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Secrets from a Healthy Asian Kitchen

by: Ying Chang Compestine

New York NY: Avery 2002, $18.95, Paperback
ISBN: 1-5833-127-1

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Winter Volume: 2002 Issue: 9(4) page(s): 23

Not all Chinese, but all the recipes we tried were innovative, particularly the finger foods. With the holidays here and entertaining on the rise, stay home and check this book out. We did and also enjoyed several of the wraps and the recipes we tried in the 'Meals in a Wok' chapter. To make a meal, several of them need be served with others. Spicy Spinach with Sesame Seeds will never make a meal for me, even with a bowl of rice.

The book begins with a chapter titled: 'The Six Key Ingredients in a Healthy Asian Kitchen.' It discusses ginger, garlic, soy foods, shiitake mushrooms, ginseng and green tea. Varieties of all of them are detailed and several studies about each given. A minor fault, their references would be more valuable if complete.

The pan-fried Shrimp Dumplings are yummy. The Stir-fried Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms just delish. One of them uses green tea in its recipe. We could taste it in the vegetable dish but not a single guest, even the Chinese ones, knew it was there, no doubt because only a half tablespoon of loose green tea was in the entire dish. One of the desserts sounded dopey, but this Soy-Chocolate Fantasy did delight kids, even some big ones. Made with silken tofu and a partially frozen banana along with a quarter of a cup of honey, dark chocolate chips, and a matching amount of honey, also sliced and toasted almonds, the big folk advised there was too much honey, the small fry, when asked if it was too sweet, hollered no.
Pan-fried Shrimp Dumplings
3/4 pound peeled, veins removed and chopped shrimp
4 scallions, white part only, minced fine
4 cloves garlic. Minced fine
3 slices fresh ginger, minced fine
2 Tablespoons thin soy sauce
1 Tablespoon rice wine
1 teaspoon chili oil
42 round dumpling wrappers
2 Tablespoons corn oil
dipping sauce, optional
1. Mix minced shrimp, scallions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine, and chili oil.
2. On each dumpling wrapper, put one teaspoon shrimp mixture. Wet edges and fold in half pressing the edges together pushing any air out before sealing them in this manner.
3. Put one tablespoon of the corn oil and a quarter cup of water in a large non-stick skillet, then place half of the filled dumplings around the outside of the pan. Be sure that they do not touching each other. Cover and cook over medium heat for ten minutes until they puff up and are light brown on the bottom. Serve or put them on a warmed plate and cover until served. Repeat the entire process using the other tablespoon of oil and a quarter cup of water.

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