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"Burma - Rivers of Flavor" by Naomi Duguid


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The book is amazing. Simply amazing.

I pre-ordered it and just finished reading the whole thing, cover to cover. I haven't yet cooked anything from it, but I went to an event with Naomi Duguid where they served samples of the "spiced rubbed jerky" (page 196) and the "sticky rice cake" (page 279). Both dishes were fantastic.

I am planning to start cooking from it next week. Still deciding which dishes to make first - there are so many I want to try!

Would love to know if anyone has cooked anything from it, and which dishes are tried and recommended.

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Beautiful book, and everything I've made from it so far has been delicious. To date, I've made the Chicken in Tart Garlic Sauce, Lima Beans with Galangal, Roasted Eggplant Salad, Golden Egg Curry, the Shallot-Lime Chutney, and Tart-Sweet Chile-Garlic Sauce. Standouts were the chicken and the egg curry.

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Beautiful book, and everything I've made from it so far has been delicious. To date, I've made the Chicken in Tart Garlic Sauce, Lima Beans with Galangal, Roasted Eggplant Salad, Golden Egg Curry, the Shallot-Lime Chutney, and Tart-Sweet Chile-Garlic Sauce. Standouts were the chicken and the egg curry.

Sounds wonderful - Here is the topic about cooking the recipes. Pictures ?:)

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lol. I was just writing about her last book on my blog!

How is this one different from the collaborations with Jeffrey Alford (I guess now her ex-husband - I notice he doesn't even get a mention in the thanks page). I guess one thing is some of their previous books were a bit formulaic in the recipe - mini essay - beautiful photograph - large format type structure. I notice the format of this book isn't as big... Is there much else different or is it still the same set-up?

Also I wonder if this book would have still come out if the (relative) thaw in Burmese politics hadn't happened. It would have been a bit weird to put it out if things were still as they were a year or two ago... Or maybe it would have been a good way to highlight the country's plight?



More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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Naomi Duguid started her research for this book in 2009, so I am pretty sure the book would have come out regardless of politics. Ethinc food has a way of uniting people through cultural understanding.

I heard Naomi say that she was extremely active in her research on every trip she made to Burma, because she always though it could be her last, due to the volatile political situation.

I don't find the book that different from previous ones. Sure, the format is a bit different. But the writing style (travel story followed by recipes) is the same, the photography is equally good (in fact, the photographer - Richard Jung - worked on some of her other books), and I am finding the quality of the recipes also similar.

The flavors and basic ingredients are different though. Burmese food is quite different from the food of the countries around it. Lots of turmeric and shallots, which suits me just fine because I love both :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I finally started cooking from the book. I made the following dishes:

* Tart-sweet chile-garlic sauce

* Tender greens salad with crispy fried shallots

* Intensely green spinach and tomato salad with peanuts

* Succulent pomelo salad

* Punchy-crunchy ginger salad *

* Smoky napa stir-fry

* Egg noodles with pork in coconut sauce *

* Golden egg curry *

Our favorite dishes so far are the ones marked with *. All of them were solid good though, to make again. I definitely love Burmese flavors, now that I understand them a bit better. Definitely different from food in neighboring countries.

What should I make next?

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  • 1 month later...

I may be in the minority and, granted, perhaps I need to make a few more dishes from this book for a true judgement but so far, I've made three dishes out of the book:

chicken in tart garlic sauce - needed to add extra garlic and lime juice

saucy spiced meat and potatoes - was pretty plain and so had to add a few dollops of roasted chilly sauce from Vietnamese Home Cooking

minced chicken with galangal and tomato - made this two weeks ago and we still havent eaten it

True, only three dishes, but not one was an unqualified success without intervention on my part. Not sure yet about this book.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Kind of, though no lime juice, no toasted rice powder. The cooked steak gets pounded into the mortar and pestle with the paste until it's falling apart and laced with the other ingredients.

But the BIG difference is... sichuan peppercorns. Ground ones in the broth that the steak simmers in, toasted whole ones pounded into the paste. That part of Burma borders China and they use them.

It's the most more-ish dish I've eaten in some time.

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