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Chinese Cooking For Dummies [Kindle Edition]

Martin Yan
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Have you ever had a craving for fried dumplings or hot and sour soup at midnight? Ever wonder how your local Chinese takeout makes their food taste so good—and look so easy to make? Still don’t know the difference between Sichuan, Cantonese, and Mandarin cooking? Discovering how to cook the Chinese way will leave you steaming, stir-frying, and food-styling like crazy!

The indescribably delicious cuisine of a fascinating country can finally be yours. And in Chinese Cooking For Dummies, your guide to the wonders and magic of the Chinese kitchen is none other than Martin Yan, host of the award-winning TV show Yan Can Cook. In no time at all, you’ll be up to speed on what cooking tools to use, how to stock your pantry and fridge, and the methods, centuries old, that have made dim sum, Egg Fu Young, Kung Pao Chicken, and fried rice universal favorites. You’ll also be able to:

  • Think like a Chinese chef—usin g the Three Tenets of Chinese Cooking
  • Choose and season a wok, select a chef’s knife, plus other basic tools of the trade
  • Find the essential ingredients—and ask for them in Chinese with a Chinese language (phonetic) version of black bean sauce, hoisin sauce, plum sauce, bamboo shoots, and more
  • Cook using a variety of methods—including stir frying, steaming, blanching, braising, and deep frying

And with over 100 recipes, arranged conveniently like a Chinese menu, Chinese Cooking For Dummies lets you select from any column in the comfort of your own kitchen...which is when the fun really begins. Imagine putting together your ideal meal from the book’s rich offering of recipes:

  • Delectable morsels—including Baked Pork Buns, Spring Rolls, Potstickers, Steamed Dumplings, and Shrimp Toast
  • Seafood dishes—including Sweet and Sour Shrimp, and Oysters in Black Bean Sauce
  • Poultry dishes—including Moo Goo Gai Pan, Kung Pao Chicken, and Honey Garlic Chicken
  • Pork, beef, and lamb dishes—including Sichuan Spareribs, Tangerine Beef, and Mongolian Lamb

Chinese Cooking For Dummies gives you all of the basics you’ll need, letting you experience the rich culinary landscape of China, one delicious dish at a time—and all, without leaving a tip!

Editorial Reviews Review

Won Ton Soup, Kung Pao Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork, Fried Rice, Mu Shu Pork--Chinese takeout again? Not with Chinese Cooking for Dummies, which brings the experience of the Chinese restaurant to your home, including everything but the big, exotic fish tank. Author Martin Yan, an award-winning celebrity chef, has put together everyone's favorite Chinese recipes all in the comfortable, familiar Dummies format, including his own signature brand of humor.

To get the full experience, the book requires an up-front time investment of reading before cooking, and includes background on Chinese history and its influence on Chinese cooking. It is long, but if you have the time, it is worth the read. Yan provides a window to the Chinese philosophy on cooking--the delicate balance of complementing flavors, textures, shapes, and cooking techniques--which makes it easier for the Westerner to better understand that what they're doing is more than frying rice.

The book is filled with more than 100 recipes as well as excellent preparation and handling tips for seafood, poultry, pork, and beef. Much of this information easily transcends cuisine borders to foods of all nationalities. As for presentation, Yan has provided fascinating instructions for easy-to-make garnishes that enhance the appearance of a traditional Chinese meal but don't require an art degree. The Chinese may boast of 3,000 varieties of rice but he recognizes that his reader is probably only going to use a couple of these. Another staple of Chinese cuisine, the sauces, are included, with recipes for sweet and sour sauce, oyster sauce, Chinese mustard, and black bean sauce. He recommends making sauces in batches, and offers storage instructions that make it possible to keep the various concoctions for weeks. This allows for a quick Chinese stir-fry, or other favorite dish, in a matter of minutes.

Practical and easy aren't often associated with Chinese food, but Martin Yan makes it seem so simple you may never order takeout again. --Teresa Simanton

From the Back Cover

"Forget Chinese takeout! These recipes are simple and authentic."Mary Ann Esposito, host of PBS's Ciao Italia!

Discover the pleasures of Chinese cooking with Martin Yan!

"Stay in" for Chinese food — cook it yourself the fun andeasy way! Writing with his signature enthusiasm and humor,acclaimed chef Martin Yan offers simple recipes, techniques, andtips that masterfully blend Chinese tradition with Americaninnovation. More than 100 delicious recipes include classics likeFried Rice and Mu-Shu Pork and wonderful surprises likeEight-Treasure Noodle Soup and Drunken Chicken.

Discover how to: Work with a work, steamer, and cleaver Maketasty dips and sauces you'll use all the time Properly select andcook meat and fish Prepare a banquet — for two or 20 ExploreChinese ideas on healing foods

Get smart!

