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China Moon Cookbook Paperback – October 1, 1992

45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this wide-ranging collection of recipes from her famed Chinatown cafe, the doyenne of California Chinese cuisine offers a "private cooking school" for cooks who want to enter the "world of traditional Chinese flavors combined with exclusively fresh ingredients." Beginning with the "pantry" chapter on basic condiments like five-flavor Oil and China Moon pickled ginger, Tropp ( The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking ) moves throughout the meal, offering signature recipes, like plum wine chicken salad with sweet mustard sauce, and Hoisin pork buns with ginger and garlic. An entire chapter is devoted to the meat that is "symbolically central to the entire Chinese culture"--pork. Not surprising for a book that is as much a course in method and culture as a collection of recipes, instructions are detailed and descriptive. True to her hybrid East-West cuisine, Tropp reveals eclecticism in her observations about cooking: In one chapter she praises traditional Chinese seafood cooking and presentation practices for following "the integrity of the fish"; a few pages later, she muses about that modern American invention, plastic wrap. Stylish illustrations that simultaneously recall a modern upscale restaurant menu and a 1950s Vogue are also true to the mixed nature of Tropp's cuisine. Author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Tropp, author of The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking and chef/owner of San Francisco's China Moon Cafe, is a talented and passionate cook. Her new book is filled with hundreds of creative, unusual, and fascinating recipes. However, "homestyle" does not quite seem the word to describe them. Many have lengthy ingredients lists, and many dishes require components from other recipes for their preparation--not necessarily complicated on their own, but in the end somewhat daunting for busy home cooks. Nevertheless, the recipes are inspired and mouth-watering. Tropp's sidebars--on every page--are filled with information about Chinese cooking and food in general. This unique book is recommended for most collections. BOMC HomeStyle Books selection.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (October 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0894807544
  • ISBN-13: 978-0894807541
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Bob Carpenter on August 17, 2002
Format: Paperback
The China Moon Cookbook introduced me to high end cooking ten years ago and I've never looked back. Barbara Tropp manages to draw in complete novices with detailed step-by-step instructions of what to do and what not to do, dosed out with a good humored, you-can-do-it-too manner. This cookbook would be a worthwhile addition to anyone's set just for its instructions on how to buy and prepare fish or poultry, or for its instructions on making double chicken stock.
Barbara Tropp's recipes are Chinese influenced in the way of ingredients, so make sure you have a supply of good sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sichuan peppers, red chilis and ginger. In case you don't, the sidebars provide an introductory course in how to find, buy and store such ingredients, with brand recommendations. The main emphasis in each case is the notion of extracting a pure flavor in each dish. Rather than producing the kind of heavy, integrated sauces more typically associated with the Chinese kitchen, China Moon cranked out light, spicy, and brightly acidic dishes like my all time favorites, clear-steamed salmon with corriander pesto and gold coin salmon cakes.
The real strength of this book lies not in its excellent recipes, which can be adapted in numerous ways once you understand their principles. It's in the preparation of a pantry full of such goodies as ma-la oil ("ma" for the numbing spiciness of sichuan peppercorns, and "la" for the traditional burn of red pepper), and pickled ginger that takes 10 minutes to make and leaves you forever wondering why you hadn't done this sooner. There are recipes for stocks, sweet and sour dipping sauces, mustards, and other staples of the Chinese kitchen, that once created, allow the preparation of amazingly flavorful dishes in short order.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Foster VINE VOICE on December 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
No contradictions, there. I read this book cover to cover in one sitting, and loved it. I also learned the techniques of modern Chinese cooking in detail, including how to shop.
The book's problem is that the recipes are designed for a restaurant kitchen, with staff on hand. I have made exactly one dish from it. It took me half a day, and contained endless steps that could easily be shortened or eliminated if you didn't happen to have, say, a staff of 5 on hand. The result was wonderful, and I've made an equally-good version of it many times since, but not before going through the recipe with a LARGE pair of pruning shears.
But buy it anyway. The advice in the side columns alone is worth the price of entry, and the pantry section...
The pantry section is where the fifth star comes from. The infused oils are amazing, the pickled ginger (right down to the brand names of the vinegars -- and don't even THINK about substituting!) is sublime...
The firmament of cooking lost a bright star when Barbara Tropp died.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By drdebs on June 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is one of my top three cookbooks of all time. I have cooked dozens of recipes from it, and they are all raves. My copy is so stained, used, and worn out that I think I have to buy a new one.
Barbara Tropp does not cook "traditional" Chinese food, so if that's what you're looking for you will be disappointed. Also, her recipes are not for a cook in a hurry, or the faint of heart. LONG ingredient lists and exacting standards for everything from green onion rings to chopped ginger take a while to get used to. But, it is really worth the effort. In no time you will find yourself whipping up batches of flavored oils and making some truly fabulous food.
Some of my favorite recipes include the Cold Chicken Salad with Mustard and Pine Nuts (her method for "No-Poach Chicken" is now the only method I use when making chicken salads), Stir-Fried Curried Chicken Slivers with Onions, Tomatoes, and Eggplant (a really yummy Chinese style curry), Gold Coin Salmon Cakes (people beg me to make these for them), Stir-Fried Scallops with Summer Squashes and Thai Basil (a nice fusion dish that's perfect for summer entertaining), Steamed Buns with Chicken and Oyster Sauce Stuffing (native Chinese friends describe these as the best steamed buns they've ever had!), and the Light Style Peanut Lime Noodles. The desserts are also fabulous, especially her signature tarts and tiny bite-size cookies like Lemon Ginger Shorbread.
As you can tell from the above list Barbara Tropp is the Queen of Asian-California Fusion and with good reason. You will enjoy and learn a lot if you buy this book
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By CJ Hafner on November 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you have to limit yourself to one cookbook, this has to find it's way onto your shelves. The recipies are straight-forward and delicious. As a working mom, I'm always desperate for yummy dinners that aren't horribly boring, and don't take forever to put together - Barbara Tropp has been my saving grace. There's a lot of "chop, chop, chop" to her recipies, but you can do almost all of that on the weekend, and then use your stores of minced garlic, ginger and scallions for recipies throught the week. As long as I go light on the chili peppers, my 3 year old enthusiastically gulps down most everything I feed her out of this book.
I had the good fortune of dining at China Moon before it closed, and with the exception of a dinner at Charlie Trotters, it was the best resturant meal of my life. We went with a fairly large group and ordered the whole menu. I was delighted to find that her cookbook produced similiar results at home.
I've made almost everything in this cookbook, and taken heavy liberties with substitutions, all with happy results. And once again, with a little prep work, you can cook recipies out of China Moon all week in 30-45 minutes a day!
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