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Welcome to my blog! I love to cook and bake for my family. I hope you enjoy the recipes, foodie reviews, foodie giveaways and cooking tips posted on my blog.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Book Review: The Yunnan Cookbook

Pick up this jewel from Annabel Jackson and Linda Chia for a beautiful and delicious journey into the diversity of Chinese recipes. Let The Yunnan Cookbook expand your horizons.

I’m not sure if I’ll order Chinese out again. The usual take-out places serve the usual sweet and sour, deep fried, stir-fried, or steamed dishes with little variation from the norm. When I make Chinese dishes at home, my menu tends to mimic our favorite family-owned take-out place where the owners ask how our kids are doing. We didn’t know just how varied and beautiful a native Chinese menu could be until my cookbook addiction took over. I’d snag books on Cantonese and Mandarin cuisine and experiment on the family. Sometimes the experiments didn’t quite work for the family, but at lease we’d have something different to choose from at dinner time. When the opportunity to review a new Chinese cookbook arose, I jumped on it. I expected to enjoy the opportunity, but did not expect to enjoy it this much.

The Yunnan Cookbook is a new release from British journalist Annabel Jackson and Australian chef Linda Chia. This duo compiled a selection of dishes from China’s Yunnan province. Yunnan is a diverse area that borders Tibet, Sichuan, Burma, Vietnam, and Laos. The cuisine is as diverse and rich as the people and is rarely covered in English language cookbooks. According to the authors, some may see the cuisine as too simplistic, but to me and my family, Yunnan food is perfect for our diverse tastes.

This book is beautiful. Photography from San Lin celebrates the sights in the province and Trio Photo’s food shots are drool-worthy. Even recipes that aren’t quite my cup of tea look fantastic. Jackson and Chis share stories of the places and people of the province along with the recipes that celebrate the best of that corner of the world. The recipes include appetizers, soups, salads, desserts, street food, and entrees that focus on main ingredients. I started with the chapter on Rice and Noodles because we always include some rice or noodle dish in our usual take-out orders. I whipped up the simple and flavorful Egg Fried Rice (page 198) for lunch one afternoon and found it perfect for the dreary and cool afternoon. The Dai Noodle Soup (page 190) makes a yummy start to a meal and nice breakfast during flu season. The Potato Rice (page 196) is a simple combination that is pure comfort.

Chapters on vegan, mushroom, egg, and vegetable dishes include meals that have become new family favorites. Hubby loved the Scrambled Egg with Spicy Pork (page 73), the son prefers the Celery with Spicy Sliced Chicken (page 106), and the daughter requests Grandma’s Potatoes (page 123) for our next Asian for dinner night. The Spicy Tofu with Fresh Mushrooms (page 94) calls to me and in spring I plan to make Stir-Fried Mushrooms with Asparagus Tips (page 91) often. Out of season asparagus just isn’t the same to me. Am I alone in this?

Meat lovers will enjoy the Eight Treasures chicken (page 136), Roast Pork Rib with Chilli Bean Paste (page 140), and Yunnan Ham dishes. Seafood lovers have Dai Grilled Fish with Lemongrass (page 172), Spicy Salt Prawns (page 178), Pan-Fried Spicy Squid (page 181), and more to try.

For a different take on Chinese food, The Yunnan Cookbook does not disappoint. This beautiful book is a must-have for lovers of ethnic cuisine or Asian culture.

Disclaimer: Sherrie Thompson has personally reviewed the product listed above. Sherrie has not received any monetary compensation for her review. Sherrie did receive a free product to try out so she could evaluate and use it for her review. Her thoughts & opinions in this review are unbiased & honest and your opinions may differ. Content on this blog is copyrighted, all rights reserved. We reserve the right to legally pursue anyone who violates our rights and/or steals our copyrighted material.

1 comment:

jopb said...

This does sound like a great cookbook and I don,t have any for Chinese cuisine. I like that the recipes are so,varied and are influenced by different actions of that region.