Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes from Hunan Province by Fuchsia Dunlop

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Notes about this book

  • Eat Your Books

    See Susie's reviews of this cookbook at The Boston Globe and in her round-up of the best 2007 cookbooks at NPR Kitchen Window

  • PrincessK on January 15, 2012

    Weeknight quick: Beef with Cumin Duck Egg and Chive Omelet Fragrant-and Hot Tiger Prawns Fisherman's Shrimp with Chinese Chives Stir-Fried Rice with Egg and Preserved Mustard Greens

  • sir_ken_g on December 23, 2011

    My rule of thumb for ethnic cook books is for them to be written by a native who has lived in the West and knows West ingredient names. Ms Dunlop is an exception. She spent considerable time traveling and cooking in China with the eye of a trained chef. Her interpretations are first rate.

  • erin g on September 11, 2010

    I probably reach for this book the most out of all the books on my shelf. The flavours of her dishes are bright and taste - I hesitate to use this word, since it is often over-used - authentic.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Stir-fried eggs with green peppers

    • westminstr on December 18, 2014

      A very simple recipe and the directions worked perfectly, though I did seed my peppers (couldn't help myself). It was tasty enough and a good way of using up the last of my shishitos which weren't tasty enough to eat on their own but I wouldn't rush to make it again.

  • Stir-fried Chinese leaf cabbage with chopped salted chiles

    • westminstr on March 11, 2014

      I've made this dish twice now and love it. It works with ordinary green cabbage if you slice it thinly. The sesame oil finish is key.

    • clcorbi on January 09, 2018

      Yum. Really delicious flavor for so few ingredients. I agree that the sesame oil finish is key.

  • Stir-fried rice noodles with chicken slivers

    • westminstr on July 19, 2013

      This recipe was perfect as I also had cooked chicken breasts and shiitake mushrooms and green onions to use up. I changed the recipe around quite a bit, using fresh instead of dried shiitakes and sliced red pepper instead of bean sprouts. Also, previously cooked chicken instead of raw and olive oil instead of peanut oil (I'd run out of the latter). I had a bit of a noodle clumping problem when the noodles hit the hot pan. Nevertheless, this was a good dish, easy to riff on and a good vehicle for leftovers.

    • amraub on August 16, 2012

      Extremely quick (except for the soaking time) and delicious.

    • twoyolks on July 18, 2017

      This was easy to make and nice but it was a bit bland. I did have to substitute sambal olek for the salted chiles which may have cut back on the flavor.

    • Ro_ on July 23, 2021

      Kind of like a Chinese pad Thai. Easy and tasty - nothing amazing but a solid weeknight dinner.

  • Stir-fried smoky bacon with smoked bean curd

    • westminstr on March 11, 2014

      Delicious! Used one package baked tofu, 2/3 package bacon (skipped the steaming), and thinly sliced greens of one leek.

  • Sweet-and-sour spare ribs

    • Breadcrumbs on March 25, 2013

      p. 58 Wow! What on earth can I say other than we absolutely loved this. It was so good we dipped our spoons into the serving dish to scoop up the very last dregs of the sauce to mix in w our remaining rice. One of our favourites from the book and I’d go as far as saying that this was the very best sweet and sour recipe I’ve ever made. The deep mahogany colour of the pork was a thing of beauty too. If you like ribs, you’ll love this. Wonderful! Photos here:

    • Breadcrumbs on March 25, 2013

      p. 58 Wow! What on earth can I say other than we absolutely loved this. It was so good we dipped our spoons into the serving dish to scoop up the very last dregs of the sauce to mix in w our remaining rice. One of our favourites from the book and I’d go as far as saying that this was the very best sweet and sour recipe I’ve ever made. The deep mahogany colour of the pork was a thing of beauty too. If you like ribs, you’ll love this. Wonderful! Photos here:

  • Beef with cumin

    • Breadcrumbs on October 01, 2015

      p. 102 - This dish came highly recommended by Joan on CH and I have no idea why it’s taken me this long to try it as we absolutely loved it. I used Thai bird chilies and they produced a perfect amount of heat for us. I used beef tenderloin this time around but will try flank steak next time. Highly recommend this one, even for non-cumin lovers as mr bc is in that camp but loved this dish. Photo here:

    • JoanN on September 02, 2014

      This is one of my all-time favorite recipes. I start to crave it if I don't have it once a month. I up the amount of cumin, and grind the fresh seeds coarsely. I used to try to cut back on the oil, but don't any longer. The greater amount of oil gives the meat a beautifully silky texture and you pour most of the oil out anyway. I use flank steak almost exclusively.

    • amraub on January 29, 2012

      Quick and easy with a nice level of heat.

