Customer Review

45 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An innovative new cookbook concept that falls flat, October 23, 2012
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This review is from: Simply Ming in Your Kitchen: 80 Recipes to Watch, Learn, Cook & Enjoy (Hardcover)
One of the most effective ways to maintain limitless recruitment to the Empire is to feed your Stormtroopers well. After all, most of them are only going to live for about 12 seconds in a given Jedi encounter, anyways - so you might as well see to it that they at least have a nice last meal. Hey, just because I'm a Sith doesn't mean I'm completely heartless.

The Empire has long been a fan of Ming Tsai and his cuisine, and a number of his books adorn the shelves of the Imperial library. What drew me to this one in particular was the attempt to tech-up the book by placing QR codes in each recipe that will allow you to pull up videos of Ming making the dish, as well as transit an ingredient shopping list to your SmartLightsaber. Running the galaxy is hard work, and anything to save a few minutes here and there is appreciated. I'll touch more on how this QR thing was a great idea gone bad in a moment.

As to the actual recipes within the book: There's nothing too groundbreaking here, but there's nothing wrong with that. You know when you buy a Ming Tsai book, what you're getting is about as Asian as a Gungan riding a Kawasaki, so be prepared. The honey crab wontons in chapter 1 are of particular note, and are a welcome addition to any meal. The pan fried scallop satays were so good, it almost inspired me to Force Pet a kitten, and the miso friseé salad was delicious enough that I caught myself foodgasm-dialing Yoda to apologize for all those short jokes I had been texting him over the years. The Panko crusted pork cutlets, however, were so mediocre that I couldn't even get Jabba to finish my plate. Well, he ate the plate - he just left the pork behind. Most of the other recipes appear solid (one can tell some obvious "misses" dot the landscape just by looking at the recipes - no premonition skills through The Force required - but they are a minority), but I can't comment on them as of yet. Well...I mean, I could, and you'd have to deal with it lest I cut you down, but I'm gonna refrain today.

Back to this QR thing: I like being able to scan something with my tablet and see a video and get a shopping list. What I don't like is being told I need to pay 99 cents PER RECIPE to do it. Turns out, only the first 2 recipes of each chapter have free scans - the rest cost money. 8 chapters means 16 free recipes, 80 recipes in the book, that's 66 recipes that will cost you a buck to utilize the technology, thereby turning a $35 book into, potentially, a $101 book. Really? I'm going to pay 99 cents to "see Ming demonstrate how to mince lemongrass"? How about I just Youtube if I don't already know how. Won't cost me a buck, though I'll have to write down my own shopping list. It's so cheap of them to do this. It makes me so ANGRY and, as we all know, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering. Really? Nickel-diming the consumer has invaded the cookbook world now? I just want to Force Choke the editors for adopting this business model, but my therapist tells me that I need to limit my outbursts. But seriously, $35 for a book (ok, ok, I paid $22 - Force Persuasion) isn't enough revenue? Come on. I'll never pay the 99 cents for any recipe just on principle, even if I really want to see the video. It just makes the whole book feel kind of slimy. I'd give this book a clear 4 if not for the stupid microtransaction model. As it is, I feel like I'm being generous giving it a 3.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 23, 2012 5:36:53 PM PDT
I just received my copy of In Your Kitchen and I was pretty interested in learning how to make Chicken Satays. I was led to believe that the first two videos in each chapter were free and then $0.99 for each additional video after the first two. I was VERY disappointed to find out that my Chicken Satay recipe was #4 in that chapter and I would have to pay for my first video. I, I think quite naturally, assumed that I would receive two free videos per chapter and they would be of my choosing not ones that Ming dictated to me. I feel like I was conned into buying something only to find out it was different than I expected. I now know that once again "It is all about money."

Posted on Nov 2, 2012 4:57:46 AM PDT
Jason Wirth says:
I like the tone of your review, very funny!

A note about the cost of the videos. While they are $0.99 each, the entire set is available for only $25 on Ming's website. I only watched one video, but it was approx. 13 minutes long. A 30 min. cooking show is about 22 min. without commercials. If all of Ming's videos are between 10-15 minutes then for $25 you get good amount of content for a reasonable price.

My choice would be paying $25 for the videos and skipping the book.

Posted on Apr 4, 2013 2:19:44 PM PDT
Awesome review: informative, hilarious and star wars related. I think you need to review everything I'm considering buying.

I'm going to buy this based simply on your review and worry about how to get around the micropayments. The wifey will figure it out. I'm willing to sacrifice my taste buds and waist line for a few experiments unless she thinks it's necessary to watch the video. Although, now I think I want a star wars ming tsai cook book. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2013 12:18:17 PM PDT
David Adams says:
I just met Ming at a book signing. He made it clear he wants to sell the book. The videos do not tell you quantities, so you need the recipe and / or the shopping list. You get the shopping list from a QR code in the book. And he's going to wait about a year before allowing an eBook to be available.
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