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36 Reviews
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85 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is what Chinese food REALLY tastes like
When you make these wonderful dishes, you will know what Chinese food really tastes like, not the brown garlic-ginger tasting stuff you get at a take-out place around the corner. This cuisine has everything going for it - a heavy reliance on vegetables, using meat in a supporting role, and healthful cooking techniques like stir frying and steaming.
The author has...
Published on October 4, 2000 by Christina C. Shankar

versus
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Truly authentic recipes, but what kind of people are they for...
This book has authentic recipes. But they may be 'authentic' in a way that I suspect most normal Americans (and many Chinese in China to some extent) will be unable to really embrace. What I mean by this is that these are authentic Cantonese aristocratic recipes; i.e. food for the kind of people that can afford servants, or at least have a stay at home mother or father...
Published on April 21, 2008 by J. Lee


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85 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is what Chinese food REALLY tastes like, October 4, 2000
This review is from: The Chinese Kitchen: Recipes, Techniques, Ingredients, History, And Memories From America's Leading Authority On Chinese Cooking (Hardcover)
When you make these wonderful dishes, you will know what Chinese food really tastes like, not the brown garlic-ginger tasting stuff you get at a take-out place around the corner. This cuisine has everything going for it - a heavy reliance on vegetables, using meat in a supporting role, and healthful cooking techniques like stir frying and steaming.
The author has very thoughtfully created a glossary with the names of culinary exotica in both English and Chinese characters, so that I can make a copy of the page, point like an idiot at the words for my friends at the Asian market and they will show it to me.
The recipes ALL WORK. I cannot tell you how satisfying it is to pick up a cookbook, place my time and ingredients and trust in the author's hands and have a wonderful meal to show for it. Trust this author. She will teach you, entertain you, and you will know how marvelous real Chinese food is. It would take an active campaign of sabotage to ruin one of her recipes, they are so easy to follow. (but then again, I really like cooking.) This is a cookbook that I will simply never part with, and I will use until its pages are stained with soy sauce and fall out. The recipe alone for Mah Gu Gai Pin is worth the price of the book.
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Truly authentic recipes, but what kind of people are they for..., April 21, 2008
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This review is from: The Chinese Kitchen: Recipes, Techniques, Ingredients, History, And Memories From America's Leading Authority On Chinese Cooking (Hardcover)
This book has authentic recipes. But they may be 'authentic' in a way that I suspect most normal Americans (and many Chinese in China to some extent) will be unable to really embrace. What I mean by this is that these are authentic Cantonese aristocratic recipes; i.e. food for the kind of people that can afford servants, or at least have a stay at home mother or father who has enough time to devote multiple hours to cooking dinner each day. Even when the recipes venture into other areas of Chinese cuisine, it holds that same kind overly epicurean complexity.

I grew up with my grandparents cooking Cantonese food for me, and though preparations can get quite complex in the Chinese kitchen, dinner rarely feels like a burden. This book simply calls for too many ingredients, oftentimes obscure ones, oftentimes in trifling amounts. Currently I live in Beijing and the agricultural market is right down the street, but generally speaking I can hardly motivate myself to go gather all the many ingredients in these epic recipes. I feel in many ways that Ms. Lo neglects an important, but certainly not all encompassing, concept in Chinese cooking, which is straightforwardness and letting good ingredients speak for themselves.

To compare, Ms. Lo's recipe for Mah Paw Daufu (not a Cantonese dish) has 22 ingredients listed. Whereas in the "Land of Plenty" cookbook the Ma Po Doufu calls for 12 ingredients. Both recipes create a wonderful dish, but as the recipe in "Land of Plenty" is much less complex I use it 95% of the time. Having grown up with Chinese food and having lived in China for 3 years I would say that "Land of Plenty" is more 'authentic' in that its the home style cooking that most Chinese people do.