    • Snadra on December 02, 2011

      Fragrant with cumin, and it does yield a tender result. The marinade makes a sort of sticky sauce for the beef. We did cut back on the chiles. The biggest problem was pouring the excess oil out of the wok, but otherwise it came together quickly. Served with plain rice and a quick cabbage salad.

    • Bloominanglophile on January 31, 2020

      This dish, in both of Dunlop's books "Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook" and "Every Grain of Rice", tends to get high marks. I thought it was fine, but not one of my favorite dishes. Will make this again to see if my impressions are consistent.

    • chawkins on August 22, 2013

      Flavorful, we loved this. I'm just reading the earlier notes here that said the marinade made a sticky sauce, I discarded my marinade, I thought this is supposed to be a dry dish.

    • mamacrumbcake on October 02, 2016

      I thought this was pretty good. My husband thought there was too much cumin. Two things I was not expecting: (1) the potato flour in the marinade caused the marinade to become a thick paste which had to be massaged into the meat. (2) the use of so much oil to fry the meat. You will definitely want to wear a apron and use a splatter shield over your pan--hot oil bombs flying around the kitchen, ouch!

    • kitchen_chick on November 15, 2018

      I love this dish; however, I don't always feel like deep frying - it's messy and, well, it's a lot of oil. So rather than doing the deep frying stage, I opted this time to add some oil to the marinading beef to loosen it right before stir-frying. You don't get the same amazing silky texture as you do when passing the meat through the oil, but it's still a nice, flavorful stir-fry. Next time I'm going to add some whole cumin seeds, too. (We love cumin.)

    • clcorbi on June 23, 2017

      Very nice sauce. We used 2t of chili flakes (the minimum recommended amount), and found it to be plenty spicy. The oil splattering is definitely pretty intense in this recipe. I added the marinade to the pan along with the beef, but not clear if I was actually supposed to do that (I have had this issue with a few Dunlop recipes; the rare instance where her instructions are unclear). Anyway, a bit of a user error, bf cut the meat into rather large cubes rather than thin strips. So the texture was a bit off, but the sauce was delicious, and I'd definitely try this again with the meat cut more nicely for a stirfry.

    • Ro_ on March 18, 2021

      I didn't want to deep fry the meat, so used about 100ml of oil and shallow fried. It came out fine. I really liked the flavour and texture (thickish) of the sauce. I was sceptical that it would need added salt, but it absolutely did. Would make again.

  • Steamed fish with chopped salted chiles

    • mirage on June 26, 2010

      Quite good!

  • Stir-fried peppers with black beans and garlic

    • mirage on June 26, 2010

      Good. But guests LOVED

  • Potato slivers with vinegar

    • mirage on June 26, 2010

      Very good - different

  • Fisherman's shrimp with Chinese chives

    • PrincessK on January 20, 2011

      Try this with garlic scapes in spring. p. 177 (RCC)

    • Bloominanglophile on January 31, 2020

      Made this back in August when I had some Chinese chives (garlic chives) growing in my herb bed. A fabulous dish--highly recommended. It's fairly easy too, not too involved and weeknight do-able. I would like to try it with the salted chiles at some point.

    • stockholm28 on May 07, 2017

      I finally got around to making this; it has rave reviews on the chowhound COTM thread. It was very good, although I had no potato flour for the marinade so substituted half cornstarch and half rice flour. It didn't turn the pretty golden brown color in the photo. I will also cut back on the oil next time. This was quite flavorful and I will definitely make this again. I wouldn't hesitate to make this with regular chives.

  • Stir-fried fava beans with Chinese chives

    • JoanN on June 25, 2011

      Can use regular chives and add one sliced garlic clove, but much better with Chinese chives if available.

  • Chairman Mao's red-braised pork

    • IvyManning on June 04, 2021

      It was my first time cooking pork belly. I wish there would have been instructions to buy a meaty piece of pork belly. The dish had so much liquid fat, I ran the sauce through a gravy degreaser and got about a 1/2 cup of fat. I'm not fat phobic, but that seemed like far too much to leave in. It took more like 2 hours for the bite-size pieces of pork and fat to become tender. Also, the recipe doesn't serve that many people, maybe 2 people. The flavor was very good, though I would prefer a bit more sugar as the pork didn't really brown or get coated, maybe because there was SO much fat. Might try with pork shoulder next time as this was a bit too rich.

    • mcvl on June 19, 2017

      I adapted this to braise a whole tied pork shoulder in the oven at 325 for two hours. Magnifico. And the braising liquid will be the basis for a fabulous soup.

    • Ro_ on October 20, 2020

      Very nice, and much quicker than the other red braised pork recipe I have made (and loved) from Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice. I loved the caramelised flavour of the sauce and the pork came out beautifully tender. I think if I made this again, I would first stiry fry the pork for a few minutes on high heat before adding the shaoxing wine and water, in order to get the fat a little bit more crispy.

