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TitleHow to Cook a Dragon: Living, Loving, and Eating in China
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size15.6 MB
Total Pages321
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                            9781580052559-frontcover.pdf
9781580052559-text
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

How to

DRAGON
COOK a

LIVING, LOVING, AND EATING IN CHINA

Linda Furiya
Author of

Bento Box in the Heartland

U.S. $16.95 FOOD/MEMOIR

“LINDA FURIYA TACKLES THE CHALLENGES OF BEING A

Japanese American woman and journalist living in China with her pen, her

wok, and her indomitable spirit. How to Cook a Dragon is a personal journey

through a land at a crossroads of its history. It’s a poignant tale with many layers

of textures and flavors—much like an elaborate Chinese banquet. Indeed, the

best way to slay the cultural dragon is by cooking it.”

—MARTIN YAN, Master Chef, author of Martin Yan’s China,

and host of the Yan Can Cook show

When Linda Furiya moved to China with her boyfriend at the age of thirty, she

hoped to find romance and ethnic kinship. During her six years in Beijing and

Shanghai, however, Furiya struggled with her relationship, as well as what was

expected of her and assumed about her by the Chinese because of her gender

and heritage.

Sensuous and at times unusual, the Chinese culinary traditions, tastes, and

habits mesmerize Furiya, informing her time in China and ultimately revealing

the intimate, nurturing side of the Chinese culture and people. Part insightful

memoir, part authentic cookbook, How to Cook a Dragon is a revealing look at

race, love, and food in China.

ISBN (10) 1-58005-255-X
ISBN (13) 978-1-58005-255-9SEAL PRESS

A Member of the Perseus Books Group
Distributed by Publishers Group West
Visit us at www.sealpress.com

Cover design by Domini Dragoone
Cover images © www.123rf.com

Linda
Furiya

H
ow

to C
O

O
K

a D
R

A
G

O
N

L
IV

IN
G

, L
O

V
IN

G
, A

N
D

E
A

T
IN

G
IN

C
H

IN
A

Page 2

How to

DRAGON
COOK a

LiviNG, LOviNG, AND EAtiNG iN CHiNA

Linda Furiya

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Page 160

Awakening the Sleeping Dragon 159

coat, I felt self-conscious. Here’s another drunk xiaojie who’s going to throw

up on the sidewalk and I’ll have to clean it up, I imagined him thinking.

Although the days felt like spring, the night refused to surrender to

it. The crisp air seemed to clear my nose, throat, and lungs of cigar smoke.

My face and neck felt cooled, caressed, and revived, as if I were standing

under a gentle waterfall.

There was residential housing around the restaurant, and nearby,

along a sidewalk leading to another courthouse, was a cement pedestal—

the kind statues are displayed on. As I walked closer, I saw that there was

a wooden armchair with a blue velvet cushion on the pedestal. I climbed

up the platform and sat in the chair.

It was a clear night, with enough moonlight that I could make out

the red walls of the Forbidden City just a few feet away. I was thinking

about the ancient city and the people who’d dwelled in it when I nodded

off for a moment. When I came to, I was still drunk, but at least the quea-

siness was gone.

I was experiencing the morning-after sheepishness I often felt after

I knew I’d gone too far. I collected myself and slowly went back inside

the restaurant. When I saw Eric deep in conversation with the people at

our table, I felt even more guilty and ashamed about how I’d behaved. I

wondered how long I’d been gone.

Eric looked up at me when I touched his shoulder. I didn’t sit down, be-

cause someone I didn’t know was sitting in my seat. I felt like I was intruding.

I leaned in toward Eric’s ear and said, “I don’t feel well. I’d like to go home.”

Eric flashed me an annoyed look that said, Oh no, here we go again.

I felt sick to my stomach, but the feeling was different from the alcohol-

induced queasiness.

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Page 161

160 How to Cook a Dragon

“I’m going outside,” I said to him, and left quickly.

Outside, I looked for the chair, but someone had removed it already.

I couldn’t help wondering if maybe I’d imagined its presence in the first

place. I thought a little walk would help me clear my head, so I headed

several yards in the direction of the Forbidden City’s gate. I turned when

I heard someone approaching me from behind. It was Eric.

“I—” I started.

“What now?!” he screamed, before I could get another word out.

His body was curled up and over, like a big wave. His eyes were slightly

glassy, and a deep reddish-pink crept up and along his neckline, like a

bad sunburn.

I shrank back. “I, I d-don’t feel good. I thought I was g-going to

throw up in t-there,” I stammered, suddenly feeling the cold that had

seemed refreshing just moments earlier.

He spun around without a word and stormed back into the restau-

rant. I followed him slowly.

I got my coat and said goodbye to everyone at the table, acting as if

everything were perfectly normal. I reassured the people at our table that

I was all right when they asked how I was feeling. Eric and I made our way

back outside and stood silently on the corner of a deserted street, waiting

for a passing cab.

We finally waved one down. After we took our seats in the back and

Eric gave the driver our destination, our silence and civility snapped, and

we yelled at each other all the things we’d been holding back.

“Why do you have to drink until you get sick?” Eric yelled.

“You didn’t even know I was gone until a whole hour had passed!” I

screamed back.

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Page 320

319

Acknowledgments

To my editor, Brooke Warner, much gratitude for your professional-

ism, direction, and objectivity.

To my agent, Carole Bidnick, many thanks for your expertise

and practical advice.

Sharon Harkness, Trina Webster, Laura Gigliotti, Terri Petrie,

Anne Stevenson-Yang, and Anita Ritchie, thank you for your en-

couraging words and immeasurable support, both in the present and

throughout the years.

Thank you, Miriam Morgan, Martin Yan, and Tara Lee.

Lastly, I’d like to extend my thanks to my friends in the People’s

Republic of China, for making my experience living abroad an unfor-

gettable one.

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Page 321

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Dragon-3rdPages.indd 320 9/24/08 1:56:50 PM

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