Yan admits to having "eaten my way across Asia more times than I can count." Luckily, he collected plenty of recipes along the route. These recipes are for simple, traditional dishes, many of which may have been slightly modified to appeal to Western palates—and schedules (most meals can be made in under a half hour). Yan, who hosts a PBS series, employs modern conveniences such as rice-cookers and microplane graters to expedite food prep, and suggests buying sauces from your local Asian market, if you happen to live near one. He presents a list of items he suggests should be staples of the amateur chef's Asian pantry and refrigerator. Yan directs novices to an overview of online resources and even provides a glossary of ingredients for the Asian-impaired. Basic recipes such as Sushi Rice, Spicy Soy Dipping Sauce, and Sweet-and-Sour Shredded Carrots are dispatched in a half page each. The next section, titled "Small Bites and First Courses," includes 81 appetizing dishes, such as Marbled Tea Eggs, and Crab and Asparagus Soup. The meatiest section, "Main Courses," features dishes like Mirin-Ginger Crab and Lemon-Pepper Beef. The book finishes off with tasty "Deserts and Drinks," such as Spiced Banana Rolls and Lychee Lemonade. Yan does a good job of demystifying Asian cuisine and bringing a touch of zen into our hurried lives. Photos.
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