New Wok Cooking

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

New Wok Cooking: Easy, Healthy, One-Pot Recipes is an excellent cookbook for both the novice who is trying wok cooking for the first time and for the experienced cook who will appreciate some new approaches and recipes. It should also reassure those who were frightened off by reports on the high fat content of Chinese cooking; there are five chapters on broths, soups, braising and stewing, steaming, and poaching, before the reader reaches stir-frying, and even that is done with much less than the traditional half cup of oil.

Rosa Ross writes in a pleasant informal style which is clear and interesting. She provides many helpful hints for those new to woks. Following an introduction which traces her personal history with this form of cooking, she includes a section on various types of woks, a short list of other special equipment it would be helpful to own, and lengthy lists of ingredients for not only a Chinese pantry, but Japanese, Southeast Asian, Indian and Sri Lankan, and Korean. She suggests substitutes for some ingredients and a list of resources for those who do not have Asian groceries in their area. Then she give three recipes for different forms of rice before she starts cooking in a wok.

Some other unusual features are included in the last three chapters. First there are recipes for tea-smoking poultry, meat, and fish. Second, she tells how to make her favorite condiments, chutneys, and pickles to go with your wok food, and finally she provides a chapter on sweets, including ginger puffs, toffee bananas, and peaches poached in gingered wine.

This is an attractive, readable, and comprehensive cookbook for anyone interested in Asian cooking.