I've learned a lot of my small store of Asian cooking skills from Andrea Nguyen. Her first book, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen was award-winning and I don't doubt that her newest, Asian Dumplings (Ten Speed Press), will get some similar attention. For a curious cook like me, it's the kind of book you open and want to make everything on its pages.
Since learning basic dumplings from Kenny Lao when I did a Kitchen Tour with him early this year, I've been playing with the basic formula, which is easy to riff on. However, there is so much more to explore in the depth of Asian dumpling traditions: from Chinese dim sum to Filipino buns and Indian samosas.
The great thing about dumplings is that they can be made in teams, thus a great activity for entertaining at home, which is what we're all doing a lot more of these days. Asian Dumplings will keep you entertained and busy for many dinner parties to come.
Number of recipes: 75+
Recipes for right now: I'm all over the Spicy Sardine Puff Fillings (trust me), Spiced Lamb Dumplings, and Panfried Pork and Scallion Mini Buns.
• Buy the book: Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More by Andrea Nguyen (Amazon, $19.80)
• Check out Andrea Nguyen's website Viet World Kitchen and the book's companion website Asian Dumpling Tips
More 2009 Book Reviews
• Clean Food by Terry Walters
• On Food & Cooking by Harold McGee
• Secrets from My Tuscan Kitchen by Judy Witts Francini
• The Perfect Fruit by Chip Brantley
• Heard it Through the Grapevine by Matt Skinner
• Big Food by Elissa Altman
• Edible Schoolyard by Alice Waters
• The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
• Milk by Anne Mendelson
• The New Steak by Cree LeFavour
• A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
• Fresh Food From Small Places by R. J. Ruppenthal
• Eat Feed Autumn Winter by Anne Bramley
• Heirloom Beans by Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo
(Cover Image: Penny De Los Santos)