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Everything Bean Curd! More than 100 creative…
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Everything Bean Curd! More than 100 creative recipes

by Betty Saw

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The word “creative” struck fear into my heart because I REALLY DO NOT LIKE books that feature tofu in western dishes. However, this turns out to be filled with tasty-sounding Asian tofu recipes, many of which are entirely new to me. (Perhaps this is where the creativity comes into play.) For me, the usefulness of the recipes is only marred by the fact that many of them involve deep-fat frying, which I don’t want to get into. Also, there is inadequate explanation of some esoteric ingredients (e.g., “green stems [obviously a veggie], dried sour fruit slices, and torch ginger bud [I suspect I can figure this one out]). I have done MUCH Asian cookery and am more aware than most non-Asians of the cooking terminology. I find this inadequacy to be quite odd, given that Betty Saw is (or was), among other things, a cooking instructor.

The main chapters in this book are based on the other main ingredient in the recipes. For example, there is a chapter on bean curd with mushrooms. There is also an appetizer section, and sections that offer basic information. The chapter that shows the various types of tofu delves into tofu skin and other products that are less commonly used in the west, so it is fairly useful. However, as stated above, the two-page glossary is woefully inadequate. There is also at least on problem with the metric measures. The author generally uses such measures but also occasionally uses Tbsps and tsps. The only such measures that she has in the section on measures are American, and I suspect that this is not what she is using.

The way the individual recipes are given has its pros and cons. On the pro side, Betty Saw has the subrecipes on the same page as the recipe, which means one doesn’t have to flip from page to page to page to find and use all of the relevant recipes. A major con from a western POV is that the ingredient amounts are in a column to the right of the ingredients, which is very awkward for folks who are accustomed to reading from left to right. Given that this book was published in Singapore and obviously not intended for the western reader (or user), this is understandable, but it is very forced to look at the ingredients like that and to envision the recipe as a whole. On the other hand, I really like the way the author (or book designer or editor) decided to put the subordinate recipes on the same page as the recipe, so we don’t have to flip from page to page when cooking.. ( )
  ErstwhileEditor | May 2, 2013 |
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