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Food for Thought: An even better Sichuan cookbook from the same author

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Nancy Leson
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Nancy's results with Dunlop's Dry-fried beef with celery

Nancy Leson’s raving about Fuschia Dunlop’s update to her classic cookbook “Land of Plenty.” “I’ve been cooking a lot out of 'Food of Sichuan.'"

2003’s “Land of Plenty” has been my go-to since it came out. Of Dunlop's updated version, "Food of Sichuan," Nance says, “While I have a shelf full of Chinese cookbooks, this new book by Fuschia has really blown me away." 

And with good reason. Just check out this video lesson Fuschia Dunlop did with Serious Eats’ Daniel Gritzer. And we both love Dunlop’s take on Ma Po Tofu, a classic dish I use to win over tofu-phobes.

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I asked Nancy her favorite local Sichuan restaurant and she answered Spicy Talk Bistro in Kirkland. For me, it’s Tacoma Sichuan. “But,” she added, “I’m really having so much more fun making my own."

Most ingredients for Sichuan cooking can be found in local Asian markets. If you want to go the mail-order route I’ve been very happy with the red and green Sichuan pepper and chili bean paste I’ve ordered from Mala Market. Both have way more flavor than anything I’ve bought in stores.

When you eat a lot of spicy food you can lose your taste. When I was in India last summer I was listening to a lot of Michael Bolton.” – Jimmy Carr

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.