The Food Lovers' Cookbook Collection
South East Asian Food by Rosemary Brissenden
Rosemary Brissenden has maintained a relatively low profile for the author of such a groundbreaking book - it was even praised by Elizabeth David who said. In 1969 when it was first published by Pengjuin there was no other book like it written in the English language. Brissenden first came inot contact with Asian cooking on study tours to Indonesia where she was pursuing her interest in Asian politics - her field of academic study.
In her introduction to this revised and rewritten version of her classic cookbook, Rosemary Brissenden says "I believe cooks feel most comfortable when they know something of both the culinary and cultural contexts of the food they are preparing". With this we heartily agree!
She also closes the introduction with this plea. "With the world now full of same-tasting 'instant' approaches to South East Asian food through packets and jars, this book aims to serve as a guide to cooks who wish to enjoy its true freshness and variety by cooking it for themselves."
She then delivers what she sets out to through an extraordinary range of recipes and techniques that covers the food of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Her recipes are detailed, precise and accurate. They do not take short cuts and they use real ingredients. Reading through the book you can almost smell the balacan or the mam nem, you can see the glistening fruits in the roadside markets and you can taste the sambals and the nam phriks.
One of the resources provided in this book is a six-page table showing common Asian ingredients, their botanical name and their names in various countries in the region.
This is a 'must have' book for all food lovers who want to understand the true complexity of Asian food and who want to recreate authentic flavours and textures at home.
Publisher: Hardie Grant Books (Grub Street in the UK)