I totally love this book, it's the only book I know that actually shows you how to make hand pressed noodles. I've made a few recepies, including the Xinjiang food, which is always a hit with Westerners in China.In fact I would go as far as to say it is probably my favourite Chinese cooking book (I have a collection). It also took me back to the days when I was in China, before China exploded onto the world stage. Apart from showing you how to cook, it also takes you on a culinary journey through parts of China, and this makes a thoroughly enjoyable book when you're not about to cook something too. The recepies are simple and easy to follow, and made for normal people to do. The only gripe I have is the organisation of the book confuses me a bit, but it doesn't matter, because the pro's outweigh the cons a hundred times. Will probably buy this book for my brother, who is a big fan of Chinese street food.
I like this book but not for the right reasons. Beyond the Great Wall is interesting as a food discovery book but its not a cook book - so dont get confused. the images are excellent, the experiences of food and eating in outer mongolia and wider China are equally fascinating but it does lack something. Although it contains recipes it isnt quite a cook book, nor a culinary travel adventure nor an adventure either. Feed the People was much better at describing the everyday food life in China. Don't get me wrong this is still an interesting and enjoyable book but I am not sure that its quite good value for money.