Let’s talk cookbooks today…actually, one cookbook in particular. This cookbook is one of the most unique ones that I own!
It caught my eye because I absolutely loved traveling to Asia in the past (when I studied abroad in Cambodia) and I am a huge fan of Thai (and most other) Asian food, so I was looking forward to paging through these recipes and discovering new favorites.
“Lucky Rice,” written by Danielle Chang, is full of one-of-a-kind recipes and other snapshots of authentic Asian cuisine. What I found especially interesting about this book is the fact that the author often tweaked recipes that she either grew up with or had encountered in her travels to various parts of Asia.
It was fun to see how Chang brought her own twist to different recipes, and I did enjoy reading her side notes and personal anecdotes throughout the cookbook.
I do have to say, however, that the recipes and ingredients were much more difficult for me to accomplish in this rural region of Minnesota, due to the limited variety of authentic Asian ingredients in our grocery stores. Whenever I found a recipe that I wanted to make, a quick skim of the ingredients told me that it wouldn’t be feasible, as I would have to substitute way too many ingredients to stay true to the recipe.
Another quick note: I really was not a fan of the food photography in this cookbook. I understand that they were trying to make the recipes feel more accessible and homey, but the way they attempted that was by photographing extremely messy or especially half-eaten (or almost all-eaten) meals. For me, personally, it was not appetizing.
After perusing the pages of the cookbook for a while, I decided to make the almond gelatin – called “Almond ‘Tofu’ With Fruit Cocktail.” This recipe ended up tasting quite good! Bjorn and I both thought it wasn’t bad. It was essentially a very almond-flavored cold gelatin with fruit cocktail set into the gelatin. My recipe ended up a lot more messy than even the cookbook’s photos, but we did enjoy the taste. I was a bit discouraged that I had to select a dessert recipe as opposed to trying a main dish, but the ingredient lists limited me there.
So, would I recommend this cookbook? Maybe. If you are a fan of unique Asian recipes and you have access to many Asian ingredients, then I think it could be a fun new experience for you! The book certainly is a conversation starter, and Chang’s personal stories add a neat edge to it. But if you have more limited ingredient choices, this book may not be the best fit for your cookbook shelf.
** Thank you to Blogging For Books for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.