Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Art of Escapism Cooking: A Survival Story, with Intensely Good Flavors” as Want to Read:
The Art of Escapism Cooking: A Survival Story, with Intensely Good Flavors
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  129 ratings  ·  26 reviews
“Lee, who vents about living abroad in her Lady and Pups blog, fuels this stunning cookbook with the ferocity of Sichuan peppercorns and chili oil. . . . An energetic confessional, for Lee is as gifted a writer as she is a cook. . . . Innovative. . . . [A] unique and deeply felt debut.” - Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

In this inventive and intensely personal cookbook,
...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by William Morrow Cookbooks
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Art of Escapism Cooking, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Art of Escapism Cooking

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  129 ratings  ·  26 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Art of Escapism Cooking: A Survival Story, with Intensely Good Flavors
Jennifer
The Art of Escapism Cooking: A Survival Story, with Intensely Good Flavors is what resulted when blogger Mandy Lee had to find a way to cope with her miserable relocation to Beijing. The recipes are primarily Asian, and all fused with various other international cuisines. The dishes are highly original, and my favorites are the homemade condiments and sauces, such as "My Ultimate Chile Oil" ... which I made and OMG. Ingredients within this book may require online shopping for most readers, but M ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbook
Look, the only thing I'd like to cook at seven in the morning -- as I lie in bed with residual resentments from the day before and looming despair about the day ahead --is the people who say they love cooking breakfast. Who are these people? I imagine their breakfasts taste like denial buttered up with overcompensating enthusiasm.

Cookbooks are so much more than lists of recipes anymore. Some are really just about the pretty pictures or the personality of their author. Many are attempts to catch
...more
Karen Foster
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is as much a cookbook to curl up in bed with, as it is to cook from. Gorgeous photography, beautifully honest memoir sections with a dose of dark humor, and the kind of recipes you give up a whole day to. These recipes are often real projects, with homemade components, that will fill your home with amazing aromas, and give so much comfort, joy and satisfaction in both preparing and eating. I wish I had more time to dedicate to this kind of cooking, but I will definitely try and find some :)
Emily
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Everyone knows I am a canned sardine whore. ” - Mandy Lee (The Art of Escapism Cooking)

Been a long-time fan of her food blog (fun fact : Lee bypassed the (Chinese?) government's firewall with a VPN in order to sustain/maintain/build her blog/posts); and I thought the cookbook was/is so fab. I didn't think I'd like it as much as I did because I didn't think it'd be good - having thought that it's just another cookbook written by a 'home-cook'. I was so wrong; the cookbook hits all the right spot
...more
Patty
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
Cooking for many people is simply a means to an end. You need to feed your family so you make dinner. For others the kitchen is a retreat – a place to go to get away from the world or from your troubles. There is something very comforting about starting with a list of ingredients and ending with a delicious and nourishing meal or dessert.

I can fully relate to this as when my world imploded I found my solace in the kitchen. Back when my aneurysm was found and I was left with my chronic headache I
...more
BookTrib.com
When Mandy Lee moved from New York to Beijing for her husband’s work, she was hit with a soul-killing depression unlike anything she had felt before. Growing increasingly exasperated with China’s autocratic political climate, infuriating bureaucracy, and choking pollution, she began “an unapologetically angry food blog,” Lady and Pups, to keep herself from going mad.

Mandy blogged and filled her kitchen with warm spices and sticky sauces because it channeled her focus and helped her cope with the
...more
James
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Foodies
Shelves: art, diy, cooking, non-fiction
I grabbed it mostly for the title, however the actual personal content is low compared to the recipe/food content, so the storytelling aspect is not there. I would classify Lee's cooking style as spicy world fusion, she mostly likes it hot so if you have a 'cat tongue' and don't like spicy, give this a pass. The recipes mostly contain meat and dairy, so its not a good book for vegetarians and the amount of prep and cooking make it unsuitable for the lazy home chef. Some interesting and wierd foo ...more
Jeff Heuer
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: food, food-best-of
This is a unique, personal, and finely-crafted cookbook. While the recipes draw heavily from Asia, many of them remix global cuisines in novel and delicious ways. In contrast to many reviewers, however, I wasn't a fan of the writing style. It is certainly bold and colorful, but also overwrought, and the deep undercurrent of cynicism and depression was very off putting to me. Still recommended though, with that caveat.
Elizabeth
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: get the hard copy for reading the recipes - the e-book may be missing some characters
It's impossible to not admire Mandy Lee's enthusiasm and ability/willingness to improvise to attain the flavours and/or textures she craves.
Dried shrimp [...] If you've ever had the blessing of tasting a proper bowl of laksa, you know you need to keep a large bag of dried shrimp in your freezer. It's crucial, inarguable. Don't even think about substituting fresh shrimp. [first, pantry]

Often, Lee's writing can be somewhat self-conscious—she may spend a little too much time trying to talk like th
...more
Elizabeth Sund
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful pictures, funny writing, interesting flavors. Mandy Lee has a really interesting palate, focused mostly on funky smells like fish oil. I'm really into intense smelling foods (blue cheese, fish oil, mushrooms, and all other feet-type smelling things).

The recipes are really complicated. I make homemade pasta all the time but the ramen noodle recipe made me want to burn my house down with rage. Tapioca flour? Is this a chemistry joke? Is it solid or liquid? 4 stars?
Victoria
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"So, if you're experiencing thoughts of suicide along with the midnight urge to butcher a chicken, this book may be right for you, my friends--those of you who find yourselves, likewise, cooking for one reason and one reason only. Happiness."

