Review: Dim Sum Appetizers and Light Meals
By Judy Lew
This book is part of a set published as the ‘Quick and Easy’ series and all that I have come across so far have been pretty good. This one focuses on Dim Sum and light snacks that are largely Chinese in character but, in addition to the old-standby’s there are some novel and interesting dishes as well.
Content and Organization…
There are 56 recipes include in this book, all organized into the sort of categories you generally expect in a book about Dim Sum. At the end there are some sections with cooking tips and menu ideas as well as a brief glossary. None of this information is especially useful or new but this doesn’t matter really as the recipe sections are very instructional and informative. Not only is there a picture of each finished dish but the recipes are all illustrated with step-by-step photographs with a supplementary text.
The range of dishes is quite good for a book of this size. There are good recipes for many favorites such as Shumai and Har Gow, for example, but thare are also quite a few that are definitely out of the ordinary; the ‘Iced Geoduck Clam with Cilantro Sauce’, to name just one, looks especially interesting to me. The only area where the recipes are a little light is the final section on sweet dishes. That does not affect my opinion of the book overly, but I suspect that it may disappoint some readers.
The recipes provided are all well-written, straightforward, and generally easy to follow. The illustrations are very good, both artistically and from the standpoint of being helpful. My only real criticism of the book is that the publishers have tried to pack too much into too small a space. The layout changes from page to page to accommodate the various picture sizes and text columns and the result is both distracting and a bit visually unappealing. Still the good qualities of the book make up for this shortcoming to a great degree.
This is a very nice little book. I can recommend to beginners who want to learn by assiduously following the instructions and to more advanced readers who just want to browse for inspiration.