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Dark, light and white brews

By Pauline D Loh | China Daily | Updated: 2019-10-12 09:08
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The northern braises are more full-flavored, salty and strong. The braising brew is dark and redolent of strong spices, notably that of star anise, cardamom, cinnamon and Sichuan peppercorns. [Photo provided to China Daily]

You could order a mixed plate and together with rice, it would make a delicious meal.

Cantonese brews are always started with aromatics that include ginger, scallions or even garlic. The spices are less prominent and a little piece of cinnamon or a couple of star anise pods are all that are needed.

One main ingredient is sugar, either crystallized rock sugar, or the flat golden slabs of natural cane sugar.

Once you get the basic brew right, you can cook almost anything in it, from pigeons to belly pork, trotters to gizzards.

For poultry such as duck and geese, galangal and shallots are added to the starter, a culinary influence brought back by Chaoshan cooks who returned from Southeast Asia.

The blue ginger adds a distinctive fragrance to the birds, and the shallots melt into the braising brew for added sweetness.

There is a whole cookbook to be written about lu shui and all its distinctive variations. Let's start with just one recipe.

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