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Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking Hardcover – February 4, 2013
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“[A] workhorse of a book for everyday Chinese cooking... There are so many treasures in here, you can hardly go wrong.” (T. Susan Chang - Boston Globe)
“The diversity of the dishes―and their simplicity―makes this a remarkable book.” (Jenn Garbee - Los Angeles Weekly)
“Masterly…a non-stop parade of easy-to-execute dishes.” (William Grimes - New York Times Book Review)
“Fascinating…brimming with important information…. Trust me, this is gold!” (Mission Food)
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Top Customer Reviews
General Tso's chicken, on page 122, I didn't need. First of all it's already on page 120 of Revolutionary, and I know it by heart, having cooked it about eight times a year for years. The next recipe I see is Pock-Marked Old Woman's Tofu...Hmm, I know that one too. It's on page 313 of Land of Plenty. Then I read the introduction and she's retelling a story that's in her memoir Shark's fin and Sichuan pepper! Damn, her third cookbook is a greatest hits?
Not quiet. I was shocked at first, but the Pock-Marked tofu was a new vegetarian version, the book is a lot thicker than the last two (and I needed to dig more, I guess), and her General Tso's chicken is so good, it's ok to publish it twice. She noted in the end of her memoir she was thinking of going vegetarian, and a lot of these recipes are light on meat, or none at all. But the main emphases in this book are on lighter, healthier, more cost effective Chinese recipes, not on her own personal diet.
I've already cooked a few recipes, and have read a bunch more, I'm impressed. A lot of work has gone into this book.Read more ›
Most obviously (and as other reviewers have already pointed out), many recipes are repetitions or variants of those contained in her previous books. While this might make the book more complete as a stand-alone cookbook, it gets quite tedious for those of us with complete Dunlop collections.
This book has some minor annoyances, including weight measurements for small amounts of peanuts, ginger, etc. -- I find the teaspoon/tablespoon/ballpark approach from her previous books far more practical. Also, some directions are quite strange: wilting spinach before stir-frying seemed like an interesting idea, but yielded no practical difference (in my opinion).
More disturbingly, I have found that many of the dishes in this book just don't taste that good and/or are very uninteresting. Out of the dishes I've cooked from this book so far, I'd say that about 40% were "meh" (required additional soy sauce/vinegar/sesame oil/chicken powder to be palatable -- probably wouldn't cook them again), 40% were "alright" (will cook them once in a while), and only 20% were "great" (loved it -- will add to my list of frequently repeated favorites). In contrast, I would put the breakdown for Dunlop's other cookbooks at about 5% "meh", 25% "alright" and 70% "great".Read more ›
What separates this book from many other Chinese cookbooks are what's beyond the recipes. There's what I call a glossary in the back with a comprehensive set of ingredients, sauces (sometimes specific brands to buy) with detailed descriptions. Also, many recipes have suggested variations. I also really enjoy some of the background/stories on some of the recipes (e.g., some were highly extolled by current chefs)
What this isn't is a broad survey of Chinese cuisine, but there are so many recipes that are simple and delicious. I must have marked/tabbed so many recipes for cooking!
Enjoy! Another great book from Fuchsia Dunlop!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
AWESOME BOOK! EVERY RECIPE I HAVE TRIED TASTES LIKE TRUE CHINESE FOOD LOVE IT!!!!Published 1 month ago by Sobelaiah
A group of friends bought this for our bi-monthly cook book book club. We tried about a dozen recipes, following the directions carefully, and each dish turned out fantastic. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mary Gallien De Longis
I can't say how much I love this cookbook! There are so many healthy recipes that rely on simple ingredients and techniques. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gina C Camozzi
My favorite cookbook. Not a very basic chinese cookbook, but covers some basics but sticks generally with simple preps and explains how to keep tastes and concepts in balance, even... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
It is a really good reference to daily Chinese food - easy to follow and creative and pretty healthy. really enjoy making the recipes and reading the storiesPublished 3 months ago by Mark R
Easy to follow, excellent recipes. They are the real deal, not some pap tuned for Westerners. You are going to have to buy some things, but you should.Published 3 months ago by William M. Powell
I am obsessed with this cookbook! The recipes are so, so tasty and relatively simple to make once you have some core ingredients on hand. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Casey B. Humphrey