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Martin Yan's Feast

by: Martin Yan

San Francisco CA: Bay Books 1998, $34.95, Hardbound
ISBN: 0-912333-31-6

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Summer Volume: 1999 Issue: 6(2) page(s): 14 and 15

Jacques Pepin calls this volume: "a well thought out, well built cookbook with a lot of depth...in my opinion, it is the most complete and best cookbook that Martin has written." Here, here! How right he is. This book is loaded with philosophy, Martin's and that of the cuisine; also methods and procedures, techniques, tips, and recipes that are themselves, loaded with taste. The color photographs look and virtually taste their way into your heart. Braised Tofu and Mushrooms begs to be made and should be, it is wonderful. Barbecues Mongolian Lamb cries out to be tasted and it should be, too. Mu Shu Pork mock-tied is beautiful and the flavor ties a knot on your finger reminding you to make it often. Rice in Lotus Leaves when unwrapped has everyone anxiously awaiting chopsticks while salivating. And, Grilled Sesame Beef is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.

Yan's highly regarded TV cooking programs mix humor and hype, are clever and clear, and they share wonderful ideas about passion for perfection mixed with cooking and culture. This Feast delivers. The author is a dedicated teacher and certified Master chef. His know how, knowledge, tools, tips, and techniques mix to bring mouth watering recipes that are both fun to make and fantastic to serve.

On TV, Yan is both funny and informative. He is tuned in to making Chinese cooking enjoyable. For example, he transforms tofu and makes you rethink its use, his vegetarian dishes delight as he shares 'Vegging Out in the Kitchen.' Buddhist's Bean Curd Rolls are creative and terrific. We are addicted and recommend you get hooked, too. Glass Noodles with Peanut Sauce are addictive, too, and if you're smart, you will double the sauce using the extra in soups, stews, and sauces. Lop Cheong Baked Clams are so good that using Chinese sausage will be a regular addition to many of your appetizers. In many of Yan's recipes he uses Chinese Mustard Sauce, Five flavor Oil, an Asian Spice Paste, or Lobster Sauce. Add them to your own recipes. No need to purchase them because easy recipes are included enabling their preparation and frequent use at home.

Yes, Yan Can Cook has been and is seen on the TV in seventy countries. His fifteen cookbooks are read, his recipes used everywhere. This new Martin Yan's Feast, the best of Yan Can Cook, should be devoured. Savor a copy, it is mighty tasty!
Roast Drunken Duck
2 teaspoons each thin and dark soy sauce
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
1 four pound duck
2 Tablespoons corn oil
Stuffing items:
4 slices ginger, julienned
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 onions, thinly sliced
8 dried mushrooms, soaked then discard stems
1/4 cup bamboo shoots, julienned
2 Tablespoons Sichuan preserved vegetable, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
2 Tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce
1. Mix soy sauces, wine, salt, and five spice powder. Then rub the duck inside and out with this.
2. Heat oil, add garlic and ginger and fry a few seconds, then add onions and stir fry about a minute. Add mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and preserved vegetable and stir fry another two minutes, then add rest of the stuffing ingredients, stir fry another minute, then remove from heat and allow to cool.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and stuff the duck, tie with skewers, and roast breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan for seventy five minutes.
4. Turn heat to 475 degrees F. Mix glaze ingredients, brush over duck, and bake about ten minutes more until skin is richly glazed.
5. Let sit about fifteen minutes and carve, or allow to cool about an hour, then carve and serve.
Note: For the glaze, mix two tablespoons dark soy sauce with one tablespoon hoisin sauce.
Buddhist's Bean Curd Rolls
1 cup glutinous rice, soaked in water for one hour
6 dried black mushrooms
1 Tablespoon cooking oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 small carrot, julienned into one inch pieces
6 asparagus, cut into half inch pieces
2 scallions, cut into half inch pieces
2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoons sesame oil
2 sheets dried bean curd (approximately seven by twenty-one inches)
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons corn oil
1. Drain rice and add equal amount of water and simmer for twenty to twenty-five minutes until rice is tender.
2. Heat one tablespoon oil and fry garlic for half minute then add carrots and asparagus and stir fry for two minutes, then add oyster and hoisin sauce and sesame oil and fry another two minutes then remove from the pan and add the scallions.
3. Soak beancurd skin in barely warm water for fifteen minutes then cut into three squares per sheet.
4. Mix flour with a Tablespoon of water to make a paste then fill each seven inch square sheet with about two Tablespoons of the filling. and seal with a little paste.
5. Heat rest of the oil, preferably in a non stick pan, and fry three minutes per side. If frying in another type pan, add more oil, as needed.
6. Remove from heat, cut each roll into thirds, and serve.

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