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Contemporary Chinese Cuisine

by: no author given

Singapore : Marshall Cavendsh Cuisine 2005, Paperback
ISBN: 961-261-219-X

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Spring Volume: 2008 Issue: 15(1) page(s): 18

Seven recipe chapters follow learning about the roots of Chinese vegetarian cuisine; its health benefits, too. This book avoids mock meats made from wheat gluten and instead uses foods such as mushrooms, soy products, and vegetables. The recipes are quick and easy, a few creatively named as is the Pot of Prosperity.

Though this volume does indicate not using gluten, we did locate one recipe using gluten puffs. The book correctly says there is need for more healthy Chinese vegetarian dishes. But why does it include rock sugar in many of them? Another less than healthy tidbit is that many of recipes are fried or include fried foods. After the recipes, a two page glossary has color photographs of twenty-four foods and a sentence or two about each of them.

As the expression goes, do not throw the baby out with the bath water, and we did enjoy many creative good recipes in this book. We reduced the salt to one-third the requested amount, changed the weight of flour to using a measuring cup as it is faster, and changed the garlic and scallion amounts to common volumes. The changes are incorporated in the recipe below.
Aubergine Folders II
2 half-pound pieces of firm bean curd
1 teaspoon black moss, soaked in cold water for twenty minutes, then drained
4 Japanese eggplants, cut into one-inch slices, each cut partway through to make into a 'folder'
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups and 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 egg white
3 Tablespoons oyster-flavored sauce
1 green part of a scallion, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1. Blanch bean curd in boiling water for three minutes, drain, and pat dry. Then, cut off any hard outer layer, and mash the rest.
2. Mince the black moss and mix with the bean curd.
3. Press half tablespoon bean curd mixture into each of the eggplant slice folders.
4. Mix flour and salt, make well in the center, and stir in eggs and the tablespoon of oil. Stir and add water, a tablespoon at a time, to make a thin batter. Let this rest ten minutes.
5. Heat oil in large pot, dip stuffed eggplant slices into the batter, allow to drain and deep fry several at a time for about four minutes or until puffed and brown. Drain and put them on paper towels while repeating until all are fried and drained.
6. Mix oyster-flavored sauce, a tablespoon of water, scallion and garlic pieces and heat, pour over the eggplant folders and serve.
Approximate nutrient analysis when serving six persons and assuming three tablespoons of oil is absorbed. Each serving has 296 calories, 36 g carbohydrate, 14 g protein, 416 mg sodium, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, and 60 mg cholesterol.

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