cover image The Noodle Shop Cookbook

The Noodle Shop Cookbook

Jacki Passmore. MacMillan Publishing Company, $25 (246pp) ISBN 978-0-02-594705-4

Passmore (Asia the Beautiful Cookbook) has got a good idea: to tap the popularity of Asian noodle shops and bring those bottomless meal-in-a-bowls into American kitchens. She explains how to make the noodles themselves (with a pasta machine, or by hand), then moves on to consider stocks and specialties country by country. A glossary smoothes the way for the uncertain, and Passmore also offers general preparation instructions (e.g., on how to store noodles). Sidebars adjacent to recipes give additional background, tell stories and pay homage to the quirks of exotic ingredients. Some of the noodle dishes are vegetarian, but not all; some are spicy, others mild; some served hot, and others chilled. In addition to suggesting regional and authentic mainstays, the writer offers her own experiments in a concluding chapter, ``Noodles My Way,'' that mixes different ethnic ingredients in a multicultural celebration. So many cookbooks repeat each other that it's especially refreshing to find one like this that makes headway with a genre that is healthful, varied, toothsome and contemporary. (Nov.)