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The Essential Asian Cookbook (Essential Cookbook) [Hardcover]

Wendy Stephens
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thunder Bay Press (CA) (Aug 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592230016
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592230013
  • Product Dimensions: 29 x 22.1 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,349,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The essential Asia cookbook 12 May 2004
The recipes are easy to follow with fantastic results.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Westernized ingredient lists are incomplete, inaccurate 15 Nov 2003
By M. Harbut - Published on Amazon.com
I received this book for my birthday because I had it on my Amazon wish list. I like it fine, but I think the recipes were not tested thoroughly in regards to their ingredient lists. For one thing, some dishes are missing what I consider the defining flavor/ingredient, like omitting star anise from the Vietnamese beef noodle soup (pho) recipe. I just about fell off my chair when I saw that...star anise IS pho. My mother is Vietnamese, so I've had plenty of pho in my lifetime to know this. Ironically, there's a picture of star anise on the page that introduces the Vietnamese section.
I also think there should've been red onion and Thai basil in the Thai beef salad recipe. Lastly, the Singapore noodle dish came out a bit bland because the recipe called for way too many noodles and not enough seasoning. I didn't even use the full amount of noodles -- it called for roughly 9.5 oz., I used 8 oz. I had to add a lot more extra seasoning during the last stage of cooking, and by then the meat had overcooked.
The book also has the annoying habit of integrating prep instructions with regular instructions. Anyone who knows anything about Asian cooking understands that prep is 90% of the work -- you need to have everything sliced, diced, marinated, because you toss it all together very quickly when cooking. Although each recipe has estimated prep and cooking times, it wasn't clear to me what the authors considered prep vs. cooking.
This book is good for someone who already knows how to cook and is just getting their feet wet with Asian cooking. It's also good for cooks who don't have the access or knowledge to some of the harder-to-find ingredients. You swap authentic taste for convenience, however. Also, it's a bummer that I feel I now have to second-guess the recipes where ingredients and measurements are concerned.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Cookbook! 23 Jan 2005
By Castlemaid - Published on Amazon.com
This book is wonderful! For one thing, I'm the worse cook in the world, but every recipe I have tried in this book has turned out just perfect!! I bought in on the strength of it's gorgeous layout and appetizing photographs, which do nothing but add to the overall quality. Usually, I don't like to cook, and my cooking reflects it, but I am having a blast with this book. The variety of recipes cover many Asian countries, even some more obscure and lesser known ones. Most of the ingredients are readily available in my supermarket (though not all), but enough to allow me to try most of these recipes. The recipes are rated for difficulty as "easy", "medium" or "harder", and as a non-cooker, I find the "easy" recipes a breeze. Each entry will also tell you how much time is required for preparation, marinating and for cooking, so it helps you plan, and you know what you are getting into even before you start. The ingredients are listed in commone Western units, often listing Metric and Imperial measurements at the same time which is a great help and really helps you visualize what you will need. Ingredients are listed in the order that you need them, which also makes getting organized easy. I find the flavors subtle and authentic. I was worried about too spicy dishes, but nothing has been too hot for me so far. And if it is too hot, I can always adjust the spices.
My only complaint is that the book, being from Australia, uses some cooking terminology is a bit odd, but I have been able to figure most of it out. Pork mince is obviously ground pork, and I think that an "egg slice" (turn pancake over with egg slice) is a spatula. A lot of recipes call for cornflour, which I take to be cornstarch. I have been using cornstarch in all recipes calling for cornfloor, and everything has turned out perfect. Whether you like to cook or not, I guarantee that this book will thrill you! This book is turning me into someone who actually enjoys cooking!
5.0 out of 5 stars Eat your way through Asia 8 Oct 2012
By Spinner - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
A go to "classic" for me.
I have used it for years and wanted to send it to a friend.
Nice layout, yummy pictures, easy to follow recipes.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on Asian food than any other 18 Aug 2011
By CAM - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I was so impressed with this book of Essential Asian Cooking that I got more for friends and family. It gave backgrounds of Asian countries, uses and pictures of spices to use. I can not thank the writers of this book enough for their expert putting together of Oriental cooking. I love to cook stir frys, about 5 times a week, and today I am making a whole Asian dinner for family members from this book, even down to the appetizers.

This book should be rated 10 not 5. And Amazon was quick with their emails and the book came very quickly. Thank you

Sincerely Mrs. Colleen Metcalf
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is the best! 14 Nov 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book is one of the best cookbooks ever (and I've used a lot of them)! If you weren't raised with Asian food but you want to learn how to cook it, the is the one and only book you need. My friends who are Korean, Chinese, etc., and were brought up eating those foods think this book is great too. I especially like the Thai section.
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