Interesting Ingestion: Klempress of the Kitchen


Whether it’s below the Mason-Dixon , the bottom of New York State or well under Hong Kong,* the South creates rich culinary traditions. Regionally, nationally and internationally, it is synonymous is cuisine. Don’t believe me? Do we need to bring in an expert? I bring to the kitchen FoodCorps’s very own, Jerusha Klemperer.

What to cook (as written by Ms. Klemperer herself):

  • 1 bag of rice noodles
  • Large handful of bag of bean sprouts
  • Ginger (minced)
  • 1 bunch scallions (thinly sliced)
  • Snow peas (trimmed)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 onion (sliced into half moons).
  • 2-4 skinless chicken thighs
  • Canola oil
  • Lotsa soy sauce

What to use:

  • Wok (or large skillet)

What to do:

  1. In a wok, heat up 2 tbsp canola oil.
  2. Cook chicken pieces until cooked through, remove from wok.
  3. Fry up some sliced half-moon-shaped onions; add minced garlic, add minced ginger.
  4. Add a bunch of cleaned and trimmed snow peas, then a few tbsp soy sauce.
  5. Add in sliced scallions, rice noodles, more soy sauce.
  6. Add chicken and bean sprouts, keep tossing until all is well coated.


*Humans have the natural tendency to group things. We learn about new ideas by comparing them to those we already know. Maybe this is what we in the US did to “Chinese” food. All food from China is Chinese (obviously), but all Chinese food is not “Chinese” food for two reasons.

While there are eight official regional cuisines in China, there is a differentiated cuisine for each of the 22 provinces of the far eastern nation. That said, when majority of the world thinks “Chinese food,” a more experienced palate would most likely consider it Cantonese, or Cantonese-inspired, food. This is especially true for the US, as the majority of Chinese immigrants hailed from Canton. And it’s not just popular here. It is the most desired cuisine in all of China as well. But it turns out Chinese food isn’t quite as Chinese as one might imagine.

In the 1700s, the Quing Dynasty opened the nation to international trade first in the province of Guangdong, also known as Canton. As trade went both ways, so did culinary traditions. And to think, all this time I was under the impression that Asian fusion was new…



Jerusha Klemperer