The culinary tidbits that Lo includes in her salute to earth foods are almost as intriguing as her more than 200 mainly vegetable recipes. Vegetarian Buddhists may eat only three types of seafood--mussels, claims, and oysters. The turnip cakes enjoyed at the Lunar New Year are a symbol that good fortune is rising, and so on. She insists on and explains the gathering together of the right stuff and learning the right techniques; a carbon-steel wok and cleaver, for example, are the two critical pieces of equipment in Chinese cooking. The best part of the book are the dishes--some tied to tradition, others the product of Lo's imagination. The need for exotic ingredients, from buckthorn seeds to red dates, may be the only deterrent to reader-cooks.