An angry, innovative, brutal, unrelenting cookbook, that I am so very excited to play with.
Patricia
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful read! Lee doesn't beat around the bush. Her tales of surviving life in an incompatible city are refreshing. Her recipes are inventive and, best of all, they WORK! I have been disappointed by imaginative cookbooks before, when the reality doesn't match the recipe. So far the recipes I've tried have been fun to execute and wonderful eating.
Grant
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got this from the library, but I think I'm gonna have to buy it. Lots of very intense flavors, as the subtitle says, and also full of anger, which isn't necessarily what I look for in a cookbook, but in this case it sure works. There's also a chapter of food for dogs.
Liz L
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have only cooked one recipe from this cookbook, but I had to go ahead and write a review because it was THAT GOOD. One the basis of the Kori-Mex bibimbap alone, this cookbook is already absolutely worth a purchase even if you don't cook anything else from it. The combo of bibimbap, mole, and taco rice is genius and mind-blowingly delicious.

Additionally, this is just a fun cookbook to read. Even the super involved recipes that I'll probably never cook are interesting to read about. I am normall
...more
Dave
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've seen enough of those "angry" cookbooks that try too hard: collect some Rachel Ray recipes and give them a slight Guy Fieri twist, mix in an ungenuine quantity of profanity, and rake in the profits. I'm thinking "Thug Kitchen" (Ugh, Gwyneth Paltrow says "this might be my favorite thing ever.") If Hot Topic sold cookbooks, they'd stock up on "Thug Kitchen."

This cookbook is the hard stuff. The recipes are brutally good - Mandy takes an assortment of punchy flavors from both Asian and Western
...more
Alinna
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Um, I’m like so worried about this lady. Her cooking is insane and inventive.
Debra
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: foodie-reads
Photographed beautifully, this memoir cookbook is fascinating. I found Lee's wry wit and use of the f-word oddly endearing. Her voice is honest and her photographs are fantastic. Her food is honest as well and even though she maintains anyone can cook it, I had to wonder. Her recipes are inventive with an Asian flare, but don't call it fusion. I plan on tackling a few dishes, but some are out of my realm of expertise (and honestly would take up too much of my time).

I loved reading her story (as
...more
Tina
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: foodie
Fantastic read but not in my wheelhouse for actually cooking these unique recipes. Still, a beautiful book.
Gloria
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Probably needs a dual star rating: For reading I would give it a 5, as I get her completely, about living with Dick. It sucks. And during this time of COVID, I think many people might get an understanding of some of the sulkiness.

As for cooking, probably 4. The recipes look really beyond me in so many ways, but I appreciate them, and have been thinking about trying about 5 of them (but others are too much for me, ingredient, effort and taste-combo-wise—not quite that adventurous!). I must say,
...more
Diana
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is it wrong to order a cookbook and not try any of the recipes? This is an entertaining and inspiring book and Mandy Lee never ceases to amaze me with her narrative and her creativity. I want to hang out with her in her kitchen! Even if you don't cook, I highly recommend this!
Ellyn Lu
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing, creative fusion recipes sure to leave you in a feverish daze, your arms and legs aching from the efforts required for these recipes but you tongue surely convincing you it was worth it. Your waistline won't thank you.
Fran
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars, tummy-reads
Definitely a 5-star. I've been a fan of her blog for a while, drooling over the tempting recipes and the gorgeous photography while marvelling at the extremes she takes to perfect her dishes.
zwangzob
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
Beautiful photography and engaging writing. 4 stars since I found it not much of a leap from the (already excellent) blog.
Emily Wagner
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks-2
The recipes all look absolutely incredible. The writing is not really my style.
Samantha
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An artistic, personal cookbook for time-intensive cooking projects (key word) with incredible results & flavor. Not for the casual cook! I’d call it Asian fusion..? ...more
Ekeim
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing and inspiring if sometimes slightly overcomplicated recipes.
Emily
rated it really liked it
Dec 04, 2019
Tara
rated it liked it
Aug 20, 2020
Sheri
rated it it was amazing
Aug 31, 2020
Rachael
rated it really liked it
Feb 22, 2020
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Half Baked Harvest Super Simple: More Than 125 Recipes for Instant, Overnight, Meal-Prepped, and Easy Comfort Foods: A Cookbook
  • Binging with Babish: 100 Recipes Recreated from Your Favorite Movies and TV Shows
  • Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables
  • Ottolenghi Flavor: A Cookbook
  • Night + Market: Delicious Thai Food to Facilitate Drinking and Fun-Having Amongst Friends a Cookbook
  • Indian-ish: Recipes and Antics from a Modern American Family
  • Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbook
  • Dinner in French: My Recipes by Way of France: A Cookbook
  • Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking
  • All About Cake
  • BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts
  • Know My Name
  • Mistletoe and Mr. Right (Moose Springs, Alaska #2)
  • Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over
  • The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science
  • The Gaijin Cookbook: Japanese Recipes from a Chef, Father, Eater, and Lifelong Outsider
  • Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore [A Cookbook]
  • Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer Trilogy, #1)
See similar books…

Related Articles

If you follow the world of food, chances are you’ve heard of David Chang. The founder of the Momofuku restaurant group, Chang is a chef, TV...
52 likes · 8 comments