In honor of the Beijing Olympics, this week's Cook the Book selection is The Shun Lee Cookbook: Recipes from a Chinese Restaurant Dynasty, by chef, restaurant owner, and culinary visionary Michael Tong.
Until the 1960s Chinese food in America consisted of bungled Cantonese dishes like egg foo young and barbecued spare ribs. But that all changed when Tong opened his first restaurant in New York City. He introduced spicy, regional recipes for crispy sea bass, dry sautéed string beans, and red cooked chicken. In the process, he elevated the status of Chinese food from takeout to fine dining. (Restaurants don't get much more elegant than Shun Lee West, with its arresting red-eyed dragon that winds around the ceiling.)
Intimidated by the idea of preparing Chinese food at home? Don't be. All the recipes in The Shun Lee Cookbook have been adapted for home kitchens, resulting in an exotic-yet-approachable collection of dishes made from everyday supermarket ingredients. In addition to classics such as hot and sour soup and pan-fried pork dumplings, there are innovative new dishes like Hunan lamb with scallions and soft shell crabs with black bean sauce.
In addition to excerpting a recipe each day this week, we're also giving away five (5) copies of The Shun Lee Cookbook. To enter for a chance to win, just tell us in the comments section below: What would you eat for your celebratory dinner after winning Olympic gold?
Five (5) people will be chosen at random from among eligible comments below. Comments will close Monday, August 18 at noon ET. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.
All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy.