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Susanna Foo Fresh Inspiration: New Approaches to Chinese Cuisine Hardcover – September 2, 2005


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Cookbooks for Your Thanksgiving Feasts
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; First Edition edition (September 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618393307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618393305
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 10 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,790,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fusion has earned a bad reputation, mostly due to silly combinations that, while intellectually interesting, are often just not that appetizing. Foo (chef/owner of two restaurants and a two-time James Beard Award winner) keeps things lively yet appealing by not going too wacky. Yes, Panko-Crusted Goat Cheese with Tomato and Asparagus Salad uses Japanese bread crumbs, but Alice Waters has been making goat cheese crunchy for years. Likewise, Grilled Lamb Chops with Roasted Sesame Marinade replaces the lamb tenderloin more commonly used in Mongolian shish kabob with a different cut, but preserves the classic flavors. Sometimes Asian ingredients shake hands with Western techniques, as in a savory Rice Noodle Flan and Asian Pear Tatin. There are more traditional dishes, too, like Braised Red Snapper with Thai Curry Sauce and Braised Lion's Head Meatballs "the size of a fist." Foo shares encyclopedic knowledge about everything from long beans (which are part of the black-eyed pea family) to braising (great for tenderizing cheaper cuts of meat). If there is a flaw, it may be that Foo is too wide-ranging, so that the selection occasionally feels unfocused. Overall, though, this is a thoughtful collection of fresh, elegant recipes. Photos. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Foo keeps things lively yet appealing...a thoughtful collection of fresh, elegant recipes.
Publishers Weekly

This collection of 150-plus recipes will inspire home cooks with Asian-influenced Western dishes [...] and lighter versions of classic Chinese items. [A] closer look reveals intriguing flavor combinations.
Library Journal

"She provides recipes both homey and exotic - grilled lamb chops in a roasted sesame marinade, a velvety chicken pumpkin soup." Corby Kummer.
The New York Times Book Review

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on October 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
One trouble with a lot of Chinese (or other ethnic for that matter) cookbooks have is that they often call for items that might be readily available in Hong Kong but which are very difficult to find in you local supermarket -- expecially if you live in a small town like I do. Susanna Foo on the other hand is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and had developed a series of dishes that:

taste better to American palates

use commonly found ingredients

are simple to make.

The resulting dishes are lighter, fresher tasting and all around better than you find in other Chinese cookbooks. She even adds that you don't have to be a slave to her recipies. Cooking should be fun and it should please your and your families tastes.

This is a large cookbook. 352 pages and the book is of large format. There are a lot of recipies, a lot of things to try that are different that what you've seen before, a combination of Chinese with French, molded to fit America. Maybe that's why her two restaurants have been such a success.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on December 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
`Susanna Foo Fresh Inspiration' is the second book by Chinese-American Restaurateur / Chef Susanna Foo who has some James Beard awards to her credit plus the usual celebrity chef endorsement blurbs on the back of her book from the likes of Charlie Trotter, Daniel Boulud, Jacques Pepin, and Lidia Bastianich. One thing which impressed me is that in spite of the oversize format, the book's list price is no more than the standard $35.

As the author makes clear in her introduction, this is not a book on standard Chinese cooking technique. And, her suggestions on wok cooking early in the book also make it clear this is not traditional fiery hot carbon steel wok cooking. Rather, it is adapted to the familiar western flat bottomed wok which I suspect most purely Chinese cooks would consider not a wok at all.

It took me no more than reading two recipes to sense that this book is mostly a fusion of Chinese and Mediterranean ingredients and techniques. The very first `dim sum' recipe had western ingredients portobello mushrooms, extra virgin olive oil, shallots, Parmesan cheese, and truffle oil paired up with Oriental ingredients shiitake mushrooms, dumpling skins, soy sauce, and cellophane noodles. This dish could be billed just as accurately as a ravioli or empanada dish as a dish of dumplings.

Except for the terms `Dim Sum' and `Tofu' in the chapter titles, this would look for the entire world like a typical western cookbook. All the chapters are:

Dim Sum and first Courses - Not too much different from antipasto dishes.

Soups and Stocks - Oddly, no chicken stock, but just about every other kind, plus tofu recipes.

Salads and Cold Vegetable Dishes - Again, evenly divided between Asian and European ingredients.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love the layout of the book - there is a photograph for every recipe. And the recipes and techniques are familiar and not daunting. This cookbook compliments my China Moon and Ken Homm cookbooks. The title is accurate: Fresh Inspiration.
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