Here we are again with another review from our Restaurant Cookbook Series. This time we decided to bring you Brandon Jew's newest cookbook - Mister Jiu's in Chinatown.
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 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 starts Mister Jiu's in Chinatown with a fascinating introduction about the reason why he had to open Mister Jiu's. In a must-read introduction he'll share stories about himself and his family, but also stories about the importance that the building that Mister Jiu's occupies, has in San Francisco's Chinatown.
Whether in his restaurant or in this book, Jew takes inspiration from classic Chinatown recipes to create innovative spins. Inside this book, you will find some of his signature dishes 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 classic 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.
Normally in most restaurant cookbooks we reviewed, things are done in a way that aren't so practical for everyday. We are not saying that this is wrong, in fact, we totally understand it, this is how just things work. However, in Mister Jiu's in Chinatown things are a little bit different. Yes, there will be recipes that you may never try, but there will be recipes where Jew will give you ideas on how to make something delicious by doing less. Besides that, you can always make things easier by buying some components or skipping others entirely.
In each recipe, you have clear instructions, and you always can see what time involvement a recipe requires. For doing this, you just need to check the Active Time and Plan Ahead call-outs, which are located at the top of recipes. This may not seem much, but it'll make a difference when you are choosing a recipe to try.
To help you get the most out of this book, Jew saved a few pages where he talks about the importance of having a wok, why mise en place is everything, and a few other things that will allow you to recreate some of the recipes in this book, in your kitchen.
Mister Jiu's in Chinatown is a great cookbook that captures the essence of Mister Jiu's restaurant. In this book, Jew guarantees that traditional Chinese techniques continue by showing us new ways to use them, so our palates still crave them. Despite being a book focused on techniques used at Mister Jiu's you will be able to reproduce its recipes thanks to some Jew's shortcuts.
Mister Jiu's in Chinatown will take you on a journey of discovering Chinese cuisine in America through personal stories and mouth-watering recipes.