Chinese cuisine has a rich history dating back more than three millennia. Increasingly, those of us living outside of China are getting a clearer picture of the complexity that’s developed. Regional Chinese specialties are (thankfully) beginning to arrive on US shores, and a contemporary Chinese meal is no longer the egg foo yung of yesteryear.
Still, one element of Chinese cookery that we haven’t seen, perhaps ironically, is much more popular in China than sit-down restaurants: street food! Every day, nearly one-fifth of humanity consumes quick meat-filled buns, skewers of meat, and cheap noodles on every street corner across China. And—you are more likely to faithfully recreate these dishes at home than you are to master the wok!
The dishes described throughout Fire & Spice are simple, delicious, and not the first thing that comes to mind when you consider Chinese food. Yet, they are arguably closer to China’s everyday grub and well within your trip to the local supermarket. Come along as we present surprisingly and deeply Chinese morsels of goodness.
Along with traditional recipes and methods of street cookery adapted for the home kitchen, Fire & Spice is filled with beautiful photos, anecdotes, history, and folklore related to this beloved cuisine. From genuinely surprised foreign friends to globetrotting chefs, our fellow Sinophiles share their tales from the Chinese street.
SubtitleSmall Bites, Classic Recipes, and Harrowing Tales Across the Middle Kingdom
AuthorBy Howie Southworth, By Greg Matza
Published7 August 2018
Illustrations100 color photographs.
About the author
Howie Southworth is a food author, photographer, and media producer. He is a frequent speaker on education, culture, and cuisine for organizations across the globe. Though Howie has called many delicious destinations home, he and his family currently live in Barcelona, where some very serious food research is underway.
Greg Matza grew up in Los Angeles, weaned on a diet that stretched from Iran to the Philippines to El Salvador—all within a couple of miles from his home. Greg is currently the proud parent of an eighty-thousand BTU propane burner and a collection of very nice potholders. They all live happily in the San Francisco Bay area.
"From noodles to steamed buns, traditional dishes and sweets, Chinese Street Food is a true celebration of Chinese cuisine. Howie and Greg's experiences and travels take you on a tour of Chinese street food stalls and provide a true authenticity these dishes deserve. Peace and Good Eating." —Chef Ming Tsai
"Howie and Greg have long been my dynamic duo when it comes to introducing the gastronomic splendor of regional Chinese cuisines, complete with juicy and nourishing vignettes from five thousand years of history." —Laszlo Montgomery, host of The China History Podcast
"Who better to guide us than Howie Southworth and Greg Matza, whose love and excitement brings Chinese street food alive with carefully crafted recipes you can make in your own kitchen?" —Chef Ken Hom, OBE, author and TV presenter
"Chinese Street Food is brimming with history, food lore, and recipes that take you on a culinary journey outside of the restaurant and into the streets of regional China. Authentic flavors and techniques explode onto the page in a way that first make you salivate, then motivate to roll up your sleeves and get cooking." —Chef Lee Anne Wong
"There is nothing like the sights, sounds, and smells of street food in China! Howie and Greg tap into that electricity and condense it into a book where, with each picture and recipe, my mouth waters and my senses are stirred." —Megan McCormick, TV presenter, Globe Trekker
"Reading all these stories really takes me back to the amazing trip I took with Howie and Greg. I can't wait to recreate the spicy crayfish that we enjoyed after visiting the Forbidden City. So good!" —Ray Hechavarria, the guy on page 141