Charmaine Solomon is one of the world's best loved cook book writers and the most respected authority on Asian food and cooking.
When Charmaine's The Complete Asian Cookbook was first published in 1976, it was instantly heralded a classic. There have been numerous reprints since that time, and now the tome has been completely revised into a magnificent, cloth bound 640-page album, offering 800 traditional and contemporary dishes from fifteen countries.
The Complete Asian Cookbook takes readers on an extensive journey into the cuisines of India and Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, Vietnam, The Philippines, China, Korea and Japan. Charmaine explains wok cooking, using coconut milk (including making it from scratch from desiccated coconut as well as from fresh!), chillies, noodles and rice varieties. Each chapter introduces the ingredients, cooking utensils and cooking styles of that country. Following each is an amazing collection of easy to understand recipes, and readers can be assured that Charmaine has shared her kitchen wisdom on every beautifully embossed page. The glossary is well detailed. Alan Benson’s superb photographs simply add to the overall deliciousness of the book.
I chatted with Charmaine about the revised edition of The Complete Asian Cookbook and asked what has changed from the original, which was published 36 years ago. ‘There is a new layout, stunning photos, an updated glossary and new recipes,’ Charmaine told me. ‘We have revised the book to cater for the changes we have seen in the availability of fresh ingredients. We have also added several recipes'.
'Among the new recipes are more Cambodian recipes. We could not access Cambodia at the time of the first publishing, due to the "Bamboo Curtain", you see', Charmaine explained. 'I met Cambodian refugees here in Australia and learned about their food and cooking from them at that time. One lady, a journalist, was very kind. She cooked a meal for me and explained all about Cambodian food. Nina and I recently visited Cambodia and attended cooking classes there, so we could learn more and include more recipes in the book’.
For my full interview with Charmaine Solomon, visit here. For more information about Charmaine and her books, visit her web site here.
The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon (Hardie Grant) $59.95. Many thanks to Hardie Grant Books.
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