  • Farmhouse stir-fried pork with green peppers

    • Gio on February 03, 2014

    • Snadra on November 04, 2011

      A great, mild dish with loads of sweet grassy flavour from the peppers. It does take a bit to time to get a good char on the peppers, but is totally worth it. Makes a generous meal for two with rice (and probably leftovers).

  • Slow-braised beef with potatoes

    • amraub on November 11, 2012

      I took a few short cuts on this and made everything in a Dutch oven rather than using a wok to brown and switching to a casserole. I also used very small potatoes, did not peel or fry. The potatoes came out fantastically even without the frying. The meat in this dish was incredibly tender and nicely flavoured. Will make again.

  • Spicy coriander salad

    • amraub on February 04, 2012

      Excellent salad. Substituted sambal oelek for the pickled chiles.

    • erin g on September 11, 2010

      I often make this with lettuce thrown in as well. Great on the side of grilled meats.

    • clcorbi on March 09, 2017

      Delicious salad, but SO spicy--I even decreased the amount of chili oil to 2t and this salad is still incredibly hot! I really like the below idea to toss in some lettuce next time, for a change of texture. This salad seems like it would make a really nice garnish to a fried rice or other Asian bowl meal. Dead simple to throw together, too.

  • Stir-fried fava beans with minced pork

    • erin g on September 11, 2010

      A fun way to use favas in season.

  • Dongting stir-fried duck breast

    • mziech on February 03, 2011

      really fast and easy recipe

    • Ro_ on December 22, 2020

      Nice dish, as another commenter says very fast and easy. However it was a little bit "plain" - I'm not sure that it brings out the best of the duck breast and might be nice with a little sweet note, like some honey, and maybe another crunchy vegetable added to the stir-fry, like mange-tout.

  • Changde rice noodles with red-braised beef

    • Snadra on November 04, 2011

      Made just the beef, which really does go well with mashed potatoes. The beef becomes quite gelatinous and the flavours permeate it ( and the house). The amount of chile called for is quite high - I used half as much and it was still,quite spicy. Very simple to put together.

  • Stir-fried rice with pork and shiitake mushrooms

    • twoyolks on April 09, 2013

      It may not be traditional, but I think an egg would go very well in this.

  • Chicken with ginger

    • chawkins on January 12, 2017

      An okay dish, nothing spectacular, not as gingery as I would like. Just basic pantry ingredients and simple execution. No comparison to my mom's ginger chicken which uses young ginger and tamed with honey.

    • Ro_ on January 01, 2020

      I was sceptical about the quantity of ginger and the fact it was only sliced instead of finely chopped, with skin on, but that turned out absolutely fine since it softened up and disintegrated quite a bit in the broth. This was a nice, light, cleansing recipe which was perfect after Christmas/NY indulgence, however agree with previous comment that it doesn't pack a punch of flavour (ginger or otherwise) so probably won't make it to my favourites list.

  • Smacked cucumbers

    • chawkins on July 24, 2013

      I made both variations. I prefer variation #1 because of the addition of sesame oil and the salted chiles I have is spicier than the dried red pepper flakes. To me, variation #2 is greasier because of the hot oil, but it was my husband's choice because it has less vinegar and he has an aversion to vinegar.

    • Ro_ on May 22, 2020

      Delicious. I made the second version. Would make again, it's just a bit annoying having to do the oil at the last minute.

  • Duck egg and chive omelet

    • chawkins on July 06, 2018

      I made the variation of this, using chicken eggs instead of duck eggs. I used to make this dish the way my mom did it, using the same batter, she would made a whole bunch of individual 4” omelets. Fuschia Dunlop’s way of making one large omelet with all the batter is so much more efficient, I’ll be doing it this way from now on.

  • Stir-fried zucchini with salty duck egg yolks

    • chawkins on August 11, 2016

      There was no need to add salt to the zucchini slices, the salty egg yolks was salty enough. The strong flavor of the yolk was the perfect balance to the slightly sweet but otherwise bland fresh zucchini from my garden. I did not have salty duck eggs, just used salty chicken egg yolks

  • Spicy eggplant pot

    • chawkins on April 14, 2021

      I did not peel the eggplant as directed as I was worried that they might absorb more oil peeled. Very good dish and quite spicy.

    • nathanieldaw on September 20, 2013

      This is basically the fish fragrant eggplant from Dunlop's "Land of Plenty", plus pork and minus sugar and vinegar. I think it's best with all three!

    • jenniebakes on October 05, 2018

      I really enjoyed this - I was thinking vinegar would make it even better and then read nathanieldaw's comment, so off to find the fish fragrant eggplant recipe!

