The Chinese Kitchen by Deh-Ta Hsiung – review

The Chinese Kitchen “ … People who know Deh-ta say that he is one terrific chef, a chap who makes spectacular banquets, and one outstanding culinary host… If you do not already know this prolific author’s publications, you must! You need to try his recipes and learn from him. You will not be disappointed…” (The Institute for the Advancement of the Science and Art of Chinese Cuisine.)

Deh-ta Hsiung must be one of the authors most qualified to pen an encyclopaedia of Chinese ingredients, for that is exactly what The Chinese Kitchen represents. It’s a comprehensive and thoroughly engaging volume that will add to your knowledge of some foods and introduce you to others.

The formula for The Chinese Kitchen is that used by Kyle Cathie for several of their other publications, and it’s a style that works very well. Each ingredient is described, everything from growing to storing, and then on to culinary uses and recipes. Always well illustrated (around 300 photographs in this particular volume), these books demystify ethnic cooking and encourage us to take advantage of the amazing variety of ingredients available these days.

Apart from being a definitive guide to the Chinese store cupboard, The Chinese Kitchen offers over 200 recipes which will tempt you away from the local take-away and into the local Asian market. The recipes are not difficult to prepare and they are authentic and irresistible. You could do worse than to carry this book with you to the Chinese supermarket. Your filled shopping basket will, no doubt, impress the lady on the till who will rightly suppose that tonight’s dinner will be a marvellous affair.

You’ll want to cook your carefully selected purchases, and there is a dish here for every taste. Bean Curd is an example of a popular Chinese ingredient and there is a lovely recipe for Sichuan Spicy Bean Curd. Any dish cooked in the Sichuan fashion is bound to be punchy and flavourful and this version uses chilli bean paste and Sichuan peppercorns to supply the heat.

Ken Hom says of The Chinese Kitchen: “I trust that this major culinary work from the masterchef himself will be a proud companion to your Chinese cookery books as well as being a standard reference.” That’s a fantastic accolade from one of the best about one of the best and I couldn’t put it better myself.


The Chinese Kitchen – A book of essential ingredients with over 200 authentic recipes
Author: Deh-ta Hsiung
Published by: Kyle Cathie
Price: £14.99
ISBN 978-1-85626-702-1


Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018


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