by Sybil PrattFebruary, 2007
The Chinese challenge
If you've ever wondered whether you could make Chinese food at home, wonder no more. With so many fresh items and once-exotic sauces and spices now available, you can do it more easily than ever. Two new cookbooks, both with gorgeous full-color photographs, will add to that ease and make the joys of this fabulous cuisine truly accessible. In the spirit of full disclosure, Yan-Kit's Classic Chinese Cookbook by Yan-Kit So is not new (though it's new to me and probably to you). It was first published more than 20 years ago, but as Claudia Roden says in the foreword of this new edition, it remains one of the best introductions to Chinese cooking. Yan-Kit starts with a fully illustrated guide to the ingredients, equipment and all-important techniques, many with step-by-step photos, that help define what makes food Chinese. Then come the recipes, hors d'oeuvres to desserts, with carefully detailed instructions, and regional menus for multidish dinners that will inspire you to become a champion Chinese cook.