The Complete Asian Cookbook Hardcover – 15 Apr 2002
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"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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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.
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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Taken me a while to write this but nevertheless great product, great service all round satisfaction.Published 7 months ago by Pat Rucinski
Gift for a professional chef. Apparently a very good read with great recipes.Published 7 months ago by Kim Bridle
I am a massive fan of her recipes and I actually like that this book is older and I can write little comments next to the recipes I make. A must have for Asian cuisinePublished 11 months ago by Peter Mitchell