Flavors of the Southeast Asian Grill

Leela Punyaratabandhu. Ten Speed, $30 (214p) ISBN 978-1-9848-5724-8
Punyaratabandhu reaches back to her childhood in Thailand and her travels across Southeast Asia to create 60 recipes that enticingly capture the essence of the region’s barbecue. Unusual seafood options include grilled stingray covered in a chile paste and cooked atop banana leaves, and herb-filled grilled fish with a spicy tamarind dipping sauce. Ghee-smoked chicken and rice, meanwhile, provides an exciting challenge with its use of the dhungar method of smoking, in which the chicken and a container of ghee are placed into a pot, then burning charcoal is lowered into the ghee and the pot is sealed, thus infusing the bird with a “buttery, smoky flavor.” After noting that clay jar chicken is “one of thee most fun outdoor cooking activities I have experienced,” Punyaratabandhu doesn’t follow up with instructions for the process, instead offering a way to replicate it in a ceramic Kamado grill (one of the only letdowns here). Fans of Cantonese roasted duck may want to experiment with the honey-roasted duck variation, with a chile-soy-vinegar sauce that takes two days to set; simpler recipes include three different types of grilled beef skewers. Experienced backyard grillers looking to up their game will find opportunity aplenty in this challenging, brightly flavored collection. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/16/2020
Release date: 03/31/2020
Genre: Lifestyle
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