All Under Heaven: Recipes from the 35 Cuisines of China by Carolyn Phillips

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Zhajiang noodles (Zhájiàng miàn)

    • krista_jo on January 31, 2017

      Eggplant is a delicious addition to this recipe. Roasting took at least 5 minutes longer than called for.

    • krista_jo on February 11, 2019

      Made this again but deep-fried the eggplant. Rich and delicious but sauce could have used less oil (I used 6tbsp). This time I also made the suggested hand-pulled noodles (recipe for Biangbiang noodles (p. 354)). They are amazing! The knead/rest/knead/rest/knead/rest (etc.) cycle made them wonderfully chewy. The dough was easy to roll out and didn't stick. The process of hand-pulling and splitting each piece of dough was difficult to begin with, and I worried that I had wasted my time, but about 1/4 through shaping the noodles I got the hang of it and the noodles became less rustic! (For me, the process was somewhat different than in the book. 1: make the 'dent' using a chopstick on its side; 2: stretch a bit, by putting fingers together and pulling a small amount and repeating that process along the length of the noodle; 3: grasp both ends and stretch some more, very gently, while gently whacking the middle of the noodle on the counter; 4: split noodle apart and lay on tea towel.)

    • Delys77 on January 30, 2018

      We really liked this dish. Eggplant took about 25 minutes at about 375 in my oven. The dish comes together quickly enough that it can be done on a weeknight. I used fresh pappardelle but I think dried broad egg based noodles of any type would be fine. The flavour is a good balance of sweet and umami and the addition of the eggplant makes it quite hardy. I noticed that I have made Dunlop's version too which I noted was a bit fiddly. This wasn't fiddly but perhaps called for far fewer vegetables. I also went with about 2 tb of sesame oil and that was plenty.

    • hirsheys on January 07, 2018

      All in all, this was good, but too oily in my opinion. Also, the sesame oil taste overwhelmed a bit. I think using just a bit of extra corn/peanut oil instead, then finishing with just a little sesame at the end would be better. (I've heard that sesame oil loses taste when it cooks, so I don't think it's worth the cost.) Finally, I think the eggplant is an interesting addition, but should be cut much smaller and cooked until really squishy so that it doesn't impact the texture overall. I may try this again at some point, but prefer the version from Pantry 7.

  • Fried scallion and flaky flatbreads (Cōngyōubing, zhuābing)

    • krista_jo on October 16, 2016

      The flaky breads are very delicious and not too difficult if you have a sharp cleaver or knife. It's okay if some filling leaks out when you roll them out. Do use the Sichuan peppercorns, they really enhance the savory flavour. I cooked them for about 1 1/2-2 mins on each side.

  • Stir-fried shrimp with Longjing tea (Lóngjing xiārén)

    • krista_jo on July 12, 2020

      Enjoyed these more than Fuchsia Dunlop's version (less starchy)

  • Bitter melons in golden sand (Jinshā kuguā)

    • krista_jo on February 04, 2017

      Good, but a little goes a long way.

  • Fried custard with mushrooms (Xiānggū dàndòufu)

    • krista_jo on September 20, 2016

      Wow! This is a delicious mixture of textures and flavours and about as close as Chinese food gets to a one-dish meal (with rice). I was worried that the custard would disintegrate when fried, but it didn't. (It did disintegrate to a degree when tossed with starch. Next time I would sprinkle rather than toss. But the non-cubic bits of custard were just as delicious as the cubic ones.) The custard, crispy on the outside and smooth on the inside, is a revelation. The bok choy and mushroom stir-fry complement it perfectly. Yum, yum, yum.

  • Steamed fish with three kinds of olives (Sānlan zhēngyú)

    • krista_jo on March 28, 2017

      I love "olive vegetable" but I did not love the homemade preserved olives made as a component of this recipe. First, they were too sweet (I'm sure they are supposed to be that sweet - I just didn't like the sweetness), and second, they had an odd almost metallic taste, which, it turns out, is what Chinese olives taste like. Now that I've tasted them, I can detect it in the prepared "olive vegetable", but in a smaller amount because of course there are other ingredients mellowing them out. Finally, the amount of olive oil seemed somewhat excessive (and I am pro-fat). I doubt I'll make this again, there are other steamed fish recipes I prefer.

