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Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore
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Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  156 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Just when you thought you knew everything about Asian food, along comes James Oseland s "Cradle of Flavor." Oseland has spent two decades exploring the foods of the Spice Islands. Few can introduce us to the birthplace of spice as he does. He brings us the Nyonya dishes of Singapore and Malaysia, the fiery specialties of West Sumatra, and the spicy-aromatic stews of Java. ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published August 17th 2006 by W. W. Norton & Company
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Sarah Kowalski
All the recipes we've tried so far have been fantastic. And I love the author's clear descriptions (complete with gorgeous color photos) of ingredients that would otherwise be unfamiliar to many western cooks. This is also clearly a very personal project for him -- his descriptions of memories of various events, friends, and meals in the region are well written and evocative. For anyone with an interest in Indonesian and Malaysian food, this is a must-own.
My new favorite cookbook. A must have for anyone interested in South East Asian cuisines.A well stocked pantry is essential and Oseland provides very detailed descriptions of specialty ingredients right down to name brands to look for. With Oseland's guidance home cooks can easily reproduce the complex and intriguing flavor profiles that make this cuisine so delicious and addictive.

Meh. I know this won the James Beard award and all, but I am underwhelmed. The stories and pictures are lovely. The recipes tend to be very challenging (for my skill level at least). Attempting two dishes requires an entire free weekend and trips to 4 asian grocery stores to find the appropriate ingredients.
An extremely well-crafted cookbook with interesting recipes. As a baker, I particularly loved the dessert section. A few great drink recipes are also included. My only complaint is that it did not include a recipe for Hainanese Chicken Rice, a Singaporean staple that I have been missing since I moved away.
Pepy Nasution
Dec 18, 2008 Pepy Nasution rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Rina ivarksd
Shelves: food
The first time, I was pretty skeptical. "What the heck does this American guy know about my Indonesian cuisine?" However, I was totally wrong, this book followed a path to be authentic. For my western friends who want to learn Indonesian cuisine, I recommended this book to them.
Nothing particularly wrong with it, but 90% of these recipes I've already found for free online. And there are very few pictures, so it isn't that interesting to look at, either. The anecdotes were pretty interesting, though.
The book provides a great education in Asian ingredients and cooking techniques while also providing interesting stories connected to the recipes. Was the basis of a fun and interesting potluck dinner party.
Catherine Woodman
Excellent cookbook with alot of innovative dishes and would love to spend some serious time cooking out of it, but need to wait until kids who don't eat this are not home
Three stars for now. You really need lots of specialty ingredients to pull these off. Buy and free kaffir lime leaves when you find them!
This is another winning ethnic cookbook I've featured on my blog. Everything I've made has been fantastic!
Amy Elizabeth
Very dense and packed with information. A master's thesis on Indonesian cooking techniques.
kind of a difficult one to jump right into...
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