The Best Asian Cookbooks

Find our top 8 picks for the best Asian cookbooks of the past 25 years.

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Burma: Rivers of Flavor
Photo: Randy Mayor

Burma: Rivers of Flavor

Burma: Rivers of Flavor By Naomi Duguid, Artisan, 2012. Hardcover. $35; 372 pages

We’d been looking forward to this book since running one of its recipes in 2011. Duguid is part anthropologist, part brilliant cook, and her recipes simply work in American kitchens. Many dishes in Burma will seem entirely fresh to palates already familiar with Thai or Vietnamese food. The subtle complexity of Simmered Cabbage, Shan Style; Traveler’s Eggplant Curry; and Minced Chicken with Galangal and Tomato was a revelation. Plus, each of these recipes achieves such richness with 10 ingredients or fewer. Duguid has mastered the arc of flavor development. She writes with deep, local, friendly authority, warning not to taste the eggplant dish halfway through, lest the dried anchovies drive you away. As promised, the flavor was lovely in the end, the anchovies lending a predominantly savory, not fishy, quality. 

GIVE THIS TO: Serious cooks in search of seriously authentic flavors. —Scott Mowbray


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