Zao Fan: Breakfast of China

Interlink. Apr. 2024. 304p. ISBN 9781623716950. $35. COOKING
Zee’s (SymmetryBreakfast: 100 Recipes for the Loving Cook) new cookbook is a labor of love that combines his passions for breakfast, China, and photography. Creator of the popular cooking blog SymmetryBreakfast, Zee begins this new cookbook with an introduction to Chinese cuisine and its eight broad categories, as well as the different kinds of breakfasts that are dished up in the various regions of China. Some fascinating background on Zee’s own family’s culinary journey rounds out the introduction. Each chapter is dedicated to a different dish (noodles, breads and doughs, soy and tofu), including some things readers might not normally associate with breakfast such as soups and pickles. Given the author’s British Chinese background, cooks will not be surprised to find that metric measurements are the order of the day. QR codes, which offer the opportunity to watch a video of the dish being prepared, are included with each recipe. Thoughtful mini essays on topics like mian noodles provide added enrichment and context.
VERDICT Ambitious home cooks and armchair travelers alike will appreciate the insight and information Zee provides about the Chinese take on the most important meal of the day.
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