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4.5 out of 5 stars
Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2002
My husband and I love Ming Tsai's style of cooking. We were printing recipes off the Food TV site before this cookbook came out. So you can imagine our disappointment when we tried a few recipes out of this cookbook and found them riddled with typos, errors in ingredient amounts, and poor editing. The writer of the cookbook, Boehm (?), seems to have done slapdash work in the testing department: the translation of a restaurant-level preparation to that of the home cook is poor. We have had to do a great deal of juggling and rewrites to make the recipes come out right.
Ming, please hire a new collaborator for your next cookbook! Your recipes are too good to be messed up by poor editing!
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 1999
Even though I'm a fairly good cook, I've really not had too much luck with making my own Chinese and other Asian dishes, that is, until I got the Blue Ginger Cookbook. The dishes I've made so far have been outstanding and fairly easy. The only way you'd have a problem with any of these dishes is if you don't have access to a good asian market like I do. But since there are many mail order and online venues to obtain these ingredients, it should be no problem.
Ming provides a wonderful glossary that explains in detail, many of the ingredients and what to substitute for them if you can't find what you're looking for. Another great thing about this book is that the dishes are not limited to Chinese, but include many other Asian dishes (with a certain Western influence i.e.East Meets West).
I recommend this book to other cooks like me who love Chinese and other Asian cuisine, but, also like me, have never been able to figure out the dishes on your own.
Bon Appetit!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2000
We bought Ming's book because we like the way he uses Asian ingredients in elegant recipes. So far, we haven't been disappointed -- it's easy to re-create the flavor and presentation that he is so good at. You need a little more prep and sous time, but it is well worthwhile. We love his brined pork loin... the brine is a quick prep with a lot of wonderful ingredients, best left overnight.... after that, the pork takes less than an hour to cook, and is the juiciest and most flavorful way we have ever had this prepared. The same is true of his braised dishes, which we've done for guests to rave reviews (again, lots of time prepping but once it's "cooking" you can relax!). The nice thing is that he uses ingredients that are familiar to us -- meat and potatoes are one of his favorite combinations! -- but his preparations of them are new, different, tasty, and elegant.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2000
I was getting tired of my same old style of cooking and this book really helped me to shake things up. I have historically avoided Asian cuisine, deeming it too hard and complex, but the recipes in this book are so visually appealing and exciting that I was compelled to plunge right in. The dishes I've tried so far have been fantastic. They are also easily adaptable to shortcuts if you don't want to take the time or energy to execute the entire recipe.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2001
I purchased this cookbook last year. I am a huge fan of preparing asian cuisines and many european as well, enjoying the creative outlet it provides me, so this book appealed to my exploritive cooking nature.
It is, I have found, easy to follow and very unique in its combinations. I have had only one bad turn out on a recipe, which I will blame on too much "help" from my dinner guests.
Word to the wise, this is not some mainstay anchor for your basic cookbook collection. this book was meant for people who, like me, enjoy cooking for the creation, because this book is exactly what it purports to be, east meets west cuisine.
some of the over the top recipes this book has that I have loved are: the Thai hot and sour soap /w shrimp toast, smoked salmon and jicama maki sushi, the ahi tuna parfait with two caviars, savory braised oxtail, and crispy scallops with carrot-star anise syrup. the desserts are fantastic too.
to some of the naysayers, yes some of the ingredients are not something that you may use regularly, but if you cook, you can find uses for the leftovers. and I live in the middle of north dakota, if I can find the called for ingredients, anyone can.
I hope that this book brings as much joy to your cooking as it has to mine.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2000
I am a collector of cookbooks, both for reading and culinary pleasure, and found this one to be fabulous on both counts. I have tried several of the recipes (Tsai's mother's potstickers are to die for!) and have found them generally user friendly. I found the glossary of ingredients informative and educational and would highly recommend the book to anyone broadening their cooking horizons.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 1999
easy to follow recipes, great results. The food is really different; I had a dinner party for a few friends and it was easier than usual and my guests raved about the food.
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43 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 1999
I bought this book without being very familiar with Ming's cooking OR his show. I had read a few reviews of his restaurant and how great it was, and thought that I could find out what the hoopla was about by reading the cookbook. I have to agree with the other reviewers that this IS a good book, with interesting recipes that are very creative and enticing. In addition, its a REALLY well illustrated and laid out book; the graphics and fonts are crisp, with numerous pictures of tempting entrees. However, I found the recipes to be hard to approach. Perhaps this is due to my ignorance of his style and his TV show. Even so, I only found a few recipes that I would personally spend the time to make. They were somewhat complicated, with many ingredients I would have to specifically buy for that one recipe (i.e. I probably wouldn't use them in other recipes.) I still recommend this book, but with the proverbial grain of salt. If you can, check out this list of recipes first, and decide if you'll ACTUALLY make any of them. Otherwise it will just wind up being an (albeit nicely done) coffee-table book.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2000
Ming Tsai is by far my favorite TV chef, and this book does not dissapoint. The recipes presented here are truly tantalizing and I can't wait to get the time and the kitched to check them out (I live in a dorm).
Some may argue that the book uses too many ingredients not found in your local supermarket. But I say if you want to create true cullinary masterpieces, you're going to have to go the extra mile. This book is for the person wanting to feast like a king.
My only complaint, that goes for all Food Network Cookbooks, is that there isn't a color photograph of every dish next to its recipe (although the vast majority are represented in color sections). Ming Tsai is just as masterful at presentation as he is at cooking and I'd like to see how he plates up some of these dishes.
All in all a terrific cookbook, and I can't wait for the sequel.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 1999
Eating at his restaurant is always a thrill, so to be able to have this window into this master chef's techniques is extraordinary. The recipes tried thus far are fun and delicious, and the photographs show the beautiful presentation techniques. A must-have book for any fan of east/west cuisine, or any fan of just outstanding food.
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