Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees offers a unique introduction to Chinese home cooking, demystifying it by focusing on its basic cooking methods. Read more...
Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees offers a unique introduction to Chinese home cooking, demystifying it by focusing on its basic cooking methods. In outlining the differences among various techniques--such as pan-frying, oil steeping, and yin-yang frying--and instructing which one is best for particular ingredients and end results, culinary expert Kian Lam Kho provides a practical, intuitive window into this unique cuisine. Once one learns how to dry stir-fry chicken, one can then confidently apply the technique to tofu, shrimp, and any number of ingredients. Accompanied by more than 200 photographs, including helpful step-by-step images, the 158 recipes range from simple, such as Spicy Lotus Root Salad or Red Cooked Pork, to slightly more involved, including authentic General Tso's Chicken or Pork Shank Soup with Winter Bamboo. But the true brilliance behind this innovative book lies in the way it teaches the soul of Chinese cooking, enabling home cooks to master this diverse, alluring cuisine and then to re-create any tempting dish they encounter or can imagine.
- ISBN-13: 9780385344685
- ISBN-10: 0385344686
- Publisher: Clarkson Potter Publishers
- Publish Date: September 2015
- Page Count: 368
- Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.2 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-09-07
- Reviewer: Staff
Kho, a New York City chef, culinary instructor, and James Beard Awardwinning 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.)
Cooking: Gourmet gifts galore
If there’s a super-serious cook on your holiday gift list, NOPI: The Cookbook, Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully’s ode to their latest restaurant in London’s West End, should be your pick. Though this is restaurant food—complex dishes designed to be made by a team of pros—the recipes here have been somewhat simplified so that the courageous home cook can take on the challenge and serve up a reasonable facsimile of a NOPI creation. Just make sure your lucky giftee invites you over for Scallops with Corn and Merguez Salsa and Sorrel Sauce or Baked Blue Cheese Cake with Pickled Beets and Honey.
Curious cooks will be thrilled with J. Kenji López-Alt’s The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science. An MIT-trained nerd with a passion for food (a ferd?), López-Alt believes that only by understanding the scientific principles that underlie what ingredients do when exposed to different techniques will you become a freer, more fluent cook. This may be serious food science, but with more than 300 recipes and 1,000 step-by-step photos seasoned with the author’s charm, wit and clear, patient explanations, it’s revelatory fun.
For lovers of la cucina Italiana, Lidia’s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine promises to serve up “everything you need to know to be a great Italian cook.” And matriarch Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and her daughter, Tanya Bastianich Manuali, keep their word. With 400 recipes from appetizers to desserts, plus in-depth info on Italian ingredients and cooking techniques, this is her most comprehensive Italian cookbook yet and the book every Lidia fan should have.
Drawn to the more exotic? Yearning for crunchy, fragrant Fried Sesame Pork Tenderloin or lightly sauced Kung Pao Chicken as it’s served in Sichuan? Then Kian Lam Kho’s lusciously illustrated Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees is just right. He has organized the book by cooking methods, rather than by region or ingredient, giving you the gastronomic essentials you need to master these exquisitely varied Chinese dishes—for everyday meals or for more elaborate feasts.
TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
Hartwood is a trip—a glorious culinary adventure to the edge of the Yucatán jungle and the delicious edge of contemporary cuisine. Eric Werner and Mya Henry left their restaurant jobs in Manhattan to follow a dream that turned into a restaurant open to the tropical night, serving their unique take on dazzling, wood-fueled, Mexican-infused dishes. Beautifully photographed and compellingly written, Hartwood is their celebration of the “love project” they’ve created. You can make and savor these 88 recipes (almost all the ingredients are obtainable in the U.S.) or you can luxuriate in armchair cooking and dream along with Werner and Henry.