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Healthy Fruit Vegetables

by: Tony Hsu

Taipei Taiwan: Taiwan Food & Beverage Publishing Co. 2003, $14.95, Paperback
ISBN: 957-28414-1-6

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Fall Volume: 2005 Issue: 12(4) page(s): 21

Divided by season, the book is one of the Cooking Class Series, and specifically is listed as Book 9. It is distributed by Gourmet World Magazine. Chef Tony Hsu, honorary president of the Chinese Gourmet Association and President of Gourmet World, was the administrative chef of the Lai Lai Sheraton Hotel, among other great positions. He has written or edited many, many volumes.

This book, one of many attributed to him, has several dozen recipes from loquat to tomatoes (and yes, they are a fruit). The fifth chapter, titled: The Whole Year of Imported fruits, has one recipe each for lime, honey melon, star fruit, banana, kiwi, and red dragon fruit. These and the ordinary and the extraordinary recipes have many lessons within.

The Mango Fried Shrimp Balls uses the fruit as a creative basket. It is simple and simply wonderful, should the mango be very ripe. It is also simple and sports new tastes for the Chinese as it mixes egg yolk with mayonnaise, condensed milk, and orange juice. The Stewed Chicken with Pickled Star Fruit is less so, unless you are lucky and can find pickled star fruit. We were not.

One special recipe that tickled our palates was the Bell-fruit and Jellyfish Salad. Do not know what bell fruit is? Fret not. There, in the introductory pages are more than twenty of the fruits discussed and illustrated, each with a color photograph.

Books about fruits in the Chinese culinary are rare. Just reading this one will pop many ideas into the cranium. Prepare them or use the cleverness and develop your own.
Bell Fruit and Jellyfish Salad
1 whole or 1/2 pound jellyfish, soaked in cold water for one hour
3 bell fruits, cut into strips
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 scallions, minced (we slivered ours on an angle)
1. Blanch jellyfish in boiling water for thirty seconds, then immediately put in very cold water, drain and again put into very cold water. Refrigerate covered overnight. Drain the next day, and cut into very thin strips.
2. The next day, mix bell fruit strips with salt, sugar, and the black vinegar and and gently stir in the fruit strips, and the jellyfish strips.
3. Heat the sesame oil, pour over the entire mixture, stir well, and serve.

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