by Ken Hom
List Price: £15.00
Exactly what the title says. Bearing in mind that for many western cooks an impediment to exploring Chinese cooking is the relative unfamiliarity of many of the ingredients and methods, Ken Hom has concentrated on producing a pain-free introduction to the subject. Taking 40 simple recipes, most if not all of which will be familiar to habitués of Chinese restaurants, he subjects them to the Hom treatment: careful, straightforward instructions, with hints, tips and gentle warnings as required; and illustrations of the entire process of preparation, and of the final result, in clear, illuminating photographs.
Favourites you might find here would include Sweetcorn and Crab Soup, Sesame Prawn Toast, Dim sum-style Pork Dumplings, Stir-fried Squid with Vegetables, Crackling Chinese Roast Pork, Classic Lemon Chicken, Crispy Aromatic Duck, Chow Mien and many more. All perfectly straightforward, presented with Ken Hom's well-known sureness of touch and boundless confidence.
A brisk tour of standard Chinese ingredients and cooking equipment introduces the recipes; they are followed by a useful menu planner. You really couldn't go wrong. Fans of Ken Hom will know what to expect, although most of the recipes here will already be in the collections of keen Chinese cooks. An absolutely ideal book for the beginner; and more experienced cooks may also find the illustrated techniques a comfort. --Robin Davidson