The Hakka Cookbook: Chinese Soul Food from Around the World by Linda Lau Anusasananan

Search this book for Recipes »
    • Categories: Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: Chinese bacon; fresh ginger; dark soy sauce; Chinese rice wine; five-spice powder; potatoes; green onions
    • Categories: Stir-fries; Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: Chinese rice wine; soy sauce; Chinese long beans; pork butt; bean sauce
    • Categories: Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: chicken breasts; fresh ginger
    • Categories: Soups; Chinese
    • Ingredients: shrimp; pork butt; green onions; Shaoxing rice wine; white pepper; bitter melons; chicken broth
  • Mustard green and pork soup
    • Categories: Soups; Chinese
    • Ingredients: chicken broth; fresh ginger; ground pork; mustard greens
    • Categories: Stir-fries; Side dish; Chinese; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: iceberg lettuce; store-cupboard ingredients
    • Categories: Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: Shaoxing rice wine; fermented black beans; fresh ginger; soy sauce; ground beef; cauliflower; green onions
    • Categories: Stews & one-pot meals; Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: Shaoxing rice wine; dark soy sauce; soy sauce; fresh ginger; whole star anise; dried tangerine peel; oxtail; white radishes; carrots; cilantro; green onions
    • Categories: Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: dried shrimp; shrimp; white fish of your choice; ground pork; green onions; white pepper; firm tofu; Chinese rice wine; soy sauce
    • Categories: Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: ground pork; soy sauce; Shaoxing rice wine; fresh ginger; firm tofu; oyster sauce; green onions
    • Categories: Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: whole fish; Chinese rice wine; soy sauce; fresh ginger; green onions
    • Categories: Egg dishes; Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: pickled salted radishes; eggs; green onions
    • Categories: Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: preserved mustard greens; pork belly; dark soy sauce; Chinese rice wine; oyster sauce; five-spice powder
    • Categories: Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: pork belly; five-spice powder; apple cider vinegar; preserved mustard greens; shallots; fresh ginger; chicken broth; Chinese rice wine; hoisin sauce; soy sauce; oyster sauce; dark soy sauce; fennel seeds; Sichuan peppercorns; cinnamon sticks; cardamom pods; whole cloves; whole star anise; oranges
    • Categories: Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: shiitake mushrooms; firm tofu; baby bok choy; carrots; green onions; soy sauce; Chinese rice wine; oyster sauce
    • Categories: Stir-fries; Side dish; Chinese
    • Ingredients: Chinese rice wine; dried black fungus; white pepper; fresh ginger; snow peas
    • Categories: Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: shrimp; Chinese rice wine; white pepper; garlic; soy sauce; sesame oil; green onions
    • Categories: Stir-fries; Side dish; Chinese; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: Chinese rice wine; celtuce; Shanghai sweet rice wine
    • Categories: Stir-fries; Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: pork belly; garlic; Chinese rice wine; dark soy sauce; celtuce
    • Categories: Chinese; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: winter squash; lily bulbs; Chinese rice wine; fresh ginger; sugar snap or snow peas
    • Categories: Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: pork butt; chicken broth; Chinese rice wine; soy sauce; fresh ginger; water spinach; carrots; garlic; canned straw mushrooms
    • Categories: Stir-fries; Side dish; Chinese; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: spinach; dry-roasted peanuts; Chinese black vinegar
    • Categories: Side dish; Chinese; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: Asian eggplants; garlic; fresh ginger; chilli flakes; soy sauce; rice vinegar; cilantro
    • Categories: Stir-fries; Side dish; Chinese; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: celtuce; garlic; fermented black beans; fresh ginger; soy sauce
    • Categories: Rice dishes; Side dish; Chinese
    • Ingredients: jasmine rice; dried Chinese sausages; shallots; soy sauce; oyster sauce

Notes about this book

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Stir-fried ground beef and salted mustard greens

    • westminstr on January 22, 2015

      This was a straightforward stirfry, very easy to make and prep. I doubled the recipe for 1 pound of beef and made half with chilies and half without. Definitely better with! I forgot the cilantro which would have improved the dish, and I might possibly have preferred the dish with pork or turkey, but that is a matter of personal preference. O liked the dish but E refused to eat it.

