One of my favorite parts about living in Japan is the easy access to so many other countries. China, Taiwan, South Korea, and all of Southeast Asia are only a short flight away. One of my favorite parts about visiting other countries? Eating my way into as many blissful food comas as possible!
Moving to Japan was my first exposure to any Asian culture. I did take an Asian Art History Class in college, but it hasn't exactly helped with food recognition. So, I have been hunting for really good cookbooks. Know how to make something is not enough. I want to know why. Food Of Japan was my first cookbook find- an amazing explanation of Japanese food. Now I know where tofu comes from and what you do with all those little, dried fishes!
Food and Travesl: Asia is my new, favorite cookbook. Part cooking, part photography, and part travelogue, this book is much too beautiful to hide on my cookbook shelf Food and Travels: Asia instead has pride of place on my coffee table! The title is a bit of a misnomer...don't expect to find any Japanese, Korean, or Chinese recipes. But do enjoy detailed, exquisite recipes and lush photography from India, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Laos, and Bali.
Recreating those tasty dishes that you enjoyed on a vacation or during a port call just became a lot easier! This book even recommends substitutions for tricky-to-find ingredients. That's not to say all the recipes are difficult. Many of them require just a bit of familiarity with your local, Japanese grocery store, or the Commissary's Asian food aisle. Allow me to recommend the Coconut Fish Curry on page 102. It's one of our favorites.
Food and Travels: Asia, by Alistair Hendy, sells new on Amazon for $75. I would definitely recommend purchasing a copy from the "used" section, instead. Used copies start at a very reasonable $1.62. Since this book ships from the UK, keep in mind that the default shipping will be a very slooooow Standard shipping. Do not order this book now if you are about to move back to the States!
Disclaimer: I do my best to make sure all my information is accurate. However, details may change or I may just be flat-out wrong. Please let me know if something needs a correction. Thank-you!