Trang, Corinne. Asian Grill. Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2006
Anyone who has read this blog more than once is very well aware of the love of grilled food in my house. My husband is particularly enamored. He is also able to withstand temperatures far below my comfort zone, so if we can physically get to the grill we can use it. He's become even fonder of the grill since we obtained a Big Green Egg, which is a combination grill and smoker that is called an egg but looks like a giant hand grenade sitting on my back deck. It makes fantastic food. At any rate, I've been trying to find new sources of things to grill, and one of the sources I've most recently acquired is Asian Grill.
I actually really enjoyed this book. It's not a long book, and Asia is a big place. Trang therefore can't go in-depth into each individual ethnic group's recipes. This is too bad, but I guess that if I wanted a 500-page treatise on Hmong outdoor cooking techniques I should have bought one. (I haven't seen one for sale, either.) The recipes are just different enough to be a breath of fresh air and rarely call for ingredients that are difficult to find. The author draws from a wide variety of cultures to build this book, so it is a safe bet that people with a wide variety of tastes will find something to enjoy about this book.
As I mentioned, this book is kind of short, and it doesn't go into the kind of depth that a true nerd like me would prefer. Not every recipe is illustrated, although there are more photos than in other books that I've reviewed recently and the pictures that exist are certainly lovely. Those are really my biggest complaints about the book. My husband had some issues with the techniques, but I am not a grill master or even a grill journeyman, I don't understand his issues so for me to go into them would not make much sense. I'd probably get them wrong anyway! Seriously, though, I enjoyed this book.