Like other cuisines of South-east Asia, Vietnamese cooking is highly perfumed with herbs such as lemon grass and purple basil. It is delicious and goes perfectly with plain rice.
There are many ways of making stock, but the Chinese believe that the most balanced result comes from a long simmering of chicken, pork and ham.
The Chinese are unanimous in their appreciation of shark's fin soup, and this very nutritious soup is rightly considered to be one of the most exotic examples of Chinese cuisine.
In special Cantonese establishments, a whole pig is roasted to a rich red colour in a specially built oven. A similar effect can be achieved at home using a piece of pork from the middle section of belly, with the skin or rind left on.
A preparation of finely minced chicken breast, which is made light and fluffy by the addition of egg white. It is used to add taste, texture and substance to soups, such as Winter melon soup and Bird's nest soup.
Like Shark's fin soup, Bird's nest soup reaches the heights of Chinese cuisine, though Westerners are often put off by the name and the fact that it is produced by swallow's saliva.
Nuts such as peanuts or cashews are a good source of protein for vegetarians. The nuts in this recipe have not been salted as we should aim to reduce the amount of salt in our diets by about a third.
Lamb was not a meat I had known in my Chinese childhood. The first time I had lamb was in France; I was surprised by its assertive, but delectable, flavour.