Serve the People: A Stir-Fried Journey Through China
A memorable and mouthwatering cookâ€™s tour of todayâ€™s China
As a freelance journalist and food writer living in Beijing, Jen Lin-Liu already had a ringside seat for Chinaâ€™s exploding food scene. When she decided to enroll in a local cooking schoolâ€”held in an unheated classroom with nary a measuring cup in sightâ€”she jumped into the ring herself. Progressing f...more
Call me a little biased, but I would have liked to learn more about food from the Guangdong region, where my family originates from. Maybe I'm just not aware that there are already plenty of books out there about C ...more
Jen, the author, is a Chinese-American journalist and food critic by trade. For a chance to explore, not only her roots, but the esoteric underworld of the Chinese food and restaurant industry, she decides to enroll in ...more
The most disturbing part was that I then immediately googled ways to make jellied pork skin.
If you are the type of person that systematically rates buffets on their dumpling choices, seeks out Chinese restaurants which offer more than the generic and ubiquitous one page paper menu, or has contemplated naming your firstborn Dim Sum; ...more
Questions came up but where eventually answered as I progressed through the story (ie., why she started a cooking school in Beijing instead of Shanghai; what her parents in San Francisco thought of her move to China instead of staying in The States).
I'm not sure why I didn't like it, it was ok. Perhaps I would've liked for her to delve more into what ...more
I felt like I got a better grasp on China by reading this than I did by reading things like China Shakes the World and The China Price.
So I picked up this book, written by Jen Lin-Liu, a Fullbright scholar who was born in the U.S., but who moved to Beijing to explore the cuisine. She made me nostalgic for a China that probably no longer exists, razed by capitalism. For example, she bought a cleaver th ...more
It's not as if Serve the People is a badly written book. It's just way too long and it's like listening to someone repeat the same story over and over but changed it up every few times in case someone wanted to bow out and check out of that convo quick.
I'm trying to think of what could have made this better. And honestly it really just comes to length. Also she's n ...more
The people that she meets during her quest to understand Chinese cuisine range from those who were nearly adults at the time the Cultural Revol ...more
The book is mostly (and deliciously) about food, bu ...more
This book is by a Chinese-American woman who goes to China as a freelance writer (doing mostly restaurant reviews for an English-language magazine). She decides to go to Chinese cooking school, and takes the reader through her experiences at the school and becoming friends with one of the school administrators, who gave her private cooking lessons, and later interning at several different types of restaurants, including a noodle stand and a high-end Shan ...more
The bad: Kind of slow going in the last quarter. The good part was about her learning to cook and adjusting to ...more
To the dismay of her family, she pitches a successful career in journalism to attend a vocational cooking school in Bejing. I don't want to give too much away -- I really like this book.
Also, this book contains the best description of the construction of Shanghai Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) that I have ever read -- they are one of my favorite foods.