'Easy Chinese recipes: Family Favorites from Dim Sum to Kung Pao'

TISH WELLS
McClatchy Newspapers
Modified: August 6, 2012 at 5:57 pm •  Published: August 6, 2012

photo - Chicken with Garlic Sauce from Bee Yinn Low's
Chicken with Garlic Sauce from Bee Yinn Low's "Easy Chinese Recipes" (Tuttle Publishing, $24.95). (Tuttle Publishing/MCT)

Tuttle Publishing (Rutland, VT)

144 pages, $24.95

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Virtually every city, town and hamlet in the U.S. has one or more Chinese restaurants. So, why would you want to cook the dishes for yourself?

One reason is that it tastes good. Another is that it’s a challenge. “Easy Chinese Recipes” by Bee Yinn Low is aimed at the novice cook who wants to explore what is behind what he or she eats when going out.

Frankly, it’s a lot easier to call the local take-out. However, you’ll miss a taste treat if you do. Low’s recipes have no heavy brown sauce, nor limp onions and peppers.

Overall, the recipes are light and fresh. They just take some time and organization in, first, getting the ingredients and then, actually cooking what you’ve got.

Have a Chinese or a Whole Foods market nearby helps when you want Chinese rice wine and Chinese black vinegar. And, if you don’t know what a “wood ear mushroom” or “Chinese chives” are, there are photographs for easy identification included in the book

Of the three recipes tested, there was one overwhelming characteristic: slight blandness. It’s easy for the cook to add hot sauce, red wine or even additional sliced ginger to perk them up.

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