Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook: 101 Delicious Recipes from My Mother’s Kitchen features family-style Chinese-American dishes adapted for the home cook. Katie’s mother, Leeann Chin, passed away in 2010. To help preserve her mother’s memory, Katie created this book to share both family favorites and recipes she developed using her mother as inspiration. A few highlights include Mapo Tofu, Egg Drop Soup, Chocolate-Raspberry Wontons, Hong Kong Steak, Quinoa Fried Rice, and Edamame Hummus). I will also be sharing her recipe for Baby Bok Choy with Ginger and Garlic following the review.
Disclosure: I received this book from Tuttle Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Katie Chin was born in Minneapolis and started cooking with her mother, Canton-born restauranteur Leeann Chin, at an early age. She put cooking on the back-burner to focus on her career, but rediscovered her passion with her mother’s guidance.
They soon developed a Chinese cookbook, Everyday Chinese Cooking, together followed by a catering business and multiple television appearances (PBS Chinese cooking series- Double Happiness; the Food Network special My Country, My Kitchen; and the Today show).
Katie continues to share her love of cooking as a food writer, private chef, and culinary consultant. She has also been featured on Glamour, Family Circle, Cooking Light, Bon Appetit, Self Magazine, Angeleno Magazine, Hampton Magazine, Elle Magazine, Daily Candy, Daily Variety, Real Simple and The Los Angeles Times. Katie’s other cookbooks include 300 Best Rice Cooker Recipes and Everyday Thai Cooking.
Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook
Chapters are divided based on course: Sauces; Starters and Dim Sum; Salads; Soups; Poultry; Beef, Pork and Lamb; Seafood; Vegetables and Tofu; Noodles and Rice; and Drinks and Desserts.
Those new to Chinese-style cooking will appreciate the guide to Chinese ingredients, tools, utensils, and appliances with photos, descriptions, and substitutions if available. Basic cooking techniques are included with wok care, stir-frying, using rice, deep-frying, steaming, and working with shrimp. There is also a resource section for purchasing Chinese food, products, tableware, and other cookbooks online.
Katie’s heart and soul shines through with the inclusion of family photos and memories. I personally love the historical notes and information on the development of dishes as they became Americanized.
Every recipe includes a headnote with background information, family memories, and tips. The listing of serving sizes and preparation/cooking times are particularly helpful. The names of the dishes are written in English. You will also find recipes for sauces, condiments, and basic stocks.
The photography is provided by Masano Kawana with food styling by Toshiko Kawana. Over 150 color photos, many full page, accompany most of the recipes. A few of the more complicated dishes such as the Braided Fish, dumplings, and wraps have step-by-step photos as well.
Baby Bok Choy with Ginger and Garlic
Baby Bok Choy with Ginger and Garlic is an incredibly easy, yet flavorful side dish. Heads of baby bok choy are quickly stir-fried with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and sugar.
The whole process from prep to on the table took less than 10 minutes. I was wonderfully surprised with even my barely one year old daughter couldn’t get enough.
If your grocery store doesn’t carry baby bok choy, they can be found in the produce section of markets with Chinese and East Asian ingredients.
I also made Vegetable, Egg and Ramen Soup; Cashew Chicken; Shrimp with Garlic Noodles; and Five-Spice Chocolate Cake.
The Vegetable, Egg and Ramen Soup is a hearty weeknight soup packed with noodles, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, green onion, and eggs. The light broth was wonderfully seasoned and the perfect backdrop for the vegetables.
The Cantonese Cashew Chicken is featured on the cover of the book. This is another easy recipe perfect for weeknight cooking. No long marinating time or prep work needed. The chicken is lightly coated in a cornstarch mixture, then stir-fried with garlic, ginger, onion, bell pepper, and cashews. It is cooked in a chicken stock sauce mixture and served with rice.
The Shrimp with Garlic Noodles happened to be my husband’s favorite. Chinese egg noodles are cooked, then stir-fried with garlic, soy sauce, sugar, lime juice, and Parmesan cheese. That’s right: Parmesan cheese. Katie and her mother were inspired by a garlic noodle dish and made a tasty fusion by adding the cheese to the traditional Chinese ingredients. It definitely works. The noodles are topped with stir-fried shrimp.
Katie and her mother created sweets with Chinese flavors during the course of their catering career. In this section, you will find a variety of delicious endings to the meal such as Banana Spring Rolls with Chocolate-Ginger Sauce and Chocolate-Raspberry Wontons. I focused on the Five-Spice Chocolate Cake. This rich, chocolate cake is flavored with coffee, buttermilk, and the interesting five-spice powder. It is best paired with ginger cream or vanilla ice cream to help cut some of the richness.
Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook is a great pick for those wanting to make new and classic Chinese-American dishes at home. Many of the recipes are easy to prepare with a minimal amount of time and effort. Instructions are clear and well-written for those unfamiliar with the various techniques.
Most of the dishes use ingredients that can be found in larger grocery stores, but a few may require a trip to a market featuring Chinese products such as Chinese rice wine, dark soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, Asian pears, hoisin sauce, Sichuan peppercorns, star anise, and plum sauce.
Baby Bok Choy with Ginger and Garlic Recipe
Excerpt from Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook
Baby Bok Choy with Ginger and Garlic
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 4 heads baby bok choy cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Heat the oil in the wok or skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the bok choy and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir in the soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and sugar; stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Dish out and serve immediately with steaming-hot rice.