, April 21, at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook. This story ran in 2011, and we're sharing it again as Bourdain explores the role of food in Asian-American identity.

Eddie Huang is the chef of Baohaus in New York City and is working on a memoir which will be published by Random House. Follow him on Twitter @MrEddieHuang

Sundays are for Dim Sum. While the rest of America goes to church, Sunday School, or NFL games, you can find Chinese people eating Cantonese food. As a kid, there were a lot of Chinese traditions I couldn’t get into, but Dim Sum and Johnnie Walker were okay in my book. We’d wake up, put on our hand-me-down Polo shirts, and as Dad did his best Bee Gees on the Karaoke machine, we got ready for Dim Sum.

The paws that refreshes – do you eat with your hands?
February 3rd, 2011
06:00 PM ET
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Yes, we're later than usual on the poll today. For one, I actually (gasp!) left my desk for lunch today in order to record a podcast for our new series (more on that soon). Actually, though, I'm attributing it more to having signed up for the 10:30 seating of chefs Eddie Huang and Tyler Kord's Chinese New Year dinner at No. 7 restaurant in Brooklyn last night.

Diners lucky enough to score a reservation (rumor had it that Jimmy Fallon's party couldn't nab an 8 p.m. table and had to abandon mission) clustered around a communal table, daintily spooning and spearing family-style cold sesame noodles, sausage dumplings and pickles onto their square white plates.

Chopsticks picked up pace, clattering as bowls of bitter butter greens, a soy-drizzled whole Dorade and obscenely silken tofu topped with century-old egg hit the table. By the time the fat-swaddled pork shoulder and eight-treasure (1. lotus seeds, 2. edamame, 3. smoked ham, 4. mushrooms and...did I mention there was also wine?...) glutinous rice-stuffed duck arrived, decorum had flapped out the window.

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Filed under: Asian • Buzz • Chinese • Chinese New Year • Cuisines • Holidays • Lunchtime Poll

Chinese dining 101: tap your tea and slurp noodles like it's your birthday
January 28th, 2011
03:45 PM ET
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No doubt you once thought that as soon as your skills were honed, you’d become the chopstick-wielding version of Edward Scissorhands, embarking on a masterful two-pronged exploration of China’s culinary culture.

Well, not quite.

Chinese dining etiquette is built on tradition, not dexterity.

We asked Lawrence Lo, founder of LHY Etiquette Consultancy Limited, to explain the enigmatic cultural origins of some common table manners, just in time for your Chinese New Year banquet.

Read the rest of "5 Chinese eating habits explained" on CNNGo.

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Filed under: Asia • Asian • Bite • Chinese • Chinese New Year • Cuisines • Etiquette • Holidays • Travel

January 21st, 2011
10:30 AM ET
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Amy Chua's parenting memoir, 'Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother' delves into the extreme measures she and some other Asian parents take to ensure their children's success later in life. In the book, Chua asserts that American parents allow too many luxuries and distractions to the path of progress, and outlines in unflinching detail the rigors she imposed on her own children's study, music practice and even birthday card making.

While seemingly much of this effort is geared toward producing doctors and lawyers, sometimes the best laid plans can take a slight turn. Eddie Huang, who famously published his mother's e-mail rebuke after he received a zero-star review of his restaurant in the New York Times, indeed earned that law degree. Then he chucked it all and opened a restaurant - for which he both credits and (lovingly) blames his parents.

Previously - Eddie Huang and his mother on Asian American identity and lessons learned from a bad review

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Filed under: Asian • Celebrity Chefs • Chinese • Cuisines • Eddie Huang • Taiwanese

January 19th, 2011
02:45 PM ET
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Eddie Gehman Kohan of Obama Foodorama reports that an East Wing (that's the residential and First Lady's side of the White House) staffer says there will be no guest chef for the State Dinner honoring Chinese President Hu Jintao tonight.

Instead, Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford and Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses will be helming the kitchen and presenting a "quintessentially American" meal at the request of the Chinese delegation.

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Filed under: Chinese • President Obama • White House

Chef Ming Tsai wants you to have a Chinese friend
January 19th, 2011
10:15 AM ET
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Ming Tsai opened the doors of Blue Ginger restaurant in Wellesley, Massachusetts, more than 10 years ago. Since then, he's earned two James Beard Foundation Awards, hosted three Emmy-nominated cooking shows, authored four cookbooks and competed on Season 3 of Food Network's "The Next Iron Chef". Before that young Tsai could be found in the kitchen with his mom and dad at their family-owned restaurant, Mandarin Kitchen, in Dayton, Ohio.

On the eve of a state dinner honoring Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the White House Nicole Dow spoke with Chef Tsai about regional Chinese cooking, the role of authenticity and how an American eater can up his or her chances of scoring the good stuff.

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Filed under: Asian • Celebrity Chefs • Chinese • Cuisines • Ming Tsai

January 18th, 2011
10:30 AM ET
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All eyes are on Washington as Chinese President Hu Jintao arrives a day before a high-profile meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama to discuss trade, currency and a host of other issues, including North Korea. Our eyes, more specifically, are on our plates.

This week, we'll be speaking with chefs and experts on Chinese food, exploring a Philadelphia suburb that boasts the "best" spring rolls in the United States and delving into how cook some of this at home.

In the meantime, reacquaint yourself with this November interview with Chef Eddie Huang of New York City's Baohaus restaurant and the now-shuttered Xiao Ye. In it, Huang and his muse/mentor/mother discuss what it means to cook "authentic" Chinese and Taiwanese food, his role as a cultural ambassador, and the particular challenges Asian-American kids face growing up in the United States - even when it's coming from their own mothers.

Read more on President Hu Jintao's visit

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Filed under: Asian • Celebrity Chefs • Chinese • Cuisines • Eddie Huang • Taiwanese

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