The angle: Classic Chinese dishes from the ladies behind Manchester, UK's award-winning Sweet Mandarin restaurant.
Recipes for right now: Coconut Shrimp, Lettuce Wraps with Chicken, Aromatic Crispy Duck, Sweet Mandarin Barbecue Ribs, Spicy Double-Cooked Pork with Leeks, Salmon with Sweet Soy, Mapo Tofu, Beef Hor Fun Noodles
Who would enjoy this book? Chinese take-out addicts
• Who wrote it: Helen & Lisa Tse
• Who published it: Kyle Books
• Number of recipes: Around 100
• Other highlights: This feels like exactly the "introduction to Chinese cuisine" cookbook that I've been looking for: completely approachable and with a real sense of fun! Most of the recipes will be recognizable by anyone who's been to a Chinese restaurant recently and the ingredients can be easily found at any grocery store with Asian foods section — even one with just a small selection.
Helen and Lisa Tse come from a long line of Chinese chefs — their grandmother opened one of the first Chinese restaurants in the UK after immigrating in the 1950's. But although they're restaurant owners, the dishes — and the recipes — feel solidly rooted in the home cooking space. This is reflected not only in the "weeknight" feel of the recipes but also in their awareness of dietary needs; if the recipe isn't naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, or egg-free, variations are offered for each circumstance.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Sweet Mandarin Cookbook by Helen & Lisa Tse
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(Image credits: Emma Christensen)