If you’ve ever wondered how to eat chicken feet, you’ll find the answer in “Feeding the Dragon: A Culinary Travelogue Through China with Recipes” (Andrews McMeel, $24.99) by the brother-sister team Mary Kate Tate and Nate Tate. (Yes, those are their real names. Their parents apparently had a sense of humor.)
Nate Tate, who lived and studied in Beijing, initially learned how to cook authentic Chinese cuisine from his housekeeper. He and his sister ultimately went on a three-month culinary trek covering almost 10,000 miles. Along the way, they convinced the people who cooked for them to teach them about Chinese food and share their recipes.
The book includes lots of photos and essays along with recipes that cover numerous provinces. You’ll learn everything from how to make a lychee martini like a resident of Beijing to how to whip up Sichuan Hot Pot. There are sample menus so you can cook to impress your friends, and a helpful glossary in the back explains ingredients like sha cha sauce and how you use them.