Light, subtle, classic, and creative: So Cantonese food is described by the respected Chinese cookbook author Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, whose mission here is to rescue that cuisine from the Western image of ""things cloyingly sweet and sour, gelatinous, overdone, and thick with cornstarch."" Her straightforward and systematic primer explains ingredients, tools, and techniques, then prefaces each section of recipes with further general remarks. Freshness is emphasized and dishes are uncomplicated but interesting, with much use of marinade followed by quick cooking. Shark-fin soup; duck simmered in a complex sauce; and a rice dish mixed with roast cluck meat, honey roast pork meat, vegetables, eggs, and a soy sauce-wine, oyster sauce are among the more luxurious dishes adapted here for American cooks with some access to basic Chinese ingredients. The style is suited to contemporary tastes; and you'll never confuse these crisp, spiffy dishes with takeout chop suey.