Children's Literature - Leigh GeigerThis volume from the "Super Chef" series begins with a simple map which divides China into four regionsnorth, south, west and east. Locricchio then provides a brief, but useful summary of the differences in geography and climate and how they have affected the spices and cuisine of these four areas. A few iconic photographs represent each region. The recipes begin with two staples of Chinese cooking, chicken stock and white rice, but then move on to more elaborate dishes such as ginger beef and stir-fried shrimp with red peppers. They are all grouped by type of cuisine from soups and appetizers to main dishes and desserts. Most recipes include inviting, full-color photos of the finished dish, which is particularly helpful when young cooks are preparing unfamiliar foods. The recipes vary from simple to moderately difficult and all include extensive directions, which use the "on your mark," "get set," "cook" format. This ensures that all ingredients are available and prepared in the proper order. "Chef's tips" are included with several recipes; they offer advice on food storage, substitutions and slicing meat. Young chefs will be expected to use knives extensively for peeling and chopping vegetables, to use a stove top for stir frying and boiling and to use the oven for baking. The recipes are all healthy, stressing a variety of food groups and often including suggestions for making vegetarian adaptations. A discussion of helpful kitchen equipment emphasizes utensils used primarily in Chinese cooking, including a wok, an electric rice cooker and Chinese spatula. Also included are safety tips, a description of a variety of Chinese ingredients including bamboo shoots and hoisin sauce, as well as additional web and text resources and an index. Reviewer: Leigh Geiger, Ph.D.
Children's LiteratureLocricchio begins by identifying and defining basic safety in the kitchen as well as critical terms that appear in Chinese cooking. He then gives a brief description of the provinces of China and their contribution to Chinese cuisine. The recipes, most of which will appear familiar to children, are divided into several different chapters and are easy to make with adult supervision. The first chapter is devoted to the basics of Chinese cooking and includes how to make chicken broth, vegetable broth, and a brief essay on the history of rice as well as the traditional way that it is prepared in China. Each recipe is prefaced by a brief introduction to the recipe and the name of the dish in Chinese. Full-color photos of dishes appear throughout, as well as illustrations showing certain steps that appear in recipes. A section showing kitchen equipment and utensils and essential ingredients used in Chinese cooking is included at the end of the book. Also included are an index and a metric conversion chart. 2003, Benchmark Books,
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 4 Up-Although similar to the "Easy Menu Ethnic Cookbooks" series (Lerner), these titles have a larger format; many new recipes; and clear, more comprehensive directions. The books begin with overviews of regional foods in their respective country, accompanied by full-color photos and a map. The recipes start with an explanation of the dish, its origins, customs surrounding it, and the local name for it. Next comes the list of ingredients, followed by the steps, which are divided into "On your mark-," "Get set-," and "Cook!" The recipes are divided by categories such as soups, salads, main dishes, and desserts. Crisp, full-color photos show the finished product. Although some steps, such as peeling shrimp, will most likely be unfamiliar to children, and a few of the recipes lack the necessary step-by-step illustrations (making egg rolls and trussing a chicken), these books are welcome additions. Both children and their parents will be cooking like locals.-Genevieve Gallagher, Orange County Public Library, VA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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