  • Soy-glazed chicken morsels

    • westminstr on January 06, 2015

      I thought this was just OK - a little sweet and mild for my taste. We spiced it up with Dunlop's salted chilies and did not add the suggested garnishes, which may have helped. Preferred Diana Henry's similar-tasting ginger-garlic chicken dish. And my kids ate that dish, but not this one.

  • Stir-fried water spinach and charred red chiles

    • westminstr on January 06, 2015

      A straightforward stir-fry, turned out good and as expected, except that my kids claimed that it was too spicy because of the chilies, so I really need to remember to omit them in future.

  • Salted mustard greens

    • westminstr on January 22, 2015

      These were very easy to make, and had a nice fresh flavor and crisp texture. Looking forward to using them up in different dishes!

  • Stir-fried chicken and salted mustard greens

    • westminstr on March 19, 2015

      This was a very nice dish and a good way to use my salted mustard greens. I will probably make it again with the rest of the batch. I upped the chicken to about a pound, added an extra tbsp of soy and omitted the water. For the five spice I did a homemade mix of more or less equal amounts of Sichuan peppercorn, fennel, cinnamon and then a tiny bit of cloves. I liked this mix and was glad I chose not to buy a whole jar of five spice powder.

  • Soy-glazed black pepper chicken

    • westminstr on February 06, 2015

      Easy and satisfying. Really tasted like the Cantonese roast duck on rice dishes, though with black pepper instead of five spice. Leftovers were good, and I'm not usually crazy about leftover chicken thighs.

  • Stir-fried pork and pineapple

    • Gio on April 21, 2016

      Pg. 92. This recipe gets 4 1/2 stars from us, one 1/2 more than the person who made it before us. I used peanut oil. jalapeno, and dark soy sauce but otherwise followed the recipe as written. We liked the gingery/lemony/complex flavors. Easy enough to cook on a weeknight as that's an important factor.

  • Stir-fried tofu and pork hash

    • Gio on June 09, 2016

      Pg. 123. A likeable and satisfying finished dish,. The only thing I changed was to cube the tofu instead of crumbling. We both enjoyed it and would make it again. I served it with cooked soba noodles tossed together. A shower of chopped cilantro completed the presentation.

  • Stir-fried long beans and pork

    • kari500 on March 05, 2016

      Made as a main. Perfectly fine, not very exciting though. Easy peasy, so worth doing again if in a hurry and I have ingredients on hand.

    • Delys77 on January 28, 2015

      If you go with the full 80z of pork this is half pork half vegetable, which seems a bit off for me given the fact that I was serving this as a side. Flavour wise though it was good. I went with the hoisin and I worried it would be too sweet but it wasn't. A nice change from my typical spicy green bean sides.

  • Braised fish in black bean sauce

    • kari500 on September 26, 2015

      Delicious, even with frozen tilapia.

  • Soy-glazed pork and mushroom noodles

    • smtucker on January 24, 2015

      Made a half recipe with only 11oz of pork, adding more shitake mushrooms to get the same volume. We had 6 servings with this recipe. Ran out of stock, so last 2 servings were a stir fry with the noodles and pork mixture with some freshly prepared boo choy. Excellent.

    • Delys77 on January 30, 2015

      Pg. 208 The pork in this was delicious. Tender, succulent, and very nicely flavoured. I only needed about 5 minutes of cooking for it to get nice and tender after all the ingredients were added. I do think however that they are the star of this dish and that the noodles didn't do much for me in their broth. I would also suggest stir frying, or even sieving over steamed rice (just increase the serving of pork). Also, if I did do the noodles I would cut the sesame back a lot since I found it overpowering in the noodles. To be honest, I am staring to think I don't like sesame oil.

  • Mustard green and pork soup

    • smtucker on January 24, 2015

      Really loved this. Housemates voted for a repeat. Mustard greens were a surprise. Really delicious.

    • PinchOfSalt on November 03, 2013

      Used some really good home made chicken broth plus extremely lean ground pork from my meat CSA and and a bunch of Chinese mustard greens from my local farmers' market to make this recipe. Very, very satisfying: the broth made the dish. Great pay off for very little prep time.

