An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Xingyuanlu 醒園錄

Apr 3, 2024 © Ulrich Theobald

Xingyuanlu 醒園錄 "Records of Sobriety Garden" is a cookbook written during the mid-Qing period 清 (1644-1911) by Li Huanan 李化楠 (1713-1769), courtesy name Tingjie 廷節, style Shiting 石亭, from Mianzhou 綿州 (today's Mianyang 綿陽, Sichuan), and revised by his son Li Diaoyuan 李調元 (1734-1803), courtesy name Gengtang 羹堂, Zan'an 贊庵 or Hezhou 鶴洲, style Yucun 雨村. Li Huanan was district magistrate of Yuyao 余姚, Zhejiang, and then of Xiushui 秀水. Li Diaoyuan was junior compiler (bianxiu 編修) of the Hanlin Academy 翰林院 and then provincial examination commissioners (xuezheng 學政) of Guangdong.

The book is based on Li Huanan's culinary experiences during his time as a regional administrator in the Zhejiang region. He noted down the recipes and arrangements of the dishes he tasted. These notes were later organised and published as a book. The title is derived from a garden owned by the Li family.

The text consists of 121 recipes arranged in 2 juan. It explains seasonings, dishes, cakes, snacks and food storage methods. The dishes in the book are mainly of Jiangnan style, but there are also some examples of the Sichuan style, a few northern dishes, and some of Western origin. The preparation methods are simple and clear, especially such with "mountain treasures" (shanzhen 山珍) and seafood with their special characteristics. Very interesting is the description of the famous method of eating deer tail (luwei 鹿尾), bird's nests (yanwo 燕窩), bear paws (xiongzhang 熊掌), abalone (baoyu 鮑魚), shark fins (yuchi 魚翅) or deer tendon (lujin 鹿筋). The section on "cakes" includes snacks made of Poria cocos (fuling 茯苓, a kind of fungus), pine cake (songgao 松糕), Manchurian buns (bobo 餑餑), and vegetable buns made of rice flour. There are also quite a few varieties of pickled vegetables recorded in the book.

The text can be found in the series Hanhai 函海. In 1984, the Zhongguo Shangye Press 中國商業出版社 published a modern, punctuated edition.

Hu Huiling 胡慧靈 (2021). "Xingyuanlu li de Chuancai weidao 《醒園錄》裏的川菜味道", Baike zhishi 百科知識, 2021 (8): 54-57.
Qiu Pangtong 邱龐同 (1995). "Xingyuanlu 醒園錄", in Zhongguo pengren baike quanshu 中國烹飪百科全書 (Beijing: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), 654.
蜀漢 (221-263)