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150 recipes from the teahouse

Vivienne Lo, Jenny Lo
Faber & Faber
ISBN: 0571177972
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover in Dustjacket
Quantity in stock: 0


Price: $8.00 (inc GST)


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The authors' father was famous and from Fuzhou. In his twenties, Kenneth Lo
settled in England. In the nineties, his daughters opened a teahouse in London
called Jenny Lo's Teahouse. Jenny was the more culinary creative of the two, it
was she who designed the dishes at the teahouse and the additional ones featured
in this book. It was also Jenny who managed her father's cooking school and his
store. She even had a hand in his restaurants.

Vivienne studied Chinese literature and language at Cambridge and London
Universities; and she studied traditional Chinese acupuncture, too. In 1979, she
opened The Traditional Acupuncture Centre, a large group practice in the center
of London. It was inevitable that they come together, each doing their thing.
Vivienne still works at the Center. She also helps with the tea shop. And lest
you think she has free time, she does not, because she is working on her Ph.D.
thesis on the history of Chinese medicine.

Kenneth Lo wrote more English-language cookbooks than anyone else. The Lo
sisters' grandmother owned a teahouse in China. Thus things have come full
circle. They heard lots about grandma's place and they visited it. They also
visited other tea houses and many restaurants. They grew up visiting Daddy's
world-famous Memories of China restaurant and many of his other eateries. Who
better to combine talents, write this book, and run the teahouse?

Their eatery provides comfort as does their book; both concentrate on fresh
vegetables, home-made stocks, raw salads, and lots of steamed foods. Vivienne
knows what is good for you, Jenny makes it happen, and together they both
produced an interesting book worthy of your attention.

The first twenty pages in their book tout family history, tea houses,
essential Chinese ingredients, basic cooking techniques, and simple
stock-making. These are followed by six chapters about Northern, Sichuan,
Southern, Therapeutic, Japanese, and Jenny Lo Teahouse recipes. They are
followed by an essential larder, useful addresses in England, and items for
further reading. There is not a Kenneth Lo book amongst them (a shame), tables
for conversion to US measures (hardly necessary as every recipe lists both UK
and US amounts), fourteen pages introducing Chinese medical terminology (done
well), and a (very useful) index.

Each recipe chapter has many pages about the region and the foods, a few
eateries and tea houses to be found, and some things about the people there.
They alone are wonderful reading. The recipes are as varied as the authors, each
wonderful on its own merits.

On the rear cover, the book touts Long Cooked Pork with Chestnuts and Black
Bean Seafood Tossed with Fresh Egg Noodles. I suggest that you try them if you
like, but surely try Weird Flavour Chicken (below>. That recipe is piquant
and with many different tastes. Also indulge in Duck Soup, the best I have ever
tasted. The book says duck supports lungs and kidneys and is a savory way to
start a winter banquet. Bet it is good in every season.

I loved the Crispy Onion Patties, correctly called a Muslim dish. I ate these
wonderful snack foods several times in Xian. The large Muslim population in that
city made them very well and with sheep fat. The book's recipe says use butter,
lard, or ghee; I say use the last two and forget butter. The White Radish
Fritters are best fried with vegetable oil, their choice and mine, too.

The Jenny Lo's Teahouse chapter recipes are especially good. Try the Hair
Vegetable and Bean Curd Skins, the Chili Beef Soup with River Noodles, and the
Long-Cooked Belly of Pork with Chestnuts. Every one of these is a winner, as is
the book; which is a wonderful tribute to their differences and to their famous
father. The Lo tradition continues!


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