My Shanghai: Recipes and Stories from a City on the Water

Harper Design. Mar. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9780062854728. $35. COOKING
While the spicy foods of Szechuan and Xi’an have received attention recently, there is a broad range of Chinese cooking, including the more subtle flavors of Jiangnan cuisine, which focuses on the natural qualities of ingredients, with a particular emphasis on fish, rice, and vegetables, as well as seasonings of soy and vinegar. My Shanghai is an homage to Liu’s family’s cooking and the culinary history of the Shanghai region. This is Liu’s first book, which sprang from her blog at that explores her interests in recipes and photography. Arranged by season, as befits Jiangnan cuisine, this collection includes recipes for all kinds of meals and snacks, including stir-fries, dumplings, noodles, and soups. In addition, there is a good explanation of the Shanghainese pantry. Many recipes call for ingredients, such as winter bamboo and celtuce, that will require a trip to an Asian market, but that is a part of the fun.
VERDICT Photography of both the food and region is gorgeous and another way to travel without leaving home, and the clear recipes in this rich collection will delight home cooks looking to explore flavors and cooking styles.
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