Thursday, February 03, 2005

Chinese Food - you can make it!

WARNING: Always, always check for food allergies. Some parents do not expect that their child would come into contact with nuts or shellfish and do not always pass on information about food allergies or a family history of food allergies. Some believe that children, especially those with a family history of allergies, should not be exposed to nuts, berries or shellfish until they are at least 3 or 5 or even 10 years old. Some schools make foods but do not allow children to eat them in school, sending the finished product home with a list of ingredients. People can become so allergic to an item that air-borne contact can trigger a reaction.

No liability is accepted in any way in making suggestions for Chinese food that may be simple to make.

What is simple to make depends in part on your confidence, experience, the age of your students and the size of your class. Some teachers have brought rice cookers or electric flying pans into classrooms and made many dishes in a space with no kitchen. As with any lesson plan, it will be more successful if you try it yourself first and plan for any changes or accommodations needed due to your particular needs, space, or students.

I think chopsticks should always be used and shown. Asia education has a page on Using Chopsticks, and I bet there are videos on the web now!

The Food

Dumplings, jiaozi, of many varieties are available at your local Asian grocery. Dumplings (jiaozi and steamed cdumplings or bao) and wonton skins should be in the freezer section, and may also be in the refrigerated section. An Asian grocery would be a good source for other prepared foods, well as boxes for things like fried rice or mapo dofu sauce.

Wontons or dumplings made with raw meat are usually cooked in boiling water within 3-4 minutes. Cut one open to check for doneness or use a probe thermometer to ensure the desired temperature has been reached. You may want to have a flavored broth in a separate bowl. Wontons, especially some of the children’s will start to unwrap, especially if overcooked.

Noodles are traditionally eaten more in wheat-growing areas, and rice is eaten more close to where it is grown. I think that this sort of information is as important as geographic features of China.

Eggdrop soup is simple and Chinese but not associated with any particular holiday.

I like the sound of the recipe Pinkcocoa found for claypot chicken recipe - adapted to a rice cooker - although not so much the broken English conversation after the recipe. We have not tried it yet or her Taiwanese meatballs - although they are a comfort food and not New Year's feast dish.

The San Francisco Chronicle shares some recipes in Chinese New Year is all about tradition. I think we are trying the winter cone-shaped bamboo suggestions. The Times of London has some in Jill Duplex's Chinese New Year Feast article. Or, read my entry on Chinese New Year Foods in general.

Updated: 3/2007

1 comment:

Gracey.. said...

cool site! very useful.. regards from Indonesia!

just another homeroom teacher for Kindergarten