The Chinese Kitchen: A Book of Essential Ingredients with Over 200 Easy and Authentic Recipes

Deh-Ta Hsiung

Published by St. Martin's Press, 2000
ISBN 10: 0312246994 / ISBN 13: 9780312246990
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Synopsis: There's no cuisine more rich with flavor, color, texture, variety, and tradition than Chinese cooking. From the familiar to the exotic, this comprehensive and stunningly illustrated sourcebook, organized by ingredient, is a master chef's catalog of what makes this centuries-old cuisine so vibrant today.

Complete with historical background, information on buying and storing ingredients, and exquisite recipes, The Chinese Kitchen is a must-have for everyone's Chinese kitchen. Entries include: Bean Sprouts - Black Bean Sauce - Chinese Cabbage - Dumplings - Eggplant - Five Spice Powder - Ginger - Lotus Root - Peanuts - Plum Sauce - Shrimp Paste - Soft-Shell Crab - Straw Mushrooms - Tofu - Tea - Wontons - Water Chestnuts and much more.

Review: The Chinese Kitchen is equally useful whether you are selecting your first Chinese cookbook or adding to an already substantial collection. This encyclopedic volume is crammed with detailed information, recipes you know yet probably have not made at home, and color photographs from China that bring the culture and culinary interests of the country compellingly to life. Opening with a useful explanation of the fundamentals of Chinese cooking, you learn how all food is viewed for its seasonal, medicinal, and nutritional values; how color, aroma, flavor, shape, and texture must be balanced in each dish; and how today's cooking goes beyond the classic five flavors. Two-page spreads for more than 100 ingredients include the name in calligraphy and Western letters, the Latin name, and entries for how the item is grown or produced, how to judge its quality, how to store processed foods as well as fresh items, and both medicinal and culinary uses.

In the recipes, precise directions help even beginners get good results: for instance, "Cut the beef across the grain into thin slices the size of a large postage stamp." Recipes make dishes as they would be in China, so Spareribs in Sweet and Sour Sauce are pleasantly pungent without chunks of pineapple, carrot, or onion. From Fujian province, the Stir-Fried Chicken with Cilantro is a delicate combination of sliced breast and ginger, scallions, and coriander. Adventurous cooks will comfortably discover Bean Curd Skin and Asparagus Soup, a simple dish with appealing flavor. For dessert, Chinese Fruit Salad, combining fresh or canned lychees, cubed melon, and other fruits in the scooped out melon, which is nestled in crushed ice, lets you bring the care of Chinese presentation to the table easily.

Though Deh-Ta Hsiung tells little of how he traveled from Beijing, his birthplace, to London, or how he acquired his masterful command of cooking, bits of his personal history weave through The Chinese Kitchen. In all, he is a most welcome teacher. --Dana Jacobi

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Title: The Chinese Kitchen: A Book of Essential ...
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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