File Size: 9556 KB
Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC (May 18, 2012)
Publication Date: May 18, 2012
Sold by: Digital Services LLC
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Word Wise: Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled
Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Best Sellers Rank: #125,320 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) #9 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > Regional > Asian #15 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > Asian > Chinese #56 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Asian Cooking > Chinese
This cookbook, like most of Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's cookbooks, is focused on authentic Chinese cuisine and is not a Chinese takeout cookbook. As the book does not cut corners, it includes the presence of some Chinese ingredients which may be difficult to find outside an Asian supermarket. For example, the cookbook includes a number of recipes which would be considered banquet or special occasion foods and include ingredients such as Shark's Fin and Bird's Nest. Nevertheless, this book does include a number of everyday recipes such as Ma Po Tofu and Hunan Hot and Spicy Shrimp, which can be made after a trip to the Asian foods aisle of most supermarkets, and provides useful recipes for Chinese sauces, such as XO sauce, which are usually purchased prepared. This cookbook is definitely geared toward people who are more accustomed to traditional Chinese cooking or are interested in how Chinese food is outside the local takeout place. Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking includes a number of beautiful pictures of the prepared food and provides a taste of what Chinese home cooking can really be like.
I've had this book for nearly two years now. I use it once a week on average. Over time, I've learned to make small changes, substitutes, OMISSIONS, and so forth. I've never let a lack of a local ingredient stop me from enjoying a particular combination of ingredients. I use dry sherry for my Chinese cooking wine, and I was shown this trick by several Chinese graduate students I lived with. I will tell you this: The hot and sour soup is wonderful. The Cantonese dishes are delicate and subtle. They are simple to prepare. If you assemble and prep all the ingredients at your leisure prior to cooking for a group, you can have a nice social engagement. The Cantonese dishes remind me of my time in Hong Kong, where I ate the most wonderful and satisfying meals of my life. I am so pleased to have this cookbook, simply because it saves me the 17 hour flight to Hong Kong.You'll find the hotter, Sichuan dishes to be delightful. Of course you can cut back on the heat. The rice preparation is fool proof. We do have a clay pot, and it is fun to use, but you can use an enamel coated iron skillet as the companion for your wok. I now scramble eggs and a few other ingredients for breakfast in my well-seasoned wok. It is quicker than using a non-stick omelet pan and is much cleaner.Here's the deal - the book is excellent. I have about 30 cookbooks. This is in my top three. I use this book the most. It is true that I have had professional training and ran a resort as a younger man, but I haven't been in this business for years. My wife has no training, and she has no problem with the dishes. If you are completely unfamiliar with the basics of cooking, this book can present challenges. However, pick up the simple dishes, like "Chicken with Chicken Legs". You don't need fancy special mushrooms - just substitute come cremini or even those canned mushrooms. Just get in there an COOK! Buy this book, and NEVER have soy sauced American Chinese food again.
I've been using this book for a month now, and I really enjoy it. Asian food in general can be intimidating because it requires ingredients that are almost impossible to find if you don't have access to an ethnic grocery or aren't willing to order some of the staples off the internet. I live in San Francisco and have access to both great Chinese stores and a lot of live produce both in italian markets and in Chinatown and this book has really helped me use obscure ingredients that otherwise I wouldn't know what to do with. And the receipes are REALLY GOOD.
First, she had me at shark's fin soup. I ordered this book and expecting elaborate chinese dishes and the author delivered. There were dishes that I was so excited to see and just cannot put the book down. The author does not take short cuts in any of her dishes. Though you may find some recipes that you can make on a typical weekday, there are also recipes that you may want to make on special occasions as well, such as Chinese New Year. For example, she shares the techniques on how to cook abalone, bird's nest, and she even shares recipes on the most popular dim sum dishes - the shrimp dumpling! I would say that if you enjoy cooking, you should want to at least have the knowledge of how to start from scratch. This book shares many recipes that I've always dreamed of learning. I'm glad I found this book!!!
I am enjoying this book and anticipate that I will continue to do so for a long time.It is not a complete Chinese cooking book in itself but supplements my collection. Of particular interest to me are many recipes for condiments and the boxes of additional information about a product or a method. It provides background information and history about cooking methods and specific dishes. The information about raw ingredients and equipment is detailed and helpful. The recipes are easy to follow with well set out lists of ingredients and clear methodologies. They are also delicious. The book is a large one. It is attractive and has many interesting photos.Much is good about this book but I do have reservations. I find it frustrating that the photos of markets were not labeled with their location. I like to know where these places are. The author describes taking students to Chinese markets to familiarize then with products and buying in this way. While this no doubt works well in her cooking classes, I find her constant apparent praising of her own methods irritating and unhelpful, although a reader unfamiliar with these markets may gain valuable information. My final niggle is the inclusion of shark's fin recipes. The harvesting of shark's fins is unsustainable and cruel. Chinese cooking can stand tall without this exploitation.
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