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Chinese food is definitely by far my favourite takeaway. I'm quite a confident cook and have a vast array of cook books..but chinese cooking had always escaped me. Somewhere between not thinking I could make good tasting chinese food and being somewhat mystified by it I just never got around to giving it a go.
Then along came Ching. I caught her 'Chinese food made easy' series on the BBC quite by accident and hadn't really ever heard of her until then. I was instantly hooked though and went out and bought the book. I really wasn't disappointed. The book is well laid out, clear ingredients list and very simple instructions. There aren't photos for every recipe however.
The book is split into chapters which are as follows -
Spicy Sichaun dishes
Dumplings, dim sum and noodles
Fish and seafood dishes
Celebration food for family and friends
Desserts and Drinks
The takeawy favourites is of course one of my favourites and although it is essentially what you might find in a takeaway, some of it i'd argue not - for example Chings recipe for sweet and sour pork as it has a slight twist on the normal. I can't of like it like that though! Expect to find the usual chow mein and beef in oyster sauce etc. I can't criticise Ching for including crowd pleaser dishes - it's what we like to eat!
I like the noodles chapter simply because i'm always clueless about noodles and just make the same old things which do get a bit boring so it's nice to get some inspiration! The street food chapter is also quite nice for something a bit different - for example mango chicken, but you will find some familiar favourites in the chapter
The desserts menu is ok, the chinese aren't really big 'desserty' people as a general rule so there is a bit less scope with this chapter and as a once and a while recipe I might use one of these recipes if i were doing a chinese food dinner party.
I do really like the 'sides' chapter however. Here you will find how to make various rices, pak choy and smoked paprika roast sweet potatoes. I really do wish the sides chapter was just a little bit bigger!
All in all i've conquered a few of my chinese cooking fears with this book and i'd suggest it is a good book to start with if you are new to chinese cooking!
This is an accompaniment to the 2008 Television series, where the lovely Ching-He-Huang talks us through how to make wonderful chinese food easily.
I watched the television series and wanted this book, I managed to get a copy on The Book People website for £4.99 which is brilliant as it is nearly £15 on Amazon. It is 192 pages in total with some excellent photographs and the descriptions and food lists are thorough and thoughtful.
My first wish for this book was after watching Ching make Lion head Meatballs, on buying the book this was my first experiment and they worked perfectly, looking just like the photo and what I had seen on the television, this was encouraging as this is one cooking culture i've always struggled to replicate until buying this book.
This is a good book, as it looks at cooking with noodles, dumplings, making desserts and food for celebrations, as well as the currently trendy Szechuan food which is a spicy Chinese regional cuisine which is very popular in London. The book is full of wonderful photographs and the recipes are both simple and appealing. The book is well presented, the chef appears genuinely excited about what she does and as well as the Lion Head Meat Balls there are splendid dishes such as Chow Mein, Chop Suey and Sweet and Sour Prawns, the thing is, all are fairly simple to make, the ingredients are easy to find and the food actually tasted close to how it does in restaurants, although in fairness to Ching her recipes in general are much healthier than Chinese food in the UK and very nutritious.
Overall this is one of my favourite Chinese cookbooks, it was a great bargain, looks great and actually produces nice meals.
I only saw a couple of episodes of the 2008 BBC TV series "Chinese Food Made Easy" presented by the lovely Ching-He Huang but what I saw really impressed me as each week she would go out onto the streets with a portable gas stove and a wok and get a group of ordinary people to cook one of her dishes with her trademark phrase "Wok On" signalling time to start cooking. The food all looked delicious and healthy and easy to make and I knew I had to get the book when it came out.
The book "Chinese Food Made Easy" is a spin off from the TV series but you need not have seen the TV programmes to appreciate how good the book is. The book dispels the myth that real Chinese food is greasy, deep fried and MSG laden like the offerings that we get from our local take away. The recipes come from a variety of areas of China and are all packed full of flavour. Most of the dishes are pretty healthy cooking meats, fish and vegetables using techniques like stir frying or steaming. There are a few naughty fried foods in there too but everything is good in moderation!
The first section of the book is takeaway favourites, here you will find delights like sweet and sour pork, egg drop soup and chicken and cashew nuts. The chicken and cashew nut stir fry is my absolute favourite and I have substituted quorn for the chicken to make it lower with calories and it still tasted great. I discovered how to make the kind of batter that you get in take-aways from that recipe, a simple blend of cornflour and egg white, I couldn't believe how easy it was. My daughters favourite from this section is chicken fried rice although she still prefers the greasy offering from the takeaway but then I suppose there is no pleasing some people. This section along with the street food section is the one that I use the most, the mango chicken being my favourite from the street food and a nice alternative to sweet and sour.
Other sections include fish and seafood, side dishes, celebration food and drinks and desserts. Even though the food in the celebration section is more elaborate it is still prepared fairly easily but ingredients like a whole lobster or duck breasts will be expensive. The side dishes gives you loads of nice ideas to pep up vegetables to give them a Chinese twist as well as a few different sauces and dips. The one relatively weak section is the drinks and desserts, the Chinese not known for their love of puddings and it contains a few fruit and ice cream based dishes.