Notice I did give this book 3 stars which means I think it is good, just not great. I have tried a good number of the recipes and all of them resulted in very nice dishes. Ms. Lo understands Chinese cooking, Chinese food, and Chinese culture, so the essays about food in this book are extremely informative. I also appreciate that she tries to cover the many regions of Chinese cuisine. Yet in the end, if you are like me, work full time, don't have enough money for an in-house chef, or don't have a stay at home spouse, I would recommend looking for other Chinese cookbooks.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A First Rate Cookbook, January 6, 2001
By A Customer
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This review is from: The Chinese Kitchen: Recipes, Techniques, Ingredients, History, And Memories From America's Leading Authority On Chinese Cooking (Hardcover)
I bought this book for my husband for Christmas and we can't stop cooking from it! Every recipe we've tried has been delicious and authentic. While we are not novice cooks, we knew little about Chinese ingredients and next to nothing about Chinese cooking techniques. But the recipes are so clear and easy to follow, that once we stocked our pantry, we were producing wonderful tasting and visually pleasing dishes that put our neighborhood Chinese restaurants to shame.
Although the recipes generally require a fairly long list of ingredients (it is not unusual to need a few different types of soy sauce and vinegar), and you will need access to a good Asian market, you will be able to use the ingredients you buy in many different dishes. The book opens up a new world of flavors and textures, and the author manages to inform and entertain with information on Chinese history and culture along the way.
This is one of the best cookbooks I've purchased, and I buy a lot of cookbooks. Highly recommended.
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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult for the novice, but an enriching book!, July 13, 2000
By 
Jane Avriette (Arlington, Virginia USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Chinese Kitchen: Recipes, Techniques, Ingredients, History, And Memories From America's Leading Authority On Chinese Cooking (Hardcover)
My chinese girlfriend (I'm just a "white guy") and I have decided to start cooking chinese. She has experience with some of the dishes and techniques, my experience is is limited to knowing how to make stir-fry in a wok.
This book offers no-nonsense approaches to traditional chinese dishes. No corners are cut, everything is the way the author thinks it should be (and who am I to argue?).
Novice cooks beware: this book is not for you!
It is a beautiful book. The art with which it was put together is stunning.
Technically, it is outstanding. With illustrations and pictures of the techniques, commentary on proper techniques and cultural commentary.
We are having great fun with it already.
If you know how to cook, and can build up enough courage to go and make Peking Duck, this book is definitely for you.
Chinese cooking is fantastic. This book makes a worthy addition to any intermediate - advanced kitchen.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic Chinese Cuisine Lovingly Prepared, August 3, 2005
By 
siehomme (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Chinese Kitchen: Recipes, Techniques, Ingredients, History, And Memories From America's Leading Authority On Chinese Cooking (Hardcover)
I bought this book because I was tired of the simplified, Americanized recipes of many Chinese cook books and because I wanted a little history with my recipes. I was not disappointed on both counts. Ms. Lo speaks with authority and warmth in these pages, and, being a purist when it comes to Chinese cookery, gives you the real deal when it comes to the cuisine of China. Here you'll find not only Cantonese dishes but those from Shanghai, Szechuan, and other regions. The instructions are clear (if sometimes daunting) and there are many beautiful photographs accompanying them. I've made several recipes and have been very happy with the results, and I plan on making many more. Many of these recipes are not of the quick-n-easy variety, but the extra time and effort are worth it.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My daughter loves this Cook Book, September 9, 2005
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This review is from: The Chinese Kitchen: Recipes, Techniques, Ingredients, History, And Memories From America's Leading Authority On Chinese Cooking (Hardcover)
My daughter was looking for a good Chinese cook book. Her Birthday

was coming up, so I reviewed and came up with this book. And she

loves it. She loves the history, what type of wok she needed, and

the recipes were easy to follow. Even her husband was impressed and

that's not easy to do. Shes been doing at least 2 recipes a week,

what can I say?? She absoutly loves this Cook Book.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YUMMY, July 16, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Chinese Kitchen: Recipes, Techniques, Ingredients, History, And Memories From America's Leading Authority On Chinese Cooking (Hardcover)
This book is absolutely wonderful! The dishes are yummy and absolutely great! The recipes do take a little bit a reading before making the dishes, but it's worth taking the time and effort of doing so! The taste in each dish that I've made so far is full of delicate tastes that blend so well together. The dishes do not overpower one another. Ever time I use a recipe from this book, it brings me back home to my mother's family dinner table. Each recipe is authentic and beautifully artistically done as well. I would recommend this book to anyone who is not afraid of the kitchen and enjoys cooking.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is great, November 13, 2001
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This review is from: The Chinese Kitchen: Recipes, Techniques, Ingredients, History, And Memories From America's Leading Authority On Chinese Cooking (Hardcover)
I am a second generation Chinese American. And I grew up eating my grandmother's cooking. This book has been the most delightful gift in reminding me of the authentic flavors that came from my grandmother's kitchen. I absolutely love it. I have not been able to get more authentic chinese home cooking than from out of my own kitchen with this book. Buy it, relax, and cook from it.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book, March 27, 2005
This review is from: The Chinese Kitchen: Recipes, Techniques, Ingredients, History, And Memories From America's Leading Authority On Chinese Cooking (Hardcover)
I am a half-Chinese American; my mother is from Hong Kong. I am also an experienced and enthusiastic cook. This is an excellent, authentic book, both culturally and gastronomically. Delicious recipes well presented.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entwined Chinese Food with Its People:Past/Present, August 19, 2004
By 
rodboomboom (St. Louis, Missouri United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Chinese Kitchen: Recipes, Techniques, Ingredients, History, And Memories From America's Leading Authority On Chinese Cooking (Hardcover)
What this superb cookbook exhibits is Chinese food's entwinement with its culture. Their mythology, tradition, folklore, history and ancestral worship is all caught up in this fascinating cuisine.

This passionate Chinese born cook seeks to maintain and pass on its purity and health concerns. So there is much on how to prepare and serve correctly according to the techniques handed down. She hopes as well to correct much of what she believes has been incorrectly passed off as authentic Chinese cooking.

There is a fascinating and necessary chapter on the Chinese Larder with descriptive and preparation tips along with the Chinese for each so that one may go to Chinese market and show this to be assured of getting the real thing.

As well there is a great chapter of Chinese wines,teas and exhaustive sections on techniques such as wok, steaming, rice, etc. Responding to our case of American-Chinese food, which hides true Chinese cuisine. This developed by necessity of Chinese workers immigrating to America where they began to cook, influenced by cuisine and ingredients in this country. Thus a chapter of Transplating Chinese Food in the West, showing dishes that are true Chines originals transplanted here, e.g. Egg Drop Soup, Sweet and Sour Pork.

Exploring but a few of its recipe offerings, thus far am enchanted with the likes of "Cook and Sell Dumplings"; "Eight-Treasure Glutinous Rice Cake"; "Chicken Stir-Fried with Bosc Pears"; and "Curried Crab with Bean Thread Noodles."

One has to read, learn and carefully shop for right ingredients and then prepare with slowness and newness to all this which reaps delightful, healthy balanced dining.

This is such a great book to explore and develop a sense for this ancient, healthy, balanced world cuisine.
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