This is a beautifully produced hardback with a wealth of attractive colour photos: a real coffeetable cookbook, which is a joy to flick through. The recipes comprise starters, soups, salads, seafood, poultry, pork, lamb & beef, noodles & rice, vegetables & tofu and desserts. At the beginning is' Bill's Asian Pantry' which is a glossary of ingredients. I found this very useful. And the good news is that there isn't really anything fiddly to get hold of. I was interested to read that Bill Granger contributes recipes to Waitrose kitchen. This book is suitable for the beginner into Asian cookery as well as the experienced cook. It contains classics such as Thai Green Chicken Curry as well as lesser known dishes. There is a good variety of regions such as dishes from Thailand, Vietnam and Korea.
The recipes are all very straightforwardly written. I had success with Panfried Duck Breast with Plum Sauce (page 108). I was amused by the name of Crying Tiger Beef Fillet with Chilli Dipping Sauce. Apparently, this dish is so named because 'the chilli content is so high that it could make a tiger cry.' Maybe I'll give that one a miss.
I was happy to see a section on desserts. I know desserts aren't big in Asia but the Chinese Custard Tarts are delicious. They are just regular mini custard tarts except they are made with puff pastry instead of shortcrust. This is a really interesting variation to try on your friends.
The only drawback is that it's a heavy book to work from in the kitchen and I'd hate to get it splashed so I'd recommend photocopying the relevant page to use as a recipe guide. This really is a beautiful book and would make a great Christmas present for anybody interested in Asian cuisine.
As a fan of Bill Granger's style of food and writing I jumped at the chance to get my hands on his latest offering and am glad to say that he doesn't disappoint. As the title says, this is 'everyday' style Asian food so there is nothing too strange in the ingredients or too time-consuming or challenging in the techniques, just lots of tempting flavours from across a range of Asian countries. There are many familiar Asian dishes (e.g. Hot & sour soup, Pad Thai, Char sui-style barbecue pork ribs, Massaman lamb curry) but also some interesting interpretations of Asian flavours (e.g. Pork baguettes with meatballs, Fish with lime butter & potatoes, Spiced slow-cooked pork shoulder, Coconut & lime slice).
The book is well laid out with logical chapters and un-cluttered pages and plenty of beautiful photographs of the food. I could do without the ubiquitous carefully staged pics of Bill and his daughters doing nothing in stylish settings, and don't really think that a close-up of ribbons of cucumber deserves a double page spread, but generally the food photographs add to the pleasure and inspiration. Typical of Bill's books, the recipes are easy to follow, and most importantly they work and produce something you will enjoy eating.
If you are a food purist and looking for an exhaustive collection of authentic Asian recipes try Charmaine Solomon's wonderful Complete Asian Cookbook; if you want a beautiful gift or some inspiration to feed your family and friends quick and easy Asian style food then stick with Bill!
I loved the book Bill's Basics and have used it over and over again. When I got the chance to review this one I jumped at it. We love Asian flavours and we love Bill Granger so all was good. I would say for UK readers that this is Asian food that is Malaysian, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai style food rather than Indian food. There are lots of delicious flavours to play with on every page. I have tried half a dozen recipes in the last week and not been disappointed at all. I felt a bit daunted using ingredients I've only ever eaten before rather than used in my cooking, but everything turned out to be very simple. My only problem was when I made the sticky chicken wings. You roast the chicken wings first, and prepare the glaze while the wings are roasting. I prepared mine too early, and when it got to the bit where I had to pour the glaze over the wings I couldn't as it had set solid in the bottom of the pan. Had I prepared it nearer to the end of the cooking time all would have been fine. The only thing it loses a star for is the lack of puddings. I realise that this is a cultural thing but the recipes were sparse and they were not really the sort of thing we eat at home. But for savoury options you could not fault it. I was particularly delighted with the soups section, which has been fantastic in this cold weather and I particularly adore the pho recipe.
Yes, Bill's produced another winner. I love his books because, as with this one, they are all simply presented, with lovely photographs, easy-to-follow & easy-to-cook recipes, & delicious food as the outcome. All recipes are printed in a good plain, readable font on a clean white page: no patterns & wild colours, like some, to distract & make you squint close-up to read the recipe!
I've not yet come across an ingredient that is hard to source, & most ingredients' lists are fifteen items or less, some coming in at under ten, & many I would consider store-cupboard staples. Should the cook discover any any unfamiliar ingredients, Bill has covered that by having a Bill's Asian Pantry section at the front of the book, describing each one e.g. bonito flakes, dashi powder, mirin & wasabi paste.
I often like to begin my forays into a new cookery book by trying a few of the more simple recipes first. This time, I chose the sweetcorn soup (heaven in a bowl with only ten ingredients), sticky soy roast chicken that I cooked with his butternut squash with a sweet sesame glaze, & good old roast potatoes! His Chinese custard tarts are also super scrumptious, & lasted all of a day & a half in our house!!
This is an excellent book for those who enjoy Asian food: fabulous exotic flavours & so easy to produce. Definitely another beauty from Bill.
on 25 January 2013
A beautifully put-together book. I especially like the layouts, typography and imagery. Feels more 'high end' (for want of a better word) than most of the other 'tv chef' books. I have seen a few of Bill's programmes on TV but not that many (I certainly don't consider him 'mainstream').
On to the book - well, lots of recipes, all of which are inspired by what we would call the Orient and by what he would refer to as Asia. So the inspiration is China, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, etc. There are beautiful dishes across the full spectrum of food - meat, fish, salads, sides, deserts. I've made a couple of things, one of which was his slow-roast pork recipe which came out well.