  • Spicy mung bean jelly shreds (Guizhōu liáng fen)

    • krista_jo on December 04, 2016

      This dish is fun - the jelly (more like noodles) is completely tasteless but the toppings give it lots of flavour.

    • MelMM on January 31, 2019

      1-12-2018 Love these. Sauce needs more vinegar, imho. Bump it up a lot. Otherwise great.

  • Bean curd quenelle soup (Dòufu yuánzi tāng)

    • krista_jo on March 28, 2017

      I enjoyed this once I trained my mouth to expect soft quenelles rather than bouncy meatballs. The soup could have used more broth as I didn't have enough space to cook all the quenelles at once. Quenelles needed more salt. Leftovers were surprisingly good the next day.

  • Fish-fragrant prawns (Yúxiāng duìxiā)

    • krista_jo on September 20, 2016

      The sauce is delicious. The water chestnuts provided great texture. I'm not convinced that deep-frying rather than stir-frying the prawns was worth the additional effort and mess.

  • Lotus-wrapped spicy rice crumb pork (Héyè fénzhēngròu)

    • krista_jo on August 20, 2018

      This took a while to make because I had to make the rice crumbs and the Hunan chili paste first. Steaming the pork for so long denudes it of most of its texture, creating almost a paste. I was not sure whether to serve these with rice because they have rice IN them, but the answer is yes, the flavours all concentrate and become very intense, so rice is a must. Due to the flavour intensity (salt + meatiness + fat + spice) I would not serve this as a main dish but rather as a complement to other dishes as part of a larger meal. Also, I note that the rice crumbs were a bit crunchy in some of my bundles - next time I will pulverize into smaller chunks (I used short-grain glutinous rice). Finally, if you can't find dried lotus leaves at your local Asian supermarket (T&T) and you live near a Chinatown, try a Chinese pharmacy, that's where I found mine.

  • Osmanthus blossom [moo shu] pork (Mùxī ròu)

    • krista_jo on May 11, 2018

      This was very nice indeed. I used dumpling flour to make the wraps and they were too chewy - next time I will use AP or steamed bun flour.

  • Spicy biangbiang noodles (Yóupō làzi biángbiángmiàn)

    • krista_jo on February 11, 2019

      I haven't made the sauce, but I did make the hand-pulled noodle recipe to use with Zhajiang noodles (p. 43) as the author suggested. The noodles were amazing! The knead/rest/knead/rest/knead/rest (etc.) cycle made them wonderfully chewy. The dough was easy to roll out and didn't stick. The process of hand-pulling and splitting each piece of dough was difficult to begin with, and I worried that I had wasted my time, but about 1/4 through shaping the noodles I got the hang of it and the noodles became less rustic! (For me, the process was somewhat different than in the book. 1: make the 'dent' using a chopstick on its side; 2: stretch a bit, by putting fingers together and pulling a small amount and repeating that process along the length of the noodle; 3: grasp both ends and stretch some more, very gently, while gently whacking the middle of the noodle on the counter; 4: split noodle apart and lay on tea towel. I was not able to stretch them to 3 ft long as a first step.)

  • Northern-style puff pastry (Beifāng yóusūpí miàntuán)

    • krista_jo on May 11, 2018

      Surprisingly easy and fun to make!

  • Fried soybeans (Zhá huángdòu)

    • krista_jo on December 04, 2016

      With no suggested temperature or timing you really need to know what you're aiming for if these are going to turn out! Sadly the visual description wasn't enough and my beans ended up soggy rather than crispy. Will cook longer at a higher temp next time!

  • Fermented rice (Jiuniáng)

    • krista_jo on May 11, 2018

      I made this! It worked! It was a pretty fun experiment. Sadly, I do not enjoy the texture of the rice as a boozy breakfast dish as Ms. Philips enjoys it (it is mushy but not in a good congee-like way). However, it makes a good cooking wine.

  • Citrus chili oil with black beans (Júxiāng dòuchi làyóu)

    • krista_jo on May 11, 2018

      I did not love the very strong citrus flavour, but I did like the addition of black beans as other recipes I've used include only chilies, oil, and ginger.

    • DaveW on September 17, 2016

      This is phenomenally good, we've spent the last couple of weeks using it with almost anything (adding it to sauces, salad dressings, mixing it with soft cheeses to form a spread). It has become an instant must have.

