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Cooking with Green Tea

by: Yung Chang Compestine

New York NY: Avery/Putnam 2000, $16.95, Paperback
ISBN: 1-58333-065-8


Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Spring Volume: 2001 Issue: 8(1) page(s): 22 and 23

Subtitled: Delicious Recipes with Just the Right Touch of Green Tea, this book provides understandings and applications about green tea for body and soul. Ms. Compestine offers basics about tea and cooking and uses tea when preparing sauces, stocks, soups, and appetizers. She also has recipes for seafood, chicken, meat, and vegetable dishes; and she provides others for rice and noodles, desserts, and beverages. All use green tea.

The book has a forty-four item multi-page ingredient list, do's and don'ts in the kitchen, a three-day suggested diet and cleansing program, and more than seventy recipes. They are the book's forte. The Green Tea-Vegetable Soup, part of the three-day diet is sensational. The sauces, be they Spicy Sesame, Garlic and Ginger, Chili-Garlic Oil, Curry Peanut, or Green Tea-Ginger are great not only for Chinese dumplings or noodle dishes, but for meats, soup beginnings, and as table condiments. The suggested ones for vegetable, chicken and seafood stock are multi-purpose, as well.

Her recipe for Shiitake Mushroom-Wonton Soup using chicken stock tastes even better with her seafood stock as a base. The suggestion to make every wonton extra plump works well for the soup and even better when steaming or deep frying them. The Flavored Tofu in Lettuce Cups is inspirational, and the Mussels in Lemon Grass-Green Tea Wine Sauce can win every heart. Make the Shelled Green Soybeans with Baked Tofu and have them and the Jasmine Almond Cookies. Both can enhance not any but every meal.

The author teaches cooking at the Boulder Heart Institute and various cooking schools across the country. She has written a previous cookbook titled Secrets of Fat-Free Chinese Cooking and is a frequent contributor to health magazines. She is a chef who knows of what she speaks. She shows how to put this potent potential protection of green tea to work for you.

The book discusses how to correctly brew tea for drinking, for cooking, and for smoking foods. It uses infused tea leaves as a vegetable and uses them to stir-fry and steam. It also shares Chinese non-cookery uses of tea. For example, did you know that a tea-soaked towel on a sunburn helps cooling and healing and that rinsing hair with strong tea provides shine and softness? The author speaks of these, bathing in mint-flavored green tea to rejuvenate the skin, stuffing a pillow with dried used tea leaves ensuring good sleep, promoting clear thinking, and improving mood. She advises about these and other Chinese health and beauty tips and suggests recycling used tea bags for your roses and your peppers plants. She recommends tea bags and loose tea leaves for the compost pile, and tells that burning tea leaves can drive mosquitoes away.

The author teaches cooking at the Boulder Heart Institute and various cooking schools across the country. She has written a previous cookbook titled Secrets of Fat-Free Chinese Cooking and is a frequent contributor to health magazines. She is a chef who knows of what she speaks. She shows how to put this potent potential protection of green tea to work for you.

In the foreword, Martin Yan says he would not trade her recipes for anything...not even for all the tea in China. You may not want to go that far, but do trade some of your oldies for these newer ones with antioxidant potential because they are delicious and easy-to-make, and a healthful swap.
Sweet Jasmine Tea Cake
Ingredients:
1 and 1/2 cups glutinous rice flour
1 cup regular rice flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup brewed then cooled jasmine green tea (can made with two tea bags)
1/2 cup margarine, melted
contents of three tea-bags of jasmine green tea
non-stick cooking spray
Preparation:
1. In large bowl, mix the flours, sugar, and the brewed tea and beat until smooth.
2. Fold in margarine and dry tea and mix to form a smooth batter.
3. Coat a ten-inch round non-stick cake pan with the non-stick cooking spray, then pour in the batter.
4. Place the pan over boiling water until the cake is translucent, about twenty-five minutes, then remove and cool before cutting into ten wedges and serving.

                                                                                                                                                       
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