Oriental Empress gets her pot hot

July 16, 2009

stephhotpotThe online bods at SMH like to keep things lively in terms of the Empress’s weekly column (now it’s there, now it isn’t. Happily this week Steph is there in full living colour with a spot on Chinese hotpots. She writes:

Huddling over a huge communal bowl of steaming broth, poaching meats, vegetables and noodles may qualify as the perfect way for a group of friends to spend a winter’s evening. Some believe the poaching technique originated in Mongolia, while others argue it’s unlikely, given the people’s nomadic ways and the need for specialised pots and equipment. Szechuan residents are also strong contenders for the inventors’ crown.

So pop along to Good Living and check it out.  Incidentally, I’m excited today for a couple of reasons. First, I just ate the best lazy person’s lunch I’ve had in ages – a can (greedy!) of chickpeas mixed with the Empress’s famous tomato oil pickle and a dollop of yoghurt – oh my, it was good.

Second, we get to go goodfood hunting with her tonight – Uighur Chinese in Hurstville. Uighur food is amazing – kind of Turkish Muslim influence, I believe, yet Chinese. You may have only heard the word Uighur because of the recent horrific violence in China between Uighurs (Muslim folks) and Han Chinese. But don’t let that obscure the fact of peaceful relations here in Oz, with Uighur restaurants happily dotted through Chinatown and elsewhere. MMMmmm.

*Postscript: Speaking of the above, Sydney PEN (of which I’m a proud member) has put out a statement today condemning the astounding attempt by the Melbourne Chinese consulate to censor the Melbourne International Film Festival by demanding it remove a film about a Uighur activist from its program. Foolish of course (the film has now got huge publicity as the story is covered all over the mainstream media from here to Britain), but also creepy. Check out Sydney PEN’s statement here.

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