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4.5 out of 5 stars15
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on January 26, 2013
I don't even know where to be begin. This book was very much in need of a food editor and someone other than the author to test the recipes. On the pro side there are a few good recipes (the Savory Flat Rice Noodles are excellent as is the recipe for water spinach) and the photography is lovely, if a bit off. On the con side there are many more problems.

First off, the need for a food editor. The Buckwheat Noodle Soup Recipe? It doesn't call for buckwheat noodles - just regular somen noodles. And the garnishes include raw bitter melon and raw garlic, both of which are overwhelming if you actually eat them uncooked in such a delicate broth. Some of the other recipes seems half finished. The Mushroom Medley Soup calls for inordinate amount of salt along with vegetable stock and soy sauce.

Now for a pet peeve of mine (which may not bother other people) - I want the picture representing the recipe to actually be that recipe. In a rather disproportionate number of photos this isn't the case. There are ingredients in the photo that aren't listed in the recipe and vice versa. I see bean sprouts... not an ingredient, I see red onions... not an ingredient... on the flip side I see an ingredient that should be easily visible and it's not in the picture. As lovely as the photographs are they make me not trust the recipes.

I could not recommend this book for any novice cook but if you are experienced and can spot things out of place it's not a bad purchase. A generous 2.5 stars.
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on January 29, 2016
I am very excited as my mother is Indonesian and I grew up eating the wonderful variety of foods. I am Dutch ( My father) served in Indonesia, ultimately marrying my mother. My Sister and I were born in Holland, and non the less spent our entire lives eating the delicious food of Indonesia. I am ecstatic to own this book, so that I may fill some of the gaps now that mom has passed on. it is a treasure.
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on October 9, 2015
This is a cookbook with interesting fresh looking recipes . I can't wait to try some of the dishes with the
unusual spice combinations . Everything looks so inviting and light with a lot of vegetables to enjoy .
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on June 5, 2014
I don't own many cookbooks (I usually rely on TasteBook), but I bought this because I got tired of the hit-and-miss nature of the Indonesian recipes I found online. Basically, I didn't want to have to test every recipe before hosting a dinner...and I love to host. Dina Yuen has saved me an enormous amount of time and made my culinary prowess look far more honed than it actually is! Some of my favorite recipes are the Satay chicken, the spicy potato stir fry, and the sweet grilled calamari. I also gave this book as a gift to a former housemate of mine, who taught me how to cook Indian cuisine, and she loved it. OK, now I've made myself hungry.
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on June 4, 2014
I lived in Indonesia for four years when I was younger and it was great to finally get to taste the flavors of my childhood again. I was so excited to find an amazing book about Indonesian cuisine with such great recipes that I bought one for both my sister and mother.

Thank you for bringing back such wonderful memories.
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on June 4, 2014
Chef Dina's Indonesian Cooking is one of those rare cookbooks that is not only wonderful to look at, it is one of the few that makes it off the pristine bookshelf and into the kitchen. The breadth of recipes provides countless possibilities, and each one is lovingly presented with cultural and personal context. It's evident that every dish has deep meaning for Chef Dina, and her collection feels like a sincere wish to share the culinary riches of her life with others. This makes the book a joy to simply read and to peruse.

On the practical side, I was delighted to discover that the directions were not daunting! The recipes are quick, too. So far the recipes have held up nicely with minor substitutions, so don't worry if you don't have the exact ingredients. The Chilied Eggs was my inaugural recipe and it was a hit at a dinner party.

The Tips and Techniques and other introductory sections are well worth reading, for general learning and for practical purposes.

There's always the question about "authenticity" when it comes to the culinary arts, and I believe the real value of a great cookbook is when the Chef brings his or her own vision to the styles s/he has grown up with or studied. If there were no variations or innovations to cooking, I doubt cuisine would be as wonderfully diverse and nuanced as it is. Chef Dina invites us to explore and to experience Indonesian cuisine through her unique perspective. This reader is happily trying delicious experiments with friends and family, with Indonesian Cooking as the go-to point of departure. It is both useful and inspiring!
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on April 14, 2013
Being surrounded by Asian friends and loving Asian food, I've always wanted to try my hand at cooking the food we ate in restaurants. I've been to a few Indonesian restaurants and loved most of the dishes so this book was a perfect introduction for me. Surprisingly, it had a lot of the recipes of those same dishes we had tried at the Indonesian restaurants so I was able to recognize quite a few. I chose this book over some of the other Indonesian cookbooks because I liked that this one wasn't intimidating in size and was also written by a native of the country.

Some of the other books were written by non-Indonesians so I wasn't sure how authentic they would be. Also, one of the books was kind of intimidating to a novice like me- I'm sure it was a great book for someone looking for hundreds of recipes but I wanted an accessible introduction that wasn't dumbed down for white people like me.
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on June 5, 2013
Not authentic for my taste, maybe I am from a different part of the islands, I will try some more
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on February 28, 2012
I've attempted my hand at Indonesian cooking before and the results were not as savory as they should have been. This could be due to any number of reasons - lack of preparation, attention, and perhaps culinary talent, to name a few. To many, the idea of prepping all ingredients before starting the burner is a given; what I appreciate most about this cookbook is that it's not assumed the reader is already well-versed in this language of cooking.

The artistic photos accompanying each recipe are a huge help for visual thinkers and the information is provided in such a way that even I, a supreme novice to 5+ ingredient recipes, am not intimidated by. In fact, I can't wait to try cooking Nasi Goreng. One of my husbands favorites and I'm pretty sure he'll be reaping the benefits of Chef Dina Yuen's cookbook as well!
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on June 3, 2014
I am not a great cook (ok not a cook at all), but Dina makes it SO easy to make a delicious meal at home.

I love the photos- they really inspire me to think more creatively about my food and what I can cook for friends and family. Such a gift!
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