Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees: Essential Techniques of Authentic Chinese Cooking

Kian Lam Kho. Clarkson Potter, $35 (368p) ISBN 978-0-3853-4468-5
Kho, a New York City chef, culinary instructor, and James Beard Award–winning blogger, parlays his expertise into this superb tutorial on Chinese cooking. Part instruction manual and part cookbook, this collection demystifies Chinese cuisine by focusing on cooking technique. Organizing the book by method or heat source rather than ingredients, Kho includes details of regional cuisine, pantry staples, tools, and specialty ingredients. He offers a terrific chapter on stocks, covering basics such as chicken and beef before moving on to compound and supreme stocks. Kho provides a comprehensive look at wok cooking, with advice on selecting ingredients and managing temperatures. Wok recipes range from simple garlic stir-fried greens to more involved kung pao chicken. He also explains the differences between light and deep frying, oil steeping, and pan frying. He devotes ample attention to red cooking, a braising method with soy sauce, which can be used with most proteins, including tofu. Hearty soups such as crabmeat and white asparagus, and steam-pot chicken, offer flavor and comfort, and roasted options like Peking duck and crispy roast pork belly are simply mouthwatering. Kho rounds out his excellent book with recipes and lessons on smoking as well as cold and sweet dishes. This extraordinary collection is a must-have for anyone interested in Chinese cuisine. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/07/2015
Release date: 09/29/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
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