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Exploring China: Culinary Adventure (by Ken Hom and Ching-He Huang)

by: Hom, Ken and Huang, Ching-He

London UK: BBC Books 2012, $25.00, Hardbound
ISBN: 978-1-849-90498-8

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Fall Volume: 2015 Issue: 22(2) page(s): 18

This book brings one hundred recipes from these two authors most recent culinary adventure in China and Taiwan in chapters titled: Dumplings and Appetisers–-Guangdong and Cantonese Cooking; Soups and Salads-–Ken's Hong Kong; Rice and Noodles–-Fujian and Taiwan; Vegetarian–-Yunnan and the Chinese minorities; Fish and Seafood-–Chinese Heartland of Sichuan; Meat-–Kashgar and the Silk Road; Poultry–-Beijing's capital cuisine; Desserts–-Chongqing and the creation of megacities.

Intended to accompany the same-named BBC-TV series, they are worth your attention. Most are easy to make, all are worth doing. Before each recipe is its introduction with a color photograph of its completed dish. Before the recipes, one page about each author, another with a great picture of each one. After all the recipes, a single-page about three flavored oils; then a Glossary of sixty-six ingredients. The final page has two sections, each offering thanks from each of them.

Most recipes are new, a lesser number are not. All are written in standard style, each actually simple to make and simply delicious. These authors are pro’s. Each has one or more TV series on the telley, as they call it in the UK; most are simple, some so simple we put often put two together as they are so easy to make. They look lovely when plated that way. There are many others that can benefit from the same treatment; and we have frequently done just that. You might want to group another pair, too!
Lotus Root Salad
8 ounces lotus root, peeled and thinly sliced in circles
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
6 scallions, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon white rice vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1. Put lotus root into a large bowl.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix, and set aside for fifteen minutes. Then serve.

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