Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien at Bev’s December 2018

Wow, an evening of amazing food and a really great discussion of China and its people, politics and cultures! Jane and Moira shared reflections and experiences from their recent visits to China. The book was fascinating and eye opening for events that happened in our lifetime in China from a family’s perspective.

From Jane: Thank you Bev – it was a really wonderful night – you really helped my brain better understand the book. It was surreal for me to be reading the book while in China. 
Here is a description of the social points that we were discussing:

From Laura: Thank you Bev for all of your hard work, those dishes were so tasty! You make it look effortless, but I know a lot of chopping and coordination was going on leading up to our arrival. Great questions about the story from everyone, and so timely to contrast China’s murky history with their growing influence in the world today. It’s difficult to sort out all of the complexities of China when they work so diligently to smooth it all over.  

From Bev: I’ve added this news report to add to Jane’s earlier item. Seldom do we get a glimpse into the powerful people involved in the rise of the Chinese economic phenomenon. Although Meng has been arrested in Vancouver, the fraud has to do with US sanctions on Iran and demonstrates the US and China rivalry for world technological dominance. 

Woman arrested in Vancouver helped turn Huawei into household name in China.


Spiced Cashew Shrimp
11/2 pounds medium shrimp peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
2 Tablespoons safflower oil
4 celery stocks, cut on bias 1/4 inch thick (21/2 cups) plus celery leaves for serving
1 teaspoon finely grated garlic (from 2 cloves)
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger (from 2 inch piece)
Pinch of red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
1/2 cup roasted cashews
Steamed white rice
Pat shrimp dry with paper towels; toss with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. In a small bowl,
whisk together cornstarch, oyster sauce and 3/4 cup water.
Heat large skillet over high heat. Swirl in oil, then add shrimp in a single layer; cook undisturbed
for 1 minute.
Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until almost cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes, add celery,
ginger and red pepper flakes; cook stirring, 1 minute.
Add cornstarch mixture; stir until sauce thickens and coats shrimp and vegetables.
Serve over rice. Sprinkle with cashews, red pepper flakes and additional celery leaves.
Total time: 20 minutes serves 4

Lemon Chicken with Green Beans
14/4 pounds boneless chicken breasts cut into small pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup corn starch
11/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons grated lemon breasts, plus 3 tablespoons fresh juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (from a 1 inch piece)1/2 cup safflower oil
12 ounces green beans trimmed and halved on bias
Steamed white rice
Pat chicken dry and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; toss with cornstarch.
Combine lemon zest and juice, sesame oil, ginger and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in sugar until it
In a large skillet, over medium high, heat 1/4 cup safflower oil until shimmering. Add beans and
cook, stirring occasionally, until they blister in places, 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel.
Sprinkle with salt.

Add 1/4 cup safflower oil to skillet; heat 1 minute. Add chicken; cook, stirring once, 4 minutes.
Transfer to paper towels; discard oil. Add broth mixture, scraping up browned bits with spatula,
1 minute. Return chicken to pot (check to see that you do not have too much broth mixture).
Simmer until sauce thickens and coats chicken, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve over rice. Top with
blistered beans.
Prep time :35 mins. Total time: 45 min. Serves: 4

Broken Wonton Soup
1 teaspoon safflower
1 tablespoon thinly sliced garlic. (2cloves)
1 heaping tablespoon ginger match sticks (thinly sliced from 1 inch piece)
4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves (screams reserved)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
12 ounces uncooked breakfast sausage, casings removed
12 ounces bok choy ( 2 medium or 3 small) roughly chopped
12 wonton wrappers, quartered and chopped diagonally
Chilli garlic sauce for serving
Heat oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat; add garlic and ginger and cook until
fragrant, 30 seconds. Add broth, 2 cups water, cilantro stems, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered for 20 minutes. Remove
and discard cilantro.
Meanwhile in a medium bowl, combine sausage, remaining 1 tablespoon on soy sauce and
cilantro leaves. Roll mixture into 1 inch meat balls.
Return broth mixture to a simmer; stir in meat balls. Cover and let stand until meatballs are
cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. * Add bok choy. Drop in wonton wrappers into soup, one at at
time and stir to prevent sticking.
Divide amount 4 – 6 bowls.
Prep: 35 minutes total time: 55 min serves 4-6
*I changed the recipe slightly. I found in the original the bok choy was over cooked. I like bok
choy al dente.
Wonton noodles are basically the same as lasagna noodles only thinner. Several good sites on
the internet with recipes.
This soup would also be good with ready made wontons rather than the sausage.

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