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China Moon Cookbook
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In this wide-ranging collection of recipes from her famed Chinatown cafe, the doyenne of California Chinese cuisine offers a ``private cooking school'' for cooks who want to enter the ``world of traditional Chinese flavors combined with exclusively fresh ingredients.'' Beginning with the ``pantry'' chapter on basic condiments like five-flavor Oil and China Moon pickled ginger, Tropp ( The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking ) moves throughout the meal, offering signature recipes, like plum wine chicken salad with sweet mustard sauce, and Hoisin pork buns with ginger and garlic. An entire chapter is devoted to the meat that is ``symbolically central to the entire Chinese culture''--pork. Not surprising for a book that is as much a course in method and culture as a collection of recipes, instructions are detailed and descriptive. True to her hybrid East-West cuisine, Tropp reveals eclecticism in her observations about cooking: In one chapter she praises traditional Chinese seafood cooking and presentation practices for following ``the integrity of the fish''; a few pages later, she muses about that modern American invention, plastic wrap. Stylish illustrations that simultaneously recall a modern upscale restaurant menu and a 1950s Vogue are also true to the mixed nature of Tropp's cuisine. Author tour. (Dec.)

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