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Crispy Thai noodles, crackly Chinese apples.

In tempo with the current interests of Western cooks is Sunset's extensively revised and updated Oriental Cook Book (Lane Publishing Co., Menlo Park, Calif. 1984; $5.95). This 112-page book by the editors of Sunset Books and Sunset Magazine features dishes for family or friends that are attractive, nutritious, and light; many are very quick to make. Sixteen pages of color photographs lead you step by step through less familiar (but easily managed) techniques.

Chapters focus on the cuisine of a specific country or area: China (with many regional dishes), Japan, Korea, and an all-new look at Southeast Asia. Because of increased availability of ethnic ingredients, the recipes now call for them--but also specify substitutes. In one chapter, ethnic ingredients and tools are knowledgeably discussed, helping you to find what you want in a store or to make substitutions. Many ingredients are common to the cuisines of all these countries but known by different names in each--this chapter clears up the confusion.

For festive home occasions or for entertaining, another chapter offers detailed menus--from a Mongolian grill party to a sushi-making spree.

As a sampler of recipes the new book offers, try this crisp Thai noodle dish or the Chinese caramel apples. Crisp-fried Noodles 1/3 cup tamarind liquid (directions follow) or lemon juice Salad oil 1/4 pound thin rice noodles (rice sticks) 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup bean or yellow bean sauce 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 tablespoons fish or soy sauce 1 small onion, finely chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 1/2 pound lean boneless pork (butt or leg), trimmed of fat and cut into 1/8- by 1/2- by 2-inch strips 1 whole chicken breast (about 1 lb.), skinned, bones, and cut into 1/8- by 1/2- by 2-inch strips 1/2 pound medium-size shrimp, shelled and deveined Garnishes (suggstions follow)

Prepare tamarind liquid; set aside. Into a wok or wide, heavy pan, pour oil to a depth of 1 inch and heat to 375[deg] on a deep-frying thermometer. Drop in about a sixth of the noodles. As they puff and expand, push them down into oil; turn the entire mass over when crackling stops. Cook until all are puffy and no longer crackling, about 15 seconds; drain briefly on paper towels. Skim and discard noodle bits in oil before cooking next batch. Keep fried noodles warm in a 200[deg] oven.

Mix tamarind liquid, sugar, bean sauce, tomato paste, and fish sauce; set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or wide frying pan over high heat. Add onion and garlic; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add pork and stir-fry for 3 more minutes. Add chicken and shrimp and stir-fry until shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in sauce mixture; cook, stirring, until sauce boils, thickens, and turns glossy, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 3 minutes. Using 2 forks, fold in noodles, about a fourth at a time, to coat with sauce. Mound noodles on a platter; surround with garnishes. Makes 4 servings.

Tamarind liquid. Combine 1/3 cup hot water and 2-1/2 tablespoons packaged tamarind pulp or a 4- to 5-inch-long whole tamarind pod (shell and coarse strings removed). Let stand 30 minutes. Knead pulp from seeds; discard seeds.

Garnishes: 1/3 pound bean sprouts, coarsely chopped; 3 green onions with tops, cut into thin strips; and 1 lime, cut into wedges. Caramel-fried Apples or Bananas

1/2 cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons cornstarch

3/4 teaspoon baking powder Watert

2 Golden Delicious apples or 2 firm-ripe bananas Salad oil Ice cubes

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

In a bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, and baking powder. Add 1/2 cup water and stir until smooth. Peel and core apples; cut each into 8 wedges. (If you use bananas, peel, then cut diagonally into 1/2-in. slices.) Place fruit in batter and turn to coat evenly.

Into a deep, heavy pan (about 6-in. diameter), pour oil to a depth of about 1-1/2 inches and heat to 350[deg] on a deep-frying thermometer. Using chopsticks or a spoon, lift fruit, 1 piece at a time, from batter. Let excess drip off; then lower fruit into hot oil (cook several pieces at a time). Cook until coating is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove and let drain on paper towels.

When all fruit has been cooked, generously oil a shallow pan or flat serving dish. Fill a serving bowl to the brim with ice cubes; add water to cover.

To make the caramel coating, place sugar, 1/3 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch frying pan; stir to blend. Place the pan over high heat. When the mixture begins to bubble, about 1 minute, shake the pan continuously to prevent burning.

Continue cooking and shaking pan until syrup just turns a pale straw color, about 9 minutes.

Immediately remove from heat, add sesame seeds, and swirl to mix. (Syrup continues to cook off the heat and will turn a golden color in a few seconds.)

Drop a few pieces of fruit into syrup and swirl to coat evenly. Using 2 spsoons, immediately remove each piece of fruit; set on oiled pan (pieces should not touch). Repeat with remaining fruit.

At the table, dip fruit briefly into the bowl of ice water to harden coating and cool fruit. Makes 6 servings.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Jul 1, 1984
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