There is a handy section on building up a stock of basic Chinese ingredients for use in the recipes, these include soy sauce, five spice powder, sesame oil, garlic and chillies. The majority of the ingredients you will need are readily available in an average supermarket, there are others that I have struggled to get a hold of but the area I live in is hardly cosmopolitan so if you live in a big city it might be easier. I am planning to visit a Chinese supermarket the next time I am in Edinburgh to stock up on things like spring roll wrappers and dried shrimps so I can experiment further. There are also Chinese supermarkets in the UK which allow you to order online for a small delivery charge which others may find more convenient.
I really love my copy of "Chinese Food Made Easy" and it is a book I have cooked from many times and look forward to trying even more recipes from it. The dishes really are easy to cook, most need only a wok and pan for boiling rice and are ready in under half an hour. I am currently dieting and I have found that I can prepare a lot of the dishes from here without blowing my diet and with dishes like Sichuan orange beef to eat it means that I don't get bored. The book itself is nicely laid out with colour photos of many of the dishes which will make your mouth water and give you an idea of what you are aiming for.
If you have previously felt intimidated by the thought of cooking Chinese food then this book is ideal for you allowing you to create delicious meals in less time than it would take the local take-away to deliver a meal to your door.
Chinese Food Made Easy by Ching-He Huang is full of easy to make Chinese recipes. The series of the same name appeared on the BBC and Ching took her wok everywhere and cooked food in the street, at the races and in peoples work places to show how simple it is to cook up a good meal in no time at all.
Ching's storyGlamorous young food entrepreneur Ching-He Huang is the face of Chinese Food Made Easy.
Born in Taiwan to Chinese parents, Ching was born in Taiwan to Chinese Parents and was raised on freshly cooked home meals for which Her major food influences come from the traditional cooking styles of her farming community grandparents, who lived out in the countryside of southern Taiwan.
After watching the BBC series, and being an avid lover of all things Chinese and Japanese, i delved into the delights of the book which include simple recipes such as Foo Yung and simple soups. Ching-He Huang was always fascinated with food, and she cooks it lovingly and with much inspiration and her book will lead you to an explosion of tastes and spices.
The book has colourful pictures of the recipes, a list of which are below
Basic jasmine rice
Beef in oyster sauce
Black bean steamed scallops with noodles
Chicken and vegetable spring rolls
Chicken chow mein
Chilli crab with egg noodles
Chilli chicken with jasmine rice
Choi sum and mixed vegetable salad with pineapple dressing
Chunky bacon and cucumber salad
Crispy fragrant duck with pickled radish salad
'Dragon prawn' noodlesEgg fried rice
Egg fu yung with roasted red pepper and sweet chilli sauce
Five spice roast chicken drumsticks
Fragrant pork and aubergines
Ginger 'juice'Gong bao haddock goujons
Healthier crispy duck with plum sauce
Langoustine and samphire stir fry
'Lion head' meatballs
Mu shu chickenPork and prawn dumplings
Quick hot and sour noodle soup
Radish and sesame soy noodle salad
Roast sweet potato chilli chips
Sichuan orange beefSingapore-style noodles
Spiced beef stir-fry topped with spring onion and coriander
Spiced skewered lambSpicy hotpotSteamed sea bass in hot beer and ginger lime sauce
Scented jasmine rice
Sweet and sour pork
Sweet and tangy chilli beefWok-cooked monkfish with sesame soy sauce
Zesty chilli tiger prawns
Recipes are easy to follow and the book is available from most book stores. Mouth watering!
I never watched the series of this but have been an ardent fan of Chinese food since I was a child so a modern book with simple to prepare dishes which are also quite healthy really appealed to me. On first read I was already salivating in anticipation at the numerous delicious sounding dishes.
The first recipe I tried was Crispy Chicken. This dish was great but I found that adding salt as well as soy sauce was unneccesary. We all know too much salt is not good for you so I left it out the next time and found it tasted even better.
Next I tried Spicy Dofu and Edamame beans. It was my first time cooking tofu and I was really pleased with the results. I couldn't track edamame beans down tho so used green beans and sweetcorn instead and my vegan friends loved this dish.
The latest dish I have made is Peanut Chicken Noodle Salad which has really wowed everyone I cooked it for. It's simple to prepare and the hot satay-style sauce contrasts well with the cold cumber, noodles and chicken.
My one complaint about this book is that some of the ingredients listed are quite hard to track down. Even in the Chinese supermarket they didn't seem to know what I was talking about on some occassions (and I had the words she uses for things written down). I would take the book with you or explain what it is your making when buying ingredients. A friend of mine had never heard of edamame beans but informed me Sainsburys and Tesco sell frozen soya beans which is what they are!
Saying that it is worth perservering because the dishes taste fabulous and there are lots of dishes that are great for entertaining or just making something special for yourself.