  • Hunan-style chili paste (Xiāngshì làjiàng)

    • krista_jo on August 20, 2018

      Yum! 250 mL of camelia oil set me back $26 but this is the most delicious chili oil I have made to date.

  • Guizhou ciba chili paste (Cíbā làjiāo)

    • krista_jo on April 11, 2021

      Delicious. A bit like laogonma chilli crisp.

  • Manchurian chicken salad (Jīsī lāpī)

    • MelMM on January 31, 2019

      1-14-2018 Adapted to be vegan. I used smoked jackfruit and fried tofu in combination to replace the chicken. Served over rice noodles instead of the bean sheets.

  • Vegetarian dongpo pork (Sù dōngpō)

    • MelMM on January 31, 2019

      1-7-2018 This works beautifully. Doesn't taste like pork, which is fine with me! But it looks a lot like it.

  • Fried lotus chips (Zhá oupiàn)

    • MelMM on January 31, 2019

      1-7-2018 This couldn't be simpler: peel a lotus root, slice it thin, and fry into chips. Drain and sprinkle with salt. Eat. Enjoy. If you haven't had a lotus chip before, I'd describe the taste as somewhere in between a potato chip and a plantain chip. Since I like both of these, naturally I liked the lotus chips. A lot. Next time I'll make a bigger batch.

  • Portuguese chicken (Púguó ji)

    • kari500 on February 19, 2018

      Pretty boring. Maybe with the Japanese curry cubes she calls for it is more interesting, but given that these seem to be close to impossible for me to get, I won't be making this again.

    • Delys77 on January 23, 2018

      Overall not impressed. The recipe has you add coconut milk which I found washed out the flavours of the dish. I would recommend following the instructions on the actual Japanese curry cubes that she recommends.

  • Napa cabbage with pressed bean curd (Liángbàn dòugān báicàixīn)

    • ellabee on February 08, 2017

      Advance prep: Salted cabbage should drain for at least 4 hours before further preparation. Also, if pressed bean curd not available, firm bean curd should be pressed for at least 8 hours before further prep.

    • kitchen_chick on March 12, 2019

      I changed this dish up a bit. I had regular cabbage instead of Napa, and because the texture is different I decided to stir-fry it lightly (and season with salt to taste) until a touch wilted and heated through instead of letting the cabbage sit with salt for several hours. I mixed stir-fried cabbage with the remaining ingredients and ended up with a really tasty warm salad instead of the cold one the recipe makes. (I’m not rating this recipe since I departed so far from the preparation, but we really liked this combination of favors.)

  • Silk Road fajitas (Báobing jiān níuròu)

    • TrishaCP on August 18, 2018

      I concur with the other reviews saying this is a good option for a weeknight. The ginger is particularly good here. I also used flour tortillas and added yogurt since I thought it would benefit from a sauce (it did).

    • Delys77 on January 25, 2018

      These were very good with just plain flour tortillas. I would say double the recipe as they got gobbled up quite quickly. Lovely hit of ginger and green onion, and just the right amount of cumin/heat.

    • clcorbi on February 03, 2018

      We also served these with flour tortillas and loved them. Delicious. And so fast! Really a perfect weeknight meal.

  • Malay sponge cake (Malāgāo)

    • lilham on January 06, 2018

      This is a very popular dim sum in Hong Kong. Something I grew up with, and a favourite of my children. I was sceptical about the recipe with its soy sauce and white sugar, but I followed the instructions and ingredients exactly. The texture of the resulting cake was right. However, it lacked the golden syrupy sweetness that I associate with Malay cakes. It's a lot lighter in colour than normal, which I suspect might be the choice of white sugar, instead of brown sugar or molasses.

  • Xinjiang's big plate of chicken (Xīniāng dàpán jī)

    • Delys77 on January 04, 2018

      Very tasty dish that renders a lovely chicken braise with potatoes, peppers, and some lovely spice notes. I used a little less chilli and sichuan pepper but added star anise to the oil. The simmer at the end took me about 20 minutes and i did have to thicken the sauce a touch. I would consider cooking the peppers and then adding to the braise at the end as they do get a bit bitter during the long simmer. Overall a very tasty dish.

