Top critical review
60 people found this helpful
on February 16, 2007
I bought this book so that i can get more ideas and choices in my daily dishes. i've read many great feed back from here and therefore i went ahead and bought the book. I was really excited when the book arrived, but as soon as i open the cover, all my excitement quickly disappeared. There are several problemswith this book.
first one is the pictures. Perhaps, this book might be one of the earlier edituion publish by wei Chaun publishing company, therefore the photo doesn't show the detail process in how to hand the ingredients. I noticed that other books that were published in the late80s and early 90's have pictures that are much more useful becuase it shows how things should look at each step. This book only have pictures of the finished product.
Second problem is their rescipes. half of the book involved simple stir fry stuff. beef with onion and Sa te souce, beef with mix snow peas, beef with veggie in oyster souce. i guess this is what home cooking is all about. you make one dish. the next one you can add a different veggetable and call it a new recipes. the souces are all the same.. (corn starch, soy, sugar and water). with a tiny bit of cooking experience and interest, anyone can come up with those stuff. the same goes with the stir-fry chicken and pork dishes. it volved the same style just different meat. I know that in chinese home cooking, most of the time you used the same source, brown soy thickened with cornstarched, either that or black bean or oyster ource which you can buy in a jar from a chinese store. I am not crazy about the veggetarian their soups dishes in this book. The dishes are too traditional. it involved ingredients that are loved by older people like my grandmother. younger generation don't usually endore these dishes.
Other reipes i found useless are the appetizers (ham, chinse BBQ pork, beef shanks, and chinse sausage, sliced hard boil eggs and roasted peanuts, cashews). first of all , the cold cut meats and nuts. can be purchased. 99% of chinese people don't eat these except when dine in restaurant. most meats are something buy from stores.
Finally, i should mention that i am chinese. i have chinese home cooking all my life. I also travel to HK and Taiwan quite frequently, so i am very familiar with many different dishes and various cooking styles. I consider myself as a rather experienced cook. I can make just about everything i've can tast. I am dissappointed that this book only have one type of cooking style, that is basic stir-frying. I know most of the stuff in the book already. the recipes are the very basic home cooking recipes. there's no new ideas. I've tried several recipes from the book, and the result was a very dissappointing. and I am not impress with this book.
It is rather difficult to make recommendation for this book. on one hand, this book contains many simply stir fry recipes useful for those who are not familiar with chinese cooking. However, you do need have cooking experience to be successful. you need to understand chinese ingredients in order to follow these recipes. If you're chinese you probably already know how to stir fry most of the stuffs from the book, and hating all the soups and appertizer becuase of the weird ingredients in them.