This beautiful cook-book is a labor-of love between two authors, both of Chinese heritage and heavily influenced by a love of the food and flavors of their roots – one, Rosheen Kaul , (of Kashmiri and Chinese/Filipino descent), a head chef; and the other, Joanna Hu, experienced in food service and now an illustrator (Chinese-Australian).
With large and luscious photos, coupled with illustrations that are bright, vibrant, and perfectly charming, the visual appeal of this book is hard to resist. Somewhat reminiscent of my oldest and favorite cookbook, – the original Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen – albeit grown up, bolder and glossy, and in full and spectacular color – this book is a treat, every page a delight to be savored.
Focusing on celebrating and blending influences from cultures across the Asian spectrum through inspired-but-not-necessarily-“authentic” recipes, the authors achieve a culinary ambience that is perky, spicy, eclectic and absolutely mouth-watering.
The cookbook begins with a section on pantry organization, cooking techniques and stir-fry basics, as before launching into the variety of more detailed recipes that follow, the authors tackle some of the Chinese-cooking foundations, including how to prepare the always-essential accompaniments of rice, stock, dumplings, wontons, and noodles.
With so many ideas to try, such as the incredibly appetizing homemade dumplings (this reader had no idea the dumpling-wrapper recipe could be so simple), and so many variations of fried-rice (one of my personal favorites), it’s pretty clear this is a book with pages destined to become bookmarked and comfortingly-familiar.
The authors also provide some interesting insights into the art of stir-fry (clearly I have been using too much sauce), as well as unusual recipe ingredients (who knew you could stir fry lettuce?) – packing each page with not only much to look at and enjoy, but a whole lot-of-learning in a very pretty package.
Some of my favorites, noted to try, include:
- Stir fried tomato and egg – soft fluffy scrambled eggs, layered with stir-fried tomatoes and sesame oil – what could be simpler or more delicious?
- Creamy tofu noodles – this interesting recipe whizzes firm tofu in a blender into a creamy coating for noodles, seasoned with a soy-based sauce.
- Sticky Garlic ribs with fresh chili sauce – marinated ribs cooked in a cornstarch-blend without the overpowering sweetness of many traditional rib dishes.
- Mum’s Braised Ginger Chicken – comfort food at its finest – chicken thighs braised in soy, ginger, and toasted sesame oil.
Not to mention some intriguing desserts, including custard tarts (apparently less sweet than their Portuguese cousins), Chinese cannoli, and delectable-sounding mango pudding.
A pure delight from start to finish, this book is a lovely addition to any cook’s library, sure to provide plenty of ideas for your next Chinese-ish meal or gathering.
My stop today on the #blogtour for #Chineseish @RosheenKaul @JoannaHu @MurdochbooksUK @RandomTTours
A great big thank you to the authors and the publishers for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.
- Published by Murdoch Books on Aug 4, 2022