Phoenix Claws And Jade Trees – Book Review
I have been looking for a really good cookbook to help me understand the mysteries and intricacies of authentic Chinese cooking for the longest time. Although I’ve purchased a few volumes over the years, I have yet to have found the book that speaks to my heart.
I think that Kian Lam Kho’s cookbook, Phoenix Claws And Jade Trees – Essential Techniques Of Authentic Chinese Cooking, is about to change all of that.
The title Phoenix Claws And Jade Trees metaphorically represents chicken feet and Chinese broccoli – familiar terminology to Chinese diners. The author’s goal is to demystify Chinese cooking and make authentic Chinese cuisine accessible to the Western World. To do this, Kian takes a unique approach to Chinese cooking in his cookbook. He writes:
I believe that the cuisine is easiest to learn by technique. A dry stir-fry is more difficult to prepare than a moist one; the key is to know which technique to use for which ingredient and for which final result. Armed with this knowledge, you cannot only re-create dishes from all over China and many East Asian countries, but you can cook almost any ingredient in any fashion you’d like. If you discover you love dry stir-fry with leeks and you are wild about duck, you can combine the two to make a successful Chinese dish all your own.
Phoenix Claws And Jade Trees is a well-written, beautifully photographed cookbook that teaches essential techniques and delivers delectable recipes and authentic delicacies from an amazing chef – but it’s more than that.
This book also provides a historical window into fascinating influences that shaped each regions distinctive cuisine – shows you the tools, herbs and spices you need to set up a working Chinese kitchen and pantry –teaches you how to prepare basic ingredients based on Chinese philosophy – and shows you how to make the stocks and sauces that are essential in many recipes.
There are certain cookbooks that – once you’ve partaken of them – you can’t imagine not having them in your kitchen. Phoenix Claws And Jade Trees is one of those books.
If you are looking for a book that will teach you the secrets of authentic Chinese cooking, I highly recommend Phoenix Claws And Jade Trees to you!
I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.
About Kian Lam Kho
Kian Lam Kho is a private chef, food writer, teacher and food consultant specializing in Chinese cuisine. He is the creator of the James Beard Foundation Awards nominated Chinese home cooking blog Red Cook and one of the authors of Knack Chinese Cooking: A Step-by-step Guide to Authentic Favorites Made Easy.
Kian lives in New York City and teaches Chinese cooking at the Institute of Culinary Education and the Brooklyn Kitchen. He appears regularly as speaker and discussion panelist on Chinese cuisine and its history.
For More Information
- Visit Kian’s Blog.
- Connect with Kian on Facebook and Twitter.
- Phoneix Claws And Jade Trees is available on Amazon.
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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. However, the opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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