Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Duncan Baird (April 3, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1 x 10 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #562,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #65 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Asian Cooking > Thai #5775 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International
This is the first cookbook review I've done, and I hope it will not be the last.I love Asian food. Ginger is one of those things that I just love, but yet I rarely cook with it. My family, you see, is Exhibit A in the case for picky eaters. But I've learned that I can get some food by them if I'm not quite honest about its ingredients.Let's begin by talking about the recipes. Leemei Tan presents food from Japan & Korea, China, Philippines & Indonesia, Malaysia & Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam, and India & Sri Lanka. As I looked through her offerings, I thought I would start with something I knew my family would eat: chicken teriyaki. If you've like me and think teriyaki is something you buy bottled, then you must try Tan's recipe. It's homemade! From scratch! And it's easy! Even better, it tastes really, really good. Not only can you find the ingredients in most supermarkets - if they've got it in my one horse town, they'll have it in yours - but Tan extends the meal from just chicken to chicken with rice and spinach. Yummalicious.Next, I tried Bibimbap, only because it features a fried egg on it. I can sell anything to my husband and three screaming kids if it has a fried egg on it. This is a bowl with beef, rice, mushroom, carrot sticks, spinach and bean sprouts, with that egg on top. And it tastes really good. The prep work takes a bit - you will be chopping for more than a few minutes - but it's worth it. The soy sauce taste doesn't take away from the beef and veggies.I figured I should go for a dessert, and the Sri Lankan Crispy Pancakes looked interesting. I struggled with this one, only because the pancake is similar to a crepe in terms of how much of the stuff you put in the pan.
The term "Asian Food" is very often abused when used by the unknowledgeable to lump all Asiatic-style food together as if it was a homogenous single entity. This is nearly akin to heresy as the range and style of foods from this very large, diverse region is tremendous. Even if the same ingredients are used, the end result from different cooks in each country can be rather different.Asian or asiatic-style cooking is a popular pursuit and it shows no sign of diminishing in popularity. Different people have different reasons or goals for their love of making asian food, such as taste, healthiness, diversity and the use of uncommon ingredients. Whatever your reasons, this new book takes many of the best bits from around the region to present over 100 vibrant recipes that you can make at home.This is no "make what you know and love from your favourite Chinese/Thai/etc restaurant"-type book but a more enlightened, open look at typical cuisine with the aim of informing, educating and inspiring you to make your own dishes. Once you master them and gain more confidence you will invariably try more and more dishes as well as maybe unknowingly tinkering here and there and maybe doing a bit of fusion-cooking to boot.After an introduction to the author, the styles of food, cultures and her cooking hut (a wonderful term that, for some reason, really made an impact to this reviewer) it is onto the recipes, divided by "host" country rather than by ingredient. So first up is Japan and Korea followed by China, Philippines & Indonesia, Malaysia & Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam and finally India and Sri Lanka. Some generic across-the-board recipes then round the book off with a succinct glossary and customary index.
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