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Oseland, who has lived in Singapore for 20 years, hopes to help people who haven't had the benefit of a trip to West Sumatra or Kuala Lumpur to discover those places' scents and tastes. Oseland devotes close to half the book to explaining ingredients, techniques and eating traditions as well as relating anecdotes from 20 years of roaming the islands and picking up the natives' cooking wisdom. Many ingredients will require special trips to ethnic markets, though Oseland allows for some substitution or omission of difficult-to-find items like fresh galangal or daun salam leaves. The first chapter covers sambals, every meal's essential spicy accompaniment, as well as other small dishes like the fiery Sweet-Sour Cucumber and Carrot Pickle with Turmeric; he follows with slightly more familiar street foods and snacks such as satays and gado-gado, then rice and noodles in all their guises, from simple, heavenly steamed rice to the zingy Malaysian Penang-Style Stir-Fried Kuey Teow Noodles. Oseland's instructions are detailed, and he makes a convincing case that with a little time and care, the best of these complex, interrelated cuisines can be enjoyed thousands of miles from their origin. Maps and color photos not seen by PW. (Aug.)
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James Oseland’s writing has appeared in Gourmet, Saveur, and Vogue. He has been traveling to Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia for twenty years. He lives in New York City.
Okay, so I bought this book in 2007. Its taken this long for me to write a review for this gem of a book. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Brett Leonard
The first recipe doesnt start until page 119. No photos. However I'm happy with the variety.Published 9 months ago by Joe
We've cooked a few recipes out of this book, and we've found them clear, simple to follow (no complicated procedures), lots of substitution suggestions for obscure ingredients. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is an amazing cookbook. It's a fun read! Some of the recipes take practice. I am a very seasoned cook. Read morePublished 13 months ago by lioness
This I would call the bible of Spice Island / Indonesian cooking. Great recipes and full of ingredient information. A must for anyone interested in this cuisine.Published 15 months ago by Shade
James Oseland has done a wonderful job of compiling a set of representative recipes from a cuisine that is still relatively unknown in the United States. Read morePublished 21 months ago by William L. Farmer
I have only done a couple of recipes so far, but I can see this is going to be a solid and much used addition to my Asian cookbooks.Published 23 months ago by K. L. Gallaher
What a nice cookbook. It was written with obvious passion. I have yet to try any of the recipes, though, as it is difficult to find quite a number of the ingredients. Read morePublished on October 1, 2013 by Bijou B