As immigrants with Chinese heritage, Rosheen Kaul and Joanna Hu spent their formative years living between (at least) two cultures and wondering how they fitted in. Food was a huge part of this journey; should they cling to the traditional comfort of their parents’ varied culinary heritage, attempt to assimilate wholly by learning to love mashed potatoes, or forge a new path where flavor and the freedom to choose trumped authenticity? They went with option three.
Chinese-ish celebrates the confident blending of culture and identity through food—take what you love and reject what doesn’t work for you. You’ll find a bounty of inauthentic Chinese-influenced dishes from all over South-East Asia, including all the best rice and noodle dishes, wontons, and dumplings. There are also plenty of tips and shortcuts to demystify any tricky-sounding techniques, and a reassuring list of pantry staples and where to find them.
It can be a little difficult to review a cookbook (especially if you haven’t made any of the recipes yet). Let me just tell you what I think you need to know about Chinese-ish.
There are some delicious recipes in there. However, there are also some practical tips on how to cook things like rice. If you are anything like me, this simple advice alone is worth buying the book for. None of the recipes seem over complicated and appear to use ingredients that are easily accessible. There is a good mixture of veggie and meat/fish based options.
There are also some interesting pages on heritage and owning your identity. To be honest, I wish there was more of this but that is just a personal thing on my part.
You can pick up your copy of Chinese-ish here. If you do buy a copy, it’s well worth picking up a physical copy as the illustrations in this book are absolutely stunning.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.