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Chinese cooking is one of the most popular in the world and in Hawai‘i it’s undoubtedly the favorite cuisine.
After two years of gathering recipes from family, friends, and the community, Hawai‘i food writer Lynette Lo Tom has captured the delicious cooking of her mother Lorna Lee Lo, extended family, and friends. There is a wide range of dishes to satisfy not only the novice, but professional chefs as well. Most of the recipes, not surprisingly, are Cantonese, as three-quarters of the Chinese workers who came to Hawai‘i to work on the plantations were from Zhongshan, an area in Guangdong province (formerly called Canton).
Lynette, a Hawai‘i born, fifth-generation Chinese, explains some of the unique foods in Hawai‘i such as "cake" noodle. The book’s 112 recipes includes popular dishes such as Boiled Peanuts with Star Anise, Chinatown-style Crispy Skin Roast Pork, and Mongolian Beef. More traditional recipes are also included: Prune Apricot Mui, Winter Melon Soup, and Chicken Soup with Ginger and Whiskey (called Gai Jow).
A Chinese Kitchen goes behind the scenes explaining the recipes, providing insights into Chinese food traditions, culture and experience in Hawai‘i. The many stories interspersed throughout the book give colorful insights into Chinese life in Hawai‘i from the 1950s until the present.
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