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Madhur Jaffrey's Far Eastern Cookery Paperback – June 1, 1992
From Library Journal
Although Jaffrey is known for her Indian cookbooks , her recent Madhur Jaffrey's Cookbook: Easy East-West Menus for Family and Friends ( LJ 6/15/89) included dishes from all over the world, and this new work, the companion to an upcoming PBS series, focuses on the cuisines of the Far East, from Japan to Vietnam. She admires these cuisines for their emphasis on the freshest and best ingredients and for their unique combinations of tastes and textures. Her recipes come from restaurant chefs, home cooks, and her own inspiration, and they range from elegant company dishes to the snacks sold by street vendors. Still, good books on Far Eastern cooking abound; buy for demand.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Jaffrey is a generous writer, in that she often brings credit to other chefs who introduce her to new ingredients and techniques. Along the way, she shares what she has learned about the culture of the food she cooks. Culture, habits, climates all influence the choice of ingredients, the degree of flavoring, the methods of preparation. A Thai seafood soup, for instance, is approached and prepared completely differently than a Japanese fish soup or an American chowder. It's not simply the difference in ingredients, but the difference in geography, history, and culture. Jaffrey explores and gives light explanation of these differences, and this alone makes the cookbook wonderfully unique.
The beautiful, full-page photographs illustrate the completed dishes. The recipes are printed on 10 x 13 glossy paper, more resistant to stains and water.
The glossary in the back gives simple explanation of exotic ingredients, their flavors, and where to purchase them. It has helped me with cooking that I am not familiar with, especially Indian food and Japanese (we love restaurant preparations, but suspect they are not exactly authentic).
There are very basic recipes that are the foundations of whole genres. For instance, she gives a recipe for teriyaki sauce that involves 3 ingredients (shoyu, mirin, sugar) and a cucumber pickle with three ingredients (cucumber, rice vinegar, sugar) that form the basis for a large numbers of dishes you can experiment with. The teriyaki sauce is one that never fails to elicits compliments from my guests, and is so much better---fresher, more intense, less cloying---than anything you can easily buy at a grocery store. And it's so easy. That's Jaffrey's point, really--- anyone can make these dishes, and make them authentically, with easily obtained ingredients. In fact, the food tastes so good, I can get my family to eat a lot more vegetarian dishes.