i love noodles, and i love asian cooking. my mum gifted me with this book and i've made heaps of recipes from it. really tasty, really easy and very diverse. it gives a bit of cultural background to each dish, as well as any tips or alternative ingredients the home cook can use.
i recommend this book to anyone who loves a great noodle dish. the measures of spices and sauces are impeccable - i haven't yet had to alter any of the ingredients (except the ones using coriander - yuck!!)
this is the only book i've been able to get my hands on that has the recipe for butter chicken..... mmmmmmm. *drool*, and being a women's weekly publication, the recipes in this book come out not only looking like the picture, but also tasting absolutely fabulous!
something i like about this book very much is the beginning section not only describes some of the more obscure asian ingredients (for the novice to asian cuisine), but also pictures many of them, which is especially helpful for those who thought they knew what was what, but really didn't! LOL
since having a fish market close to my place (about a 20 min drive) i've been enjoying the ultra-fresh taste of raw fish. i particularly like it japanese style, and this book was great for ideas on presentation and accompanying garnishes and sides. the pictures are great, big and colourful, and the ingredients simple.
of course, i am starting off slowly with the whole raw fish thing... at the moment we happily delve into tuna and salmon, though i do hope to expand my repertoire to the many many different fish presented so beautifully in this book.
one of the things people don't realise about sushi, is that it's ludicrously simple to make. all you need to do is just get started! something else people don't realise is that "sushi" actually means "vinegared rice". it's not raw fish (which is sashimi - see the book above), it's not expensive or exotic ingredients (though it can be if you want it to be). it's just vinegared rice.
the single most important thing in japanese sushi cooking, is freshness. well, two most important things - freshness and presentation. it's the presentation that i think most people get hooked on and intimidated by. this book as ample large colourful pictures to get you started.
it has all the basics, like dashi (the stock broth used for miso soup, among many things), how to make the rice and how to make the different types of sushi: maki (the standard 'roll' type), temaki (the cone type), nigiri (the boat-style type), inside-out (like the california roll), gunkan maki (the battle-ship style) and my favourite of all, inari (which is the deep fried tofu stuffed with sushi - yummo!!).
this is a fantastic book about all sorts of japanese cuisine and ettiquette, which isn't narrated in the traditional sense. it's more of a picture book - with titles in japanese, pronunciation, and english. some have little descriptors, and there are many, many tips for the westerner.
you won't learn how to cook any of the dishes from this book, however, you'll learn about everything else related to japanese food and dining (and touring) in japan. a very light, entertaining, and informative read too.
wow! wasn't this a great find! tetsuya, many australians will know, is the best known and most respected japanese chef in australia. he does own and run a restaurant, "tetsuya's restaurant", but i've never been as it's also known as one of the most expensive in australia...
one way to experience tetsuya's cooking on a budget is to do it myself!! in this book, tetsuya has included some of the dishes he makes in the restaurant, and it has a most astounding combination of ingredients, as well as tips, cautions and awesome presentation. i can especially recommend the duck. finger licking good... though we did use cutlery with this particular dish ;-)
this book is great. and not just about food - riccardi makes sure to delve into very important japanese table ettiquette and appropriate behaviour. included in the chapters are a selection of recipes and all through the book she describes the ingredients and gives tips on use and the spiritual meaning of why the japanese use various meats, vegetables, garnishes - or even when or why they started using them (e.g. various spices or ingredients brought by trading ships from china or europe).
a very, very interesting read and also easy to read. i thouroughly recommend this book to anyone wanting to know about japanese food and culture - not just the tea kaiseki riccardi went to learn about, but many aspects of the life and history there.