One of the reality I observe on the internet is that most of the food blogs and Chinese recipes written in English are by Asians who leave abroad. These are the people either migrate to the western countries particularly in United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.
So I may be one of the very few individuals who live in Asia written in English about Chinese recipes in the blogosphere. Blogging in English is also a challenge for me. English is my second language. I study in a vernacular school using Chinese as the medium of education.
It is a lot easier to maintain a Chinese food blog in the native language. First, there are guaranteed readers who are familiar with the Chinese recipes I write. Secondly, there are culinary techniques and ingredients specifically used in Chinese recipes, which are difficult to translate into English. Besides that, there is also a concern that whether people will search for authentic Chinese food in English.
The number of readerships becomes more critical to write a cookbook consist predominantly with Chinese recipes. Writing a cookbook is a much bigger project than writing a blog post. It takes several months, or even more than a year to draft, design, amend and publish. What if people are just not interested to read my Chinese recipes written in English?
You will never know if you don’t try
I just check the page view of my blog and is pleased to know that I have 16,530 page views for the past 30 days. This number is not significant, BUT when I decided to write this cookbook six months ago, it was only 7171 pageviews. This result shows that the readership of my blog has increased dramatically by 230% in just six months!
If the page view doubles every six months based on this trend, I should have half a million page views three years from now.
Whether this is just a dream, the result boosts my confidence. At least I know that people who like Chinese recipes out there read my blog.
Whatever the outcome, I will only gain new knowledge in publishing a book. It will broaden my repertoire of culinary skills, and improve my writing skills. I draw a positive image in my mind which act as a catalyst to push myself harder in completing the cook as quickly as I can.
There is only a handful of well written Chinese recipes in English. I am fortunate to know how to read English, Chinese, Malay and Bahasa Indonesia.
I hope my Chinese recipes can reach a vast number of English speaking cooking enthusiasts. Many of them may not understand Chinese and want to access to the authentic recipes from Asia.
How much have I accomplished with my relentless effort
Here is the summary of the progress in October:
- Written 63 recipes so far.
- Finish the draft of the chapter of stir-frying technique and steaming technique.
- Publish three posts in this month.
- Start to take images for the recipe.
- Start writing the chapter called the magic of Chinese sauces.
And here are the first two images that I have taken.
You will notice that these are simple Chinese recipes. I want to create more delicious and straightforward recipes. It is essential to ensure the readers can master them without going through a steep learning curve. However, this is not as easy as I first thought.
How to simplify your cooking with the magic of sauces
To begin with, the first part of the book will focus on Chinese sauces. This chapter will concentrate on showing you how to make some traditional Chinese sauces for use in various Chinese recipes. Some Chinese recipes in this section require one or more of these sauces as the primary seasoning. The sauces will help you to cut the cooking time of many stir-fried dishes drastically, and almost by half in some cases. You can make this sauces in the freezer up to two months.
Here is the screenshot of one of the draft of this chapter. (It is a draft copy, so there will be plenty of amendment to do along the way 🙂 .
Writing easy Chinese recipes is fun and challenging
I realize that the concept of ‘easy’ is relative. An experienced chef may find the recipe is easy, while a beginner may have difficulties to follow. It is not always possible to simplify a recipe and yet to maintain the quality.
There will be a few level of difficulties in the book. Readers can start with the easy recipes, before attempting the complicated one. I will endeavor to simplify all the steps and remove the less essential ingredients so that it will be as easy as possible to work on without sacrificing the quality.
I plan to indicate the level of difficulties for each recipe, so that the readers can decide which recipe they want to attempt, based on the understandings and ability.
Until next month, I will keep you inform of my progress.
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