Cook the Book: 'Beyond the Great Wall'

20090316-beyondthegreatwall.jpgAfter traveling throughout Asia for more than 25 years, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid created something more than just a simple cookbook with Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China. Although this is the first instance in which the six-time authors have focused on a single country, the book is an homage to the various rural regions of China and their respectively distinct culinary traditions.

Acting as cooks, writers, and photographers, Alford and Duguid traveled through Tibet, where they first met; the steppelands of Inner Mongolia; and a host of other remote areas, documenting food traditions and snapshots of daily life. With hundreds of beautiful photographs and vivid stories of their journey accompanying the recipes, the book invites the reader to come along for a ride through the other China. Expect to learn about the breadth and depth of Chinese cuisine beyond the Great Wall.

While this may all sound intimidating, there are plenty of recipes in the collection that will help bridge the gap between making an omelet and making your own tsampa. Every day this week, we'll be giving you a peek into Alford's and Duguid's quest, from homemade pork jerky and cucumbers in black rice vinegar, to a vibrant herb salsa and a comforting dish of pork with chives. The recipes offer plenty of helpful notes and fascinating back stories that enrich the cooking process. Grace Kang

Win 'Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels from the Other China'

Courtesy of Artisan, we're giving away five (5) copies of Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels from the Other China. In the comments below, share your favorite story from traveling in a remote, foreign country, wherever that may be for you.

Contest will end and comments will close at 3 p.m. ET, Monday, March 23, 2009. One entry per community member. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.