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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 27 July 2009
Every page of this fantastic book has another wonderful recipe. It's set to become one of my most used sources, and we cook a lot! Whilst the recipes aren't complicated, they do involve quite a bit of prep, and a lot of time shopping in Asian supermarkets which won't be easy for everyone. Some also look deceptively simple until you see you have a whole paste or sauce to make from the section at the back. Having said that we "dined in" Cambodia last week, Malaysia over the weekend, and Vietnam tomorrow all from the comfort of our kitchen, and there's still hundreds more recipes to make. Really thrilled with the book, its a must buy for lovers of Asian food who enjoy the smells of kaffir lime and lemongrass wafting through the house.
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on 1 November 2009
I watched 4 episodes of the series on iplayer in one sitting and I loved it s much that I went straight onto Amazon to buy the book. I am a bit of a novice when it comes to Asian cooking but so far I have tried three recipes and they have all been to die for, and made me really proud thinking I have been able to produce such a exotic and tasty plate of food. I tried the Cambodian carrot and green mango salad with crispy fish and sweet and sour dressing (nothing like sweet and sour chinese sauce by the way!!), the Coconut and chilli crab (this was delish!) and green Thai curry, and they have all been divine, even my boyfriend said that it tasted better than the restaurant!

I did have to make myself a list with all the "unusual" ingredients (conveniently listed and explained in the last section of the book) and visit an Asian superstore (I had never been to one before but I felt like a kid in a candy store!). Living in London I was spoilt for choice, I highly recommend Wing Yip Asian superstore (I think they have also have Wing Yip Stores in Manchester and Birmingham but the also have a website).

Some recipes might seem a bit scary when you look at the long list of ingredients but once you get down to it is nowhere as complicated as it sounds!

My only criticism of the book is that absolutely every bit of ingredient is listed with near scientific precision, i.e. 30 grs of chopped shallots, or 50 gr of crushed garlic 10 gr of crushed peanuts...I much prefer the handful, chunk, dollop, pinch approach but that's just me being petty.

I can't recommend this book enough for Asian food lovers
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on 2 August 2009
We're really enjoying Rick's latest series on BBC HD at the moment - his enthusiasm and respect for the cuisine really shines through, and after each show we always really want to try and recreate his dishes (and of course, enjoy eating them!)

This book contains all the great recipes Rick shares on the show, and seeing them in print just underlines how simple they are to cook really. Rick gives you a little background or history for each dish, and his down-to-earth style includes tips along the way to make things easy or even avert potential disasters (like the wok on the back burner tip, so you don't pour super-hot oil all over yourself by accident!) The photography is also sumptuous, and it's always good to know the effect you're going for anyway :-)

You'll need access to a good supermarket or perhaps a Chinese supermarket like the Wing Yip chain, but I can confirm it's worth the effort just to recreate those wonderful flavours.

Overall, this book is a no-brainer if you're a fan of the series, a fan of oriental cooking, or both.
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on 3 September 2009
Reasonably price, well illustratd book which shines with Rick Stein's passion for his subject.

Recipes easy to follow although some of the ingredients difficult to obtain (note useful websites included for those not able to purchase ingredients any other way, or substitutes suggested where acceptable)

Following the recipes properly resulted in very authentic tasing food from a very reasonable outlay for a few basic ingredients. Some of the recipes, if the recommended amount of chilli is used, might be too hot for the uninitiated, so I would recommend adding less and serving separately until familiar with how they turn out.

Although warned that preparation can take a long time compared with the actual cooking which is mostly quick, this should be noted and taken to heart as there are no real shortcuts if quality and authenticity is to be maintained.

A good number of the recipes made tasty accompaniments to more Western style foods and barbeques extending the usage of the book.

My copy of this book is only 3 weeks old and is already well thumbed and splashed as I have used it so many times.
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on 11 November 2009
I accidendally saw the program filmed in Sri Lanka which made me homesick as I am of Sri Lankan origin. It was great listening to Rick Stein attempting to speak sinhalese and the long tongue twisting words. The cashu curry is like how my mother cooks it. He has recomended that you soak the cashunuts which my mother does and his receipie is authentic too.

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on 29 March 2010
I write this review after having created around ten recipes from this book. I think the main point I want to get across is that to get the most out of this book you must approach it as an adventure. Throw yourself at it from every angle. Scour the internet for additional info, spend time reading the glossary. Walk into your local asian supermarket picking up packets and exotic veg and smelling them. If you aren't prepared to do that then this isn't the for book for you.

