Since moving away from my family, I’ve made more of an effort to cook Chinese food. It waspretty easy to rely on my mom and my brother to make meals, but I figured it was about time I started cooking too!
In Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees: Essential Techniques of Authentic Chinese Cooking, Kian Lam Kho introduces us to techniques to authentic Chinese cooking. The book is beautifully photographed, and he covers essentials in the kitchen, as well as knife techniques (which I really appreciate).
The book covers the different Chinese regional cuisines, and I enjoyed reading through them and moves onto the tools and pantry essentials. There’s also a chapter on Chinese stocks (broths), which I found helpful as well.
I found some recipes with variations on my favorite dishes like Red Cooked Pork, Beggar’s Chicken, and Pork Belly. I also found some that has me ready to cook, like Sichuan Crisp Fried Wild Mushrooms and Oven-Braised Oxtail.
One of my favorite Chinese cookbooks are Fushia Dunlop’s, and I think this would be my next favorite on the list. This book is beautifully put together, with easy to read and understand instructions.
The book is written for the home cook, and I found it very approachable. I think my semi-critique is that as a home cook, I’m not necessarily looking for techniques, which is how the book is organized. The chapters are broken into sections like, Flavoring with Sauces, The Power of Steam, and The Virtues of Slow Cooking. While I appreciate the techniques, I tend to cook based on ingredients. The index in the back covers that though, so it’s a minor complaint on my part.
I’m so happy to add this book to my small Chinese cookbook collection. Next time, I’ll be ready to cook for my family instead of the other way around!
Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own.