Sumatra-born, London-based food writer and cooking consultant Sri Owen has traveled throughout Asia to research regional cuisines for her previous books. But it was in London that she realized that noodles had become the health food of choice in the western hemisphere as well. The fusion of Sri's worlds inspired her to write Noodles: The New Way, which presents more than 80 recipes that marry authentic Asian dishes with a Western feel. The book is a contemporary collection of dishes from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Singapore, Japan, India and Bali that can be made from ingredients found at local Asian markets.In the introduction Sri Owen pays homage to the personality characteristics of noodles - they'e lean, quick, flavorful, and democratic. Images by renowned food photographer Gus Filgate won this book a James Beard Foundation award for Best Photography. The photographs capture the varying temperatures, textures, hues and incarnations of noodles - the image for the Fried noodles on Portobello mushrooms recipe sizzles with vibrant orange, green, and brown.
Next, Owen describes the types of noodles - such as egg, rice, and Udon - and explains basic cooking techniques. There are recipes for stocks, such as miso stock, dipping sauces, dressings, There are recipes for vegetarian, seafood, poultry, and meat dishes. Owen suggests fine egg noodles with scrambled tofu, which can be made with angel hair pasta, and the protein-rich avocado and tofu tempura. For light, lean dishes there are formulas for asparagus tips with crab wontons, Indonesian chicken soup and Vietnamese noodle soup with steamed duck. For meat-lovers, Owen proposes barbecued pork spareribs with shitakenoodles, as well as traditional Pad Thai. The section on noodle salads offers a variety of distinctive recipes, such as cold soba noodles with lobster meat salad and green papaya and mango salad. The book rounds out with a glossary that clarifies more unusual ingredients. Throughout the book, Owen demonstrates how tastes and textures from different sources can work together to create new noodle recipes that are both eastern and western, traditional and modern. "The imaginative cook may well feel like an artist who has been given a paint box full of completely new colors," she gushes.