I think I may have mentioned this before, but one very useful type of resource in learning to read Chinese menus is the English-language Chinese food blog, particularly those which include the Chinese names of dishes and ingredients.
Here are a few examples of the kind of blogs I find useful — I would love to hear of any others that people can recommend.
- Appetite For China
- Beijing Haochi
- China South of the Clouds
- Cooking The Books (China tag)
- Eat Drink Chengdu
- Eating Asia
- eGullet China Cooking forum (not actually a blog)
- Fuchsia Dunlop
- Life On Nanchang Lu
- Out To Lunch
- Rasa Malaysia
- Red Cook
- Show Shanti
- Sunflower Food Galore
- Yi Reservation
I'm mainly looking for sources that I can trust to know what they're talking about (and are willing to admit when they aren't sure about something), and that discuss the history and context of the food rather than just posting recipes. Have you got any good suggestions for me?
I'd also like to mention some blogs written by friends of mine; these have a wider focus than the ones listed above, but their authors know plenty about Chinese food and often post about it (usually, like me, in a London context): bellaphon, Eat Noodles Love Noodles, and Tamarind and Thyme.
Somewhat relatedly, here's advance notice that I won't be posting during October 2010 (except on the 1st, which is this Friday). I'm taking a month-long blog sabbatical and will be using the time to research new topics, take more photos, and seek out even more exciting Chinese food. I'll still be reading and commenting on other people's blogs, though, and I'm always available at email@example.com if you feel like inviting me out for an adventure!