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Iron Chef Chen's Knockout Kitchen

by: Kenichi Chen

New York NY: Verticle Publishers 2009, $19.95, Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-934287-46-0

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Winter Volume: 2009 Issue: 16(4) page(s): 25

By one of the original Iron Chefs, this book opens eyes to new ideas and tastes without MSG in recipes that are interesting, easy to make, and a delight to devour. They are in chapters titled: Simply Delicious Sides; Quick Meals and Light Lunches; Creative Concoctions with Leftovers; Chinese the Chen Way; Intercultural Treats from My Mother's Kitchen Chinese Classics: Fried Rice and Soups; Refreshing Fruit Dishes; Scrumptious Seasonal Stir-Fries; Light and Luscious Chinese Desserts; and 21st Century Recipes. All tell the scope of delicious dishes within; and there are sixty-nine recipes in them.

Color photographs of completed dishes and steps in making them help all cooks make these good dishes. Trained as a Chinese Sichuan Chef, born in Japan, and studying studied under his father, a famous Sichuan master chef, this son can make him proud. After Dad's death, this author took over the Shisen Hanten Group of restaurants, and does exciting things there and on TV. The recipes in this book are easy to follow and accessible without a television; and the results deserve to be on one.
Creamy Simmered Broccoli Stems
4 broccoli stems, thick exteriors peeled off and discarded
4 crab legs, boiled, shells discarded, and each cut into two-inch pieces
1 piece swordfish, about three ounces, cut into thick pieces
2 scallops, each cut in half
4 shrimp, shelled, veins removed
2 ounces cuttlefish, make shallow angle-cuts on surface, then cut in thin slices
1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, mixed then divided into half
1 and 1/4 Tablespoons potato starch
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small wood ear mushroom, soaked and slivered
1/2 scallion or leek, cut into one-half-inch pieces
2 thin slices fresh ginger, slivered
1 cup chicken or another soup stock
1 Tablespoon sake
dash of sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch mixed with same amount of cold water
1. Cut broccoli in half, then into half-inch pieces.
2. Mix all foods of the sea with half the salt/pepper mixture, then add in potato starch and mix well.
3. Heat oil in a wok or fry pan and stir-fry the broccoli for one minute, then remove them from the oil.
4. Add all sea foods to the oil, and stir-fry the scallion or leek pieces and the ginger, and stir-fry for one minute before adding soup stock, mushrooms, and the other half of the salt and pepper mixture.
5. Add the well-mixed cornstarch paste, stir until it thickens, then pour into individual bowls or a large soup tureen, and serve.

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