Cookbooks of Asia and the Pacific

from Asia, Hawai‘i,
and Oceania

Authentic cookbooks that have been personally tested and reviewed, enabling you to make easy and reliable cookbook selections. My experience with these cuisines comes from close to 30 years of cooking the foods of Asia and Oceania, extensive travel in Asia, and living in Hawai‘i.

General Asian Cookbooks
Chinese Cookbooks
Indian Cookbooks
Indonesian Cookbooks
Japanese Cookbooks
Korean Cookbooks
Filipino Cookbooks

Thai Cookbooks
Vietnamese Cookbooks

General Pacific Cookbooks
Hawaiian Cookbooks

BOOKS about the
ingredients used in Asian
and Pacific cuisines

We also offer:
Essential cooking utensils
Asian/Pacific Glossary of

Tropical gardening info
(coming soon)

Links on related pages to:
Asia/Oceania grocers

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Art Culinaire
Bon Appetit
Chile Pepper
Cooks Illustrated


Indonesian food market

Welcome to my cookbook site

I love to eat and where I live, in rural Hawai‘i, if you love to eat, you better figure out how to love to cook. What I don't love, is to look at a list of hundreds of cookbooks and dozens of reviews online and still not feel confident in a cookbook choice.

I particularly enjoy authentic Asian and Polynesian cuisines and have made it a point to present only those books that include authentic recipes or good, creative Pacific Rim fusion cuisine. All books, unless otherwise noted, are reviewed by me and most are either books I cook with, or have at least studied and tested recipes from. I will be continually trying new cookbooks and reviewing them in order to make your selection process that much easier.