I loved the series of this book and enjoyed watching it every week, so when the book came out, I bought it in hardback version when I was out shopping on the weekend. When I came home I sat down and started to read the book carefully and made a list of all the ingredients that I had and which that I had to buy. This book complements the television series very well and although does not have every recipe that she made on the show it does have a wide variety of recipes. Ching-He Huang offers the reader 100 healthy Chinese meals, and although I would not try them all myself I would try a few. The meals are all quite easy to follow and with exact direction and quantities then the food tastes fantastic. I especially love the Chow Mein, I know it sounds easy but it does taste completely fantastic compared to what I had normally made myself before the book. All the Stir fries she makes can be made in under half an hour, so if you are in a rush to cook every night like I am and want to come up with healthy and new meals weekly then this is the book for you!
The book itself is just under 200 pages, so is a good read and includes recipes for sweet and sour pork, but I use chicken aswell as I always have Chicken in my frezzer over any other meat like most homes, Also different types of noodles every recipe is really fresh and like to cook on a saturday night and feel less guilty about popping out to the local takeaway and eating too much.
I would recommend this book to big Chinese eaters, or people that want to try to start cooking Chinese as she writes the recipes that they are so easy to follow, that even the novice cook can make a fantastic dish.
In China, the food that is served is very symbolic.
YIN AND YANG.. Hot and cold. Male and female. The philosophy of yin and yang lies at the heart of Chinese culture....The Chinese believe problems arise not when the two forces are battling, but when there is an imbalance between them in the environment
How does the concept of yin and yang relate to food? A basic adherence to this philosophy can be found in any Chinese dish, from stir-fried beef with broccoli to sweet and sour pork. There is always a balance in color, flavors, and textures.....
However, belief in the importance of following the principles of yin and yang in the diet extends further. Certain foods are thought to have yin or cooling properties, while others have warm, yang properties. The challenge is to consume a diet that contains a healthy balance between the two.
Chinese food is extremely diverse. China covers a large territory and has many nationalities; hence there is a wide variety of Chinese foods, each with quite different but specialised mouthwatering recipes......Chinese food can be divided into eight regional cuisines namely Shandong Cuisine,Sichuan Cuisine,Guangdong (Cantonese) Cuisine,Fujian Cuisine,Huaiyang Cuisine,Zhejiang Cuisine,Hunan Cuisine and Anhui Cuisine...
The principal food of all Chinese is rice, ...In most dishes in Chinese cuisine, food is prepared in bite-sized pieces, ready to be picked up and eaten. Traditionally, Chinese culture considered using knives and forks at the table barbaric ..due to the fact that these were regarded as weapons. It was also considered ungracious to have guests work at cutting their own food...
Chinese food appeals to the majority and its variety of flavors is so cleverly contained in each dish ....that there is nothing incongruous in the serving of meat and poultry in the same course. Both the cooking and consumption of Chinese food are great culinary experiences. ...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Taiwan to Chinese parents,Ching-He Huang's major food influences stem from the traditional cooking styles of her farming community grandparents, who lived out in the countryside of southern Taiwan....when she was 11 years old Ching moved to London with her parents...
From her early teens, with her parents involved in running their own businesses , Ching had to cook the family meals. She was taught the basic philosophy behind Chinese cuisine (the emphasis on balancing Yin and Yang through 'hot' and 'cold' ingredients), but she was left to improvise alone....
ABOUT THE BOOK
Besides appealing to our taste buds and eyes, food prepared in the Chinese manner is highly nutritious, retaining all its vitamins with quick and minimum cooking.
I bought this book after watching the TV show of the same name. Everything seemed so easy to make and i loved the way she made her presentation....I decided that i just had to buy the book and give it a go!
This is a very well written book with lovely photographs, and an ingredient list that seems to be easily available.
There's lots of variety of recipes too: pork, beef, tofu, noodles, fish, shellfish,Sichuan soup and Guangdong dumplings....something for all tastes!
It has some Great recipes, very tasty and easy to prepare , with an Excellent , simple step by step instructions...
"Chinese Food Made Easy" begins with some of the most familiar dishes from a Chinese takeaway menu like the Sweet & Sour Prawns, Chicken with Cashew Nuts, Chop Suey and Cantonese Vegetable Stir Fry...
There are spicy Szechuan Recipes, Noodles, Dumplings and Dim sum; Seafood; Fast Food; Desserts and finally Celebratory Food, where Ching presents a complete banquet of dishes to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
There are very useful tips like for example ,she explains the use of different sauces in the Chinese cooking and recommends the different variety sauces that are essential , if one wants to cook Chinese recipes on a regular basis...
* Author: Ching- He Huang
* Hardcover: 192 pages
* Publisher: Harper; TV Tie-in Ed edition (7 Jul 2008)
* Language English
It is a wonderful book with a wide variety of recipes, A person who has never cooked Chinese food could buy a wok and give it a go!
This book is a great accompaniment to the TV series.