Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking Is One Of The Most Comprehensive Cookbooks You'll Ever Own!

I am crazy about cooking and eating.

Not only am I now running 6 food book clubs (regional and food-centric), I am out reviewing restaurants (so, eating for a living) and then I write about what I'm cooking and eating in my "free time."

There's also Pan Magazine, which we're giving a makeover and getting new content up shortly and all the food writing and talks I do.

So yes, I'm obsessed.

And my latest obsession is cookbooks. One of the best ones I've ever seen is Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo.

This huge, heavy tome is everything you've ever needed to know about making traditional Chinese food at home. Eileen wrote 10 books on Chinese Cooking before this beauty, so she is the ultimate teacher to show you the way.

The cook is richly illustrated with many photographs so that you can see what you're about to make and how it should look and there are many lessons to show you how to create a Chinese pantry, how to steam, make good soup, cooking in a sand clay pot, creating Chinese menus, and much, much more.

What I love about this book is that it doesn't matter if you have never cooked Chinese before, or if you know you're way around a wok, you will most definitely hone your craft and learn to make some wonderful meals. You'll also pick up skills that you'll keep by your side for the rest of your days.

There are so many directions and explanations that take you much further than other cookbooks, and Eileen's constant encouragement in these pages will keep you from feeling intimidated - something I've felt many a time with authentic Chinese cooking.

I love Eileen's voice throughout, such as:

"People are often surprised when I mention how plentiful tomatoes are in China."

It makes me feel like she's right at my side while I'm at the stove.

And the recipes are unlike I've ever seen - dishes to swoon over and plan dinner parties around:

- Tomato, Bean Curd, and Chicken Leg Mushroom Soup
- Squash Pancakes
- Roast "Goose" (vegetarian)
- Shrimp with Salted Egg Yolks
- Fujian Red Rice Wor Bah
- Old Skin Beef

I've learned about food from all around China and the regional differences, thanks to this book. I've mastered the art of making my own hot pepper flakes (I'd never even considered this before!), discovered the art of baking Chinese bread and how to buy presoaked sea cucumbers.

Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking is a history, memoir, education and cookbook that you cannot live without.

p.s. It would make a wonderful Mother's Day present, wouldn't it?

Stephanie Dickison

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