Review: Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook.

Hi everyone,

Yeah I know, time flies and my blogging activities have been kept to a minimum for way too long. As laziness got the best of me during the last couple of years, it’s time to start with a clean slate and bring new updates to the good old blog.

Introduction

Crystal Shrimp Dumplings

Probably way too long ago, I was contacted by Tuttle publishing. They offered me a free copy of “Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook – 101 Delicious recipes from my mother’s kitchen” for review purposes. As a cookbook collector I gladly accepted their offer.

Katie is the daughter of Guangzhou born Leeann Chin, a known restaurateur in the field of American-Chinese cuisine.  In this book Katie is honoring her moms cooking by bringing her readers on a mouthwatering, heartwarming, creative and informative journey into the American-chinese kitchen.

First Impression

Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook is an excellent book for beginners who just started preparing Chinese food at home. At the beginning of the book the reader is guided through a comprehensive, informative and easy to understand list of ingredients, their properties and what they are being used for.  The next chapter is filled with useful cooking how-tos on everything from wok seasoning to which tools to buy for successful Chinese cooking at home.

Testing of the actual recipes

As the book is filled with many tempting recipes of sauces, stir fries, dim sum and even salads I can only judge based on the dishes I actually found the time to cook and my overall first impression.

Sweet and Sour Pork

Recipe 1: Sweet and sour pork.

First recipe of choice was the Sweet and Sour pork. As I’m trying to eat healthier I chose to go with a slightly leaner cut than pork loin.  I made the batter, fried up the pork and quickly noticed that the batter seemed much lighter than in most restaurants. Katie put her personal twist on the dish by replacing good old ketchup with fresh tomato wedges. In conclusion, how was the end result? I simply loved it. I always feel that the sweet and sour pork they serve in the western restaurants is too sweet, greasy and heavy. But not this version, it’s lighter and different from all the other versions I made.

Rating: 8/10.

Recipe 2: Cantonese-style Chicken Chow Mein.

“The ultimate Chinese comfort food” as the author beautifully labeled it. Just the thought of crispy noodles, savory sauce, tender chicken and crunchy veggies makes me hungry. The instructions were easy to follow and the end result was pretty close to what I tasted in good restaurants around the world.  Thumbs up on this one.

Rating: 7/10.

Recipe 3: Hot and sour soup.

Hot and sour soup is a treat most of us associate with the Sichuan region of China. Katie’s spin on this dish is slightly Americanized, but tasty enough to make over and over again. As I had never cooked anything hot and sour before I had to make the soup twice to get it right. Not in my wildest imagination would I think about adding Sriracha to a Sichuan classic, but it really added a nice level of heat to the soup without overpowering it.

Rating 9/10.

Final Verdict

Many of the recipes have not yet been tested, but the book is full of inspiration and ideas on what to cook next.

Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese cookbook is easy to understand with clear directions, amusing content and full of delicious recipes to choose from.

Who would I recommend this book for?  I can safely recommend Katie Chin’s everyday chinese for both beginners and well seasoned fellow wokahlics (like yours truly).

All the recipes have different levels of difficulties. Folks! It’s time to give up food from shady takeaways and embrace the world of Asian flavours.

Choc Rasp Wontons

 

As a busy husband, warehouse worker and passionate home-cook I often turn to Chinese and Thai stir fries as time is not always on my side. Believe it or not, even foodies sometimes lack the mood to spend hours in the kitchen after a long day at work. One thing that sparkled my love for wok cooking to begin with was the ability to whip up quick, nutritious, tasty and low fat dishes within 15-20 minutes. Katie’s Everyday Chinese cookbook shows you just how to do that.

Psssssst! If you’re on a diet, do NOT browse through the book at night. Masano Kawana’s food shots will only make you hungry.

Final Rating: 8/10.

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