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April 19, 2021

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China herbs in French cuisine is a cakewalk

Incorporating Chinese herbs into classic French cuisine is providing health benefits for diners while they enjoy their favorite dishes.

A total of 15 professors and students from New York University Shanghai who come from five foreign countries and six Chinese provinces took part in a pastry workshop yesterday at Le Cordon Bleu Shanghai.

It focused on integrating Chinese herbs and ingredients into traditional French baking.

The group baked cream cheese cake that featured pumpkin and walnuts, which are considered very beneficial ingredients in Chinese culinary culture.

The baking workshop was taught by Arnaud Noel Souchet, pastry chef of Le Cordon Bleu Shanghai.

Ivan Rasmussen, an American political science professor who has been in Shanghai for five years, said he’s tried Chinese herbs like the spices in Sichuan cuisine as well as traditional Chinese medicine ingredients like ginseng.

“I think (incorporating Chinese herbs in French cuisine) is great,” he said.

“The more multi-cultural the cuisine, the more interesting and appealing it is to more people. Also it’s good to challenge the typical cooking standards, one of the highest being French. It’s nice to experiment a little bit, I’ve seen examples of people using Chinese herbs and flavors to expand upon the existing foods and beverages.”

Chen Nuo, a junior from Shanghai, majoring in business and finance, added: “I knew some Chinese herbs from Chinese medicine, in some cuisines, they put herbs as seasoning. Chinese cooking adds a lot of herbs like star anise and fennel in braised dishes, and that’s my impression of herbs, but today we used ground herbs in the baking.”

The event is part of the “Shanghai Menu: Chinese Herbs & Le Cordon Bleu” project jointly created by Philippe Groult, culinary arts director of Le Cordon Bleu Shanghai and Dr Ni Huanhuan, chief physician and senior dietitian Shanghai Tianshan TCM Hospital.


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