  • Peng family bean curd (Péngjiā dòufu)

    • Delys77 on January 11, 2018

      This was fairly quick and quite tasty. I liked the balance of flavour but might go a touch lighter on the black bean for those who are not as enamoured of that flavour profile as I. I also had a very large leek and used all of it as this added a bit of mass and veg to the dish. Also increased the pork to about 5oz and this was just right for us. Last modification was to use a non stick pan to fry the tofu as a wok's shape would have forced me to work in quite small batches. My suggestion to improve flavour would be to season the tofu or perhaps use a flavoured oil. Right now the braising step adds some flavour to the tofu but not enough.

  • Dalu noodle soup (Dalu miàn)

    • Delys77 on November 27, 2020

      The family really liked this. Savoury and umami hit from all the mushrooms. I'm not a fan of bamboo so left it out and increased carrot. I also increased the meat by about double. More noodles than broth but as you toss the noodles get all coated in the lovely broth. A splash of chilli oil wasn't out of place either. Would make again.

  • Fried green onion noodles (Congyóu bànmiàn)

    • Delys77 on January 04, 2018

      Your ingredients must be very good here as there isn't much to this recipe. Homemade stock with some nice ginger in it is pretty much a must. That said, once you have your quality ingredients together it comes together quickly and easily and makes for a lovely noodle side or perhaps a main for two with a fried egg. I used a ramen style noodle and it worked quite well.

  • Guangdong-style steamed fish (Guangdōng qīngzhēngyú)

    • Delys77 on January 15, 2018

      Using a halibut filet this took about 9 minutes to steam. The results are very nice but just a tad subtle. The head on fish would be better but too challenging for my steaming set up at home.

  • Soybean pods (Shāo máodòu)

    • hyperbowler on February 07, 2017

      Tons of flavor, and unlike sauced/stir-fried versions of flavored edamame, not messy to eat with your hands.

  • Stewed peanuts (Beifānghsi lu huashēng)

    • hyperbowler on April 22, 2017

      Delicious. The Sichuan peppercorns seemed too intense at first, but mellowed beautifully as the peanuts sat in the fridge for a few hours.

  • Cumin roasted potatoes (Zirán kao malíngshu)

    • hyperbowler on October 15, 2016

      I'd reduce the salt to less than 1tsp.

  • Dongpo pork (Dōngpō) ròu)

    • chawkins on January 17, 2018

      The pork was definitely melt-in-your-mouth tender. However, even though there was no vinegar used in the recipe, there was a vinegar taste to it. May be it was the sherry that I used for the rice wine. I had 3/4 lb of pork belly, so I just used 3 cups each of wine and water, but I kept the amount of everything else the same, which I thought ought to be okay since I used low sodium soy instead of regular, I also added a tsp or so of dark soy for color.

  • Tomatoes and eggs (Xīhóngshì chao jizi)

    • chawkins on October 20, 2020

      Very good. Like the addition of ginger, very similar to my mom’s, she had garlic in hers too. I reversed the order of the cook, scrambled the eggs first, then cooked the tomatoes so I did not have to clean the wok in between.

    • lkgrover on August 01, 2020

      Excellent vegetarian egg dish. A terrific breakfast or light lunch/supper.

  • Sesame noodles (Májiàng miàn)

    • Yildiz100 on January 07, 2018

      This recipe was unique in that the sesame noodles are served hot. This did not work for me. The sauce quickly thickened and the noodles became stodgy. The vinegar lost its zing, and the sesame oil tasted off. Not a repeat.

    • Rinshin on January 17, 2018

      First time tasting and making Taiwanese majiang mian - warm sesame noodle. Like most things I cook used what I had on hand or what I thought would be good and added spinach and slivers of lemon peel. Because it is hot or warm, noodles stick together and this may be an acquired texture. I liked it fine and next time will be adding much more spinach. Spinach tasted great and helps noodles from clumping together. Also, I did not warm the sauce and added twice the amount of hot chili oil with the goop and vinegar. I may add more vinegar next time. Photo added.

  • Stir-fried rice noodles and satay beef (Shāchá níuròu chaohé)

    • lkgrover on September 22, 2020

      Excellent noodle dish with a range of flavors in every bite. I substituted shiitake mushrooms for black mushrooms, and ginger teriyaki sauce for satay sauce.

