THE CHINESE PEOPLE'S COOKBOOK by Mai Leung

THE CHINESE PEOPLE'S COOKBOOK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The title doesn't tell you very much except that people are now in fashion, especially if they happen to live somewhere else. Press on and make the acquaintance of dim sum, the glory of Chinatown Sundays. Dim sum, also vaguely known as ""Chinese brunch"" and hitherto represented only indifferently in American Chinese cookbooks (not at all in most), consists of variegated tidbits like steamed filled dumplings, minute turnovers with savory fillings, meatballs in different sorts of wrappings, or bite-sized sparerib pieces in pungent garlicky sauce. Food of a kindred spirit is purveyed in noodle, dumpling, and congee shops, and by vendors of such pleasures as sweet glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves. Leung makes an ambitious foray into this under-publicized material, and adds a few sweet confections and festival foods (fried sweet sesame balls, sugar-dipped egg puffs, New Year's turnip pudding). The selection of dishes is delightful: sweet and salty poached chicken, steamed pork crescents (chiaotse), scallion biscuits with sesame seed, deep-fried crullers with congee, peppery beef tripe. The recipes themselves vary in quality, with interesting and conscientious recreations of Chinese soul food interspersed with a few formulations based on Wonder Bread or bouillon cubes. On the whole, a toothsome beginning.

Pub Date: Nov. 30th, 1979
Publisher: Harper & Row