Posted 20 hours ago

Chinese-ish: Home cooking, not quite authentic, 100% delicious

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Modern, unconventional, innovative, vibrant, tasty, colourful and incredibly delicious―this is a cookbook from two authors who consider themselves wonderfully Chinese-ish . Kaul and Hu have written an excellent introduction to Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisine, recommended for intermediate to advanced cooks. Chef Kaul springs from mixed Asian ancestry and has a passion for all sorts of Chinese-influenced dishes passed down from previous generations … the result is this lively collection of personal cooking that home cooks can appreciate … Along with the book's photographs, bright, light-hearted illustrations from Joanna Hu perfectly match the recipes. It’s great if you like pretty photographs and illustrations but as far as the recipes are concerned, forget it!

A bunch of the stuff I knew how to make, having my very Chinese ancestors whispering in my ears, in a format my very white, very 'what's the recipe' husband can understand. All of the food looked and sounded delicious, however, most of the recipes had a lot of ingredients, instructions or both. Chef Kaul and illustrator Hu offer up a colorful and proudly inauthentic survey of Asian recipes … The recipes are enlivened by whimsical depictions of delicacies … The dishes are rich in heritage and individuality … Far-away flavors feel close to home in this delectable spread. The common Chinese name for chilli oil – hong you, or "red oil" – is a reference to its astonishingly vibrant colour.There are also plenty of tips and shortcuts to demystify any tricky-sounding techniques, and a reassuring list of pantry staples and where to find them. Australians Rosheen Kaul and Joanna Hu confront their blended-Chinese heritage by exploring classics of home cooking like wontons, fried rice and stir-fries--while also going where nobody's grandma has gone before, with 'very inauthentic Shrimp Toast' and 'Microwave Cheong fun' rice noodle rolls. Eggs are whisked thoroughly, combined with fillings of your choice and fried in hot oil to create golden clouds. Decades later I look back on these memories with mirth and much joy…and these fond recollections prompted my interest in this book and my determination to learn how to cook some Chinese-ish food successfully (no more soggy stir fry from me)!

Utterly delicious, compelling, idiosyncratic and refreshingly honest, by two of this country's most dynamic young talents.

As immigrants with Chinese heritage who both moved to Australia as children, Rosheen Kaul and Joanna Hu spent their formative years living between (at least) two cultures and wondering how they fitted in. And I’m desperate to try the Microwave Cheong Fun, those wonderful rice flour noodle rolls, which are especial favourites of mine.

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