Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese Family Recipes & ManBQue Street Grilling | Cooking Reviews, June 15, 2016

redstarAn, Helene & Jacqueline An. An: To eat; Recipes and Stories from a Vietnamese Family Kitchen. Running Pr. May 2016. 296p. photos. index. ISBN 9780762458356. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780762458363. COOKING

an to eatAt the heart of this cookbook is acclaimed chef An’s journey from her childhood in Vietnam to hard-won culinary success in the United States. With her daughter Jacqueline, the author introduces readers to her family’s history, cultural heritage, and cooking style in compelling accounts that accompany such recipes as caramelized lemongrass shrimp, chicken pho with makrut lime, Saigon steamed pork buns, and rum-soaked Vietnamese banana cake. The authors have included a balance of home cooked and restaurant dishes, along with technique and entertaining tips and suggested wine and beer pairings. VERDICT This excellent Vietnamese cookbook provides detailed, delicious recipes and a heartfelt memoir narrative.

Carruthers, John & others. Eat Street: The ManBQue Guide to Making Street Food at Home. Running Pr. Apr. 2016. 328p. photos. index. ISBN 9780762458691. $23; ebk. ISBN 9780762458707. COOKING

eat streetManBQue (manbque.com) originated with monthly grilling events in Chicago. Carruthers, John Scholl, and Jesse Valenciana follow the group’s debut grilling collection, ManBQue, with a new book of street food recipes written for laid-back home cooks who’ve grown tired of expensive food trends and stringent dietary guidelines. Dispensing with formality, the authors share recipes such as bacon lime fried rice, Nashville hot chicken, doritomales (a concoction of boiled instant ramen mixed with crushed cheese-flavored corn chips), and Telenovela hot chocolate. There’s plenty of humor in their directions as well. The book concludes with suggested songs that readers can listen to when they’re “hungover at Waffle House,” “getting invited to a boat party,” or in other situations. VERDICT Recommend this humorous, unconventional cookbook to readers who like meaty and fried comfort foods with a healthy dose of sarcasm.

Hage, Salma. The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook. Phaidon. Apr. 2016. 272p. photos. index. ISBN 9780714871301. $39.95. COOKING

middle eastern vegetarianAfter observing that her cooking has become less meat-centric, Hage (The Lebanese Kitchen) shares simple Middle Eastern recipes that offer plenty of choices for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free eaters. Home cooks can craft a light meal of appealing mezze and salads (e.g., halloumi with sumac and mint, roasted butternut squash with spicy tahini dressing) or a more substantial feast with mains, drinks, and desserts (e.g. vegetarian koftas, Lebanese iced tea with orange flower water, almond pistachio cookies). Tasteful color photographs accompany most dishes and complement the book’s simple design. VERDICT Fans of Samuel and Samantha Clark’s Moro cookbooks and Hugh ­Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg will find many meals to love here.

Jinich, Pati. Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchens. Rux Martin: Houghton Harcourt. Apr. 2016. 320p. photos. index. ISBN 9780544557246. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780544557253. COOKING

mexican todayJinich hosts the PBS show Pati’s Mexican Table and frequently appears on NBC’s The Chew. In her second cookbook, she shares more of her favorite recipes for contemporary Mexican foods, including miso soup with nopales, shrimp enchiladas in rich tomato sauce, and floating islands with Mexican-style eggnog. These and other dishes are grouped into course-based chapters, including soups, salads, tacos and tostadas, guisados (stews) and other one-dish meals, desserts, and drinks. Jinich writes with busy families in mind. Many of her recipes can be made in advance or in less than 30 minutes and rely on easy-to-find ingredients. A highlight of this cookbook is its playful variations such as baked huevos rancheros casserole. VERDICT Jinich’s engaging style and clear instructions will appeal to many home cooks.

redstarPhillips, Carolyn. All Under Heaven: Recipes from the 35 Cuisines of China. Ten Speed: Crown. Aug. 2016. 524p. illus. index. ISBN 9781607749820. $40; ebk. ISBN 9781607749837. COOKING

all under heavenPhillips (The Dim Sum Field Guide: A Taxonomy of Dumplings) is a former Mandarin interpreter who lived in the Republic of China for eight years. Here she explores the intricacies of 35 regional Chinese cuisines, many of which have received little to no coverage in other cookbooks. Packed with 300-plus recipes (e.g., abalone shreds with mung bean sprouts, bitter melons in golden sand, lotus-wrapped spicy rice crumb pork), this unprecedented reference will thrill cooks who want to expand their knowledge and move beyond the mainstays of American Chinese restaurant menus. Those who enjoy the thoroughly researched cookbooks of experts such as Claudia Roden (The New Book of Middle Eastern Food) will appreciate Phillips’s comprehensive treatment, which includes historical information, an extensive ingredient glossary, suggested menus, and useful advice. VERDICT ­Essential for academic collections.

