ITunes has plenty of apps for Asian recipes and cooking techniques, but how do you choose? We've compiled a list of recommendable apps for the iPhone and iPad that will definitely get you cooking more Asian food and understanding the techniques. Feel free to mention any of your favorite recipe apps in the comments below!
1. Teach Me Sushi
Sushi expert Jake Davidow's enthusiasm practically radiates through the screen as he explains what a maki roll is. He ends the video with "this is how you do it!" (Pretty sure there was more than one exclamation point in his voice.) His excitement will pump you up for sushi-making.
With sushi tutorial videos shot by Drew Lavyne, the first edition of Teach Me Sushi also has tutorials for beginners on what equipment you'll need and how to buy fish. There are step-by-step photo instructions too. The Expert version includes even more videos, and also offers a calculator function that computes the amount of ingredients needed for any number of people. (Davidow said the older Teach Me Sushi app will be updated in May and include the calculator too.) The iPad version combines the two Teach Me Sushi apps with new step-by-step sushi-making photos that show much more detail, taking advantage of the larger screen. Although the three apps cost more than the average, Teach Me Sushi is worth buying for its totally engaging videos.
Teach Me Sushi ($4.99); Teach Me Sushi Expert ($4.99) and Teach Me Sushi iPad Edition ($8.99)
Teach Me Sushi and Teach Me Sushi Expert are only compatible with iPhone and iPod touch, which requires iOS 3.0 or later. Teach Me Sushi iPad Edition requires iOS 4.0 or later.
2. Asian Ingredients 101
Asian Ingredients 101 is a handheld guide for those who have no idea what Luffa squash, bitter melon, or bonito flakes are, not to mention how to cook with them. Not sure how to store Napa cabbage? Tap on the ingredient and see. Pat Tanumihardja, author of The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook, created this comprehensive app, which lists tips on buying and storing, prepping and cooking, as well as suggestions on substitutions, depending on the ingredient. You feel like you're shopping with the Asian grandma you never had.
Asian Ingredients 101 (99-cents)
Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, and also requires iOS 3.0 or later.
3. Farina's Asian Pantry
This one has stunning photos of Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Southeast Asian cuisine, along with high-definition videos showing prep work and cooking techniques. Farina Kingsley will make you feel confident enough to flash-fry prawns without overcooking them. Videos for the techniques on topics such as prepping lemongrass or using a mortar and pestle are attached to corresponding recipes. We only wish Kingsley showed us how to make recipes from start to finish.
Farina's Asian Pantry ($4.99)
Compatible with iPad, which requires iOS 3.2 or later.
4. Cook Chinese
Scroll through the list of recipes on here and stop at everything form Bang Bang Chicken to Mongolian Hot Pot. This app is very easy to use, especially with the grocery shopping feature. Select only the ingredients that are needed. As you buy ingredients, check them off on the list. If you frequently prepare Chinese food, get this app.
Cook Chinese ($1.99)
Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, which requires iOS 3.1 or later.
5. Spice & Taste
Spice & Taste is a no-fuss app with 80 Indian recipes. Though mostly vegetarian (like gobi fry, fried cauliflower, or masala dosa) you'll find the occasional chicken recipe. The app is easy to use, but you won't find definitions for many Indian ingredients such as asafoetida, a type of spice from a root. If you're not familiar with Indian ingredients, you'll have to do some ingredient research before shopping.
Spice & Taste (99-cents)
Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, which requires 3.2 or later.