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Mrs. Chiang's Szechwan Cookbook: Szechwan Home Cooking Hardcover – March 1, 1987


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 359 pages
  • Publisher: Harper & Row; 1st edition (March 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006015828X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060158286
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 33 customer reviews
I've used up four copies of the book over the years.
Badger
A book that educates and informs you, yet provides excellent recipes, written well and easy to follow.
David Barker
I literally learned to cook Chinese food using Mrs. Chiang's book.
it's all good

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book 20 years ago, and many Chinese cookbooks later, am here to advise you that this is the best Chinese cookbook ever! When I started cooking from this book, I stopped eating out at Chinese restaurants because the food I could produce at home was so much better. Cooking techniques are described in exacting detail. You simply cannot go wrong if you make a reasonable effort to follow the recipes.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "tigerdan1" on July 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book when it first came out in 1976...it is simply the best cookbook of its kind ! Whether you are a novice or an expert in "szechwan cooking"...this book has something for you. The "Grand Duke Chicken" is food for the God's...I added green beans to her wonderful "red cooked shrimp". Want a dish that has the delicate flavor of butter (but no butter) try the
"Shrimp with ginger and wine" * if you can get fresh crawfish tails it will be even better !
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By "shiksa1" on February 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I bought Mrs. Chiang's Szechuan Cookbook when it first came out. It immediately became and remains my favorite Chinese cookbook. In fact, I have used it so much that I have worn it out! I take good care of my books, but years of kitchen use have put numerous stains on the pages and have broken the binding, never mind the total destruction of the dust cover! I have given this book as gifts to several friends who have enjoyed my Chinese meals (based on this book), and they are using it too.
You can also get Szechuan Home Cooking. It is just a later edition of the same book, and the only changes are in the introductory material.
Do yourself a favor and get this fabulous book before it disappears forever.
By the way, I finally replaced my worn-out copy, but have kept the old one stored sentimentally alongside--it's full of notes, like "excellent recipe", "Marc [husband] raves", "fabulous and easy."
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By it's all good on October 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am ethnic Chinese, but we grew up on spaghetti and tacos. My only memories of home-cooked Chinese food were the two years my grandmother lived with us when I was a teen. Nevertheless, she set the standard for me in the area of Chinese home cooking. I bought this book when I graduated from college 27 years go, my first cookbook and one of the first non-textbooks I bought--at full price, no less. It was a big investment for someone neck-deep in student loans, but I knew enough to recognize authenticity when I saw it. I literally learned to cook Chinese food using Mrs. Chiang's book. The recipes turn out dishes that taste just like my grandmother's did. I have since bought many other books on Chinese cooking, but none have been as reliable or authentic as Mrs. Chiang's. The only thing I alter is the amount of oil called for.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey R. Millar on December 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
We've been cooking Chinese food one to five times per week for 25 years, and most of it according to Mrs. Chaing. The first copy fell apart from use. I will miss the easy opening to favorite dishes and the memorabe stains, but enough is enough. We have about 30 Chinese cookbooks and use all of them from time to time but Mrs. Chaing's cookbook has staying power, helpful hints, reliable recipies, and a wide range of cooking styles.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Mrs. Chiang tells a brief story from her childhood on a Szechwan farm about each one of the recipes, recounting how her mother prepared it. Without exception, single dish I have tried from this book has been excellent. Includes well-written "how to" info on many techniques.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tom Perigrin on December 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Note - I am writing this review from the first printing.

I bought this book back in 1977. I have purchased many other Chinese cookbooks before and after (perhaps 50) and this is still my #1 favorite.

Back in 1977 the introductory chapters were invaluable to help me start. Those chapters are 3: INGREDIENTS, 4: EQUIPMENT, 5: METHODS, 6: MENU PLANNING and 7: A GUIDE TO THE RECIPES. I would take the book to Chinatown in San Francisco and use the descriptions of the ingredients and equipment to guide my shopping. It helped me sort through the dozens of different pepper pastes, and to select a wok that still serves 30 years later.

Nowadays I turn directly to the recipes, which are organized in a fashion that is a little unusual to my western eyes - pork, ham and beef are grouped as chapter 8: MEAT. The next chapter is INNARDS, including kidney and liver. After that comes POULTRY, FISH, TOFU, VEGETABLES, SOUPS, STARCHES (noodles, dumplings, rice and pancakes), PICKLES and finally ... DESSERTS.

The recipies are all very well written. There are a few introductory paragraphs that describe the meal and the methods. Then there is the step by step instructions in two columns - one contains the ingredients and is a sort of widely spaced shopping and preparation list, the other column is the detailed instructions. VERY detailed... it includes very specific instructions as to the heat of the oil, how to perform the preparation, and the timings of the cooking. The timings are almost always foolproof, although I have had to adjust them to account for the lower temperature gas range I have now.

While some of the dishes are not favorites, each and every one of the dishes I have prepared has been good to excellent.
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