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Creative Chinese Home Dishes

by: Angela Cheng

Taipei Taiwan: Sanyau Publishing Company 2004, Paperback
ISBN: 986-7545-32-X

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Spring Volume: 2006 Issue: 13(1) page(s): 23

The recipes in this book were chosen by the author’s mom for her 1992 - 1994 Taiwanese television cooking program titled: Fu Pei Mei Times. Angela Cheng republishes them in this bilingual edition, updating and making them available for all. The "good flavors," as Angela calls them, are mouth-watering for every generation.

Eighty recipes within this volume have new full-page color photographs, look lovely, and are as current and delicious as ever. It is hard to believe that Madame Fu, as many called her, started on television in 1965, published more than fifty cookbooks in three languages: Chinese, Japanese, and English, and that unfortunately she is no longer here to guide our culinary hand and developing taste buds. But she is here, in this volume teaching us to prepare her great recipes.

There was a tribute to Angela Cheng’s mother’s and her culinary genius in Flavor and Fortune’s Volume 12(3) on pages 31 and 35. When in Asia, pay your own tribute by watching her on their telly. TTC Co. still airs many Fu Pei Mei classic cooking programs. They are very worth watching again and again, even by those who do not speak Chinese; and I did when recently visiting Taiwan.

Thanks to daughter Angela, you can make her Two Way Chicken Wings, Pan Stewed Beef, Lobster with Mung Bean Threads in Casserole, Phoenix Tail Prawns, even Spicy Cucumber, and enjoy them and her other wonderful and delicious recipes. With new color photographs, some with a few smaller pictures to help in the preparation, they are rewritten and easier to make; and worth the effort!
Spicy Sea Cucumber
2 pieces of soaked sea cucumber (approximately four ounces or one whole large sea cucumber, cut in chunks)
1 scallion, cut into one-inch pieces
2 slices ginger
1 Tablespoon Chinese rice wine
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 pound cooked pork, cut into half-inch slices
1 Tablespoon hot bean paste
1 cup chicken broth or stock
1/2 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon rice wine mixed with half-teaspoon sesame oil
1 cucumber, cut in half the long way, then slice each on an angle half-inch thick
1/4 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 stalk fresh garlic, shredded
1 Tablespoon cornstarch mixed with one tablespoon of cold water
1. Put sea cucumber in a pot with scallion, ginger, the tablespoon of wine, and three cups of water, and boil for five minutes, then drain reserving the sea cucumber pieces.
2. Heat oil, and stir-fry the pork, then add hot bean paste, chicken stock, soy sauce, sugar, and the teaspoon of rice wine,. Stir broth, then add the sea cucumber and the cucumber slices and cook these for three minutes.
3. Now add the ground Sichuan pepper and the sesame oil, then the shredded garlic and the cornstarch mixture. Stir until thickened, then serve.

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