Vatch's Southeast Asian Cookbook

Vatcharin Bhumichitr

Published by St. Martin's Griffin, 2000
ISBN 10: 0312254318 / ISBN 13: 9780312254315
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Synopsis: The countries of Southeast Asia boast some of the most vibrant, flavorful cooking in the world. Renowned Thai-born chef Vatcharin Bhumichitr (known as "Vatch") takes us on an insider's culinary tour of Thailand and its neighbors in this irresistible collection.
With more than one hundred recipes that range from pungent crab to heavenly pumpkin and coconut soup, Vatch's book overflows with fresh ingredients, exuberant flavors, and irresistible specialties of the countries covered--Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma, Malaysia, and Singapore. Get ready for a spicy, spectacular journey!

Review: Chef Vatcharin "Vatch" Bhumichitr has been on the road. His book, Vatch's Southeast Asian Cookbook, is a tour through not only his native Thailand, but also Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Burma, Cambodia, and Laos. The result is a solid introduction to the culinary traditions of Southeast Asia. He set out in 1994 to travel through the region on a cook's tour of food and discovery. Much of his travels are related in the accompanying essays in each chapter, and provide unique insight to the cultural and social and geographic forces that shape the region's different cuisines. For Vatch, food is the soul of the country and a way of understanding one of the most diverse areas in the world. While you may be able to get beef noodle soup in Malaysia and Laos, they only share a few common ingredients. The differences in the recipes, like those between the countries, are striking.

Realizing that western chefs are often intimidated by Asian ingredients and processes, Vatch gently guides the reader through his own journey, and in the process, demystifies much about Southeast Asia culture. He begins simply, with the practical aspects of cooking. The opening chapter is divided into sections on equipment, techniques, and ingredients, and is an essential primer for anyone who has experienced the terror of unfamiliarity while shopping in an Asian food market. The rest of the essays and accompanying recipes are divided by country, and include spectacular photography. The final section of the book outlines all the dishes, and lists the do's and don'ts of composing meals. There is also a complete list of vegetarian dishes and ones that can easily be altered. Vatch's acute eye for detail and his cook's sensibility will appeal to the armchair traveler or budding Asian chef alike. --Mark O. Howerton

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Vatch's Southeast Asian Cookbook
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Good
Edition: First Edition - may be Reissue.

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Vatcharin Bhumichitr
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