By Jeremy Pang
http://www.quadrille.co.uk/books/food-and-wine/book/uk_9781849495745/chinese-unchopped" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">Quadrille, £20
Therein lies the concept behind the book - simplifying the techniques in Chinese cooking so that anyone can understand them. This seems only natural given that British-born Pang, co-founder of the School of Wok cookery school in London's Covent Garden, has spent his culinary career teaching people how to cook Chinese-style.
And this empathetic approach applies throughout the book. Starting with basics such as the importance of the cleaver and how to prep the perfect wok, it sets out key processes, step-by-step, with photos, to ensure even the most unsure chef will know what they're doing. Thankfully, however, the book is saved from a potential fate as a boring how-to manual by its obvious love of its source material and luscious photography by Martin Poole.
The Chinese Pantry pages explain basic ingredients and recipes befitting them, such as barbecued hoisin and ginger ribs; to "level 2 ingredients", allowing you to "delve further into the realms of Chinese cooking" with examples such as braised curried squid or pickled lotus root.
In terms of dishes, all the greats are here, from Singapore noodles to steamed wontons, salt and pepper squid, stir-fried pak choi, sweet-and-sour pork, hoisin ribs, crispy pork belly and 'lionhead' crab meatballs.
Most of these dishes would work well as an appetiser, starter, main or sharing plate, and vegetarian tastes are well-catered for, with tofu making a strong appearance alongside delicious-sounding dishes such as flash-fried cabbage, steamed aubergine and garlic dressing, or shiitake and chive dumplings.
Chinese Unchopped delivers on its promises, and would be suitable for any chef looking to create tasty Chinese dishes in a flash.
By Hannah Thompson
If you like this, you may enjoy these
- The Dumpling Sisters Cookbook by Amy Zhang and Julie Zhang
- Chinatown Kitchen: From Noodles to Nuoc Cham by Lizzie Mabbott
- Ching's Fast Food: 110 Quick and Healthy Chinese Favourites by Ching He-Huang