I have had this book for one million years. I am a very big fan of bowl food in general, so I remember that when I first saw it I was really quite excited. I haven’t cooked much from it more recently, because I got distracted by other shinies, but I would never give it up.
The book is divided into convenient categories: soups; salads; pasta; rice; wok; curries; one pots. Every recipe has a photo accompanying it; they’re not crazy-styled, just straightforward and attractive. The recipes themselves are also straightforward: easy to read, and easy to follow The recipes don’t have numbered instructions, but most of them aren’t especially convoluted so it’s not too tedious.
One of the aspects I really like about this book is how varied it is for me, as a white Australian. It’s got pea and rocket soup; fattoush; Thai beef salad; chicken and pork paella; and yellow curry with vegetables. Some of the recipes call for a rather long list of spices, but it has always been worth it… and reassure me of some love of authenticity, for whatever that means.
Some of the recipes I’ve tried:
Spicy pumpkin and coconut soup: I think this was time I’d ever had Thai-style pumpkin soup.
Lentil and silverbeet soup: so tasty, so healthy it almost hurts.
Sweet potato and fried noodle salad: cashews. Coriander. red curry paste and coconut milk dressing… I had forgotten about this one, and now I have remembered.
Fresh beetroot and goat’s cheese salad: what else do I need to say? Except that I added chicken and it was even better.
Spaghettini with herbs, baby spinach and garlic crumbs: I mean… again, what else can I say?
Minced chicken salad: lemon grass and fish sauce, lettuce and rice and mint…
Thai beef and pumpkin curry: Musaman curry paste, coconut milk, tamarind puree.
Beef rendang: ginger, turmeric, coconut cream, lemon grass, tamarind…
Chicken casserole with mustard and tarragon sauce: this one is a complete winner for my whole family.
I had completely forgotten how excellent this book was. It is going straight back to the top of my cookbooks list.