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The Complete Asian Cookbook Hardcover – 15 Apr 2002


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 511 pages
  • Publisher: Grub Street; 2nd Revised edition (15 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904010180
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904010180
  • Product Dimensions: 28.6 x 3.5 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 539,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"I cherish and refer to often because it is so thorough going and authoritative in its subject matter, and the recipes are uncommonly well written and authentic." --"Craig Claiborne, the New York Times" --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Charmaine Solomon comes from a family of exceptionally good cooks. She started her career in food as a reporter and feature writer for an English language newspaper in Sri Lanka, where she ran a cooking column dispensing recipes and food ideas with flair. Surrounded by generations of talented cooks, Charmaine is now recognised as one of the most knowledgeable (and practical) writers on Asian food. She has taught Southeast Asian, Chinese and international cooking, and her books are sold throughout the world. In putting together this book, Charmaine travelled widely through Asia, revisiting familiar places and discovering new ones to ensure that, as always, her recipe development was backed up with on-the-spot authenticity. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Nash on 3 Jan. 2004
Format: Hardcover
This work happily sits next to better known "classics" on my bookshelf like the Larousse Gastronomique. I can't imagine a better book to introduce yourself to authentic and plainly written recipes from all over Asia, but although it covers such a vast geographical area the attention to practical details is welcome, especially when you're wondering whether to salt the rice or not.
To complain of the dirth of photos is perhaps to miss the point slightly, unlike glossy "occassion" recipe books this is written as a reference to be used for every-day cooking; if you love Asian food you'll find yourself working your way through the recipes rather than flicking until an inevitable brightly coloured stir-fry catches your eye. And if you really do use it daily there is plenty of information to make your life easier, from concise lists of essential ingredients to recipes for time saving generic spice pastes.
There's a lifetime's worth of cooking in this book, I simply couldn't imagine being without it.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By James Bury on 29 Jun. 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first bought this book 15 years ago and it has been a favourite ever since.
The recipes are amazingly diverse and introduce you to flavours that even now you're unlikely to have come across in the UK. My particular favourites are the Burmese dishes - very simple using every day ingredients, but stunning taste.
I thought I'd lost my copy after a couple of house moves, so I didn't hesitate to buy another (and then sure enough I found the old one, but no regrets - I've got an archive copy and a kitchen copy now!).
This is not a coffee-table book for readers to drool over pictures, it's a hands-on practical book for people who want to cook fantastic food. Do have a go making your own thai curry pastes and coconut milk. It isn't hard and the results are just superb - way way better than shop-bought stuff.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Alex Scott on 7 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
I have been cooking Asian food since the mid seventies when the ingrediants in this book were hard to get, these days every thing, even the most exotic, are freely available. Without doubt this is the best Asian cookbook I have ever used so much so that I rarely use any other. I have used many of the recipes in this book and have not had a failure, they wor. I annot recommend it highly enough.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By H. Callaghan VINE VOICE on 27 July 2001
Format: Hardcover
I love this book and use it all the time. The Indian and Chinese sections are terrific, and I've liked everything I've tried so far. The curried chicken with cashews is divine, though I must say that there are many recipes equally nice.
At the start of each type of cuisine, there is a brief section describing how each is traditionally cooked and eaten in its country of origin, some notes on the types of ingredients favoured, and finally a "storecupboard" of ingredients necessary to prepare that particular cuisine. There are also good substitution tables at the back.
The measurements are in cups, which is a bit of a drag, but easy enough to work out proportionately. This is my favourite international cookbook and I'd recommend it to anybody.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Pauk on 2 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Had this book a year or 2 now, and absolutely love it, so time to review.

The recipes are categorised by country, and then by course of food (rice/noodles, soup, vegetable, fish, poultry, meat, sweets/desserts), which is great if you want to host a dinner party that specialises in a particular country's food. The breadth of this book is amazing, everything from stick schezuan curry, to amazing satay beef and more curries than you could ever wish to eat. Including recipes from more obscure country's culinary culture is great too, being able to cook burmese and sri lankan makes a change from the usual indian/thai/chinese cookbooks. It does a great job of providing as close to traditional recipes as possible, even mentioning what the traditional way is in a little comment before the recipe (generally it comes down to using a special cooking method that is either impractical or not safe to do in a modern western kitchen). On rare occasions the recipe will divert away from the traditional recipe when the author feels it significantly improves the dish, but the only case I've come across of this is one recipe which uses soy sauce in an Indian dish. Being an asian cookbook the sweets and desserts are generally quite sickly (not to my personal tastes), but some of the recipes sound quite unusual to experiment with.

Now the downside of giving traditional recipes is the meal size. Almost all the dishes are made for 6-8 people, even up to 10 in some cases. In the case of meat dishes they usually involve cooking with a whole chicken or a whole leg of lamb/pork, which can be inconvenient if you only want to cook the dish for a few people. for the most part though the dishes are easy enough to downsize, since it's the spice mixtures and cooking techniques that are the important thing.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Oct. 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have had mine for 20 years and have used it often. Follow the recipes and you will get authentic tasting asian food. She is able to give clear instructions, simplyfying steps when possble and yet give fantastic results. Try the Beef Rendang. It is better than many I have tasted ( and I have tasted many as I come from Malaysia).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Robson on 11 Sept. 2002
Format: Hardcover
I first purchased this book twenty four years ago and have used it so much that my original volume is on the point of disintegrating. It contains recipes from every Asian nation from the familiar Chinese to the more unusual Vietnamese and Korean. There is a glossary for unusual ingredients and recommendations for the store cupboard. The recipes are clearly explained and easy to follow. There are plenty of colour pictures. I have subsequently bought more country specific cook books with a larger number of dishes in, but I still return to this book time and time again. An excellent first Asian cookbook.
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