Thanks to his cooking program on the Television Food Network, Ming Tsai has gone from chef to culinary celebrity, taking recipes from his Massachusetts restaurant, Blue Ginger, and using them to introduce cooking with Asian ingredients in a most appealing way. Beyond being attractive, serene, and engagingly articulate, Ming Tsai makes cooking with Asian ingredients look easy. This book, a companion to his television shows, offers the same approach and low-key instructions that viewers have come to love. To fill in the visual details for those who have not viewed the cooking series, the book includes step-by-step black-and-white photos for filling potsticker dumplings, rolling sushi, and preparing sushi rice, as well as glorious color shots of many of the completed dishes.
Tsai's specialty is bringing ingredients and techniques of Asia and the West together. It's not surprising to find Tsai using Asian banana leaves, French foie gras, and Southwestern chipotle chile peppers all at once. In fact, it's only natural for the Ohio-raised son of Chinese immigrants, who trained at the classically oriented Cordon Bleu in Paris and has cooked at U.S. restaurants from San Francisco to Santa Fe. His ability to create easily reproduced, globally influenced dishes is exceptional, and results in delights such as Smoky Turkey Shao Mai (dumplings filled with a chipotle-heated filling) and Asian Gazpacho spiked with ginger and Thai basil. Keeping it simple, Tsai offers a quick roll-up of Prosciutto and Asian Pear Maki. Lemon Basmati Rice, flavored with lemon zest and ginger, or couscous blended with a sauté of onion, scallion, and currants--both are side dishes made in minutes that can dress up a store-bought chicken, grilled meat, or Tsai's salmon teriyaki, creatively flavored with orange juice.
Blue Ginger offers many ways to spice up family meals and dishes to surprise guests without too much effort. Cooking from this book is an opportunity to take Asian ingredients you may have eaten in restaurants and master using them in your own kitchen. --Dana Jacobi
From Publishers Weekly
"Successful East-West cooking finds a harmonious way to combine distinct culinary approaches," proclaims Tsai, Emmy Award-winning chef-host of Food Network's East Meets West cooking program and owner of Blue Ginger restaurant in Wellesley, Mass. Tsai and Boehm (Empire Kosher Chicken Cookbook) distinguish their cross-cultural fare with popular fusion cooking. After a brief introduction summarizing Tsai's beginnings in his parents' Chinese-American restaurant in Dayton, Ohio, he turns to the eclectic contents of his pantry. Chapters divide the 125-plus recipes into soups, dim sum, rice and noodles, poultry, meat, seafood, elaborate side dishes and desserts, with mail-order sources. Flavor combinationsAfrom Rock Shrimp Lollipops with Spicy Almond Sauce to Lemongrass Parfait with Pineapple SalsaAdefy tradition. Many recipes require a long list of ingredients (e.g., Crispy Scallops with Carrot-Star Anise Syrup, Pomegranate-Marinated Squab with Thai Quince Chutney), but instructions are clearly written and often include tips for wine and food pairings and advice on ingredient substitutions and techniques. Tsai brings vigor and enthusiasm, along with inspired, intense flavor creations, to his cookbook, which will appeal to fans of his show and all readers with diverse palates. 9-city author tour. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.