Synopses & Reviews
"Kuan is a New York food blogger who has lived in Beijing as well as Puerto Rico, where her family ran a Latin-flavored Chinese restaurant. But for this, her first collection, she sticks to the classics of mainland American-Chinese cuisine. So there is both General Tso's chicken and chop suey among the 100 well-known favorites, as well as moo shu pork, barbecued spareribs, and three types of fried rice. Although making the dough for her scallion pancakes seem like a lot of effort, the majority of recipes are simple stir fry affairs that use a wok or frying pan and utilize the same basic handful of ingredients such as soy sauce, oyster sauce, ginger, and garlic, so it is relatively easy to create a multidish meal. Kuan helps the cook along by offering a dozen menu ideas with themes such as 1970s takeout, Chinese New Year, and Sichuan supper. She also provides brief, inviting histories on the Americanization of many of the dishes. The real question, of course, is whether those who like Chinese takeout have the desire to cook, and do those who cook Chinese need new recipes for beef with broccoli and egg foo young? Had Kuan included a fortune cookie recipe, rather than just a short history of its Japanese origins, the answer might have been made available. Ballantine is betting it already knows how the cookie will crumble." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Diana Kuan is a food writer and cooking instructor who has taught Chinese cooking in Beijing and New York. Her writing on food and travel has appeared in The Boston Globe, Gourmet, Food & Wine, and Time Out New York, among other publications. She has appeared on the CBS Early Show and other broadcast media. She is the author of the blog Appetite for China, which has more than 6.5 million page views, and teaches Chinese cooking at Whole Foods and the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE) in New York, where she currently resides.