  • Red-braised winter melon

    • chawkins on October 16, 2012

      My mom would never make this recipe, as she claimed that soy sauce would impart a sour taste to the winter melon and she would never use soy sauce on winter melon. But since I got 15 melons from one vine in my garden, I'll try any winter melon recipes that are not overly fussy. This is actually pretty good if you don't mind the slight sour note in the melon.

  • Steamed smoked fish with black beans and chiles

    • Rinshin on June 02, 2014

      This was good, but not great. I've had much, much better tasting steamed fish using other sources. Felt a bit like I wasted good fresh whole sea bream fish.

  • Peng's home-style bean curd

    • clcorbi on February 20, 2017

      A tasty meal, but I enjoyed the "Home Style Bean Curd" from this book a bit more.

  • Home-style bean curd

    • clcorbi on January 31, 2017

      My first use of this book and wow, this is a delicious tofu dish. I didn't have pork loin so I substituted two sliced Chinese sausages--not exactly the most authentic choice in the context of this dish, but boy, was it tasty. I also used Sambal Oelek in place of the salted chiles. There is not much chopping involved here so prep goes by very quickly--and, since shallow-fried tofu always takes a bit of time, I was able to do most of the prep while waiting on each batch to crisp up. I only used about 1/4t of red pepper flakes but would up that amount slightly in the future as we like our stirfries quite spicy. This was really good and would be made even better with a homemade stock. Next time!

  • Stir-fried mixed mushrooms

    • clcorbi on November 02, 2017

      This was tasty, very fast, and surprisingly flavorful. I didn't have any stock so I just skipped the 4T called for. My mushrooms threw off some liquid so I didn't miss the stock.

  • Sour-and-hot noodles

    • clcorbi on March 29, 2017

      This recipe makes a bowl of super spicy, umami meat sauce that is then ladled into a bowl of soy sauce, scallions, noodles and broth as per the general "soupy noodles" instructions on pg 260. I had to substitute sliced water chestnuts for the bamboo, but otherwise followed the recipe as written. I used a nice homemade stock for the sauce portion of the recipe, but had to use a store-bought stock for the noodles. To up the flavor a bit, I simmered a few hunks of crushed ginger in the stock, which I think helped. Next time I might decrease the amount of red pepper flakes in this dish slightly, because we were both coughing quite a bit while eating. Perhaps I might just replace some of them with sambal oelek, which never seems to give me that reaction, no matter how much I use. Either way, the flavor here was very tasty, and the mix of stock and meat sauce produced a nice bowl of noodles.

  • General Tso's chicken (Changsha version)

    • clcorbi on February 03, 2017

      Wow, this was absolutely delicious. I don't see how this version could be topped, but I do want to try out the other version as well.

  • Spicy steamed pork buns

    • Ro_ on January 17, 2021

      Texturally these came out great (although I would have liked more filling-to-bun ratio, make more filling next time for same amount of dough) but they didn't pack a punch of flavour. I guess because there's not much going on in the filling mix except pork, chillis and a faint hint of ginger. Also, the buns stuck to the bamboo steamer despite oiling it - I'd line it next time.

  • Qing Qing's back-in-the pot pork

    • Ro_ on December 19, 2019

      This was predominantly salty, lacking contrasting flavours, and somewhat dry. Twice Cooked Pork from Every Grain of Rice is a much superior recipe with a much more satisfying balance of flavours and textures.

  • Liuyang black bean chicken

    • Ro_ on June 29, 2021

      Nice but I wouldn't necessarily bother deep frying my chicken again, I think I'll stick with the recipe in Every Grain of Rice.

  • Numbing-and-hot chicken

    • Ro_ on May 14, 2020

      The flavours in this were very nice. The recipe gave 2 large, 3 medium or 4 small portions. The only criticism is that it's very oily (and I used a lot less oil than stated in the recipe to achieve something between a deep fry and a shallow fry) which might put me off slightly for the future. You definitely need lots of plain white rice to go wtih it. I might try this again and just stir fry the chicken rather than deep frying it. I did this with breasts, not thigh.

  • Fried cucumber with purple perilla

    • DayOwl on September 14, 2021

      Really interesting and refreshing dish.

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  • ISBN 10 0393062228
  • ISBN 13 9780393062229
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Feb 12 2007
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 304
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher W.W Norton

Publishers Text

Recipes and fascinating tales from one of China's most vibrant culinary regions.

Fuchsia Dunlop is the author of the much-loved and critically acclaimed Sichuanese cookbook Land of Plenty, which won the British Guild of Food Writers' Jeremy Round Award for best first book and which critic John Thorne called a seminal exploration of one of China's great regional cuisines. Now, with Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, she introduces us to the delicious tastes of Hunan, Chairman Mao's home province.

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