Thanks for visiting !!
Sherry Kelso Palmer

General Asian Cookbooks New books
added to end..
The Complete Asian Cookbook The Complete Asian Cookbook - by Charmaine Solomon - (hardcover or paperback) The Complete Asian Cookbook is simply one of the best in quality and quantity. My friends call it the Asian cookbook bible. 100's of recipes from most Asian countries. An introduction is provided for each country giving an overview of the foods, serving methods, utensils, and ingredients used. My copy is so used and splashed with tasty sauces, it could probably be used as soup stock. Some photos.
Savoring Southeast Asia Savoring Southeast Asia - by Joyce Jue - A beautiful cookbook, Savoring Southeast Asia is not only is it filled with excellent recipes from the area (every one I have made has turned out great), it is lavishly illustrated with color photos of the finished dishes and shots of the countrysides, markets and cooks of Southeast Asia.
Hot Sour Salty Sweet Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia - by Corinne Trang - This eye-catching book is not only filled with exceptional recipes, Hot Sour Salty Sweet offers a wealth of information about the land, cultures and peoples of the Mekong. The author describes the subtle differences in regional food from Northeast Burma and Yunnan through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. There are stunning photos of rural, village and city life (these alone are worth the price of the book), some photos of finished dishes. The recipes range from simple comfort food, such as "Silky Coconut-Pumplin Soup" to the more complex "Morning Market Noodles".
Seductions of Rice Seductions of Rice - Jeffrey Alford & Naome Duguid - Want to know all about rice? Seductions of Rice his is the book. One page is a full color photo of 36 varieties of the grain. A very thoughtfully done book that includes recipes from all countries that love rice, vignettes from their own experiences in these countries, and an extensive glossary.
A Spoonful of Ginger A Spoonful of Ginger - by Nina Simonds (Hardback 1999) - Very tasty, nutritious and healthy recipes that are simple to make and leave a fresh taste in your mouth. A Spoonful of Giinger ends with a chapter called "The Kitchen Clinic and Herbal Tonics" and each chapter includes notes on the medicinal qualities of foods.
Food of Asia Food of Asia: Authentic Recipes from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam - by Kong Foong Ling - One of the best of the Periplus Food Series. Food of Asia is an excellent overview of the cuisines of Southeast Asia and a good starting point for trying out the recipes of these lands. Most recipes are authentic, occasionally they are simplified, but to no great degree. The book includes a glossary of ingredients and utensils. For each country there are a few pages devoted to the cuisine's history and kitchens, followed by a good sampling of 40 or 50 recipes complete with helpful hints. Another plus - it is well illustrated with photos of many of the dishes.
Martin Yan's Feast Martin Yan's Feast - by Martin Yan - This book is filled with good recipes, most of them fairly simple. Do not expect just authentic Chinese recipes as Martin Yan's Feast is compiled from 7 years of his TV show and includes other Asian fare and Yan's own imaginative style of cooking. There are photos of many of the dishes, a glossary, a few pages on sauces, and lots of helpful hints. Recipes range from Hawaiian Poke to Kung Pao Chicken.
Blue Ginger Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai - This style of cooking comes from a chef in the East exploring western dishes. Each recipe in Blue Ginger is prefaced by "Ming's Tips". Some recipes are simple, some seem complex at first, but really aren't and some really are, The end result is worth it. He even names a chapter "Over the Top" - some of the best in fusion recipes. "Tea Smoked Salmon with Wasabi Potato Latkes and Fuji Apple Salad" sounds complicated but is not and it makes your guests beg for more. (There is an occasional editing mistake or two, but other than that - its a really good book.)
Ken Hom's Quick Wok Ken Hom’s Quick Wok: The Fastest Wok in the East - by Ken Hom - A nice looking, square format book with many color photos. Ken Hom has, for the most part, included recipes that are simple, quick, and easy to cook such as Stir-fried Spinach with Ginger, Cold Aubergine Salad, or Savory Garlic Pork that turn out to be delicious. Occasionally there will be the recipe that may lack the more complex flavors of the “long version”, such as Chicken with Satay Sauce - but it holds its own - due to the author’s culinary skills. If you are in a hurry, this is the way to go - Quick Wok !.
Asian Grilling Asian Grilling - by Su-Mei Yu - You may never go back in your kitchen to cook again. Asian Grilling is a really fine book. 85 recipes, some authentic, mostly “Asian-Inspired” (or fusion) recipes to cook outside. Grilled Pineapple with White Pepper and Palm Sugar, Grilled Mangoes with Ginger Syrup, Grilled Scallops with Pineapple-Chili Glaze in Endive, Otak Otak Nonya-Style Spicy Fish Cakes. These are all so good. The intro covers Asian flavors and cooking fires, followed by interesting chapters on “Wrapped and Grilled”, “Grilled and Wrapped”, “Satay, Kebabs, and Skewers” - essentially covering the diversity of Asian grilling techniques. Many photos.
Beyond Fusion: A new look at ethnic influences on contem-porary cooking - by Rainer Zinngrebe - I think this is a really fun book. Tandoori Paneer Vegetable Ravioli, Black Glutinous Rice and Crunchy Vegetable Salad with Roasted Cashew Nuts, and Rasam with Seafood may not be some of the easiest dishes to make but they certainly keep things interesting. Beyond Fusion came out of Zinngrebe's time spent as the Executive Chef of The Fullerton Hotel in Singapore. All recipes are accompanied by a color photo of the plated dish. If you are not familiar with the food of Asia, best to have a book such as Asian Ingredients, as this book, though very clearly written, does not have a large glossary of ingredients.
Spices of Life Spices of Life: Simple and Delicious Recipes for Great Health - by Nina Simonds - The author of "A Spponful of Ginger" came out with this very nicely designed and well written book in 2005. She manages to always keep her eye on fresh, healthy low fat, low salt ingredients while delivering recipes that are full of flavor. Most have an Asian or Hawaiian flair to them, but not all. Healthy living advise from experts such as Weil or Blumberg are interspersed throughout the book, as well as a short section on foods that fight common ailments and another on Indian spices and their Ayurvedic properties. Some photos
The Big Book of Juices and Smoothies The Big Book of Juices and Smoothies: 365 natural blends for health and vitality every day - by Natalie Savona - A great variety of juices, smoothies and quenchers. What makes this book go one step further than some others is that the author provides nutritional information and medicinal qualities for each recipe. Includes helpful tips on how to juice all the ingredients to get the most out of them.
Curry Cuisine - by Corinne Trang, David Thompson, Sri Owen, et al - An idea, a lot like Jaffrey's Curries to Kabobs, only Curry Cuisine takes you to India and Pakistan, S.E. Asia, Britain, Africa, the Caribbean and Japan. The heat is authentically turned up in dishes like Laal Maas (Fiery Lamb Curry) from Rajasthan or Southern curry of chopped beef from Thailand and tuned down for recipes from Britain and Japan. The Japanese curries, though few, are really interesting. The Japanese flavors of dashi, shoyu and mirin are added, as are western ingredients such as ketchup. Very good recipes, and many photos of plated dishes.
Curry Cuisine
The Sweet Spot The Sweet Spot: Asian-Inspired Desserts - by Pichet Ong and Genevieve Ko - This is quite a unique book. Asian inspired 5 star restaurant desserts. Here is a sampling from 100 exotic recipes: "Green Tea Cream and Fresh Fruit Cake", "Malted Chocolate Layer Cake with Vietnamese Coffee Butter Cream", "Oranges with Orange Blossom Sabayon" and "Chocolate Kumquat Spring Rolls". Not only is it filled with fantastic, clearly written recipes, it is a beautiful book that includes photos of most of the desserts. Highly recommended !!
©2005-06 Cookbooks of Asia and the Pacific, P.O. Box 1255, Pahoa, HI 96778