Not so fabulous


Fabulous Oriental Recipes

This very cheap book is not really library-worthy. It would fall apart within about ten uses. That said, the fact that it is still in decent shape tells me that it wasn’t a good choice in 1989. The term “oriental” is not a appropriate, and in many contexts, offensive. The recipes also look like they have been “Americanized.” I doubt just tossing in chow mein noodles or soy sauce makes a dish authentically Asian.

I will leave this to the foodie crowd for evaluation, but this one is a no-go in 2022 and probably was in 1989 too.


fabulous recipes list

appetizers tuna chinese salad Korean food


  1. I can’t decide whether the “Bombay Curried Banana Chicken Chowder” is a crime against humanity or a quirky but tasty idea. Interesting that the authors felt they needed to instruct readers to peel the bananas.

  2. I lived in Japan for 15 years and never heard of “shrimp kabuki.” It sounds like they’re trying to make shrimp tempura (itself not very “oriental”!), but who knows?

  3. Shrimp Kabuki (cont.):
    I mean, just sticking some random “oriental” word on it doesn’t make it Asian. How about calling it “Shrimp Ninja” or “Samurai Shrimp”? It all sounds the same — fake!

  4. Even in 1989, “oriental” was becoming unacceptable.

    But maybe people who think these are actual “exotic” dishes still use that word?

    I had more authentic Chinese food in a tiny town in middle of nowhere Nebraska a few years before this was published!

  5. My maiden name is Blinn and I’ve literally never met one that I wasn’t related to. If I came across this in the wild I would probably buy it just for the novelty factor!

  6. I see packets of instant ramen noodles at the grocery store that come in “Oriental” flavor. You’d think in this day and age they’d change the name.

  7. A friend’s dad in a small town told us he was taking us to the best Chinese restaurant ever – REAL Chinese food!

    We get there and he decides to order for the table. Their specialty? Bacon Fried Rice.

    There were not enough Rolaids in the world for that meal.

  8. I’ll see your bacon fried rice and raise you something I saw on a vintage (40s ?) Chinese restaurant menu while surfing Pinterest: beef chow mein with tomato sauce and onions !

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