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Celebrating Your Place AT Our Table

by: Lawrence C.C. Chu

Los Altos CA: Van Lachlan Press, $30.00, Hardbound
ISBN: 978-0-615-33843-9

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Fall Volume: 2011 Issue: 18(3) page(s): 16

The one hundred thirty-five recipes in the: Appetizers; Soups; Poultry; Seafood; Pork; Beef & Lamb; Vegetables; Eggs, Noodles & Rice; and Pastries & Desserts chapters are super! Written to thank the many patrons who have been coming to eat at his place since 1970, Chef Chu]s cooking, shown off in this book, will keep you coming and cooking his food.

Besides recipes, there are pages that explain fifty-four Asian ingredients, even some that tell how to begin cooking any recipe. Each dish shares a mite about it, its method is beautifully detailed. The many black and white line drawings illustrate folding, stirring, mixing, etc. while many color photographs show off the completed dishes. A chapter called Tips & Techniques is a glossary of cutting and cooking; its ten pages discussing ninety-five Asian ingredients. Others detail utensils and equipment items.

The book ends with sixteen dipping sauces and condiments one can make at home, two celebration menus with small pictures of their dishes, three pages of how to, and a fantastic three-column cross-referenced index.

We recommend trying many of Chef Chu's dishes and you will be glad you did. So far we have delighted making and tasting his Phoenix Wings, and the Egg Flower Soup as a base for the wonderful Bean Sprout & Sparerib Soup. His super Soochow Pearl Meatballs are a midday snack or better yet, a main meal. The Sesame Taro Rolls mix taste and texture and should not be missed.

We thank chef Chu for this, his second super book (see the book review index for the first one published many years ago). We wish him many more years of delighting those who visit his eatery; and thank him for this book which puts his delicious food on our table.
Phoenix Wings
6 chicken wings
1 scallion, white part only, minced
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of curry powder
1 egg
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups vegetable oil for deep frying
1. Cut wings in three parts and discard the wing tip sections. Remove and discard the bones in the two-bone wing section. Then cut around the bone of the remaining drumstick portion and push the skin and meat to one end, inverting the meat and the skin so it looks like a lolly pop.
2. Mix scallion, ginger sherry, salt, curry powder, egg, and cornstarch and marinate for ten minutes.
3. Heat oil in a wok or a deep pot and deep-fry the single-bone portions for eight to ten minutes until golden brown, the others for fur or five minutes. The remove them and drain them on paper towels.
4. Arrange the larger drumstick-looking pieces in a circle on a serving plate around the smaller ones. Serve with any preferred sauce.

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