We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Chopsticks

There must be a rule somewhere about every Chinese (Korean and Japanese) cookbook cover having to have chopsticks on them.

A T-shirts from  Abercrombie & Fitch store in San Francisco  (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

A T-shirt from Abercrombie & Fitch store in San Francisco (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Just another form of typecasting.

I was browsing some cookbooks on the Barnes and Noble site, focusing on the cookbook memoir and found that the majority of book covers for Asian cuisine had on them a combo of chopsticks, a bowl, chinese characters or a dragon.  And occasionally real people.  While European and western tomes had much more versatility:  streetscapes, various produce, graphic montages, and old photos. Less   pigeon-holing and much more “free to be me” going on. Why is that?

Okay, we get it, a lot of people from the Asian diaspora eat food with chopsticks, but we use forks and spoons too.  And even our hands…

Hand it over!

Hand it over!

or sometimes we find it’s more effective to shove our faces right into the trough, especially when we’re eating corn dogs!

Just shove your face in it!

Just shove your face in it!

What constitutes a good cookbook cover is different for everybody.  For me?  I like a combo of bright colors, smart graphics offset by candid photos.   And not annoying a certain segment of the population with your sorry ass stereotyping is really essential.

What not try something like this?

Cover Option 1

Cover Option 1

Or this?

Book Cover Option 2

 Cover Option 2

Incidentally, Koreans are big fans of corn dogs and you can find street snack carts heaped high with this gruesomely unhealthy, yet delicious treat!  Apparently there’s even a french fry version!  Brilliant!

 My darling, my corndog

My darling, my corn dog

Corn Dogs

There are a million recipes out there, but here’s one from Gourmet Magazine which has you grill your dogs first:

The ingredients

  • 8 hot dogs
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • About 8 cups vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups well-shaken buttermilk

The steps

1. Grill hot dogs over medium-high heat in your oiled grill pan, until lightly charred on all   sides, about 5 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.   Insert a wooden stick (like a chopstick!) into each hot dog.  Coat hot dogs in 3 tbsp of flour to coat.  Shake off any excess flour.

2. Heat 3 inches of oil to 350°F in a deep 3-qt heavy pot over medium-high heat.

3. In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients plus 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each one.  Then whisk in the buttermilk.

4. Pour some of the batter in to a tall glass. Fill almost to the top.  Dip hot dogs one at at time into the glass of batter.  Work in batches of 2 or 3.  Add more batter as needed. Fry, turning occasionally, until batter is cooked through and golden-brown all over.  This may take about 3 minutes.

5. Transfer corn dogs to paper towels to drain. Return oil to 350°F and refill glass with batter as needed.

6. Put corn dogs in trough and enjoy!

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