I used to be a chef and I still love cooking. Finding this series and this book made me say "AT LAST, eastern cuisine with no shortcuts. The real deal". You know that lovely hoi sin marinated pork belly that all chineses and thais serve? You know those amazing fragrant coconut curries that attack every one of your senses? You know those fresh, piquant, tangy, sweet, sour, spicy salads that send you into another world? They're all here. All those secrets that you thought you would never be able to recreate are in this book.

I will disagree with some of the responses to the negative reviews. Not ALL the ingredients are available in normal supermarkets. Kashmiri Chillies/Powder are not, dried shrimps sometimes aren't, Fresh Cayenne Chillies, Kaffir Limes and their leaves are not. GOOD. That is part of the adventure. It is this lack of 'instant gratification' that lends itself to the fun. I loved roaming the streets of chinatown and brick lane smelling, looking, touching ingredients. Asking the shop assistants for things who were always happy to help. I've recently moved to yorkshire and was worried i wouldn't be able to source the ingredients as easily but I looked and I found. I've now befriended a malaysian lady who runs a spice stall in leeds market that sells ALL these things and even gives me hints and tips.

The book provides you with everything you need and is worth every one of those 5 stars. You just need to get off your backside and let it educate you. The glossary tells you what everything is and even if it didn't.. use the internet. Chances are you've seen it before on the shelf, you just couldn't put a name to it. Well now you can.

P.S.. the Chicken Curry Kapitan with its delicate spicing and nutty toasted dessicated coconut is the most delicious curry i've ever made.

Thanks Rick, never give up that passion.
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on 16 September 2009
I was looking forward to the arrival of Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odessey as I have enjoyed cooking from his previous books. In particular I was anticipating his recipes from Malaysia and Indonesia as I mainly cook food from those countries. The reality far surpassed anything I imagined. Rick Stein's recipes are simply wonderful and so authentic; he has achieved what so few writers of Asian recipes seem able to do, reproduce the true taste of the dishes. Many of the recipes were already familiar to me having cooked versions of them before but Rick Stein's recipes each have a little something extra which makes them stand out from all others. I tried his Malay Lamb Korma; the fragrance of spices filled the house and the result was a dream; often I find coconut curries with lamb rather heavy but not this version, it was lightened by the tomatoes and the coconut was just a subtle back note in the whole. His Babi Kecap is the very best I have ever made and so is his Chicken Country Kapitan. There are a lot of unfamiliar recipes I am looking forward to adding to my repertoire, especially those from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The sections on Cambodia,Thailand and Vietnam are not so realizable as they depend heavily on very fresh ingredients which are not available to me. The book has a satisfying chunky look and feel and is well illustrated. It is not a book for novice cooks of South-East Asian food as the recipes use home-made spice blends and I think one needs to be familiar with the way the recipes should taste and look before attempting them.
Far Eastern Odyssey has made redundant all my numerous Malay and Indonesian cookbooks - none of them produce anything like the wondrous tastes and flavours of the recipes in this book. I hope that Rick Stein will follow up his spectacular sucess with a second volume of Asian recipes in the near future.
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on 24 July 2009
This is a great companion to the TV Series, and with 150 beautifully presented and narrated recipes the book promises to be one of Rick Stein's best to date. The move to 'green' paper/print is welcome, nowithstanding this the book's production values remain strong. I have already tried the Duck in Orange Juice (as described in Episode 2 of the series) which is tremendous. Well worth buying if you are a lover of Far Eastern cookery. Nice one Rick!
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on 29 July 2009
Rick Stein comes up with the goods again, with a collection of extremely satisfying dishes (or at least the ones we've tried so far are!). One review so far has complained about needing specialised ingredients - its almost as if cooking Asian food might actually require Asian ingredients! It's true that access to an Asian food shop would be handy for some (but not all) of the recipes, but that's hardly surprising (and there are online stores available). To cook high quality, authentic dishes, will obviously require the appropriate goods and high quality dishes will be the result of cooking with this excellent book.
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on 22 September 2009
What a revelation - this like living the TV series!
Now that I have discovered an exceptional "Eastern\Asian" Supermaket close to me, there is no going back to my previous culinary life! Want a veggie change, try the Sri Lanka Curried Beetroot.
My wife and I have tried over a dozen recipes now (some 2 or 3 times!) and we've not been dissapointed.
I spent many years in the Royal Navy based in the Far East and tried "street" food first hand and what I have produced so far is like a step back in time - authentic aroma's and tastes and the heat sometimes is terrific, but sufferable.
A cool (maybe) Pad Thai tonight!
Alan - Fareham, Hampshire
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