Farina Wong Kingsley, Author, Chuck Williams, Editor, Maren Caruso, Photographer Simon & Schuster Source $16.95 (119p) ISBN 978-0-7432-5333-8
This volume, the latest in Williams-Sonoma's crowd-pleasing line of cookbooks, attempts to represent the wildly diverse world of Asian food with a mere forty recipes. Naturally, this is not the book to buy for an in-depth look at the wonders of Sichuan cooking or the subtle depths of Bangladeshi cuisine, but nevertheless it's a well-rounded compilation, offering a nicely edited selection of dishes from all over East and South-East Asia. Thai Beef Salad with Mango is an addictive combination of sweet, spicy, and chewy, a terrific summertime party dish. Vegetable and Shrimp Tempura makes that Japanese restaurant favorite accessible to even the most inexperienced home cook. And Tapioca with Coconut Cream is a surprisingly rich, vibrant dessert, simultaneously exotic and comforting. Unfortunately, some of the recipes seem Asian by dint of a single ingredient, like the Ginger-Almond Sugar Cookies. Further, don't look for fiery heat or hard-to-find foreign ingredients--this volume is thoroughly Americanized. Still, each dish is familiar, tempting and easy to prepare. Wondering how to make Pot Stickers or Beef and Broccoli with Oyster Sauce? This book lays it out for you in a chapter called""The Classics."" Other chapters include""Rice Plates,""""Noodle Dishes,""""Soups,"" and""Small Plates."" The accompanying photographs are glamorous and glossy, so that, despite its rather timid examination of Asian cuisine, the cookbook is as seductive and well organized as a Williams-Sonoma store.
Reviewed on: 04/26/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
Hardcover - 119 pages - 978-970-718-164-9
Paperback - 120 pages - 978-1-84092-439-8
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