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Comment: Excellent crisp library withdrawn copy. Clean pages; no wear. Binding tight. Clean cloth cover; no wear. DJ wrapped in mylar jacket. One library stamp at top page edges. A few other library stickers could be removed.
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Cooking from the Heart: The Hmong Kitchen in America Hardcover – April 14, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press (April 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816653267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816653263
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Simple, earthy, fiery, and fresh, Hmong food is an exciting but still little-known South Asian cuisine. In traditional Hmong culture, dishes are created and replicated not by exact measurements but by taste and experimentation—for every Hmong recipe, there are as many variations as there are Hmong cooks—and often served to large, communal groups. Sami Scripter and Sheng Yang have gathered more than 100 recipes from Hmong-American kitchens, illustrated them with color photos of completed dishes, and provided descriptions of unusual ingredients and cooking techniques.

Cooking from the Heart is the first cookbook to clearly set out the culinary traditions of the Hmong people as well as the cultural significance such traditions hold. The recipes are accompanied by anecdotes, aphorisms, and poems that demonstrate the importance of food and cooking in Hmong culture and offer a dramatic perspective on the immigrant experience. Scripter and Yang outline diet restrictions and taboos as well as how herbs and foods are traditionally used for healing purposes. The dishes featured in Cooking from the Heart range from well-known items such as egg rolls and green papaya salad to more unfamiliar dishes such as Nqaij Qaib Hau Xyaw Tshuaj (Chicken Soup for New Mothers) and Dib Iab Ntim Nqaij Hau Ua Kua (Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup).

The oral tradition by which these recipes have been passed down has meant that Hmong cooking has not yet reached a wide audience in the United States. While designed for an American kitchen, Cooking from the Heart encourages readers to seek out Hmong herbs and vegetables only recently introduced in the United States. After all, the authors say, the essence of Hmong cuisine is cooking with an adventurous and creative spirit—from the heart.

About the Author

Sami Scripter, a retired educator, lives in Portland, Oregon.

Born in Laos, Sheng Yang now lives in Sacramento, California, where she works as a medical assistant.

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Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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For anyone looking to see what it feels like to sit/eat at a Hmong dining table, here's the book for you.
Yeng
One thing that bugged me was there were no pictures to correspond with the dishes, although there is a picture section in the middle of the book, it is not complete.
P. Vang
I just made the Chicken Larb last week and even his father and mother said it was great and they came over from the camps in Thailand several years ago.
Eric Baker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By The Lengster on September 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am Hmong and so I understand that many of the recipes in the Hmong culture have been borrowed from many other cultures throughout Southeast Asia. However, this cook book didn't really offer many traditional Hmong recipes (I also happen to know from personal experience, that many Hmong women, the traditional cooks in the family, are pretty stingy about sharing recipes to people outside the immediate family). While this book does offer recipes for a lot of the foods that Hmong people customarily eat, the book is lacking in detail about how to complete some of the tasks of cooking. To elaborate, there are few pictures and usually they are just depicting how the finished dish looks like, there are no photos for example, of how to actually roll an eggroll or how papaya should look after it is shredded for the spicy papaya salad dish. Fortunately, my wife is a good cook and she learned all these subtle but intricate details growing up. Unfortunately for the uninitiated, some of the recipes may prove hard to accomplish.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Eric Baker on June 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book after years of searching for an accurate cooking guide to Hmong food as my partner is Hmong and I wanted to be able to cook authentic for him. Not only does this book contain delicious authentic recipes but it explains the traditions surrounding the serving of that food. I just made the Chicken Larb last week and even his father and mother said it was great and they came over from the camps in Thailand several years ago. If you ever want to cook traditional Hmong food buy this book, it is invaluable ! Thank you to the authors for bringing these spoken word traditions into the written world, I am forever in your debt.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Christy Mua on February 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great cookbook! I do not regret purchasing it. It's a definite must-have for the 1st generation Hmong children. I found some recipes in here that I've been looking for, for a long time! Already put them to use, and they were pretty right on, minus a few adjustments according to your personal preference. I bought one for myself and my Sister Inlaw who's been trying to cook hmong foods for her Chinese husband. She loves it too. It does include a lot of Hmong history in there, but I think that's great! I look forward to passing this on to my daughter one day, so not only will she be able to continue cooking these traditional foods for her family, but learn about the culture and the rich history. Minus One Star because I wish there were more pictures of some of the dishes. Thanks Ladies!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Shao Lee on April 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A lot of pride and love went into Cooking from the Heart: The Hmong Kitchen in America. The Hmong are known to be private and it's so difficult to find literature written by a Hmong person. This book seems to be a great collaboration among good old friends. Most English books about Hmong are written by non-Hmong that don't speak the language, or have assumptions and stereotypes. It's a blessing that a little bit of the Hmong culture is being recorded and shared through recipes.

Most of these recipes are variations that I already use but some personal recipes looked good too. There are recipes that I grew up with that are not on the list. Maybe those recipes are too strange for Westerners or maybe the authors will make a second edition to include more later on. I like how the book integrates history, background, and stories for those not familiar with the Hmong. I also like how the recipes include alternative ingredients if the grocery stores are limited. It's nice to be able to make these Hmong dishes that mom and grandma made, especially since I live and travel so far from the Hmong communities.

There are some recipes that may not suit the American appetite, but there are some recipes that Americans are familiar with which were adapted from the Hmong living among the Vietnamese, Laotians, Chinese, Thai and American cultures. My favorite parts about the recipes are that they are home made from scratch, healthy, and some only need a few simple ingredients. There are some recipes that require more effort and practice, but that just means more tasty! This book is a long awaited fresh addition to the kitchen, and provides a better option than the American fast food, microwaved excuses for sustenance, and over-processed boxes of unknown chemicals labeled food.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. Vang on September 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I haven't gone through the whole book yet, but from skimming through the book, it is pretty complete with all the Hmong dishes and ingredients listed and most of the recipes are simple to make. The author also wrote about the history of the people and the dishes.

One thing that bugged me was there were no pictures to correspond with the dishes, although there is a picture section in the middle of the book, it is not complete.

I do recommend this book to those who want to try Hmong dishes, but if you're not too sure about the recipe, I would advise you to try it at a restaurant first before trying to make the dish yourself using this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MsTangerine on July 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am Hmong, so when I came across this book I just HAD to get it. Most of the things in the book I already knew how to make, but there are several recipes in it that I have yet to master. The recipes were very straight forward and easy to follow. I especially like how the book talks about the culture! The downside to this cookbook is that there aren't much pictures to show the readers how something is SUPPOSE to look like. There are only a total of 12 colored pictures in the book. In all, I think that every Hmong person should own a copy and cherish it, for it would be forgotten one day. The younger generation is being forgetful in their cultures' food, so they resort to Mcdonald's and THAT IS NOT REAL FOOD!!! I'm soooooo glad I purchased this cookbook!
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