- Series: Everything®
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Everything (September 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1580629547
- ISBN-13: 978-1580629546
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 63 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #424,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Everything Chinese Cookbook: From Wonton Soup to Sweet and Sour Chicken-300 Succulent Recipes from the Far East (Everything Series) Paperback – September 1, 2003
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This book is not intended for the person who comes home from work exhausted and just wants somebody else to make dinner, and preferably bring it to her. She looks through her menu collection, selects the Chinese food restaurant almost by chance except for the fact that as soon as she gives them her phone number they know what her order will be, and waits with cash in hand until the food arrives. By then she is famished as well as exhausted, and if she tried to cook she would probably confuse the sugar with the salt.
No, this book is intended for the dedicated cook like my techie--the person who takes infinite pains to produce something a thousand times better than what the closest takeout place would produce. He hurries home from a difficult day of work, to relax in the kitchen by making kung pao shrimp or spicy orange beef. He meticulously cuts every vegetable into identical pieces to create a work of art as well as food. By the time he calls the family to the table, his batteries are recharged and he has the energy to take the family out to a movie. He can forget about work until tomorrow morning.
My daughter is one of those cooks, but she already has this book. So I will enjoy giving it as a gift to my favorite techie and his lovely wife, who is my dearest friend. I know they will both enjoy it, but for different reasons.
I strongly recommend this book for anybody who has an interest in Chinese food, whether it is in reading about it or in actually doing it. It is a pleasing book to read, nicely laid out, with foods in logical order. I am too old and decrepit to use it, but that doesn't make it a bad book. If I were younger and healthier, I would keep it and learn to cook Chinese from it. But as I am, my husband would skin me if I set out on such an undertaking. No, Dan and Lana should have it, because they will use it.
TWO CAVEATS: (1) Within many menus, you'll see a measure of an ingredient (such as p.48) followed by the word "divided." For example, it will read: "2 tsp salt, divided." But you have to read the full process instructions below the recipe to know that you only add 1/2 tsp of salt first, and then sprinkle the rest on at the end during stir fry. (2) Nowhere is a batter recipe defined. You're told to deep fry chicken, etc., in batter first, but no batter ingredients are listed throughout. (I presume it's left up to personal choice.)
Content: I wouldn't call this a hardcore Chinese food cookbook. As other reviewers have stated, this is the kind of fare you might find at a local Americanized Chinese food joint. That's what I wanted so the content gets 5 stars.
Overall Value: I give it a 4.4 stars for the current price and a solid 5 for anyone who just wants a primer on ingredients and combinations that are typical plus cooking methods with a wok.
My favorite recipes are the Hot and Sour soup (p. 55) and Spicy Chicken with Cashews (p. 163). The author gives a nice detail for Velvet Chicken which really help tenderize chicken. The dipping sauce recipes are also varied and delicious.