Food tips you can trust
Centuries ago, a clever beggar wrapped a stolen chicken in wet clay, then cooked it buried with hot coals in the ground so that the owner wouldn't notice the smoke. When done, the hardened clay was chipped away. Cooks today wrap the bird in lotus leaves before encasing it in wet clay - and use a regular oven.
This simple dish made with egg noodles with stir fried pork becomes outstanding when made by a Jiangsu cook.
It's prepared in many ways and in a variety of venues, from gourmet to street stall. As with most salt-preserved foods, you need a salt-less accompaniment. Steamed rice is perfect.
Jiangsu Province is situated just west of Shanghai. It has the latter's tendency to slightly sweeten dishes but, also, has the Cantonese desire to bring out natural flavors. Top Jiangsu cooks are noted for their enticing food presentations.
You can find versions of this dish throughout China, but seldom will they be as subtly delicious as found in Shandong.
Cooked in a variety of ways, including roasting and braising. Long cooking enriches the flavor of this celebrated chicken.
It strives for freshness and simplicity - and has become a favorite among Beijing denizens.
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