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Miracle Meals

by: Gigi Wong

Hong Kong China: Hai Bin Book Company 2007, Paperback
ISBN: 978-988-202-502-8

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Fall Volume: 2009 Issue: 16(3) page(s): 17

Gigi Suk-yee Wong, born in Guangzhou, moved to Hong Kong as a child. There she became fascinated with food, and she took cooking lessons at an early age. At nineteen, she took an acting course. You may have seen her on TVB as a soap opera heroine. In 1985, she moved to Vancouver BC, and in Canada hosted a family show for Fairchild Radio.

She continues her love for acting, cooking, and sharing and in this, her fifth cookbook. In it she spices up traditional recipes and cooking techniques. The book has four chapters titled: Appetizer & Main Dishes, Soups & Congee; Desserts & Snacks, and Dish with Scallops. Her appetizers are often served cold, though cooked beforehand. The main dishes are delightful, the soups long cooked and lovely, and her hot and cold desserts fine endings to a Chinese meal.

The final four recipes in the last chapter use dried scallops. She shares a recent secret she learned from a chef. What a great and easy way to use these expensive items which first are deep-fried, then cooked in warm oil, and finally finished in the microwave. Doing them this way, they are flavorful, faster to prepare, even easier to handle.

This trick and this book are full of clever notions. They are touted as: Gigi's sharing and are worth perusing. So are the recipes especially her Fried Eggs with Bitter Melon, the Duck Marinated in Fish Sauce, the Red Curry Minced Dace with Radish in Clay Pot, and her Stir-fried Asparagus with Pine Nuts.
Fried Eggs with Bitter Melon
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 bitter melon, seeded and cut into long thick strips
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon fermented black beans
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
4 slices ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 small chili pepper, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon rice wine
1. Heat wok, add the oil, and pour in the eggs, one after the other. Deep fry them for five to six seconds, remove and drain them and set aside.
2. Remove all but one teaspoon of the oil and set aside for another purpose, and add the bitter melon to the wok, the salt, too, and stir-fry until the bitter melon is tender.
3. Add black beans, garlic, ginger, chili pepper, and the sugar and stir-fry until fragrant. Sprinkle in the rice wine, half cup of boiling water, and the deep-fried eggs and cook for five minutes, then serve.

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