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Ken Hom's Illustrated Chinese Cookery, revised

by: Ken Hom

London UK: BBC Books 1993, Hardbound
ISBN: 0-563-36098-4

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Fall Volume: 1994 Issue: 1(1) page(s): 14

With an article of his featured in this issue, thought it fun to share a wonderful volume written by Ken Hom, an ABC (American-born Chinese) cooking genius. This book, a diamond, polished and prefected, is for me and others who missed the original TV series-recipe-book or those who want the latest edition; it was rewritten for the 1990's.

Hom has a well-founded reputation as culinary master, and this book shows why neophyte and advanced gastronome can understand, cook and enjoy the delicious Chinese food he writes about.

This edition is more comprehensive than the original, and has more great recipes, more information about ingredients and techniques, improved illustrations, better photographs, easier to use ingredient lists, and an improved index. I especially love two new recipes; worth trying are Steamed Salmon with Black Beans, and the Mango Chicken.

Old favorites I savor are Fish Balls with Broccoli, Bean Sauce Noodles, Spicy Stir-fried Mushrooms, Cashew Chicken, and Steamed Crab with Ginger Vinegar Sauce.

I made a terric meal for guests with his Watercress Soup and an eggplant dish called Braised Spicy Aubergines, along with Garlic Chicken with Cucumbers, and Cold Peppers with Black Beans. I completed the menu with rice, canned Chinese fruits, cookies, and tea.

This book and many others Hom has written including The Taste of China, Fragrant Harbor Taste, and Asian Vegetarian Feast are worth owning. This Illustrated Chinese Cookery is a favorite in my kitchen and I like it more than the original PBS Perrennial Library edition published to accompany the BBC television series. As a matter of fact, I think it one of Hom's best. Therefore, I whole-heartedly recommend that you take a look at it. In addition, I urge you to try the suggested meal and some other great recipes. Then advise if you like them, too.

Note: This review appeared in the column: Newman's News of Things Both Printed and Pictured.

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