Chinese Food Made Easy

Ross Dobson. Murdoch, $22.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-911632-71-9
Australian Dobson (King of the Grill) delivers a cleverly designed introduction to making Chinese cuisine at home. He suggests a limited pantry of fresh ingredients (ginger and garlic), two types of soy sauce, canned and dried items (water chestnuts, dried shrimp), and spices (star anise, Szechuan peppercorns) before moving on to recipes for favorites such as hot and sour soup and Peking duck. Headnotes are informative but brief—more coaxing than lecturing—and preparation and cooking times are indicated as well, as are substitutions for harder-to-find items (for instance, use parchment packets rather than dried lotus leaves for steaming sticky rice). A final chapter on basics includes instructions for crafting dumpling dough (though Dobson suggests store-bought wrappers can also be used). Interspersed among the recipes are illustrated sections that show ways to use a common ingredient (for example, hoisin sauce can be made into a dipping sauce or a marinade for pork skewers) and provide more details about a common technique, such as chopping a chicken with a cleaver. A chapter on sweets includes candied walnuts and mixed fruit served in watermelon rind. Home cooks will appreciate the ease of this compact, accessible volume. (June)
Reviewed on : 05/12/2020
Release date: 06/01/2020
Genre: Lifestyle
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