Another thing I like is the 'pantry' section at the beginning. If you're not sure of the difference between your mirin and your wasabi, or what a bonito flake is - chances are the pantry section will tell you.
Nothing I can think that's negative that needs pointing out. Goes without saying that this *is* an Asian (Oriental) cook book so if you like rice, noodles, soy, miso, tamarind, sweet chilli - and all similar things - it'll be for you. If you don't - it won't.
*Most* of the ingredients are reasonably straight forward to source from a large supermarket, but if you're in a particularly rural area they may not be.
Bill Granger has been on UK television for some time and his food has always looked clean, fresh and simple to prepare and so I wanted to try the recipes from this book.
As with most books it is nicely decorated with colour photographs which are a great help in improving the presentation of the food. There is also a list of the main spices, oils vinegars, sauces, pastes etc that would be needed to prepare the most of the dishes. Some items are easy to get from most large supermarkets but I have found that most of the stuff is far cheaper in the Chinese supermarkets/cash & carry and they usually have a better range.
This book is about Asian food rather than food from one particular country so the variety is good. As Bill says in the opening there is a breakfast from Tokyo to a dinner he enjoyed in Singapore.
The first recipes that I tried were Hoisin chicken with a celery salad. Stir fried Vietnamese lemon grass chicken. And Crisp salmon, lychee, coriander, & chilli salad.
All three of these recipes worked well and the resulting food was very good and I would rather spend 30 minutes cooking something from this book than getting a dodgy take away.
This is a book that I am sure home cooks will use time and time again.
on 11 February 2012
I already own another of Bill's books and decided to give Everyday Asian a try as I'd been meaning to try cooking more eastern food for a while. From my experience with his other work I was expecting clear, straight forward instructions and high-quality 'finished product' photography and was not disappointed.
Asian food can have a bit of a reputation for being fiddly as it often involves many smaller components and ingredients which are hard to come by in the UK, certainly if you insist on shopping at big name supermarkets rather than local specialist stores. This book does a good job of simplifying recipes and providing options for substitution of harder to find ingredients, while still producing results which appear authentic. There are some ingredients which may still require you to shop around a bit, but there's only so much you can do to cater to western availability before you start to compromise the recipes so I have no issue with this. As always, the excellent photography both helps you select which dishes to try out and also provides you with a handy guide to see if you're hitting the mark.
This is a great book for anyone interested in Asian cuisine.
If covers sell cook books then this will be at the top of the lists.
However inside the covers of the beautiful cookbook there are serious recipes of substance.
The first thing to impress is the simple layout of the book with an index that makes sense, not dishes by month of the year or regions of Asia, just a simple, starters, soups, salads, seafood, poultry, pork, lamb and beef, noodles and rice, vegetables and tofu and desserts.
A minor criticism is the print on the recipe pages is a little bit on the small side for my tired old eyes, and there is a lot of white space left on the page.
Now onto the recipes, I know it is a cliche but Bills dishes seem to taste of sunshine, and this book is full of incredible recipes that taste awesome, I am particularly in love with the Thai Green Curry, as Bill says he wonders if the world needed another recipe for this dish, well having made it more than once now, the answer is YES!
This is a book for the serious cook, with sometimes a long list of ingredients, however if you long for authentic food with flavour, then this is the book for you.
It is now one of my favourites, which is high praise indeed.
I have never tried any recipes by Bill Granger before, but I love Asian food and I liked the idea of quick and simple to follow recipes and so I decided to give this book a go.
First up, this book is really attractive in itself. It has lots of lovely colourful pictures throughout, most of which make you want to get cooking! More importantly, though, I have found that this book really does deliver when it comes to quick and simple recipes. I love cooking, but at the end of a busy day I don't generally want to spend a lot of time creating a masterpiece. This book, however, allows you to create many really quick dishes but importantly does not compromise on taste or looks. Most of the recipes use common, easy to get your hands on ingredients and I love the fact that when something more unusual is called for, or when equipment such as a barbeque is required, Bill generally gives alternatives that should mean that everyone can participate. Well done Bill!
All in all a lovely book that I'm sure will inspire most that read it to get cooking.
39 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2011
I have just received this from Amazon after spotting it was due for publication this month, and being a big fan of Bill's books (his recipes are usually inspiring and simple to make) I thought it was worth getting, plus I absolutely love asian food (which if you didn't you wouldn't really be reading this review, I'm guessing)! This book is fairly similar to a lot of Bill's books in layout - lots of pics of Bill in white jeans hanging around either a rustic shack or a beautiful stretch of water!! There are a lot of lovely pictures of the food - most of the recipes either have a pic on the same page, or overleaf on a double page picture spread. Possibly too many pictures for some? This really is a great and very comprehensive collection of asian recipes - some are new and very tasty looking plus there are all the usual ones you expect to be included - Sweetcorn Soup, Tom Yam Gai, Green Thai Curry, Pad Thai, and Massaman Curry to name just a few. Pretty much all the ingredients are ones you would find in a big supermarket, and there are some lovely ideas for desserts (lots of tropical fruit & coconut). If I could have have given four and a half stars I would have done, as I would have liked more of the recipes to jump out and say cook me, plus there are a couple of recipes with rather anaemic pics that are not exactly mouth watering (specifically chicken and mushroom soup, and cubed silken tofu with chilli sauce) but I am sure they would still taste nice, especially if you like your tofu pale and wobbly! I know I will use this book, and I am very glad I bought it (and not just for its beautiful cover). So, top marks again for Bill.