I love Asian food, and even though I can’t eat much of it any more due to my diet restrictions I love receiving cookbooks highlighting foods from that region. So when I received a package of not one, but five cookbooks about Asian food from Tuttle Publishers, it was like Christmas. Tuttle’s mission is “Books to span the East and West,” and they do a gorgeous job. I’ll be featuring all five books this month, one per week (with a bonus book at the end) and all five books will be in the giveaway on Friday September 26.
This week’s book is The Food of Myanmar: Authentic Recipes from the Land of the Golden Pagodas. Recipes were developed by Claudia Saw Lwin Robert, with articles by Wendy Hutton, San Lwin, and Win Pe.
Layout and design:
The book is beautiful and feels rich, with heavy paper and full color images. It is organized in three parts: Food in Myanmar (cultural travel essays focused on food), Cooking in Myanmar (kitchen methods and ingredients), and The Recipes: Basic recipes, Appetisers (sic), Rice, Soups & noodles, Salads, Fish & Shellfish, Meat & Poultry, Vegetables, Desserts.
The photography by Luca Invernizzi Tettoni is stunning; the dishes were prepared by two chefs at the Hotel Nikko Royal Lake Yangon: Chef Oliver Esser Soe Thet and Chef Ye Thu Win. Nearly every recipe has a full color photograph, which all give you the feel you are eating in Asia.
The recipes will all seem highly exotic, but that’s the fun of a book like this, from gourd tempura to vermicelli soup with cloud ear fungus to mushroom soup with water spinach. The author provides suggestions for substitutions, and all recipes are in both U.S. (Imperial) and metric measurements.
What I liked about this book:
The section on ingredients and unique preparation tips is extremely helpful. The book feels like an exotic vacation, which I love. There would be plenty of recipes for me to try, most likely with a few substitutions. The recipes are coded as quick and easy, under 15 minutes, and over 15 minutes to prepare.
I wasn’t so keen on:
I would not expect a book like this to code recipes for gluten-free, vegetarian, or low-sodium, or to provide nutritional analysis.
Anyone who loves Asian food and wants to have more recipe ideas, adventurous eaters, okay for celiacs if you are very familiar with ingredients, quite a few vegetarian recipes or ones that could easily be made vegetarian
Not recommended for:
Migraine sufferers, low-sodium diets, vegans
A note about my cookbook reviews: In the past, I tested at least three recipes from each book, snapping a photo of them, and telling you about my experience. Due to my dietary limitations (extremely-low-sodium for my Meniere’s Disease and trigger-free foods for migraine relief), it is no longer possible for me to test the recipes and do them justice. I’ll continue to review cookbooks, but without the recipe testing.