Cover image for The Chinese kitchen : recipes, techniques, ingredients, history, and memories from America's leading authority on Chinese cooking
The Chinese kitchen : recipes, techniques, ingredients, history, and memories from America's leading authority on Chinese cooking
Lo, Eileen Yin-Fei.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, [1999]

Physical Description:
452 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 27 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX724.5.C5 L59442 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
TX724.5.C5 L59442 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, author of award-winning cookbooks, menu developer for top Asian restaurants, and cooking teacher, presents her life's work. Reflecting on her life in food, including her childhood in Canton, China, where she learned to cook at her grandmother's side, Eileen has created an exhaustive cookbook of extensive scope. Everything about Chinese cooking has cultural significance, and much of what Eileen talks about in this book has never appeared in print before in the English language.

There are more than 250 recipes in all, including many classic banquet-style recipes, quite a number presented for the first time in the traditional manner, from Peking Duck to Beggar's Chicken. Dozens of the techniques for preparing these elaborate recipes are shown in full-color photographs in the color insert as well. Eileen also includes many of her own creations, such as infused oils and rich, flavorful stocks, essential for cooks who are serious about mastering the ancient art of Chinese cooking.

Everything is here: dim sum, congees, stir-fries, rice dishes, noodles, bean curd, meat dishes, and more. For anyone who loves Asian cuisines, this is the ultimate cookbook, and for cookbook lovers and aspiring food professionals, this is required reading.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Lo has written a worthwhile, comprehensive guide to basic Chinese cooking. In an age of complexity, it's comforting to be reminded of the simplicity of good Chinese cooking. Ingredients repeat from one recipe to another, but particular proportions and different cooking methods yield wholly distinct results. Staples on which Chinese cooking relies (such as soy sauce, oyster sauce, and rice wine) now appear in supermarkets nationwide. Nevertheless, access to a knowledgeable butcher helps in making dishes such as braised fresh bacon. For all her rigorous attention to authentic Chinese cooking, Lo submits graciously and with good humor to certain Western tastes and offers a recipe for egg rolls. Home cooks on the prowl for something to astonish their guests will appreciate the surprise of Lo's meatballs filled with soup. Libraries needing to update their Chinese cookbook collection will welcome this practical volume with its detailed information on all aspects of Chinese cuisine. --Mark Knoblauch

Publisher's Weekly Review

In her newest Chinese cookbook, Canton native Yin-Fei Lo (The Chinese Banquet Cookbook) meticulously explains the history of the Chinese table from 5000 B.C. to the 20th century, documenting the influence of various imperial dynasties on China's cuisine. Seventeen chapters explore the Chinese larder, teas, wines, cooking equipment and techniques, classic Chinese dishes, rice and noodles, food-as-medicine, meats and vegetables, dim sum and the evolution of Chinese-American restaurant dishes. Yin-Fei Lo emphasizes the principles of the Chinese kitchen: selecting the freshest ingredients, eating foods in season and eating foods in harmony with their yin (cooling) versus yang (warming) properties. Anecdotes and recipe prefaces detail regional and dynastic origins of dishes, including relevant folklore, superstition and symbolism associated with them. An accessible repertoire of recipes ranges from popular regional classics, like Peking Duck and spicy Sichuan Mah Paw Dau Fu to "Western Chinese restaurant clich‚s" like Egg Drop Soup and Chow Mein. Integrating her own food memories growing up in Sun Tak, China, Yin-Fei Lo conveys her culinary heritage with precision and passion, delivering a richly layered resource on Chinese cookery. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

With impressive thoroughness, Lo's wide-ranging new book goes beyond "recipes, techniques, and ingredients," exploring as well the cultural and culinary history of Chinese food, the importance of symbolism in Chinese cooking, food as medicine, and a variety of other topics; it's a personal history, too, with wisdom and dishes passed down from her maternal grandmother and other family members. Lo is the author of other good cookbooks, including The Chinese Way, but this is by far her most ambitious work. There's a long and detailed glossary ("The Chinese Larder"), a good technique section, and chapters on the teas and wines of China, as well as on non-Chinese wines to serve with her dishes. Recipes are both classic and contemporary, with special sections on regional specialties, dishes from the author's childhood in Sun Tak (known for its discerning cooks), and authentic, i.e., good versions, of the recipes that have become clich‚s in so many Chinese-American restaurants. An essential purchase. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.