If you know anything about me you know that I have a passion for cookbooks, so when Kian Lam Kho, author and cook behind the popular Chinese cooking blog Redcook.net, got in touch about sponsoring a giveaway of his new cookbook “Phoenix Claws & Jade Trees” I obviously said yes. I think I still have space on my shelves for at least one more book…
Let’s talk about this book for a second. It is stunning, and not in just a useless, food-porn, never-gonna-make-that-recipe way. These recipes are approachable and fun, and the photos are breathtaking. Traditional, finished-dish shots accompany many of the recipes, with a number of step-by-step photo guides throughout.
And speaking of the recipes, pretty much any style of Chinese food you could want to make will be in here. Easy stir-fries, delicious soups, desserts, noodle dishes, and more. I made two recipes out of the book – Cucumber Salad with Garlic and General Tso’s Chicken. Both recipes were straightforward and easy to follow.
I made these following a two-day, cross-country drive from North Carolina to Albuquerque. I had forgotten my wok and the bag of ingredients I had packed to stock my sister’s house, but luckily there was an Asian grocery store right down the road. I put together a beginner Asian pantry for my sister and brother-in-law and picked up a beautiful 16-inch wok for them. After a quick seasoning (I use Grace Young’s method to season my woks), I put everyone to work on the dinner. Even my nephew got in on the action!
The Cucumber Salad with Garlic literally makes itself – toss together the ingredients and set aside in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to marinate. It was delicious, crunchy, refreshing, and (my favorite) garlicky!
The stir-fry takes a little more prep-time, with the added step of frying the chicken first. Bonus – frying in your wok is a boon for the patina! But like most stir-fries, once the prep was done, the whole dish came together in minutes.
Both the Cucumber Salad with Garlic and the General Tso’s Chicken received rave reviews from my family. Even my sister, normally afraid of anything that even LOOKS spicy, devoured a second helping of the chicken. My brother-in-law fell in love with the wok and with “Phoenix Claws & Jade Trees”, and as I was departing New Mexico to fly to Croatia the next day, I left the cookbook with them for a trial run over the next few weeks.
Want your own copy of “Phoenix Claws & Jade Trees”? Clarkson-Potter has provided a free copy of the cookbook for me to give away! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below and let me know your favorite Chinese dish to make at home!
Comments must be posted on or before October 9th, 2016. A winner will be chosen at random and notified on October 10th, 2016.
Note – I received my copy of “Phoenix Claws & Jade Trees” free from Clarkson Potter.
Why didn’t I post the recipe? As someone who has many friends who have written cookbooks, and is a writer himself, I believe in people getting paid for their work and as such I have a policy of not reproducing another author’s recipe unless explicitly asked or allowed to do so. If you wish to try either of the recipes I mentioned above I encourage you to purchase a copy of “Phoenix Claws & Jade Trees” from your local bookseller.