Raij, Alexandra & others. The Basque Book: A Love Letter in Recipes from the Kitchen of Txikito. Ten Speed: Crown. Apr. 2016. 304p. photos. index. ISBN 9781607747611. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781607747628. COOKING

basque bookRaij and Eder Montero are the chefs and owners of New York restaurants El Quito Pino, La Vara, and Txikito. Writing with James Beard award–winning author Rebecca Flint Marx, they’ve produced a handsome cookbook that invites readers to cook their way leisurely through 114 Basque recipes, including piquillo peppers stuffed with cod, paprika-marinated pork loin roast, and walnut semifreddo with salted chocolate sauce. Packed with basics (e.g., poached eggs, mayonnaise, fish stock), pinxtos (small plates), seafood dishes, and more, the book will tempt seasoned cooks and armchair travelers. VERDICT Part cookbook, part travelog, this richly descriptive title is a pleasure to read and recalls evocative, landscape photography-rich works such as Giorgio Locatelli’s Made in Sicily.

Rose, Evelyn with Judi Rose. 100 Best Jewish Recipes: Traditional and Contemporary Kosher Cuisine from Around the World. Interlink. Jul. 2016. 208p. photos. index. ISBN 9781566560733. $30. COOKING

100 best jewish recipesLate food writer Rose’s classic work, The Complete International Jewish Cookbook, has been revised three times since it was published in 1976. For this new volume, Rose’s daughter Judi (Mother and Daughter Jewish Cooking) selected 100 of the book’s best-loved recipes for republication. Dishes such as Moroccan chicken pilaf with fruit and nuts, Greek-Jewish lamb fricassee, and German butter kuchen with date filling feature global influences and easy-to-follow directions. The book also includes a guide to Jewish festivals and holidays, a brief introduction to Jewish culinary history, and tips on adapting recipes for the kosher kitchen. VERDICT This understated cookbook is a solid starting point for readers who are new to Jewish cuisine.

West, Da-Hae & Gareth West. K-Food: Korean Home Cooking and Street Food. Mitchell Beazley: Octopus. Jun. 2016. 240p. photos. index. ISBN 9781784721596. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781784721091. COOKING

k-foodDa-Hae and Gareth West are the husband-and-wife team behind Busan BBQ, a London-based company that serves “AmeriKorean” street food at markets and pop-up restaurants. Their new cookbook has the classics readers will undoubtedly expect (cabbage kimchi, dolsot bibimbap, japchae), along with fusion fare that blends Korean ingredients with American diner favorites such as gochujang meatloaf, bulgogi Philly cheesesteak, and kimchi mac ‘n’ cheese. Some recipes call for premade components, such as anchovy stock, but these can be swapped for store-bought equivalents such as chicken or vegetable stock. In addition to kimchis, sides, sauces, and mains, the authors also include cocktails, bar snacks, and desserts. VERDICT Korean cookbooks are very popular right now—this one will satisfy adventurous cooks looking for contemporary recipes.

A picturesque meal

Ha, Robin. Cook Korean! A Comic Book with Recipes. Ten Speed: Crown. Jul. 2016. 176p. illus. index. ISBN 9781607748878. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9781607748885. COOKING

cook koreanOn her blog Banchan in Two Pages (banchancomic.tumblr.com), cartoonist Ha publishes comics that illustrate how to prepare Korean foods such as steamed eggplant, pan-fried tofu, and tangy sea kelp salad. These and more than 60 other dishes fill her debut book, which presents culinary, cultural, and autobiographical content in graphic novel form. With supervision, even children and young adults can handle Ha’s recipes, many of which are narrated by a sprightly character named Dengki. Readers will also benefit from supplementary spreads appearing throughout (e.g., intro to extreme temperatures in Korean dining, Korean regions & foods, Korean meal guide). VERDICT Like Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking, this highly recommended collection is a solid introduction for readers who feel daunted by Korean cooking and ingredients.

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