“China: The Cookbook”

Everything.

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This massive, handsome 720-page tome is full of great recipes and a lot of information, all on the seemingly incomprehensively vast topic of Chinese cooking. China: The Cookbook authors Kei Lum Chan and Diora Fong Chan appear to have thought of everything.

There are over 650 exciting recipes from 33 regions and sub-regions in China, including some from famous chefs around the world. There is so much to learn, even if you never decide to cook braised grouper tail or deep-fried carp; the section on poultry alone will take a home cook months to work through, all the while garnering new ideas, new applications of ingredients, spices, cooking methods. So many of these dishes are relatively easy to prepare; such things as bitter melon salad and crispy lamb with spiced salt. There are many layers of flavour in great Chinese dishes, and this book, published by Phaidon, fully enables a home cook to explore, to learn how things are done. Soups, congee, rice, dessert, it’s all here. Plenty of photos, too, of select dishes, but also of the culture these ingredients rise out of, and are prepared in.

While you may not be serving softshell turtle with chicken any time soon, how to make oyster pancakes or sweet and sour fish belly may lead to dishes such as pork and walnut rolls in sweet and sour sauce, or scrambled eggs and shrimp over vermicelli, and before you know it, you can prepare a feast for a party of six and feel well in control of the situation. This book makes for a great gift, certainly, which really only means you will have to buy two.


Keep cooking at home with these recipes.

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November 6, 2016