Chinese black vinegar

Sour flavor is one of the major flavors of Szechuan cooking. Others include spicy, 'numbing', and strange flavors. Although Chinese black vinegar does pretty much the same thing as American white vinegar, their sourness and taste does differ. The black vinegar has a more 'solid' type of sourness, and the white vinegar has a 'prickly' type of sourness. It's difficult to explain with words. You will know what I mean if you compare them.

Chinese mushrooms

These gray brown black colored mushrooms are very popular in Chinese cooking. They're used in soups, stews, salads, and stir-fries. Within this group of mushrooms, there are many different types. They may differ in aroma, appearance, and taste but only slightly. When I buy Chinese mushrooms, I just buy the most common type I find in grocery stores, which costs usually 3 to 5 for a bag weighing Before you cook the Chinese mushrooms, you have to soak them in hot water until they're soft. This...