Product Details

  • File Size: 5441 KB
  • Print Length: 360 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (April 18, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XCRB4E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,103 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Begin Your Journey Here December 4, 2001
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Martin Yan...funny guy, and king of PBS cooking shows, is a definite draw for getting this book. Who better to write and explain what is one of the world's most complex and rich cuisines for those of us who have never even touched a wok?
This book helps shatter the image that Asian/Oriental cuisine is one huge homogenous mass of countries wound together. For people first learning about Chinese cooking, and the food culture, this book helps to get you into the sea and your feet wet. As mentioned before, the advanced chef would likely find this repetitive. There is lots of useful, practical advice as well. The sections on shopping in Chinese or Asian grocery stores is helpful, as is the history lesson in the beginning.
One of the things which I loved, was that for his common ingredients list, he said how long things will last in your home under storage. Since some of them to the every-day American cook border upon the mystical and arcane and likely won't be used up quickly, this is invaluable for the person wishing to experiment once a week or less infrequently and doesn't want to waste money on food and spices that won't be used.
This is to say, nothing of Martin Yan's personality, which was also mentioned before, is great! He makes the book worth reading even if you're never going to cook. with it. Out of his 20+ cookbooks, this is one I'm glad I picked up first.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Four main things to comment on:
1) You definitely feel Martin Yan's personality in these pages. Great broad yet brief background on regional influences on Chinese cooking.
2) Equally good broad yet brief explanation of basic ingredients and also the prep and cooking techniques.
3) Recipes are pretty easy and you are welcome to buy most of the basic sauces rather than make them from scratch.
4) Only wish there were pictures with each recipe.
On to the details.
On the first point, if you like his PBS shows, you'll enjoy reading this book. It has his wit and its easy to imagine him speaking to you, cleaver in hand. The background info about different regions is brief yet insightful. For example, you will not learn the history of each region, but you will have some insight about the differences between menus at The Canton Cafe versus Larry's Peking Palace.
On the second point, if you're a complete novice to cooking (let alone Chinese cooking), there's enough info about equipment, technique, and ingredients to get you going. He also provides lots of pragmatic advice - substitute ingredients and make-shift cooking supplies when you have limited options.
On the third point, recipes are easy AS LONG AS YOU'RE PATIENT. Unlike some other cuisines, most of this book involves stir frying and that means you MUST have your ingredients prepped before you start throwing things into the wok. There's no time to measure and chop once you start because the "cooking" stage only takes 2-3 minutes :) I found cooking, in general, to be much easier if I have everything premeasured and ready-to-go in little dishes, just like on the TV shows.
On the fourth point, like most "Dummies" books, this one is printed with very few color pictures.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good first chinese cooking book October 2, 2001
By A Customer
This isn't the most extensive chinese cooking book. And if you are an experienced asian cook this will not be helpful. But it has been very useful to me in getting me started. There are lists of things to buy, and advice on ingredients and utensils. There is not a lot in the way of illustration.
The recipes are items that I have eaten in a lot of Chinese restaurants, which is why it is so useful. I already know how the dish is supposed to taste, so I can judge the outcome against a taste I already know. It also helps to familiarize myself with what the various ingredients bring to a dish so that I can modify it to make it more pungent or spicy or bland depending on what I feel like eating. That's what makes it such a good beginning book. It gives you a base to expand from.
The book is written in a light hearted manner, Martin Yan likes puns and makes a lot of them. I like this book and will probably use it for a while to come until I am ready for more exotic recipes.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This book was easy to follow with step by step directions and the recipes have turned out great. Just like we find in our favorite Chinese restaurants. Many of the ingredients are found in my local grocery store, so it doesn't even take a trip to a Chinese market. Don't skip the introductory pages. The introduction gives valuable background on cooking utensils, how to cut vegetables, and how to stock your pantry with all the right ingredients. There are many colorful pictures, but I would have preferred them after each recipe rather than grouped together towards the end of the book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By C. Wick
I got this book for Christmas and spent the next few days reading it. I have cooked Asian style food since I first started cooking because my mother was an English teacher in Japan in the early 60's and cooked Asian food as often as she cooked Western food--quite a feat considering that we lived in rural Nebraska, two to three hours away from the nearest Asian market.

What sets this book a part from other Asian cookbooks, and I have a lot of them, is 1) The absolute joy Mr. Yan has for his subject, 2) the first few chapters that describe the ingrediants, cooking techniques, and equipment, and the collection of sauce recipes.

If you want red cooked pork, you can read the descripton of braising, make a recipe of master sauce and go on from there.

If you want shrimp with black bean sauce, make a recipe of black bean sauce, read about stirfrying and how to prepare seafood and you have everything you know.

I now keep the all purpose stirfry sauce, master sauce and all purpose dipping sauce, and the sauce for the braised bok choy with banboo shoots on hand at all times.

Some things to remember: This book is definently for a Western audience that wants to replicate what they have eaten in Chinese restaraunts in the United States. His sweet and sour sauce had catsup in it, no doubt to make it resemble the freakish red sweet and sour sauce served in most Chineese American places. One of my favorite dishes my mom made was sweet and sour fish. The sauce was sweet, pungent and BROWN!

Second, buy this book to read to learn about the different cuisines of China, technique, and information on ingredients (also good to find out what you can substitute for hard to find ingredients)not for the recipes.
They have been rather hit and miss.

What I have taken away from this book is the ability to create my own recipes and the ability to cook Chineese recipes from other sources better.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cooking for dummies
Bought this for me. So far its pretty fun. Been reading through it.
Published 22 days ago by michael
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
So far so good.
Published 26 days ago by CRBoling
3.0 out of 5 stars it was easy to read and under stand
it was easy to read and under stand, wish there were some pictures to go with it, otherwise love it
Published 1 month ago by Heidi
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Book. Fast shipping. 😎😎😎😎😎😎😎
Published 2 months ago by Ernie Boston
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
thank you
Published 3 months ago by Gus Saucedo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As described, now to cook.
Published 7 months ago by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book
Wow now I can make my favorite dishes at home using organic raised meat. Same goes for vegetables , thanks!
Published 7 months ago by denise varnell
4.0 out of 5 stars My Husband is No Dummy
I bought this book for my husband and he loves it. He has made a couple of recipes and they all came out pretty good. The price was fantastic.
Published 7 months ago by joann macdonald
2.0 out of 5 stars Good information, but recipes disappoint
There was good information about Chinese cooking, but I was looking for more recipes, and the recipes that were provided were nothing special. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Lu
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy Chinese
A lot of recipes and seem very easy to make. Anything with Martin Yan has to be good!!! Great book
Published 16 months ago by Sherrym12
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