Tag Archives: cucumber recipe

A True Bright Spot: My “East Bay Cooks” Honored with “Golden Poppy Book Award”

A super easy cucumber dish that uses only a handful of ingredients. It's a featured recipe by Grand Lake Kitchen in my "East Bay Cooks.'' (Photo by Carolyn Jung)
A super easy cucumber dish that uses only a handful of ingredients. It’s a featured recipe by Grand Lake Kitchen in my “East Bay Cooks.” (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

In this stressful, challenging time, I scroll social media for glimpses of good news: chefs donating food to hospital workers, folks grocery-shopping for elderly neighbors, and everyday people trying to help lighten the mood with cheery videos and haikus.

And then I spied this gem: the news last week that my cookbook, “East Bay Cooks: Signature Recipes from the Best Restaurants, Bars, and Bakeries” (Figure 1) was honored this year with a “Golden Poppy” award by the California Independent Booksellers Alliance. It recognizes “the most distinguished books written by writers and artists who make Northern California their home.”

I couldn’t be more thankful for the incredible recognition. I share it with the talented team whom I had the privilege to work with to make this book a reality: photographer Eva Kolenko, Clair Mack at Rule & Level Studio, Figure 1, and of course, all the chefs and restaurateurs who participated.

I salute you all with a virtual toast — as well as this easy, addictive recipe from the book to enjoy. After all, times like these when we limit trips to the grocery store, call for dishes that come together with few ingredients.

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Sichuan-Style Cucumbers For The Year of The Rat

Refreshing, loaded with sesame flavor, and a snap to make in about 5 minutes.
Refreshing, loaded with sesame flavor, and a snap to make in about 5 minutes.

Tomorrow ushers in the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Rat. But truth be told, this Chinese dish is so easy and winsome, it’s perfect any day of any season.

The poetically named “Phoenix Tails in Sesame Sauce” grabs from the get-go with a quick, arresting sauce heady with the deliriously deep taste of roasted sesame seeds.

This side dish, appetizer or first-course is from the new “The Food of Sichuan” (W.W. Norton & Company, 2019), of which I received a review copy.

The 495-page treatise is by Fuchsia Dunlop, a true authority on regional Chinese cuisines. The London-based food writer speaks, reads and writes Chinese. Her many cookbooks spotlighting Chinese food are must-reads for anyone who desires a deep-dive into the differences and nuances of each culinary region.

“The Food of Sichuan” is actually a revised and updated edition of her classic cookbook, “Land of Plenty,” which was published in 2001 when Sichuan cuisine was still little experienced in this country.

The new edition of the book contains more than 50 new recipes. Yes, Sichuan dishes are known for their liberal use of chiles and lip-numbing Sichuan peppercorns. But there are plenty of tamer dishes, too.

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