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

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  260 Ratings  ·  13 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. Os ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published August 17th 2006 by W. W. Norton & Company
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Cradle of Flavor by James OselandMadhur Jaffrey Indian Cooking by Madhur JaffreyThai Food by David  ThompsonHot Sour Salty Sweet by Jeffrey AlfordJapanese Cooking by Shizuo Tsuji
Best Asian Cookbooks
1st out of 99 books — 6 voters
Baking by Dorie GreenspanFeast by Nigella LawsonThe River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-WhittingstallCooking by James PetersonThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
James Beard Award Cookbooks2
29th out of 99 books — 20 voters

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Sarah Kowalski
Jan 03, 2008 Sarah Kowalski rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
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.
Aug 05, 2015 cheryl rated it really liked it
Great reading! Didn't cook anything not very vegan
Feb 11, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
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.
Aug 31, 2008 Dh rated it liked it

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.
Aug 10, 2012 Kat rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
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 really liked it
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.
Jun 19, 2012 Sara rated it liked it
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.
Feb 20, 2008 Happyreader rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food-and-drink, asian
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
Jul 29, 2011 Catherine Woodman rated it really liked it
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
Jul 09, 2007 Christie rated it liked it
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!
Jan 26, 2008 Kristine rated it it was amazing
This is another winning ethnic cookbook I've featured on my blog. Everything I've made has been fantastic!
Amy Elizabeth
Aug 19, 2014 Amy Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Very dense and packed with information. A master's thesis on Indonesian cooking techniques.
May 29, 2007 Lindsay rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
kind of a difficult one to jump right into...
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