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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I think this might be a good book for individuals who are not very familiar with Asian cuisine and would like just a light touch of Asian flavors and spices in their dishes. But for someone like me who grew up eating down right bona fide home-cooked Asian foods, the recipes are very unauthentic and the ingredients and cooking methods are greatly downplayed. If I used these recipes to cook for my parents, who are Vietnamese, I woud probably get disowned. But again, I think it might be a good book for starters. The instructions to the recipes are very easy to follow. The author did take time to thouroughly explain each ingredient to the readers. GOOD LUCK!
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
After admiring Corinne Trang's AUTHENTIC VIETNAMESE COOKING -- one of our very favorite books about one of our very favorite cuisines -- we were delighted to pick up a copy of her new book ESSENTIALS OF ASIAN CUISINE: Fundamentals and Favorite Recipes.
Corinne takes you on a mouth-watering tour of Asia, providing key information on the essential ingredients of the Asian pantry, basic equipment and techniques, an overview of the fundamentals, along with hundreds of recipes for soups, starches, vegetables, fish and seafood, meat and poultry, and sweets and beverages. She caps it off with information about food rituals and sample menus that will allow you to enjoy your cooking efforts with even greater pleasure.
Not only is Corinne a talented writer, but her own beautiful black-and-white photographs enhance the journey through her 592-page treatise on Asian cooking.
This book is an essential purchase for anyone who loves cooking Asian cuisine -- or who wants to start!
--Andrew Dornenburg & Karen Page, James Beard Award-winning co-authors of BECOMING A CHEF, CULINARY ARTISTRY, DINING OUT, CHEF'S NIGHT OUT and THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I checked out this cookbook from the library and tonight I made the chicken adobo, which was incredible. The sauce chapter was particularly compelling as well as the soups and...really, every single chapter contained many recipes that I am anxious to try. I tend to check out cookbooks and type out particularly interesting recipes before returning them. With this cookbook, I found myself overwhelmed with the task and I finally had to give up. I never heard of Corinne Trang but every single recipe made sense, sounded utterly delicious and is very doable. I expect to use this cookbook with full confidence the next time I put together an Asian dinner. What a find.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
This is a book for the beginning student of Asian Cuisines. It removes the mystery and introduces the real life mechanics and aesthetics of constructing delicious food using ingredients that are new to many Euro- and Afro-Americans.
Trang manages a very light touch in these recipes-the instructions are easy to follow and indeed sometimes you feel like you knew this stuff all along. Perhaps it's her unique background as a French-Cambodian child of the restaurant business that gives her this special sympathy to both the student and the thing explained.

There are a few must-do recipes here. The Lumpia dipping sauce (brown sugar, garlic) is one of those why-didn't-I-think-of-that accompaniments. In my house, it's been used to lend some interest to a variety of prepared foods bought to please the children. Indonesian Peanut Sauce is a perfect salad dressing in the delightful gado-gado mix of vegetables and it's also a way to get fussy eaters (children and Americans) to eat their veggies.

Trang is also adept at explaining the basics. Her instructions for making stock and her encouragement to do so are masterful and blissfully simple.

"The kitchens of the East were my nursery." Corinne Trang says, but this is a much better cookbook than one that might have been written about one's native cuisine. It's Trang's good fortune in having been a translator of traditions for herself that pays off for the reader.

Lynn Hoffman, author of New Short Course in Wine,The and the essential novel bang BANG: A Novel
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
So many cookbooks are published today without important information. They tend to be one similar reicpe after another with a little copy thrown in. Ms. Trangs book is a master work of Asian folklore and food. She clearly leads the reader into a world very few people know about. Her recipes are interesting, creative and well tested. This book is an important masterwork. I am sure it will be a best seller for a long time.
Suzen O'Rourke
Pres. Cooking by the Book, Inc.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Sure, "Asian cuisine" is a wide and diverse topic, but this book does an excellent job highlighting the unique characteristics of the various regions. The amount of information on ingredients and techniques is staggering and should be applauded. This isn't just a collection of recipes, this is an in-depth tutor for learning Asian cuisine. As a chef, I find this book an invaluable reference source and at home, packed full of easy, flavorful dishes.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Essentials of Asian cuisine by Corinne Trang isn't just a cookbook. If you are looking for recipes, there are plenty of publications out there. However, if you want to understand what Asian cuisine is about, where it comes from and why are things prepared in a certain manner, then this a truly essential book you actually love to read . . . and yes, if you want to find the right ingredients it is a great guide, too.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
bordering on exhaustively in-depth, this is a very well written cookbook/encyclopedia for asian cooking.
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on January 3, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Another Corinne Trang book that I love. Such a talented and imaginative cook that brings so much diversity to her writing.
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Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
All the basics in one place. Extensive detail, great recipes from a master of asian cooking. Its the bible of asian food.
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