will surely add to the way you enjoy food, tempting you with a wide assortment of highly flavored, Asian-accented dishes eaten without benefit of fork, knife, or chopsticks. Nina Simonds, known for her impeccable versions of classic Asian dishes, cuts loose in this book, offering, for example, a creative seafood and rice salad tucked into lettuce leaves and a clever adaptation of Chinese Lion's Head. This dish is usually meatballs with a mane of cabbage, served floating in a soupy casserole; Simonds transforms it into stuffed cabbage rolls served with the rich broth in which they cook. For bite-size appetizers, there are skewers of grilled pork sâté, unexpectedly enveloped in radicchio leaves, a more classic Flaky Curry Turnover filled with ground meat and green peas, and colorful smoked salmon spirals filled with sushi rice, capers, and red onion.
Going still further afield, Simonds fuses Asian and Caribbean flavors in her Chinese Jerk Chicken in a flour tortilla, including ginger, scallion, and rice vinegar in the jerk paste. Her Hawaii-style grilled swordfish kebabs served with pineapple salsa almost dare you to skip the wrapper and enjoy the lightly soy-sauce-marinated fish simply with its piquant accompaniment. As in her previous book, Asian Noodles, Simonds details all you need to know about special ingredients, covering 17 kinds of wrappers, from wonton skins and rice paper to lotus leaves and Indian flatbread. To make dishes accessible to everyone, particularly when there is not an Asian food store nearby, Simonds offers more readily available tortillas, pita bread, and lavash as substitutions. Asian Wraps resembles other recent books by Simonds, including A Spoonful of Ginger, in its generous use of beautifully styled color photos of prepared dishes and key ingredients. --Dana Jacobi
From Library Journal
In her latest effort, experienced food writer Simonds (A Spoonful of Ginger) combines two hot culinary trends: wrapping food in bundles and Pan-Asian cookery. The wrappers in this collection include tortillas, leafy greens, pancakes, rice paper, pastry, and dumpling skins; the fillings run the gamut from Mu Shu shrimp to curried noodles to smoked salmon; the Asian influences are Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese. Although recipes are easy to follow and cooking times are generally short, most require chopping and assembling ingredients ahead of time. But with an emphasis on vegetables, soy products, and lean meats, this collection will please those looking for healthy new flavors and techniques. An attractive book, suitable for most collectionsAalthough smaller libraries may want a less geographically focused book on wraps, such as Wrap & Roll by the California Culinary Academy (IDG, 1998) or Ellen Brown's All Wrapped Up: Pitas, Fajitas, and Other Sweet and Savory Recipes (LJ 2/15/98).ADevon Thomas, formerly with Highland Twp. Lib., MI
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