With little more than two backpacks, a camera, and a tarp, Mandarin-speaking American brother and sister Nate and Mary Kate Tate traveled more than 9,700 miles throughout China to share the country’s inspiring culture and cuisine with kitchens in the West. What began as a travelblog (feedingthedragon.com) documenting the duo’s journey has evolved into a visual narrative of food, culture, and travel inside Feeding the Dragon.
Arranged by the authors’ travel itinerary to highlight the uniqueness of nine specific regions in China, Feeding the Dragon is part cookbook and part cultural travelogue, overflowing with sumptuous but easily prepared authentic dishes. From Buddhist vegetarian dishes enjoyed on the snowcapped mountains of Tibet to lamb kebabs served on the scorching desert of Xinjiang Province, one hundred recipes are presented alongside first-person narratives and travel photographs.
Western cooks will find healthy recipes brimming with authentic ingredients and flavors, such as Lychee Martini and Shanghai Soup Dumplings, Pineapple Rice, Coca-Cola Chicken Wings, Green Tea Shortbread Cookies, and Wild Mushroom Salad. Feeding the Dragon also provides handy reference sidebars to guide cooks with time-saving shortcuts such as buying premade dumpling wrappers instead of making them from scratch, or using a blow-dryer to finish your Peking Duck. A comprehensive glossary of Chinese ingredients and their equivalent substitutions complete the book. Feeding the Dragon is not an Americanized adulteration of classic Chinese cuisine. Instead, the Tates offer readers and cooks a beautiful journey through Chinese history, culture, tradition, and food.
"This is a heartwarming and often gripping tale of a brother-sister team who bike back roads, slog muddy fields, trudge across mountains, and navigate ancient alleyways to explore the kitchens and culinary soul of China. The recipes they gather from China’s wonderfully hospitable people will tantalize your taste buds as Nate and Mary Kate’s decade-long adventure inspires your sense of wanderlust." –James McGregor, author of One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China
"Feeding the Dragon is a stunning achievement; it’s a foodie’s Far East fantasy come true, with pictures and recipes to match." –Adam Roberts, creator of The Amateur Gourmet
"The Tate siblings are my kind of travelers, my kind of eaters, and my kind of cooks. In Feeding the Dragon, they have combined adventure travel, history, and culture to create a personal, fun, and interesting cookbook. The photos, recipes, and stories are all fabulous. I love this cookbook!" –Lisa See, author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Shanghai Girls
When I first heard about this book, I was thinking it was going to be a simple cookbook with some stories added to it. This book was so much more then that.
I was blown away by the history and culture that was shared on each page. The photos were awesome. The Tates made me want to hop on a plane and visit China.
First off, on the inside of the cover is a hand drawn map of China. Upon the map are drawn food items so you can get a somewhat general idea of where they were and the foods of the areas.
They take you province by province through China, introducing to the local culture and cuisine that is unique to each area along the way.
I have tried my hand at making several different recipes along the way and they all turned out fabulous. You don’t need extensive culinary skills in order to make the food in this book. In fact, they broke down the recipes into easy to follow steps.
So between reading about the culture and eating the wonderful food, you feel like you are on a vacation tour of China right along the Tates.