Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan Cooking (Anglais) Relié – 17 juin 2003
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Meilleurs commentaires des clients
The great thing also are all the explanation about the origin of each dish and giving you all the base knowledge you need.
Highly recommended if you are after trying real Chinese cuisine and if you can take the heat
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
Fuchsia's commitment to tradition and authenticity is evident and her instructions are clear and concise. Even more challenging recipes such as tea-smoked duck are remarkably simple if you plan ahead accordingly.
My family immigrated to the United States when I was young, but my parents, both having lived in Chengdu their whole lives until immigrating, were nostalgic for our native cuisine. My family used to drive many hours to buy ingredients or to try new Sichuan restaurants (which are few and far between in the Midwest), and my mother cooked traditional Sichuan dinners every night. She eventually opened her own restaurant, and she and my father are currently owners of another popular Sichuan restaurant. The food is unlike the Cantonese-inspired dishes served in your run of the mill American-Chinese restaurant.
That being said, I know my Sichuan food. Having never learned to cook while growing up, when I left home and moved many hours away, I was constantly nostalgic for the dishes I grew up on. I purchased this book almost 7 years ago, and it was my first step in learning to cook properly. Since I am unable to read Chinese, this book is the closest thing I've found to an authentic Sichuan cookbook.
The recipes are fairly accurate, and the book includes sections describing the more exotic ingredients, as well as suggestions for easier-to-find substitutes. Additionally, the recipes are formatted well and logically grouped into sections. The writing is enjoyable to read, peppered with bits of trivia about the dishes and anecdotal accounts from the authors time in Chengdu. The binding and the thick glossy paper are of high quality, with richly saturated images. It has held up very well over time.
I cannot recommend this book enough. This was one of the few things I brought with me when I moved across the country 5 years ago, and it still sits on my shelf today. While I don't use it often (I've since become very adept at cooking Sichuan food intuitively without recipes, since I cook these things every day), I do sometimes reference it when looking for ingredient substitutions. Most of the Sichuan dishes I know how to make have evolved from the recipes in this book.
Another note: authentic versions of classic Sichuan recipes are difficult to find on the internet. More often than not, googling a well-know Sichuan dish turns up some Americanized, Taiwanese, or other interpretation of these famous dishes, and they *do not* taste like the real thing. The versions in this book are pretty much spot on for what I've eaten growing up and on visits to Chengdu.
I was born in China, grew up eating delicious home cooked dishes my mom made, who learned her cooking skills from my grandma. However, I was never very good about learning from my mom how to cook, and it wasn't until we are living far apart when I got sick of the same old things I made and decided to venture further. And that's when Land of Plenty and Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook came in.
Firstly, I no longer remember how to read Chinese, so Fuschia Dunlop's version is fantastic. Secondly, she provides easy substitute suggestions for those of us living in the western world. Because despite my easy access to abundant Chinese grocery stores, there are some things that hard to find. And last but not least, the dishes made from this book are simple and authentic. I've made dishes from this book for exchange students from Chengdu who remarked that they feel like they are back home with the meal. And whether bad or good, I've become pickier about what we eat in Chinese restaurants BECAUSE I know I can make so many of the dishes, and do it well. Still, it's a testament to how good this book is.
The book itself is sturdy and now has much crinkles and some splatter, marks of a well-used book. The one con about this book would be the lack of pictures. For me at least, I love using the pictures as a guide of what I want to make, and sometimes as a guide of what my food should look like at the end. And sometimes, recipes get looked over because there is no picture. Still, this should not be a deterrent from getting the book because there are just SO much wonderful recipes here.
Happy cooking and eating!
Edit: After trying out a couple recipes, I can officially say that this is a keeper. I have friends who begged me for the recipes because they tasted just like things you could get back in Szechuan! Definitely try the Strange Flavor chicken and the dan dan noodles - classics and completely delicious.
The author could have included more colored pictures for recipes. The colored pictures are bundled up together so you have to go back and forth for the recipes and pictures. Hopefully in the next edition this is rectified.
I love to cook Chinese food at home and this book is a great expansion to my knowledge and experience in the Sichuan Food arena.