From China with Love, Circa 1951

July 31, 2015


You don't think about Americans eating – much less cooking – sophisticated Chinese fare in the fifties. So I was truly surprised to find recipes for an entire Chinese banquet in this issue – Bird's Nest Consomme, Shark's Fin, Pheasant, Bamboo Shoots, Wined Kinghwa Ham.  And yes, there were even a few recipes for tofu. And here they are…



I made the tofu last night (reduced the oil to a single tablespoon, added more garlic, ginger and scallions) and served it over rice. It was a perfect little meal for a hot night. Fresh and simple, like eating clouds.   

But there are, in fact, many fascinating recipes in this issue – for French, Italian and even German dishes.  I'll be posting a few more in the days to come. 

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  • Jan J. says:

    I am going to try the tofu, too! It sounds really good, and actually the celery does too. My mother used to cook something like that with celery, although I don’t think she used soy sauce but I’m not sure. I would love some more of these Chinese recipes! I have a vintage Chinese cookbook, and they used those dried black mushrooms in so many dishes. I am wondering if they are available today.

  • Ruth Reichl says:

    You can find those dried black mushrooms in just about anyplace that sells Asian ingredients. And, increasingly, in supermarkets.