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asian cookbook for kosher cook - vegetarian or regular?

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(i know i should post this on the kosher board, but my husband reads that board regularly and I am trying to buy him a present!)

my husband is a HUGE fan of asian cuisine - thai and japanese more than chinese. I would like to buy him a cookbook for Hannukah - either a thai cookbook or a general asian one. I have read through the various suggestions on these boards, so I am not looking for a cookbook suggestion.

My question is, for those more experienced cooking asian food than I am: as kosher cooks, are we better off with a vegetarian cookbook, and then we can add meat to the recipes if we choose with a little improvising? or are we better off with a 'normal' cookbook, making substitutions when necessary...? i just havent cooked enough asian food to know, so i will appreciate any input anyone has.

thanks

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  1. Hi tarsky -- I think you'd do fine with either scenario. Most Asian dishes (especially Thai and Japanese) don't use much in the way of dairy products, and I think if you purchased a "regular" cookbook you'd be able to make Kosher substitutions fairly easily whenever necessary (ie, throwing in some salmon or chicken instead of shrimp). I've always found Asian cooking to be very forgiving in terms of substitutions, and while I don't keep Kosher (so maybe I'm overlooking something) I think any tweaks you need to make won't affect your enjoyment of the final dish. I wish I had some good cookbook suggestions for you -- I'm curious to see what others suggest!