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China Modern: 100 Cutting-edge, Fusion-style Recipes for the 21st Century Paperback – September 22, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
I read a lot of cookbooks, more as an armchair traveler than a practicing chef. The content has to offer more than just recipes, and the recipes have to sound both interesting and fun to make. My general preference is up to eight basic ingredients and maybe eight sentences of instructions. Beyond that, a recipe has to be pretty special. It seems that most beautiful cookbooks specialize in complicated techniques and exotic ingredients, while the practical ones are ho-hum. Not this book. The layout is spacious, the photography gorgeous (about half the recipes have illustrations), the recipes are mostly short and easy to accomplish, and each is accompanied by a short story or anecdote about the history of the recipe (mostly, from her grandmother and mother), how she expanded it, why the combination of tradition and novelty works, and/or an interesting bit on the cooking technique.
The ingredients are interesting and at the same time not hard to find if you live in or near a metropolitan area. In most cases, one could substitute for a missing item without ruining the finished dish, and Ching-he often suggests alternatives, including vegetarian possibilities in place of animal proteins. Her health consciousness shows, and where anything is, for example, fried, the reader understands it's a special treat--the next recipe will be healthy and just as enticing. Highlights of a couple of cases in point:
Sichuan Pepper Shrimp (page 25): One of my favorite restaurant dishes, but I didn't realize how easy it is to make at home. Saute the shrimp, toss them with salt and pepper, and serve.Read more ›