September 17, 2014
The Food of Myanmar by Claudia Saw Lwin Robert
My rating: 4 of 5 spoons
"The Food of Myanmar" is well worth it just for the first 35 pages of history, information, cooking techniques and guide to a typical Myanmar pantry. The early recipes cover dips, sauces, pickles and other condiments. From there it covers Appetizers, Rice, Soups & Noodles, Salads, Fish & Shellfish, Meat & Poultry, Vegetables and Desserts. The recipes are varied and fascinating, but if you don't have a good Asian grocery nearby, you might have trouble actually cooking them. There is an interesting array of ingredients that if you're not very familiar with Asian cooking might be new to you or hard to find such as roasted pea flour, curry leaves (you can buy curry powder around here, but I've never seen the leaves), lephet (fermented tea leaves--if you want to make them yourself, be prepared to wait 6 months before you can use them!), dried fermented soya bean cake or dried lablab beans. Some have substitutions listed such as cilantro leaves for saw-leaf herb, but many do not. The instructions are clear, and there are beautiful full-color photographs.
If you are looking for authentic Burmese food, look no further--just make sure you have a source for the harder-to-find ingredients.
I received a copy of this book from Tuttle Publishing for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.