Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking American
Sam Choy's Island Flavors
Published: April 14, 1999
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Hawaiian chef Sam Choy is sassy and sweet. So are the flavors of his food. Choy's cooking is hapu, a hybrid of Polynesian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and European influences, combined in what he calls local-style cooking. In Wok-Seared
Shrimp with Pepper-Papaya-Pineapple Chutney, a typical example, Choy marinates the main ingredient, then stir-fries it, and serves it with a colorful accompaniment.
Fish or seafood stars in many dishes. Choy's marinades are generally a blend of
garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sugar, with varying accents of scallion, sesame oil, and hot peppers. Both the preparation of ingredients and the cooking method are quick for most dishes. The accompaniment, often a salsa or chutney, is usually a
toss-together of chopped fresh fruits and vegetables that can be made ahead of time.
Choy takes pride in his Hawaiian heritage. He talks about his family and local goings-on. His Catfish in Sweet and Sour Sauce supports local farming of this
freshwater fish. Enticing, succulent Hibachi Pineapple Spears were invented one day at the beach to please the kids.
A fish-lovers delight, this book also offers appealing chicken recipes: Quick and Easy Shoyu Chicken, made with teriyaki sauce,
will please just about everyone. Sixteen color pages help you present dishes as nicely as Choy does at his restaurants. If you can chop, stir-fry, and grill, Sam Choy's Island Cooking provides a fast, fun taste trip to the tropics. Don't miss the
desserts and exotic drinks, like Lava Flow and Kona MacFreeze. --Dana Jacobi
From Publishers Weekly
"Cook your way to paradise," Hawaiian chef, restaurateur and popular cooking-show host Sam Choy boldly asserts in his new cookbook on island
(Hawaiian) fare. Choy's colorful, if a bit too exuberant, patter punctuates the text: about his Spicy Chicken Wingettes, "I'd like to say it's 'finger lickin' good,' but I know it's even better than that"; on making salads, "Don't be timid. Just let it
rip...." His philosophy is to "build a dish" with fresh ingredients as the foundation, adding marinades, then pastas, rice or vegetables as the "walls and roof" and finally, the sauce to bind and "decorate." While chapters cover various meat and
vegetable side dishes (and even tropical drinks), seafood dishes predominate, including a section called Working with Fish and Shellfish. The Ingredients Glossary offers helpful purchasing tips and suggests substitutes for hard-to-find ingredients. His
200-plus, easy-to-make recipes represent a multicultural hodgepodge of flavors (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and European) as in Crab-and-Shrimp Stuffed Shiitake Mushrooms with Mango Bearnaise Sauce, Honomalino Lamb with Satay Sauce and Pineapple
Coconut Yum Yum. Although Choy incorporates Asian ingredients and seafood into his dishes, readers shouldn't automatically expect low-calorie meals: he's just as likely to use butter, cream, sugar, coconut milk and macadamia nuts alongside flavor
enhancers such as Japanese wasabi and sambal oelek (Asian chili paste). Choy's passion for food coupled with a minimum fuss/maximum flexibility approach will inspire readers to fire up their hibachis and start cooking.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business
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