We're Nate Tate and Mary Kate Tate, a brother and sister cookbook author team obsessed with all things China. We create authentic and accessible Chinese recipes for home cooks. See more...

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Alum 明矾 (míng fán)

Powdered alum (crystallized potassium aluminum sulfate) is a white powder used in pickling to help vegetables keep their crispness. It is also used when making Chinese Youtiao Fried Dough Sticks (page 63) to give them a crispy outside. You can buy alum in the spice section of a specialty grocery store or at online spice websites. Note: Alum is toxic for humans if more than 1 ounce is consumed.

Reader Comments (1)

Query on amount of alum in fried dough sticks recipe.
Firstly, love your book and it has recipes, i have been trying to get for ages.
Butt 1.5 tablespoons of alum seems a lot. Is this correct?

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWoofess

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