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by: by Wini Brugger and edited by Gillian Sutch
New York NY:
John Wiley & Sons 1998, $29.95, Hardbound
Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Spring Volume: 1998 Issue: 5(1) page(s): 20 and 21
Ken Hom, in the forward, correctly calls this chronicle of recipes by chef Wini Brugger's fusion cuisine a natural blending of ingredients and techniques, results innovative and mouth-watering. The chef himself calls them culinary discovery, unique, simple, and taste intense. Both are so right as the recipes force you to lose inhibition in the kitchen, make you experiment, and add culinary expertise inspired by his years in Asia. Try these traditions transfixed in a changing environment.
The pictures are perfect, recipes, too. Barbecued Baby Pork with Curried Bean Salad can be made easily starting with purchased barbecued pork or made from scratch. Brugger cleverly recommends both. Black Bean Salad with Crispy Sesame Crab Claw and Grilled Shiitake Mushroom Cappuccino with Chili Powder are impressive first courses that brim with taste. Tagliatelle with Spicy Szechuan Sauce and Teppanyaki Sirloin can delight Itaslians, Chinese, and Japanese, and should grace every American table. Camphor-Smoked Asparagus with Roasted Red Peppers and Wok-Fried Cantonese Vegetables with White Radish are perfect accompaniments for them as is Cardamon-Steamed Salmon on Long Bean Salad. Some other favorites recommended include Baby Lamb Marinated with Sesame Oil, Red Curry, and Mint, Mongolian Lamb Shank with Ginger-Flavored Vegetables, and Rose Liqueur Glazed Duck Breast with a Bouquet of Greens. The Rose Liqueur is a special item available in Chinese liquor stores and well worth seeking out.
Though there are just over sixty recipes, each one is a creative combination developed by a master chef whose title 'Regional Executive Chef for Central Asia' is for the Hilton chain. Try them all, his fusion is not confusion; his more-is-not-necessarily-better approach is flexible and innovative. His recipes are new food combinations found not only in Hong Kong, but alsdo in the rest of Asia, China included, and in the United States. Modern approaches to Chinese food can be advanced ala Brugger.
Note: This book is also discussed in a follow-up article titled: "Another Point of View,' written by Susan Asonovic in Volume 5(4) on page 13. It includes the recipe: Noodles with Green Mustard Leaves and Tofu, from this book.