    • swegener on January 11, 2015

      I really enjoyed this, though I used it more as an outline, with turkey stock and ground turkey, and a bit of ginger in the meat balls. I also added some lemon juice at the end and some red pepper flakes. My sister tells me vitamin C enhances your ability to absorb the nutrients from greens, plus it tastes good.

  • Stir-fried cumin beef

    • smtucker on January 11, 2015

      This was fabulous. Very similar to Quindao and Zoe's version. 7oz of meat, same otherwise. Would benefit from cilantro as a garnish. Would be equally good with chicken thighs or lamb.

  • Bitter melon stuffed with sticky rice

    • Avocet on September 24, 2013

      This was not a success. The bitter melon came out mushy after the requisite steaming time to cook the rice.

  • Garlic-chile eggplant sticks

    • L.Nightshade on January 04, 2015

      I used the ingredients and proportions as written, but might have been slightly generous with the chile flakes. The dish just didn't have any punch, any complexity. It just made me hunger for some of the great Chinese eggplant dishes I've had in the past.

  • Chile-spiced clams with basil and cilantro

    • L.Nightshade on January 04, 2015

      The addition of water was unnecessary as the clams produce juices, so even with the cornstarch, the sauce was thin and watery. I actually added some serrano chile along with the jalapeño, so at least it had a little more heat and dimension, but even so, serviceable, but nothing to write home about.

  • Garlic noodles and shrimp

    • L.Nightshade on January 06, 2015

      Well, it was colorful. Mr. NS (who has a long history of cooking Chinese food, and an extensive collection of Chinese cookbooks) thinks one big problem was that by the time the shrimp go in with the liquid, they are just getting steamed, and would have a much improved texture if they were stir fried dry, removed, and added later. My biggest objection was lack of complex flavor. Thank goodness for the heat of the added serrano. We both came to the conclusion that if this was fast-food Chinese takeout, we'd think, hmm, not bad. But for a home-cooked dish, it left a lot to be desired.

    • Delys77 on May 05, 2017

      I agree with LN, not bad but not outstanding either.

  • Steamed chicken and Chinese sausage

    • Delys77 on January 14, 2015

      Pg. 143 I'd never steamed chicken before so it was an interesting process. The result is actually quite tasty, moist, broth, if a little bit bland. I would add a bit more soy and a touch of salt. I used my large stock pot and a medium stainless mixing bowl, and it was all done in 25 minutes. Be very careful not to burn yourself with the steam. Used oven mitts to retrieve the dish.

  • Ginger-garlic chicken

    • Delys77 on January 04, 2015

      Pg. 205 Very simple to put together but also only so so. Fuschia Dunlop's version from EGOR is better.

  • Stir-fried Chinese broccoli and chicken

    • Delys77 on January 09, 2015

      Pg. 210 I doubled the recipe to serve 4 but I only went with about 1.25 lbs of gai lan. I followed the recipe except that I added a dash of soy and I separated the stalks from the leaves and put the stalks in first. I also removed the chicken while I cooked the stalks. Lastly I did thicken the sauce with a bit of corn starch. Overall very simply and homely but really quite tasty. An excellent preparation for Gai Lan since the minimal other ingredients allow it to shine.

  • Uncle Henry's tofu triangles

    • Delys77 on January 28, 2015

      Pg. 31 This was quite surprising for us. I expected my husband to turn his nose up at it but he quite liked it. Tofu isn't really his thing, but in this case the little triangles and their stuffing went down quite well. I did add a touch of cornstarch to the stuffing to firm it up just a bit. Otherwise the flavour on the stuffing was great. I did get lazy and make a few into squares, but these were less palatable because the tofu to stuffing ratio was off. The triangle can be finicky but with a mellon baller and a bit of patience it is doable. The sauce was also very nice, but I would suggest doubling the sauce as the tofu triangles do need a fair bit of it.

  • Pickled carrots and radishes

    • Delys77 on January 13, 2015

      Pg. 60 Very tasty little pickle. A bit of heat with the dried chilies but not too much, and a good balance of salt and sweet. I would make it with all daikon next time as I prefer the daikon to the carrot.

