Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Cook Book Review: 300 Best Stir-Fry Recipes by Nancie McDermott

Stir-fries are a simple way to prepare delicious, healthful home-cooked meals even on the busiest of days. Whether you're a novice or experienced cook, you can create fantastic, internationally inspired meals with just a wok or skillet.

In addition to the incredible recipes, there's also a comprehensive ingredient glossary that features everything from bean paste to Szechwan peppercorns. And since a wok is so integral to the process, there's an extensive equipment glossary that includes information about woks and how to season them.

In 300 Best Stir-Fry Recipes, Nancie McDermott creates outstanding stir fries based on her extensive food and travel experiences. Here's just a sampling of recipes:
  • Chicken with honey-ginger sauce
  • Spicy beef in lettuce cups, Szechuan-style
  • Pork with fresh ginger and mushrooms
  • Ham with eggs, onions and peas
  • Shrimp with pineapple and peas
  • Catfish with turmeric and fresh dill
  • Shiitake mushrooms with Napa cabbage and peas
  • Sugar snap peas with garlic
  • Everyday fried rice, Thai-style
  • Egg noodles with barbecued pork and bokchoy
  • Lemongrass beef, Vietnamese-style
  • Sweet Chinese sausage with eggs, onions and peas
There's a lot of great recipes in this cookbook. I like how the book is categorized by type of meat or main ingredient: chicken, pork, beef, fish and seafood, etc. It makes it easier to know what to prepare.

I saw mixed reviews online. Many enjoyed it while some others thought the amount of salt on the ingredient list is a bit too much. I would think so too. Maybe a "pinch" of salt to taste would sound better than 1 tsp salt. I grew up in with an Asian family and my dad was a cook for his own restaurant. We used a lot of soy sauce and oyster sauce in our dishes so we didn't need much salt as the sauces already had enough flavor. Most Asian dishes are meant to be served with plain rice to balance out.

I don't mind little bit of salt (as long as it's not too salty that you can't eat it) as my nutritionalist suggest I increase my salty food intake a little as I have low blood pressure. I thought it sounded strange as well. But anyway, the recipes in this book are delicious. The dishes are moist with lots of healthy vegetables. The Thai-Style Sweet and Sour Chicken is nice. I like the tangy flavor. Also, the Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss is simple to make and great over flat noodles or rice. See photo below:


Nancie McDermott is a food writer and cooking teacher, specializing in the traditional cooking and culinary traditions of Asia and of the American South. Her Southern studies began at birth in Piedmont North Carolina, and her Asian culinary research commenced when she was sent to notherneastern Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the mentioned book from the PR firm or publisher in exchange of my review. Thanks to Robert Rose Inc. Any expressed opinions are my own and personal thoughts. No other compensation was given.

Bookmark and Share