The Art of Escapism Cooking: A Survival Story, with Intensely Good Flavors by Mandy Lee

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Crusty loaves

    • PatriciaW on January 23, 2020

      I upgraded my initial rating from 3 to 5. My original note: The barley tea adds a nice note and some colour. (I made the crusty bread variation.) It has a moist, tender crumb. To me it's not quite as nice a texture as Jim Lahey's no-knead bread but that's just a matter of taste. I'm curious to try it as pita or pizza dough. 3 days later: This bread ages beautifully! It stayed moist and the flavour seemed to get better. I usually eat fresh bread the day I bake and then find myself making toast after that, or using the bread in other dishes. I was slicing this bread and slathering it with butter to the very end of the loaf. It was great as toast but it wasn't required. It also seemed to get tastier. Amazing stuff! Still want to try the pizza and pita variations.

  • Mochi challah bread stuffed with prosciutto and dates

    • PatriciaW on January 15, 2020

      This is an amazing recipe! The dough is like nothing I've made before. I don't know if I could have identified the filling if I didn't know it was prosciutto and dates - it's sweet and salty and umami. It could be rolled with any number of fillings, or made without as well. My bread turned out exactly like the picture too. I'm a klutz when it comes to presentation so that was thrilling. :D

  • Orange chile sambal

    • hanachocho on June 18, 2020

      Used Fresno chiles. Spicy with a lovely orange back note. This sauce has replaced sriracha on my shelf.

  • Cheese cookies [for dogs]

    • bwhip on November 15, 2020

      Our dogs gave these five stars :)

  • Huan Fei Hong spicy cold peanut noodles

    • Dannausc on January 17, 2021

      Quick and easy. Good but not as good as I’d hoped.

  • My ultimate chile oil

    • Dannausc on January 17, 2021

      Really good! I like it a lot and am already planning to make more once I’ve used up this batch!

  • The soloist

    • Nkrieda78 on May 06, 2021

      These are incredible. Lovely pasta, luscious sauce and fun to eat.

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Reviews about this book

  • All Roads Lead to the Kitchen

    ...is not for the weak. It's thick and meaty; it dares you to spend time getting to know yourself, your kitchen, and some ingredients and methods that you may not be familiar with.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 0062802372
  • ISBN 13 9780062802378
  • Published Oct 15 2019
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 304
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher William Morrow Cookbooks

Publishers Text

In this inventive and intensely personal cookbook, the blogger behind the award-winning ladyandpups.com reveals how she cooked her way out of an untenable living situation, with more than eighty delicious Asian-inspired dishes with influences from around the world.

For Mandy Lee, moving from New York to Beijing for her husband’s work wasn’t an exotic adventure—it was an ordeal. Growing increasingly exasperated with China’s stifling political climate, its infuriating bureaucracy, and its choking pollution, she began “an unapologetically angry food blog,” LadyandPups.com, to keep herself from going mad.

Mandy cooked because it channeled her focus, helping her cope with the difficult circumstances of her new life. She filled her kitchen with warming spices and sticky sauces while she shared recipes and observations about life, food, and cooking in her blog posts. Born in Taiwan and raised in Vancouver, she came of age food-wise in New York City and now lives in Hong Kong; her food reflects the many places she’s lived. This entertaining and unusual cookbook is the story of how “escapism cooking”—using the kitchen as a refuge and ultimately creating delicious and satisfying meals—helped her crawl out of her expat limbo.

Illustrated with her own gorgeous photography , The Art of Escapism Cooking provides that comforting feeling a good meal provides. Here are dozens of innovative and often Asian-influenced recipes, divided into categories by mood and occasion, such as:

For Getting Out of Bed:

  • Poached Eggs with Miso Burnt Butter Hollandaise
  • Crackling Pancake with Caramel-Clustered Blueberries and Balsamic Honey

For Slurping:

  • Buffalo Fried Chicken Ramen
  • Crab Bisque Tsukemen

For a Crowd:

  • Cumin Lamb Rib Burger
  • Italian Meatballs in Taiwanese Rouzao Sauce

For Snacking:

  • Wontons with Shrimp Chili Coconut Oil and Herbed Yogurt
  • Spicy Chickpea Poppers

For Sweets:

  • Mochi with Peanut Brown Sugar and Ice Cream
  • Recycled Nuts and Caramel Apple Cake

Every dish is sublimely delicious and worth the time and attention required. Mandy also demystifies unfamiliar ingredients and where to find them, shares her favorite tools, and provides instructions for essential condiments for the pantry and fridge, such as Ramen Seasoning, Fried Chili Verde Sauce, Caramelized Onion Powder Paste, and her Ultimate Sichuan Chile Oil.