  • Shaved noodles with meat sauce (Ròuluzhī dāoxiāomiàn)

    • kitchen_chick on November 06, 2018

      I reduced the amount of soy sauce this called for from 1/2C (yes, that's what it said) to 1/3C and it was very salty even with noodles to soak up the sauce. I am going to try 1/4C if I make it again. (Maybe even less and taste and adjust at the end.) Otherwise, it's a relatively simple and quick dish if you buy noodles instead of making them. July 2, 2019: Tried it a second time with just under 1/4C. Much better, but still on the salty side. Next time I'm going to try 1/8C (two Tbs).

  • Golden-edged cabbage (Jinbiān báicài)

    • kitchen_chick on August 24, 2017

      Worked fine with green cabbage. I used pickled Thai chilies, which also worked well. Need a sufficiently hot wok to get the cabbage to brown at the edges. Nice, basic veggie stir-fry.

    • rionafaith on March 02, 2017

      I needed to use up some napa cabbage and this seemed like just the right basic pantry ingredients recipe. Nice enough but not very exciting. I used Chinese facing heaven chiles instead of Thai chiles as that's what I had on hand, and I only used two of them... could have used more. Unfortunately my cabbage never got browned and crispy, just soft, even though I had the flame under my wok up as high as possible.

  • Black bean asparagus (Dòuchi chao lúsun)

    • clcorbi on January 22, 2018

      Nothing earth-shattering, but this is a very tasty, fast stirfry that makes a nice vegetable side. I really enjoyed how strong the black bean flavor was, as I haven't tried many recipes that really showcase that ingredient. I used chopped garlic (there is an option of garlic or ginger), added a generous splash of rice wine, and a decent amount of salt to really make the flavors pop.

  • Dry-fried chicken wings (Gānpēng jīchì)

    • rionafaith on August 02, 2020

      I ended up cooking these a day later than planned so they sat in the fridge drying out with the cornstarch for upwards of 24 hours. It did no harm and maybe even helped them become extra crispy! Unfortunately I couldn't find my Sichuan pepper at the last minute so I had to omit, but I did use the dried Thai chilies and it was quite spicy and lip-burning! The sauce didn't thicken enough (guess I should have boiled it longer, but I did for about 5 mins and the recipe indicated it should happen quickly so I was worried I would overcook it), so it didn't really coat the wings properly but was still tasty. This technique makes incredibly crispy wings so I'll def use this method in the future.

  • Stir-fried garlic stems (Qīngchao sùantái)

    • rionafaith on May 28, 2017

      My first time cooking garlic scapes/stems, and this was a great super simple preparation. I actually ended up stir frying them for about 5 minutes, and they could have used a minute or two more, but maybe mine were a bit woodier than the author's.

  • Three-cup chicken (Sānbēi jī)

    • Smokeydoke on January 02, 2018

      Three-cup chicken is a staple in the Smokey household, so naturally I had to try this one. It was tasty. It's a basic recipe, but it works, so there's no need to change it, right? This version is quick, great for a weeknight meal, and I thought it tasted better the next day. I modified it by using boneless/skinless chicken thighs and legs and using half dark soy and half regular soy. I felt it needed more salt than directed. Photo included.

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Reviews about this book

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  • ISBN 10 1940450446
  • ISBN 13 9781940450445
  • Published Aug 30 2016
  • Format eBook
  • Page Count 500
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher McSweeney's

Publishers Text

Vaulting from ancient taverns near the Yangtze River to banquet halls in modern Taipei, All Under Heaven offers a comprehensive, contemporary portrait of China’s culinary landscape and the geography and history that has shaped it. With over 300 recipes and lucid, set-by-step instructions, this is the first cookbook in English to examine all thirty-five cuisines of China.

Drawing on centuries’ worth of culinary texts, as well as her own years working, eating, and cooking in Taiwan, Carolyn Phillips has written a spirited, symphonic love letter to the flavors and textures she fell in love with over thirty years ago. From simple fried green onion noodles to Lotus-wrapped Spicy Rice Crumb Pork, All Under Heaven serves as both a handbook for the novice and a source of inspiration for the veteran chef.

All Under Heaven features illustrations on almost every page and hand-drawn maps of each culinary region. It is an essential reference for anyone interested in the cuisine and culinary history of China. Whether covering street food, banquet dishes, homemade drinks, or sweets, All Under Heaven is the first cookbook to do full justice to the startling diversity and ingenuity of Chinese cuisine.

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