The acclaimed chef behind the Michelin-starred Mister Jiu’s restaurant shares the past, present, and future of Chinese cooking in America through 90 mouthwatering recipes.
“Brandon Jew’s affection for San Francisco’s Chinatown and his own Chinese heritage is palpable in this cookbook, which is both a recipe collection and a portrait of a district rich in history.”—Fuchsia Dunlop, James Beard Award-winning author of The Food of Sichuan
Brandon Jew trained in the kitchens of California cuisine pioneers and Michelin-starred Italian institutions before finding his way back to Chinatown and the food of his childhood. Through deeply personal recipes and stories about the neighborhood that often inspires them, this groundbreaking cookbook is an intimate account of how Chinese food became American food and the making of a Chinese American chef.
Jew takes inspiration from classic Chinatown recipes to create innovative spins like Sizzling Rice Soup, Squid Ink Wontons, Orange Chicken Wings, Liberty Roast Duck, Mushroom Mu Shu, and Banana Black Sesame Pie. From the fundamentals of Chinese cooking to master class recipes, he interweaves recipes and techniques with stories about their origins in Chinatown and in his own family history. And he connects his classical training and American roots to Chinese traditions in chapters celebrating dim sum, dumplings, and banquet-style parties.
With more than a hundred photographs of finished dishes as well as moving and evocative atmospheric shots of Chinatown, this book is also an intimate portrait—a look down the alleyways, above the tourist shops, and into the kitchens—of the neighborhood that changed the flavor of America.
Chef Jew brings food from his Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant to the home kitchen in this formidable collection of 90 recipes that elevate homestyle Chinese American cooking with rigorous professional cooking techniques. His section on soups includes oxtail soup and a classic hot and sour soup, while vegetable entrees offer a tasty Taiwanese style eggplant. Among the small bites is a delicate prawn toast, while the lengthy meat and barbecue chapter has a poached chicken galantine and a roast duck. Jew's desserts are particularly inventive, with a banana black sesame pie and frozen whipped honey. The food is unapologetically complex restaurant fare, and many recipes require equipment not found in many home kitchens (one for potstickers, for example, calls for a juicer and a meat grinder) while others are multiday affairs (barbecued pork buns take four to five days). The techniques can also be daunting (Jew suggests oil-blanching is best accomplished with two separate woks). But, for home cooks who are up to the task, this is an exciting challenge well worth taking.