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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
I love this book it has many stains and well read and used.
Helen M. Henkel
Whether you are a novice or an expert in "szechwan cooking"...this book has something for you.
"tigerdan1"
The recipes turn out dishes that taste just like my grandmother's did.
it's all good

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 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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21 of 23 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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By F. Liljeblad on October 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I adore Chinese food and have had a great deal of on-the-spot experience with all regions of Chinese cuisine. Szechuan (Szechwan, Sichuan), is a landlocked province in Western China that has some of the most distinctive food in China (and also the most poorly represented in US Chinese Restaurants, slightly less so in the UK).

There are (to my knowledge) three authentic Szechuan cookbooks available in English:

Mrs. Chiang's Szechwan Cookbook, The Good Food of Szechwan (by Robert Delfs), and more recently Fuchsia Dunlop's Land of Plenty. All three are excellent.

Mrs. Chiang's, despite its age, is (as one reviewer already mentioned) the Szechuan equivalent of Julia Child's Mastering the Art.... There is nothing she neglects to address, and her recipes are foolproof! You think you like Szechuan food now? After cooking from this book, you'll become addicted!

For those who really want to get steeped in Szechuan's cuisine, I recommend getting all the three cookbooks mentioned above.

The Robert Delfs book (The Good Food of Szechwan) is not the easiest to find, but I've been cooking from it for 30 years or so and everything has turned out wonderfully.

The Dunlop book, too, is very authentic, very thorough and I definitely recommend it as well.

My only caveat regarding Land of Plenty is, like most contemporary cookbooks, it's a bit too 'scientific' for my taste. Cooking is a lively art and the general tendency is to make cookbooks too scientific. I'm not by any means against detailed recipes, even some hand-holding, but I don't want to know so much of the 'why', I'd rather know what to look for and when. But that's a personal quibble. Buy all three of these Szechuan cookbooks and you'll be very happy indeed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By evildawn on September 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Man, I love this book. The recipies are kinda long, but it's easy enough to follow. My fav in the book - 'Pock Marked Ma's Bean Curd'. The one recipie that opened my eyes to the fact tofu can be really, really tastey when the dish is well spiced and given the time to absorb the flavors around it (I think its even better and hotter the next day.)

The hot and sour soup is also excellent -- more like a stew and completely unlike anything I've had in a run of the mill 'chinese food' place.

My sister picked this book up first and one thing she regularly altered was cutting the oil in the recipies, about in half in most instances. Also, for recipies that ask for ground pork, grinding pork loin steaks (fat trimmed) gets you excellent flavor but less fat.

When a recipie asks for fresh water chestnuts, I'd suggest not using canned. The flavor is completely different. Fresh jicima might be a better substitute if you can't get fresh water chestnuts.
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