Susanna Foo Fresh Inspiration: New Approaches to Chinese Cuisine

Overview

Susanna Foo, the leading Chinese chef in America and the winner of two James Beard Awards, has been hailed as an innovator by Gourmet, Food & Wine, Esquire, the New York Times, and many other publications. By substituting fresh ingredients for canned ones and readily available items for hard-to-find imported ones, she has put a fresh face on Chinese food, first in her restaurant in Philadelphia, Susanna Foo Chinese Cuisine, then in her award-winning book of the same name, and most recently in her acclaimed ...

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Overview

Susanna Foo, the leading Chinese chef in America and the winner of two James Beard Awards, has been hailed as an innovator by Gourmet, Food & Wine, Esquire, the New York Times, and many other publications. By substituting fresh ingredients for canned ones and readily available items for hard-to-find imported ones, she has put a fresh face on Chinese food, first in her restaurant in Philadelphia, Susanna Foo Chinese Cuisine, then in her award-winning book of the same name, and most recently in her acclaimed restaurant in Atlantic City, Suilan by Susanna Foo.
In Susanna Foo Fresh Inspiration, she takes an even more revolutionary approach. Rather than recreating the dishes of the past, she redefines Chinese cooking and broadens its reach. "Although being Chinese defines who I am and the way in which I think about food, I refuse to be limited by a single tradition: my primary goal is to preserve the natural flavor and integrity of the ingredients," she writes in the introduction. "Cooking this way has resulted in an unexpected bonus: my food is even simpler to prepare than before." Indeed, the recipes in this book are so radically simple, so fresh and easy to prepare, that they may even change your ideas about what Chinese cooking is. Many of the recipes, such as Wok-Shaking Shrimp with Pink Peppercorns and Korean Pancakes served with Citrus-Cured Salmon, are reinterpretations of traditional dishes. Like much of Susanna's food, Ten-Vegetable Vegetarian Hot-and-Sour Soup, White Corn Soup, and Brussel Sprouts and Portobello Mushrooms were inspired by the wealth of fresh produce that she encountered for the first time when she came to this country. Some dishes, like Braised Pork Belly and Crispy Jumbo Shrimp with Caramelized Orange Sauce, are much-requested specialties of her restaurants, while others are homey and utterly approachable: Salmon Braised with Soy and Ginger, Roasted Five-Spice Pork Tenderloin, Grilled Lamb Chops with Roasted Sesame Marinade, and Roast Chicken with Peppercorn Rub. Still others, such as Mandarin Potato Salad with Cellophane Noodles, Sautéed Artichoke Hearts, and Beet, Rhubarb, and Grapefruit Salad, offer startling new treatments of familiar ingredients. With striking full-color photographs, Susanna Foo Fresh Inspiration is a fresh invitation to cooks at all levels to roll up their sleeves and head to the kitchen.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Foo keeps things lively yet appealing...a thoughtful collection of fresh, elegant recipes.
Publishers Weekly

This collection of 150-plus recipes will inspire home cooks with Asian-influenced Western dishes [...] and lighter versions of classic Chinese items. [A] closer look reveals intriguing flavor combinations.
Library Journal

"She provides recipes both homey and exotic - grilled lamb chops in a roasted sesame marinade, a velvety chicken pumpkin soup." Corby Kummer.
The New York Times Book Review

Publishers Weekly
Fusion has earned a bad reputation, mostly due to silly combinations that, while intellectually interesting, are often just not that appetizing. Foo (chef/owner of two restaurants and a two-time James Beard Award winner) keeps things lively yet appealing by not going too wacky. Yes, Panko-Crusted Goat Cheese with Tomato and Asparagus Salad uses Japanese bread crumbs, but Alice Waters has been making goat cheese crunchy for years. Likewise, Grilled Lamb Chops with Roasted Sesame Marinade replaces the lamb tenderloin more commonly used in Mongolian shish kabob with a different cut, but preserves the classic flavors. Sometimes Asian ingredients shake hands with Western techniques, as in a savory Rice Noodle Flan and Asian Pear Tatin. There are more traditional dishes, too, like Braised Red Snapper with Thai Curry Sauce and Braised Lion's Head Meatballs "the size of a fist." Foo shares encyclopedic knowledge about everything from long beans (which are part of the black-eyed pea family) to braising (great for tenderizing cheaper cuts of meat). If there is a flaw, it may be that Foo is too wide-ranging, so that the selection occasionally feels unfocused. Overall, though, this is a thoughtful collection of fresh, elegant recipes. Photos. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Foo has been praised for creating delicate, French-accented Chinese cuisine at her restaurants in Philadelphia and Atlantic City. Her first book, Susanna Foo Chinese Cuisine, won a James Beard Award for Best International Cookbook in 1996; her new one goes beyond Chinese cuisine with ingredients and techniques from many traditions, including Chinese, Thai, French, and Indian. This collection of 150-plus recipes will inspire home cooks with Asian-influenced Western dishes like Cauliflower Risotto with Wild Mushrooms and lighter versions of classic Chinese items like Tung An Chicken. At first glance, many recipes seem traditional, but a closer look reveals intriguing flavor combinations. Throughout, Foo sprinkles tips on selecting and using ingredients and techniques. All of the author's recipes focus on maintaining the integrity of fresh ingredients. Clear directions, attractive photos, and subtle, balanced flavors combine to make a lovely offering for seasoned and novice cooks alike; recommended.-Devon Thomas, Hass MS&L, Ann Arbor, MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618393305
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.26 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Meet the Author

SUSANNA FOO was born in Inner Mongolia and raised in Taiwan. She earned an advanced degree in library science in the United States before discovering her true love, cooking. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and chef-owner of Susanna Foo Chinese Cuisine in Philadelphia and Suilan by Susanna Foo in Atlantic City. In addition to winning two James Beard Awards, she has received the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence.

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