Time-Life's penchant for clobbering the cook with culture in screaming full color has, in this case, a happy by-product. In spite of full spread 12th-13th century paintings, soups elevated amid objets d'art, explicit photography is a considerable aid here in demonstrating the intricate chopping, shredding and dough wrapping, maneuvers so essential to Chinese cookery. Asia-phile and author, Miss Hahn tells you all you could possibly wish to know -- and possibly more -- before tackling the recipes, which, once the exotic ingredients are procured (there is an index of suppliers), and the assembly mastered, and moderately easy. (Of course one needs a wok!) If the cook can fight off the blinding hypnosis of brilliantly perfect products, and pages of just plain lore, this could be a useful beginner's book in the use of traditional tools and ingredients.