I Love My Wok by Nicola Graimes

I Love My Wok is a nicely laid out, easy to use cookbook for a wok. The recipes are cleanly presented, there are full size pictures for many of the meals, and a nice introduction with recommendations and tools in the beginning. Ironically, the cover looks very basic but the inside is very professionally presented. You won’t need a lot of tools – the wok really is the only component of many recipes.

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The book breaks down as follows: Introduction, Appetizers and soups, Salads and sides, Noodles and rice, Meat, Poultry, Fish and shellfish, Vegetarian, and an index. The book is nearly all recipes and is very full – there are quite a few to choose from and the recipes are multi cultural, not just Asian (e.g., Pesto pasta). The books delves beyond stir frying in beef and also has recipes for braising, blanching, and using water instead of oil. And as noted above, there is a vegetarian section.

Each recipe comes with an allergy index, preparation time, cooking time, servings, ingredient list, and then directions. About half have full page photographs of the finished item (there are no small images, just full page). The ingredient list is right justified, which admittedly makes them fairly hard to read. Left justified Bullets would have made this much easier. The directions are in paragraph form and can get chunky and difficult to remember where you were – numbered brief steps would have been easier. I’m guessing the publisher or author wanted to make the recipes seem ‘easier’ by not listing a bunch of steps. But I hate having to find my place in the directions when they are in the middle of a large chunky paragraph.

So yes, a lot of really good recipes, most with a health conscious approach. Nicely designed, cleanly laid out with large text, and with some accompanying full page photographs. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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