Synopses & Reviews
With eight major national cuisines, and dozens of regional variations, a comprehensive exploration of Asian cuisine might seem too daunting to present in one volume. But with Essentials of Asian Cuisine: Fundamentals and Favorite Recipes,
award-winning author Corinne Trang successfully brings the fundamentals of Asian cooking into the home kitchen in a collection that includes both contemporary and time-honored recipes.
Trang takes the reader on a journey of Eastern culinary discovery as seen through a practiced Western culinary lens. Explaining how and why Chinese cuisine is at the root of all Asian cooking, she describes in familiar terms the techniques that incorporate the five senses and embody the Chinese yin yang philosophy of balanced opposites. Trang uses Asian ingredients commonly found in supermarkets and through mail-order sources -- such as fish sauce, lemongrass, and rice noodles -- to guide home cooks through the preparation of healthy, sensual meals. She illuminates the mysteries of authentic Asian cooking, explaining the aromatic herbs and spices that make Asian cuisine vibrant, colorful, and distinctive.
Trang brings together more than three hundred traditional and cutting-edge recipes for condiments, appetizers, main courses, vegetables, and sweets and drinks from China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Mouthwatering items include Chinese Scallion Pancakes, Filipino Fried Spring Rolls, Spicy Indonesian Crab Fried Rice, Japanese Miso-Marinated Black Cod, Japanese Spring Water Tofu with Sweet Sake Sauce, Stir-Fried Leafy Greens, Chinese Pork Ribs with Black Bean and Garlic Sauce, Green Tea Ice Cream, and Thai Coffee.
In organizing the book by type of food, Trang allows cooks to see both the common elements and the distinctive individualities of Asian national and regional cooking. Trang explains the roots of major recipes and discusses where they appear in various guises in different countries. Vietnam's Canh Ca Chua (Hot and Sour Fish Soup), for example, can also be found in Cambodian, Indonesian, and Thai cuisines; Trang provides the recipes for both the master soup and its variations.
Trang includes a comprehensive glossary of Asian ingredients, plus a detailed list of resources for purchasing special ingredients and equipment. She offers sample menus, including a Chinese Dim Sum, a Filipino Dinner, and a Japanese Lunch. A special section on feng shui demonstrates how to organize and beautifully present a meal.
In this lavishly designed and illustrated volume, more than eighty-five original black-and-white and color photographs bring to life the ingredients, dishes, and people of Asia. The book is rich with personal anecdotes and intriguing information about Asian culture, and nowhere else will you find such a clear, comprehensive, and accessible treatment of Asian cuisine. More than a cookbook, Essentials of Asian Cuisine is a celebration of exotic culinary delights.
William Woys Weaver contributing editor, Gourmet magazine There are a great many books on Asian cooking, but very few of them come to us from the pen of a true teacher. This one walks you through the essentials of raw ingredients, proper cooking techniques, and, best of all, well-tested, fail-safe recipes which explode with unusual tastes and textures, for truly dazzling menus anyone can make at home. The Fish Steamed with Beer was so delicious I had to make it twice for the same dinner -- it disappeared that quickly!
San Francisco Chronicle If you could own just one pan-Asian cookbook, this would be it.
Nadsa De Monteiro executive chef, The Elephant Walk (Boston, MA) and Carambola (Waltham, MA) Corinne Trang's multicultural background and talent enable her to accomplish this ambitious project with complete success. This book has indeed captured the heart and soul of Asian cuisine.
The Washington Post What Julia Child once did for French cuisine, Corinne Trang has tried to do for Asian cuisine, sweeping across Southeast Asia to encompass the culinary history, cultural context and recipes of several countries. Encyclopedic in both breadth and depth of coverage, the book is nevertheless a remarkably concise and passionate work that demystifies much of Asian cookery.
Publishers Weekly (starred review) There are some books you never knew you needed until they appear, and then you can¹t imagine how you did without them. Trang shows an astonishing mastery of the often subtle differences among the cuisines. This volume should be a first port of call for home cooks eager to undertake a serious study of Asian cooking. --
Northwest Asian Weekly This is quite simply one of the best cookbooks I¹ve ever read, looked at or cooked from. Accessible and tasty recipes from throughout Asia put this cookbook on the same shelf as Joy of Cooking.
Martin Yan author and host of Yan Can Cook As ambitious as its title, this book captures not only the basic essentials of Asian cuisine but its very essence. Within these beautifully written pages Ms. Trang links the intricate and far-reaching roots of different Asian cuisines. It makes a most fascinating culinary journey for its readers.
Grace Young author of The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen This remarkable cookbook is packed with information and tempting recipes. Any fan of Asian cooking will savor it as an "essential" for replicating the great dishes of this historic tradition.
Cook's Illustrated Essentials of Asian Cuisine has the beauty of a coffee-table book, the depth of an encyclopedia, and the regional information and landscapes of a travel guide.
About the Author
Christopher Hirsheimer is an award-winning photographer and cofounder of Canal House. Her experience includes establishing a publishing venture, running a culinary and design studio, and publishing an annual series of three seasonal cookbooks titled Canal House Cooking. Prior to starting Canal House in 2007, in Lambertville, New Jersey, Hirsheimer was the executive editor of Saveur, which she cofounded in 1994, and the food and design editor of Metropolitan Home. She cowrote the award-winning Saveur Cooks series and The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market Cookbook. Her photographs have appeared in more than 50 cookbooks for such notables as Lidia Bastianich, Mario Batali, Julia Child, Jacques PÃ©pin, and Alice Waters, and in numerous magazines, including Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, InStyle, and Town&Country.
Table of Contents
Essential Ingredients: The Asian Pantry
Equipment and TechniqueS: The Basics
Fundamentals: An Overview
Stocks, palate cleansers, and starter Soups
Rice, Noodles, Dumplings, AND Breads
Vegetables and Herbs
Fish and Seafood
Meat and Poultry
Sweets and Drinks
Food Rituals and Sample Menus
Table of Equivalents