China Moon Cookbook Paperback – Oct 1 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
In this wide-ranging collection of recipes from her famed Chinatown cafe, the doyenne of California Chinese cuisine offers a "private cooking school" for cooks who want to enter the "world of traditional Chinese flavors combined with exclusively fresh ingredients." Beginning with the "pantry" chapter on basic condiments like five-flavor Oil and China Moon pickled ginger, Tropp ( The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking ) moves throughout the meal, offering signature recipes, like plum wine chicken salad with sweet mustard sauce, and Hoisin pork buns with ginger and garlic. An entire chapter is devoted to the meat that is "symbolically central to the entire Chinese culture"--pork. Not surprising for a book that is as much a course in method and culture as a collection of recipes, instructions are detailed and descriptive. True to her hybrid East-West cuisine, Tropp reveals eclecticism in her observations about cooking: In one chapter she praises traditional Chinese seafood cooking and presentation practices for following "the integrity of the fish"; a few pages later, she muses about that modern American invention, plastic wrap. Stylish illustrations that simultaneously recall a modern upscale restaurant menu and a 1950s Vogue are also true to the mixed nature of Tropp's cuisine. Author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
Tropp, author of The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking and chef/owner of San Francisco's China Moon Cafe, is a talented and passionate cook. Her new book is filled with hundreds of creative, unusual, and fascinating recipes. However, "homestyle" does not quite seem the word to describe them. Many have lengthy ingredients lists, and many dishes require components from other recipes for their preparation--not necessarily complicated on their own, but in the end somewhat daunting for busy home cooks. Nevertheless, the recipes are inspired and mouth-watering. Tropp's sidebars--on every page--are filled with information about Chinese cooking and food in general. This unique book is recommended for most collections. BOMC HomeStyle Books selection.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Then I happened to learn about the China Moon cookbook from online chat groups. I purchased the book and have been absolutely thrilled with it.
Now it's true that this is not a book of "15 minute recipes." But it is a book of great recipes, and preparation time will take from about 1/2 hour to a couple hours, on average. I don't think I have been disappointed with anything I made from this book.
It's also true that this is not exactly a book of authentic Chinese recipes. But who cares... the recipes are absolutely delicious, bursting with the essence of great Chinese food, the creation of a lady who obviously loves Chinese food too.
As one who likes to eat healthy, I also appreciate the author's emphasis on fresh foods and no MSG or other questionable ingredients.
Two great recipes I got from this book that just by themselves make it worthwhile: 1) the very best hot chili oil... way better than the stale stuff you buy pre-made... and 2) The best chicken stir-fry recipe. We make this basic recipe at least a couple times a month. It's so tasty it's hard to stop eating.
The book's problem is that the recipes are designed for a restaurant kitchen, with staff on hand. I have made exactly one dish from it. It took me half a day, and contained endless steps that could easily be shortened or eliminated if you didn't happen to have, say, a staff of 5 on hand. The result was wonderful, and I've made an equally-good version of it many times since, but not before going through the recipe with a LARGE pair of pruning shears.
But buy it anyway. The advice in the side columns alone is worth the price of entry, and the pantry section...
The pantry section is where the fifth star comes from. The infused oils are amazing, the pickled ginger (right down to the brand names of the vinegars -- and don't even THINK about substituting!) is sublime...
The firmament of cooking lost a bright star when Barbara Tropp died.
Barbara Tropp's recipes are Chinese influenced in the way of ingredients, so make sure you have a supply of good sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sichuan peppers, red chilis and ginger. In case you don't, the sidebars provide an introductory course in how to find, buy and store such ingredients, with brand recommendations. The main emphasis in each case is the notion of extracting a pure flavor in each dish. Rather than producing the kind of heavy, integrated sauces more typically associated with the Chinese kitchen, China Moon cranked out light, spicy, and brightly acidic dishes like my all time favorites, clear-steamed salmon with corriander pesto and gold coin salmon cakes.
The real strength of this book lies not in its excellent recipes, which can be adapted in numerous ways once you understand their principles. It's in the preparation of a pantry full of such goodies as ma-la oil ("ma" for the numbing spiciness of sichuan peppercorns, and "la" for the traditional burn of red pepper), and pickled ginger that takes 10 minutes to make and leaves you forever wondering why you hadn't done this sooner. There are recipes for stocks, sweet and sour dipping sauces, mustards, and other staples of the Chinese kitchen, that once created, allow the preparation of amazingly flavorful dishes in short order.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
China Moon is the restaurant's name. The cookbook has absolutely no authentic Chinese recipes or even remotely resembles to westernized Chinese dishes. Read morePublished 8 months ago by W.C.
I have five or six Chinese cookbooks and this is the very best. I have recommended it to all my cooking friends and I notice they all have a copy on their bookshelves!Published 23 months ago by Charlotte Zahn
I received this book as a gift, combined with a nice wok.
This is really a lovely cookbook - "basics" of gourmet Chinese cooking were well explained. Read more
The USDA has banned the Szechuan Peppercorn in the United States, so it is no longer available for sale or distribution. Read morePublished on April 19 2003
These recipes read deliciously; I've pored over them again and again to feed my imagination while I fed my stomach pedestrian Chinese take-out. Read morePublished on Dec 5 2001 by Eric Krupin
If you have to limit yourself to one cookbook, this has to find it's way onto your shelves. The recipies are straight-forward and delicious. Read morePublished on Nov. 28 2001 by CJ Hafner
To start off: this is not a book for the hard-line traditionalist, in fact, it is a book for those who aren't fond of the neighborhood Chinese restaurant style. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2001
This is an interesting book, however my problems with this book lie in the highly complicated procedures. Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2001