Simply Chinese: Recipes from a Chinese Home Kitchen
The author blends two culinary traditions—British and Chinese—in her take on traditional Cantonese dishes, made for the home cook and adapted to use local or easy to source ingredients. Some of these adaptations make use of “unconventional” ingredients, such as frankfurters or ketchup, resulting in recipes far from what you’d expect from a Chinese cookbook. Additionally, while not the author’s fault, this book is written for her British audience, leaving US readers scrambling to source many of her more traditional ingredients.
There are many interesting and tasty dishes here to try, even if your local grocer is lackluster. The Hainanese Chicken Rice was delicious and quick to pull together, for example. The instructions are helpful and easy to follow, and the recipes don’t really take much work. Unfortunately, the instructions are sometimes so detailed that the recipes can seem overwhelming; the photos, while lovely, have a muted color palette that mutes your enthusiasm to attempt them as well.
However, if you can overcome the inertia, the results are rewarding. There’s a great recipe for Hot and Sour Soup, for example, and I am excited to try Cantonese Egg Tart, among several others definitely worth exploring.
|Hardie Grant - Chronicle Books
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