Spring 2018 PageHabit Cookbook Quarterly Review

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PageHabit Cookbook is a quarterly subscription from PageHabit that delivers a new hardcover cookbook for every season, annotated and curated by an acclaimed chef or author. Every package also includes selected kitchen tools and ingredients.

This is the Spring 2018 review!

This quarter’s featured cookbook author is Hsiao-Ching Chou. The card includes a short note from her.

The other side of the card gives you a list of all the items included in this curation.

Everything in my box!

There’s a sticky note that says check out notes from the author, Hsiao-Ching Chou!

Chinese Soul Food by Hsiang-Ching Chou ($16.48)

Chinese soul food is classic comfort food you can’t resist, and in this cookbook you’ll find 80 recipes for favorites you can easily make any night of the week.

Chinese food is more popular than any other cuisine and yet it often intimidates North American home cooks. Chinese Soul Food draws cooks into the kitchen with recipes that include sizzling potstickers, stir-fries that are unbelievably easy to make, saucy braises, and soups that bring comfort with a sip. These are dishes that feed the belly and speak the universal language of “mmm!” You’ll find approachable recipes and plenty of tips for favorite homestyle Chinese dishes, such as red-braised pork belly, dry-fried green beans, braised-beef noodle soup, green onion pancakes, garlic eggplant, and the author’s famous potstickers, which consistently sell out her cooking classes in Seattle. You will also find helpful tips and techniques, such as caring for and using a wok and how to cook rice properly, as well as a basic Chinese pantry list that also includes acceptable substitutions, making it even simpler for the busiest among us to cook their favorite Chinese dishes at home. Recipes are streamlined to minimize the fear factor of unfamiliar ingredients and techniques, and home cooks are gently guided toward becoming comfortable cooking satisfying Chinese meals. Any kitchen can be a Chinese kitchen!

Reading the reviews at the back of the cookbook made me so excited about its contents!

The cookbook contains 80 Chinese recipes you can easily make in your own kitchen.

Recipes focus mostly on homemade dumplings, stir-fries, and soups.

The table of contents make it easier for you to find where the pages of a certain food type/category is. There are even celebration and guilty pleasure choices!

Aside from the categories page, there’s even a widespread that features the recipe list so it’ll be easier to find a certain dish.

The pictures are of high-quality and they’ll probably make anyone crave the menu. This cookbook is great for cooks experienced with preparing Chinese cuisine and newbies.

On the dumplings page, there’s a note from the author that says the dough recipe is not only used for dumplings, but can be flexible as you can use it for green onion pancakes, handmade noodles, and more!

Another note I saw includes info about using ground pork with a higher amount of fat, as more marbling means better flavor. Don’t have to tell me twice!

Cukes is an informal term for cucumbers and these are “smacked cucumbers”. Well if you love them, you can always add them to your chicken sandwich to add zing!

Green onion pancakes, or cong you bing, is a Chinese savory, unleavened flatbread folded with oil and minced scallions.

On this page, the author marked it as a must-try! I love scallion pancakes so no twisting of my arm needed.

Fried rice is highly associated with Chinese eats, and of course, this one won’t go missing in this comfort food cookbook! You can actually add anything that you want in your rice, and I suggest minced pork, and just some mixed veggies will do, and add crispy bacon bits and egg on top too! And if you love broccoli like the author, you can also add some florets on it.

Another Chinese soul food staple are savory dishes that with sweet and sour flavors. For this sweet and sour spare ribs recipe, you can use baby back ribs.

Now for some unique ingredients to help pull off the dishes:

Lee Kum Kee Chili Black Bean Sauce Black bean sauce is used for various Asian stir-fried dishes. It’s also great for dipping or as a sauce for noodles.

Eden Shiitake Dried Whole Mushroom ($8.95) A medicinal mushroom commonly used in Asian cuisine. It has a stronger taste than button mushrooms. I’m not a fan though, so I’m skipping it.

Tasty Joy Longkou Vermicelli (Bean Thread) Noodles This pack of glass noodles can be stir fried along with vegetables, or can even be made into salad. These are perfect for slow carb eaters, as they contain a good amount of carbs but there’s also protein and fiber to balance it all out.

Kadoya Pure Sesame Oil ($10.18) Boasting an intense nutty aroma and taste, this sesame oil is great either as a seasoning or dressing. I always find that adding sesame to Asian dishes really takes it to the next level.

Tasty Joy Dried Black Ear Fungus This edible jelly fungus is believed to be a great help in treating the lungs, stomach and liver, according to the Institute of Chinese Medicine. They can be added to most Asian savory dishes, specifically Chinese food as it also lowers cholesterol.

Lung Po Rock Sugar ($4.99) Less sweet than regular white granulated sugar, rock sugar is made of irregular lumps of crystallized and refined sugar that has a clear taste. It has no caramel tones at all.

This is made in China’s Kwang Tung Province. To make it, sugar cane is cooked just until it starts to have color.

Sailing Boat Brand Chao Ching Rice Stick ($8.50) Rice stick, or rice noodles are made from rice flour and water. Some Chinese dishes that known to use this kind of noodles are Beef chow Fan, Cart Noodle, Char Kway Teow, and Rice Noodle Roll.

Set of Sauce Dishes To match our Chinese meals, they also included a set of small dishes where we can put dips or sauces.

The small saucers look traditional, and these can also help make the food presentation more exquisite.

Chinese food is delicious and comforting. However, most people depend on Chinese food take-out instead of making their favorites at home. This cookbook is comprehensive and well-written, convincing us that we can actually cook our favorite Chinese dishes easily. Cooking instructions are easy to follow, and the high-quality photos make it really enticing. PageHabit Cookbook edition is a treat for any household or any person who loves to cook and explore new cuisines. The inclusion of the notes also add excitement to the process since they come straight from the author. We’re so excited to try the stir-fried noodle dish using the vermicelli and rice sticks they provided in the box! ?It does make it a lot easier to have many of the required staples for these dishes provided. Another plus for this subscription is that it’s quarterly, with plenty of time to spend on your new favorite cookbook.

What do you think about this quarter’s box? Let us know your thoughts!

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