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Versions of pilaf—the term encompasses a wide variety of seasoned rice or bulgur dishes—can be found throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. This pilaf is among the most basic in the Armenian kitchen.
If your feta is very sharp, soak it in cold water in the refrigerator for a day before using.
At the China Club, bo cai—Chinese spinach, which is similar to conventional spinach—is used for this recipe.
This dish is made with fresh grape leaves at St. Gregory in Chicago, but jarred ones work, too.
Camphor wood for smoking, used for this duck at the China Club, is not available in the United States.
Shish kebab, one of the most popular meat dishes in the Middle East, was probably invented centuries ago by soldiers or mountain tribesmen who impaled bits of meat on their swords to roast over wood fires.