Cookbooks

Rosemary Brissenden’s Great Book on South East Asian Food

Rosemary Brissenden – Introduction

South East Asian Food by Rosemary Brissenden is an authoritative survey of South East Asian cuisine by one of the world’s authorities on the subject.

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 achieve through an extraordinary range of recipes and techniques that cover 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.

We are delighted to be able to include this book in our Foodtourist Top Fifty Cookbooks list.

There is a review of her book and some information about how she came to be influenced by South East Asia in this Sydney Morning Herald article.

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