Chinese Soul Food: A Friendly Guide for Homemade Dumplings, Stir Fries, and More

Hsiao-Ching Chou, photos by Clare Barboza. Sasquatch, $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-63217-123-8
In her first book, Chou, a food writer and cooking instructor, provides 80 sturdy recipes for dishes that have stood the test of time, along with tips and brief lessons on topics such as “understanding soy sauce.” The daughter of immigrants, Chou was raised in Columbia, Mo., where her parents ran a Chinese restaurant. Many of the dishes in the book could be on the menu at any Chinese eatery in the American heartland: the book includes recipes for fried rice, Kung Pao chicken, orange beef, and hot and sour soup. There are five dumpling choices, along with instructions on how to boil, steam, or panfry them. Soup dumplings get an entry of their own. Chou thickens her fillings not with gelatin but with the natural collagen from simmered pork skin. A chapter on Chinese New Year entrées includes lively options such as saucy Dungeness crab and fragrant crispy duck breast. In a nod to Chou’s Midwestern childhood there is cauliflower stir-fried with country ham, while a chapter titled “Guilty Pleasures” celebrates non-Chinese classics such as General Tso’s chicken. Photographer Barboza showcases the cuisine, often with bright green vegetables offset by the warm, brown tones of meats, sauces, and noodles. This is a fun guide to creating favorite restaurant recipes at home. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/20/2017
Release date: 01/30/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
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