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Monday, February 6, 2012

Leland Yee, Champion of Shark Fin Soup, to Tout More Politically Correct Broth

Posted By on Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 3:30 PM

click to enlarge Leland Yee likes all types of soup
  • Leland Yee likes all types of soup
State Sen. Leland Yee, the enigmatic San Francisco politician known for his past brushes with the law and diverse array of stances on major policy issues, positioned himself last year as an opponent of a ban on shark fin soup, the Asian delicacy that depends on grisly fishing methods. That turned out to be a lost cause, as the ban became state law the first day of this year.

Now Lee is preparing to tout what will, no doubt, be a more widely acceptable and politically correct dish: Taiwanese beef noodle soup. Lee's office announced today that the state senator, along with Assemblyman Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and Ambassador Jack Chiang, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco, will be appearing with a renowned chef as he shows off his beef noodle soup in Sacramento.

That chef is Hou Chun-Sheng, the 2011 International Taipei Beef Noodle Soup Champion. Hou is embarking on a tour of California that will also include stops at Google headquarters in Mountain View, and the Asia Society of Northern California and Williams-Sonoma in San Francisco. The Sacramento event will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, at Paragary's Spataro restaurant at 1415 L St. 

According to the presser from Yee's office:

Spicy braised beef noodle soup, invented in Taiwan, emerged after the end of China's civil war in 1949 when 1.3 million Chinese immigrants moved from mainland China to Taiwan, bringing with them the recipes of eight major Chinese cuisines. Those who settled in the southern Taiwan city of Kaohsiung modified the spicy Szechuan Beef Noodle Soup to create what is today Taiwan's popular braised beef noodle soup. The soup's wonderful flavor comes from its long simmering broth spooned over stewed beef, noodles and vegetables.

Who knew that such arcana could capture the imagination of state politicians? Inspiring at it is, Yee's passion for beef-noodle soup probably won't be required for any coming political battles; we don't see California banning this comforting and delicious dish anytime soon.

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Peter Jamison


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