This is a large format volume with a wealth of photographs by Steve Brown and it’s impressive in its presentation and content, and it even feels solid!
This is one of a series of Homestyle cookbooks from those nice people at Murdoch Books and I’d say it’s a winner. We are talking about the whole of Asia so the recipes are diverse. Each one is clear with photographs of the finished dish but also photographic step-by-step instructions and there is nutritional information for each recipe.
You will already be familiar with the cooking techniques – stir-frying, steaming, etc – and the ingredients are almost all to be found in the local supermarket. It’s the combinations of spices and fresh vegetables or meats that makes Asian cooking so popular. We all want to eat healthier foods that don’t take ages to cook.
Homestyle Asian covers everything from soup to salad, curry to dessert. The book is divided by food rather than country so the chapter on noodles and rice includes Udon Noodles from Japan, Phad Thai from Thailand, Chinese Fried Rice, Singapore Noodles, etc.
There are lots of classic recipes from all over Asia: California Rolls (have you never heard of Continental Drift?), Tempura, Sichuan Chicken, Thai Beef Salad, Chilli Crab, Nasi Goreng and many more. This is a one-stop Asian cookbook!
There are quite a few dishes that are new to me. Hot and Sour Lime Soup with Beef sounds tangy and interesting, Chilli Octopus Salad will be flavourful and light, and Noodle Cakes with Chinese Barbecued Pork will be a stunner for a smart lunch.
There is a nice selection of Asian desserts that would make an exotic end to your meal. I am often at a loss and it’s too easy to resort to ordinary fruit salad, but how about a fruit salad with pineapple, papaya, star fruit and ramboutans! There is a scrumptious Coconut Ice Cream and you don’t even need an ice-cream maker, but the most striking has got to be Sticky Black Rice sweetened with palm sugar. It’s easy to make but will be both delicious and memorable.
Don’t open this book unless you have got a nice cup of tea or glass of red wine. You won’t want to put it down. A lovely book and great value for money.
Author: Murdoch Books
Published by: Murdoch Books
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018