China Express

Nina Simonds, Author William Morrow & Company $25 (416p) ISBN 978-0-688-11478-7
Simonds ( Chinese Seasons ) just might put Chinese takeout out of business. Her goal, she tells us, was to create recipes that would make Chinese cooking practical for the average cook, who is short on time. And so she's streamlined the time-consuming preparation and shopping usually involved in Chinese cooking, while retaining the flavorings and healthy aspects of traditional Chinese dishes. She has succeeded in creating a cookbook that is--as she puts it--``user-friendly for a non-Chinese audience.'' Chinese recipes traditionally don't require much cooking time, but the slicing, dicing and measuring involved can be arduous. Simonds has reduced these steps, and uses traditional cooking methods of stir-frying and steaming to impart flavor and texture. The ingredients for the recipes can be found in any well-stocked supermarket. While you won't find any exotic recipes like birds' nest soup, you will find grilled rainbow peppers in garlic dressing, braised stuffed game hens and steamed lemon cake. Readers will probably want to invest in a wok, though Simonds says a skillet can be substituted. A glossary of basic ingredients and advice on cooking techniques is included. Those new to Chinese cooking may want to go slow, particularly if they're unused to dealing with a wok or steamer, but more experienced cooks should have few problems with any of these dishes. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1993
Release date: 09/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
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