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Jul 21, 2010 09:08 PM

August 2010 Cookbook of the Month: THE COMPLETE ASIAN COOKBOOK

Wow, it could not have been a closer vote, but the winner is THE COMPLETE ASIAN COOKBOOK, by Charmaine Solomon, with recipes and techniques from many different countries.

We'll use this space to talk about the book generally until the threads go up at the beginning of the month. From what I understand, there is not a huge difference between the original edition and further updates.

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  1. I looked for this book on varying web sites (ABE, Amazon, B&N, etc.) and what I saw was a huge variation in price for the book as well as a dizzying array of editions. I went to the web site to see which one they had indexed, and that seems to be the one edition that I was not able to locate! Maybe I'll see if my library has one...

    3 Replies
    1. re: roxlet

      I have this edition:

      It's the second revised edition dated 2002, the trade paperback edition published by Tuttle in 2005.

      But I must say, those prices on Amazon are shocking. I bought my copy within the past year and paid $12.45 including shipping for a looks-like-new used copy on Alibris. The book must have gone out of print recently.

      1. re: JoanN

        Yes, given the prices I have found, I absolutely will not purchase this book.

        1. re: roxlet

          I just checked the Tuttle Web site and they have a notice posted that the book will be out of print until October 10, 2010. I'm sure that once the book is back in print those prices will come down again pretty quickly. Doesn't help you for August, but it should be fairly easy to find in most library systems.

    2. I have this edition. Revised edition May 1992. It was a gift from a friend who bought it at a yard sale for $1.00. Lucky

      At Amazon there are several used copies for under 20.00 and more under 25.00

      10 Replies
      1. re: Gio

        I will look in the library, but since I will be at the beach for the second half of the month, I will likely not participate...

        1. re: roxlet

          I, too, will be away much of August. But if our experience with Dunlop is any indication, people will be cooking from this book and posting to the COTM threads for many months to come.

          1. re: JoanN

            I know, August is going to be crazy for me, too. But I hope to get at least a couple of recipes in.

            roxlet, I hope your library has a copy, or you can score a reasonably-priced used copy. When CAC was nominated for LAST MONTH I started tracking the prices on Amazon and Alibris. It seems there are periods of time where a few cheap ones are available, then get gobbled up eaving only the crazy-priced ones. Then more cheap ones come available, and those get gobbled up, and so on. So, just keep your eye on it. I think there are opportunities to snag an affordable one.

            In the meantime, if there are recipes people want to try, I'm sure people will be happy to paraphrase.


        2. re: Gio

          Probably the same sellers, but there are 5 used copies on alibris for $20 or under, including one "good" one for $4.

          I've already gone on EYB and done a recipe search on CAC for recipes calling for zukes, cukes, corn and green beans (all coming in my CSA this week and, likely, beyond) and saved them. (I saved them to a "menu" called CAC rather than as "do laters". I wanted them all in one place for immediate access. My "do laters" tend to be "do much laters.")

          I did a search on tomatoes and got 70 hits or something, so, I'll have to circle back to that later. I don't think I'm getting tomatoes this week anyway.

          I also want to do searches for tofu and tempeh, so, I'll see how that goes!


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Taking a page from your book, TDQ, and searching EYB for ingredients on hand. I stocked up heavily for "Cradle of Flavor," got called out of town on an emergency, and never got back to it the way I had hoped. So I've got daun salam, daun pandan, candlenuts, belacan, fresh (frozen) galangal, kecap manise . . . etc., etc., etc. (And you were wondering why I voted for this book?!?)

            But I have a question. I see a lot of Indonesian recipes that call for Laos powder, which is just dried galangal. It's often listed as optional. But since I've got galangal, does anyone have any experience substituting one for the other? I'm guessing I could just use a Chinese ginger grater to get some of the juice into the dish to add that additional flavor element.

            1. re: JoanN

              I'm wondering about the galangal too. In my Introduction to the Revised Edition, it says to use a tablespoon of chopped galangal in brine for a teaspoon of dried laos powder. How much fresh? Also, do I double the amount of fresh curry leaves for dried? TIA.

              1. re: JoanN

                I think the powdered stuff is called for because the fresh/preserved wasn't available outside the origin countries when the book was first published. Laos powder has very little taste, definitely go with the other forms.

                1. re: buttertart

                  That's just what I suspected. Guess I'll just experiment with the fresh to see if I can even discern it in the dishes the powder is called for.

            2. re: Gio

              The EYB edition indexed is a UK edition published in 1993 by Grub Street. I'm getting the 1992 US Tuttle edition from the library today so I will create a US ingredients version as well. If anyone comes across significantly different recipes in their edition (it's hard to know how many revisions there have been without manually going through every edition) please let me know the ISBN of your edition.

              In my local library system there were 9 available copies of the 1992 and 3 of the 1976 edition so hopefully everyone will find a copy at the library if they don't own it.

              1. re: JaneEYB

                You hve a good library! My library has NO editions, which is strange because their collection is usually pretty good.

                I have no idea which edition I have. I think the 1992 edition, but I suppose I should check.


            3. Here are some online recipes that I've found:

              Chicken Curry with Cashews

              Sze Chuen jar Gai (Fried Chicken, Szechwan Style

              Kai Yang (Garlic Chicken
              )Krung Kaeng Phed (Red Curry Paste)

              Garam Masala

              Mutton Kari (Lamb Curry

              Also Googlebooks has quite a bit of the book viewable in it's 'preview'. I believe it's the entire India & Pakistan chapter as well as some excerpts from Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Singapore.


              5 Replies
                1. re: soypower

                  These look interesting, but definitely recipes I might try once it cools off. Thanks for posting the links!

                  1. re: soypower

                    That chicken curry recipe is terrific with veggies..zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes...anything you can think of.

                    1. re: soypower

                      I made Shiu Ng Heung Gai (Oven-Roasted Spiced Chicken) this weekend for family. I did it as a roast chicken instead of cut-up (marinated in peanut oil, soy, garlic, ginger, Chinese rice wine, Penzey's 5-spice powder).

                      Easy, nice balance of flavors, and a big hit. Even the picky kids went back for seconds.


                      1. re: soypower

                        I found this site which has recipes from Charmaine Solomon's cookbook:

                        (they are organized alphabetically and according to category - appetizer, dessert etc.)

                      2. Thanks for the tallying, Caitlin. I could see it was close, and I ordered both CAC and Ottollenghi Cookbook. Maybe the second will also become an item again soon.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Bada Bing

                          You're going to Love the Ottolanghi book. We cooked so many recipes that month and several many times over.

                          1. re: Bada Bing

                            Don't forget, there's a ton of great reports to piggyback onto from when Ottolenghi was COTM:

                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                              Thanks! The Ottolenghi book does look amazing. I don't have CAC in hand yet.

                          2. A few more:

                            Bindae Duk (Korean Mung bean pancake)

                            Taazi Khumben Alu Mattar Kari
                            (Curried Mushrooms, Potatoes and Peas

                            Tom Kha Gai

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: soypower

                              Yum! I love those Korean mung bean pancakes. I made my first batch years ago from the Madhur Jaffrey Eastern Vegetarian Cooking (or something like that - a great book).

                              Yikes, I thought that one of the recipes translated to "squirrel bread" for a moment. Duh!

                              1. re: oakjoan

                                I thought the same thing, but was a little disappointed when I didn't see a baked good w/ a bushy tail. :o)

                                1. re: oakjoan

                                  I thought the same thing! Yikes is the word, alrighty.