I was recently sent this cookery book, CHINATOWNS, Asian Cooking from around the world in 100 recipes to review. This is a visually stunning cookbook, by author Jean‐Francois Mallet, a trained chef and photographer. The author actually goes behind the scenes in Chinese communities around the world in order to understand how and why the food changes so much depending on location. As well as intimate portraits of these fascinating communities, the book contains a hundred delicious recipes capturing the essence of China Towns from across the world and their various geographical influences.
It is divided into eleven chapters covering everything from starters to dessert . . . Dumplings, Soups and Broths, Chicken and Quail, Beef, Pork, Duck, Fish and Seafood, Wierd and Wonderful, Vegetable, Rice and Side Dishes, Noodles, and Tea, Drinks and Desserts.
Each recipe is accompanied by a colour photograph. I like this in a cookbook, especially when the book is about food I am not familiar with. It helps me to understand what the finished dish should look like.
It also acts as a virtual tour of different Chinese Communities around the world and the restaurants you would find within them. I found this quite interesting also.
There are also handy step by step photographs for several recipes throughout the book, which would come in very handy when attempting to do some of the more complicated dishes.
If the book has any drawback at all it would be sourcing the more unsual ingredients required for some of the recipes. Unless you live in an area which has a Chinatown, some of these might be quite difficult to aquire. I would recommend this book for the keen cook who really wants to stretch their Asian cooking skills and doesn't mind sourcing out unsual ingredients.
I always like to try at least one recipe from the books I am sent so that I can let you know how they work. This time I chose Broth with Wonton Dumplings. It seemed to be one of the simpler recipes in the book. I was unable to acquire all of the ingredients necessary for the dish, but did end up with quite a delicious soup at the end of it all.
*Broth with Wonton Dumplings*Serves 4
Asian Cooking from around the world
in 100 recipes
by Jean Francois Mallet
Recipes and photographs:
Jean-François Mallet, words Emmanuelle Jarry, illustrations Marie-Paule Jaulme
Published by jacqui small
Hard cover, colour photographs, 416 pages
RRP £30.00 UK, $35.00 USA, $38.99 CAN