  • Braised tofu and vegetable clay pot

    • Delys77 on January 06, 2015

      Pg. 47 Make sure to slice the carrots relatively thinly and also cut your bok choy a bit smaller than suggested as the cooking time is quite short. The sauce is very good, with lots of mushroom flavour and the veggies and sautéed tofu go very well with it. The dish is subtle but good. Season to taste at the end as mine needed salt. You could also up the bok choy by about 50%. went with 1.5 recipe and it served 4-5.

  • Braised eggplant, pork and mushrooms

    • Delys77 on January 11, 2022

      This want very popular at our house. It ended up a bit too soupy and the texture just wasn’t nice.

  • Noodles with mushroom pork sauce

    • Delys77 on January 06, 2015

      Pg. 104 This is similar to a slightly tacky French Canadian dish I grew up with called "nouilles chinoises". Essentially it is a sauté of ground pork with lots of mushroom and garlic chives, seasoned heavily with dark soy. Once it is tossed with the noodles you have a lovely if simple dish that makes an easy meal served with sautéed greens or snow peas. There does seem to be an error in the recipe in that it says to plate the noodles, but later seems to state you should have put them in the pan. I simply tossed my noodles in the work and it worked just fine.

  • Stir-fried cumin chicken

    • Delys77 on January 23, 2015

      Pg. 183 This is more what I think of in terms of the Hakka food of India. The dish is somewhat spicy with a good hit of cumin, soy, and the lovely wok hay effect. Overall I would say this was a good dish, with interesting flavours, easy prep, and a fair visual appeal. Went with a 1.5 times recipe for 4 along with some rice and sautéed greens.

  • Crispy ginger beef

    • Delys77 on May 11, 2015

      I shallow fried my beef and it worked very well. The sauce seems to be too thin but the sugar caramelizes and thickens up quite nicely. This was very reminiscent of take out versions I have had, if a bit healthier due to the fact that the beef is only lightly coated in flour vs the heavier batter one finds in take out places. Overall the flavour was very pungent but very tasty. The ginger also mellows nicely so you end up with something that is well balanced.

  • Tangra masala beef

    • Delys77 on January 16, 2015

      Pg. 191 Not bad, but I do find that the use of so many dry spices in the paste makes for a bit of a gritty final result.

  • Hakka soup noodles

    • Delys77 on January 13, 2015

      Pg. 169 Did not make the accompanying egg dish so this was very easy to put together. Doctored a bit of my standard broth by simmering with ginger, green onion and dried red dates. Used frozen asian noodles, which are essentially the same weight as fresh and I had to go with a full kg. Overall very easy, tasty, but maybe a touch underwhelming.

  • Cauliflower and beef in black bean sauce

    • meggan on November 07, 2013

      Blah. This recipe was surprisingly boring. As I am from Northern Maine, I was forced to use fermented black bean paste instead of fermented black beans. I don't think this is the problem though. It was just really dull and I don't know how you would fix it. Sorry.

  • Braised pig's feet in sweet vinegar

    • chefpatty on April 11, 2015

      ginger sesame oil palm sugar pig feet Chinese black vinegar

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Reviews about this book

  • Yum.Fi

    There is so much more to this book than just the 140-odd recipes. Personal stories, cultural references and fusional changes are all mixed in and around the recipes.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 0520273281
  • ISBN 13 9780520273283
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 01 2012
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 312
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher University of California Press
  • Imprint University of California Press

Publishers Text

Veteran food writer Linda Lau Anusasananan opens the world of Hakka cooking to Western audiences in this fascinating chronicle that traces the rustic cuisine to its roots in a history of multiple migrations. Beginning in her grandmother's kitchen in California, Anusasananan travels to her family's home in China, and from there fans out to embrace Hakka cooking across the globe - including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Peru, and beyond. More than thirty home cooks and chefs share their experiences of the Hakka diaspora as they contribute over 140 recipes for everyday Chinese comfort food as well as more elaborate festive specialties. This book likens Hakka cooking to a nomadic type of "soul food," or a hearty cooking tradition that responds to a shared history of hardship and oppression. Earthy, honest, and robust, it reflects the diversity of the estimated 75 million Hakka living in China and greater Asia, and in scattered communities around the world - yet still retains a core flavor and technique. Anusasananan's deep personal connection to the tradition, together with her extensive experience testing and developing recipes, make this book both an intimate journey of discovery and an exciting introduction to a vibrant cuisine.

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