• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 9:03pm

Hong Kong and China Gas Chinese Cookbook

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 June, 2009, 12:00am
 

Hong Kong and China Gas Chinese Cookbook

The Hong Kong and China Gas Company

This book, first published in 1978, was ahead of its time in introducing English speakers to the great variety of Chinese cuisines. It's no surprise that it was published by a Hong Kong company because in many other parts of the world, Chinese food was, until quite recently, seen as one entity, rather than being made up of distinct regional differences. Using a large number of contributors, the book covers a lot of ground, sometimes just touching on a subject (such as using food as preventative medicine) but often giving quite detailed information (cooking techniques, ingredients and equipment). Surprisingly, there's very little on those who commissioned the book - it's not a Hong Kong and China Gas Company mouthpiece, although gas was, and still is, the modern cook's choice for making many Chinese dishes.

The Hong Kong and China Gas Chinese Cookbook shows its age in two ways: many of the food shots look dated (although not laughably so) because of the styling and monosodium glutamate is included in many of the recipes, although the writers say the 'flavour enhancer' is optional and add that it should be used sparingly. The recipes are varied, covering dishes such as Peking duck, beggar's chicken, deep-fried pig intestines, braised sea cucumber with scallions and silver thread rolls with ham.

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