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The Indonesian Kitchen: Recipes and Stories Hardcover – September 1, 2008


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The Indonesian Kitchen: Recipes and Stories + Indonesian Cooking: Satays, Sambals and More [Indonesian Cookbook, 81 Recipes]
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran cookbook author Owen (The Rice Book, Indonesian Regional Food and Cookery, Healthy Thai Cooking, etc.) has crafted her most personal book yet in this culinary memoir-cum-cookbook. Detailing her engagement, herfirst crash courses in cooking, opening her own London shop and publishing her first cookbooks, among other life events, Owen accounts for her evolving relationship with food. Though interesting, Owen has a tendency to wander and a prose style that isn't nearly as enticing as her recipes. Classics like Gado Gado, flavorful mixed vegetables tossed with peanut sauce; deliciously complex crab cakes with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, coriander and chili flakes; and Pan-Fried Tuna with Red Chili Sauce are surefire hits that are easy enough to source and assemble. Those living far from the tropics may have more trouble with ingredients (fresh coconut water, the notoriously foul-smelling durian fruit), though Owen does offer an admirable range of substitutions. Those with access to the accoutrements that make these dishes unique-galangal, kaffir limes and the omnipresent tamarind-will get the most out of the book, but even spectator chefs will appreciate the crisp photography and flavorful combinations.
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About the Author

Sri Owen is the foremost authority on Indonesian food. Born in Sumatra, Indonesia, she moved to Britain in 1964 and is an internationally celebrated author, lecturer and cook. Her books include The Rice Book (winner of the Andre Simon award) and Indonesian Regional Food and Cookery.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Interlink Pub Group Inc (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566567394
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566567398
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 8.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #480,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By MMaer on January 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As an Indonesian studying abroad, I find Sri Owen's cook book delightful as it brings back fond memories of my home country and of the delicious food that I grew up with. However, I believe that the merit of this book extends beyond its sentimental value. In fact, it is a source of authoritative information on Indonesian food for those interested in Indonesian cuisine, both expert and beginner cooks alike.

This book features recipes of many popular Indonesian dishes that Owen herself ate as a child, then as a young woman, and finally cooked in her own kitchen after she got married. Her recipes include an array of Indonesian snacks, appetizers, main courses, and even ice cream with Indonesian flavors. While introducing these dishes, Owen shares her culinary adventure that began when she was a child in the late 1930s Indonesia and which was ongoing until 2007 (before the book was published). I find that her way of weaving her life stories and experiences to the recipes both entertaining and informative at the same time.

Even as an Indonesian, I find that the information in this book adds to my knowledge of Indonesian culture and food. In addition to recipes with detailed step-by-step instructions, Owen provides clear descriptions of each dish and for some well-known dishes, such as rendang, she also provides a brief history of the dish, and whenever relevant, its cultural importance.

Another excellent point of this book is the information regarding substitutes for food items that are not available outside of Indonesia.
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So the recipes in the cookbook are good so far and the food tastes authentic according to my Indonesian wife. I like the book itself and the story behind the food is nice to bring together the various aspects of the culture. A couple suggestions though... One, it's hard to tell what kind of measurement is being used. It refers to ounces instead of cups for dry goods which could mean by weight or by cup measurement which could be very different so there was a little trial and error on that front. Also, some of these dishes are very labor intensive or time intensive and it would be nice to have an estimation of prep time and cooking time needed so you can plan accordingly. It can kind of be guessed at but when making multiple dishes it is nice to have a reference point that is close to accurate. Overall though I think it is a great book that gives my wife a little taste of home without having to fly around the world to get it.
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