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Helen's Asian Kitchen: Easy Chinese Stir-Fries Hardcover – April 13, 2009

20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Helen Chen grew up cooking with her mom, Joyce Chen, the pioneering restaurateur who helped introduce Americans to authentic Chinese cooking in the 1960s. The dishes Helen remembers most fondly—and still cooks today—are her mom's simple, home-style stir-fries. Now she presents more than sixty of these soul-satisfying Chinese favorites, all perfect for easygoing weeknight dinners.

Inside, you'll find many familiar dishes—Kung Pao Chicken, Moo Shi Pork, and Sweet and Sour Shrimp, to name just a few—and find out just how easy it is to prepare them at home. You'll also discover lots of less familiar dishes that are equally delicious, such as Chicken with Cashew Nuts, Black Pepper Beef with Green Beans, and Shanghainese Shrimp with Peas. In addition, you'll find nearly twenty healthy tofu and vegetable dishes, ranging from Grandmother's Spicy Bean Curd to Garlicky Green Beans.

To help you get started, Helen provides a thorough overview of Chinese cooking techniques, equipment, and ingredients. You'll discover why cornstarch is important, how much oil to use in a wok, and what kinds of soy sauce you should choose. With Helen's clear instructions and straightforward recipes, you'll soon be cooking and enjoying a wide variety of delectable stir-fries.

Throughout the book, more than thirty gorgeous color photographs show just how deliciously appealing these stir-fries can be. Complete with Helen's fascinating notes on each dish, this handsome cookbook is just what you need to explore the simple pleasures of home-style Chinese cooking.

About the Author

HELEN CHEN is the founder of Helen's Asian Kitchen (helensasiankitchen.com), a widely distributed Asian cookware line, and the author of Helen Chen's Chinese Home Cooking. Her mother, Joyce Chen, was a pioneering Chinese restaurateur and entrepreneur, and Helen served as the CEO of her mother's company before launching her own business.

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Product Details

  • Series: Helen's Asian Kitchen
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (March 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470387564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470387566
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Peter on April 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I own Helen Chen's larger cookbook, "Helen Chen's Chinese Home Cooking" and consider it one of the best Chinese cook books a person could have. Many of the recipes in it have been favorites of mine, and some of the easier ones are duplicated in this slender new volume of stir fries. For the beginning cook, this book may be less daunting. From it, I've now cooked "Garlicky Green Beans"-quite tasty, "Shrimp in Tomato Sauce"-delicious, "Kung Pao Chicken"-yummy and fiery, and ""Kan Shao Green Beans"- stellar. Obviously, I am looking forward to woking my way through the remainder of its pages. I own many other books on Chinese food and cooking, but I can think of few of them as uncomplicated as this which manage to produce such deep, rich, tasty sauces.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Thayer on October 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the best Chinese cookbooks I have and I have at least thirty. It's simple fare but not boring. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow. Very creative meals. Chen really knows how to put a cookbook together.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Erika T. on December 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The chicken with snow peas and the broccoli beef turn out excellent. I own another chinese cookbook and I was always disappointed at the results. The recipes on this cookbook are simple, but very tasty. There is no need to prepare a cornstarch paste in advance. I just need to get a few other ingredients to be able to try the other recipes. I look forward to doing that. My husband and I already think the book was worth buying. The only problem I see is that the book lacks pictures of all the recipes. I'd like to see what the dishes look like so that I can compare them to mine.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Swartz on August 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
You can't go wrong with these recipes - these mostly-cantonese dishes are superb, with accurate full page color photos and clear instructions with ingredients you can find at any asian market. I don't fancy the sweetness of Chinese/American dishes and have improved the recipes by adding less sugar (especially in recipes that already have hoisin or dark soy sauces), but either way the dishes have worked out great. Her attention to generating just the right amount of sauce / gravy for the dishes adds a restaurant touch and improves their display, something that other cookbooks often don't get right.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Buciumeana on February 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nothing fancy in this book, but the ingredients are easily obtainable and there are several recipes I'd make again. I do prefer my old Jean Yueh cookbook, which is out of print (1979).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sbenemerito on April 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love to cook oriental food. I have several cookbooks and often find new recipes on the internet. I had high hopes for this book. The author's Chinese background and the many illustrations made me think this might be a new favorite. Unfortunately, the recipes lack flavor and are very similar- meat, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and cooking wine. I have made 5-6 of the recipes so far and not one of them stood out as outstanding. My family thought they were "ok" but none made the "have to make again" list.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donna on August 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've made nine recipes from this book, a first for me and my family. Every recipe has been enjoyed at our table. My family's only complaint---they like more sauce--so I double the ingredients for the sauce.
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By Mrs. Ratfire on June 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book was like new, but I bought it used. Speedy delivery. I can look up recipes on line- I do it all the time. What that fails in is explaining chef notes and techniques. Like Joy of Cooking- it is a must have for any cook, it explains techniques and you can learn to cook! This book does not disappoint- read the tools and technique section- a few pages in the front and your world will change for stir-fries. The ingredients are simple, available most any where, and the dishes can take a few minutes to make if you organize yourself. I bought this one, another thin one like this by Helen Chen and her bigger cook book. All on Amazon- the bigger one has many in the used category starting at .14 cents! How can you go wrong? I knew the smaller books would have the most popular and the simplest, as well as highly illustrated- they usually do. I do recommend this book. You will not even believe how easy it is to make healthy, simple dishes. Unlike a restaurant or a bag of stuff in the freezer, this is economical and not full of breading and deep frying. I also bought the Helen Chen Ricer- the ceramic one. I highly recommend you Google helen Chen's Ricer U-Tube. It will change your method to rice making even if you do not buy her ceramic pot. Look up that U-tube- no burning, no mushy, true steamed rice. It is tons better than boiling it! Happy Cooking to all!
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