6 Asian Cookbooks
This is in no way a comprehensive list of the best Asian cookbooks, but our favorite ones published in 2010. We want to hear your picks too!
At Home with Madhur Jaffrey by Madhur Jaffrey
From the famed Indian actress and cookbook extraordinaire, this cookbook draws from Jaffrey's impeccable palate and writing style. Her newest book At Home with Madhur Jaffrey offers recipes that retain the spirit of traditional Indian cookery yet take into account the busy lives of modern-day home cooks.
You’ll find dals and vegetables aplenty, plus easy curry dishes with meat that take advantage of oven-braising techniques to save time and effort in the kitchen. Dishes like “Toor Dal” (dal is the blanket term for any dish made with split peas or dried beans) makes use of corn cobs to impart a more complex, woodsy flavor without adding extra steps or prep time.
Somewhat of a departure from her earlier cookbooks, Jaffrey tells us to “do what is easy and comfortable.” It's like a trusted mentor is telling you to take it easy for a while.
Thai Street Food by David Thompson
Given its hefty size and price, David Thompson’s Thai Street Food is more of a splurge than a necessity in the kitchen. Nevertheless, the breath-taking photography and personal narrative offers an intimate, unique view of one cook’s experiences in the wide world of Thai street vendors. Thompson’s recipes are enriched by his stories of the vendors, places, and ingredients that so inspired his travels in Thailand. Both stunning to look at and inspirational to read, the book is well worth the investment for Thai food lovers.
India Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant
In this mammoth, encyclopedic venture by Indian cooking authority Pushpesh Pant. Though the 1000+ dishes in India: The Cookbook read more like a catalog than an instructive collection of recipes, even browsing through the recipes will give you a holistic understanding of the regional similarities and differences. A fascinating read, and one that eclipses the scope of other Indian cookbooks.
The Just Bento Cookbook by Makiko Itoh
From the popular blog Just Bento, The Just Bento Cookbook is a fun and effective compilation of bento-box style recipes that are quick and easy to cook. With an emphasis on simplicity and high quality ingredients, the dishes in this book will keep avid bento box packers satisfied for a long time.
Recipes range from the more simple bell peppers simmered in dashi to the more involved-but-still-manageable Chicken Kara-age. More so than the recipes, the bento box packing techniques are impressively clear, teaching readers how to compile balanced bentos no matter the dish or ingredient.
Kansha by Elizabeth Andoh
Kansha draws from the storied tradition of Buddhist cuisine, presenting Japanese recipes for vegans and vegetarians. While health-conscious, the recipes don't compromise taste. Simple dishes such as eggplant sushi rolls prove that real flavor can be develop from basic ingredients like soy sauce and kelp. Andoh, who gave us a profound view of Japanese home-cooking in her earlier book, Washoku, brings the same clarity to Kansha.
Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge by Grace Young
From Chinese cooking authority Grace Young, this book is her newest venture into cooking with a wok. While Breath of a Wok focuses on the traditional techniques and dishes in Chinese wok cookery, Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge shows how the same principles and techniques have spread across the world and followed the Chinese diaspora. Wherever the Chinese immigrated, they brought along their woks and adapted local ingredients to suit their needs.
Dishes such as Jamaican stir-fried chicken with chayote and Peruvian stir-fried filet mignon show off the versatility and global adaptability of the wok. As always, Young’s recipes are user-friendly; her proportions for seasonings and aromatics are great for the novice wok cook.