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ElsieD

Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes

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I have searched the site and found a few references about this book here and there but there is not a thread dedicated to it.  I am thinking about buying this book but would like to know what others who have this book think of it.  I know there are Lucky Peach fans on this site and that they think highly of this publication and wondered if that carried on through to the book.  I have a few Canadian $ (rapidly shrinking relative to their US counterpart) and would like to use this money to buy an Asian cookbook, a salad book and a pressure cooker book to use with the Instant Pot.   The latter two I know which ones I want but the Asian one I am not sure about.  The Lucky Peach book appeals to me because it is said to be easy and does not need hard-to-find-ingredients.  Any thoughts?


Edited by ElsieD took out a say d (log)

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Elsie,

I have the Kindle edition of this and have enjoyed every minute of reading it. However due to circumstances beyond my control I have not yet cooked anything from it.  I do not think it would meet anyone's requirements for something they might consider "authentic" whatever you consider that word to mean.  But if you are looking for a wide variety of what appeared to be very tasty dishes then I think you will get some joy out of this book. I hate commenting on a book that I have not yet cooked from but there it is. 


Edited by Anna N (log)
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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I have made two dishes in the book and eaten a third at a friend's. Most recently I made the Massaman curry, which was really good. My only complaint was that in order to braise the chicken with liquid that covers you need a lot of liquid and the dish ends up more like soup. Still very good. The next day I drained off some of the liquid and reduced it for a less soupy curry. Very very good. This is just the kind of dish that leftovers were made for. A great use for dark meat chicken.

 

I chronicled my experience with the Beef Noodle Soup on the thread Beef Cuts for Soup. Fabulous flavorful stock, but the meat needed more cook time since it wasn't the tenderest cut. Totally worth tweaking.

 

A friend served the Miso Glazed Eggplant and it was quite nice. Not my favorite way to eat eggplant, but good. He says he makes it frequently, and he also likes the recipe for Oshitashi. He is an enthusiastic reader of LP magazine, which I am not. He just returned from Japan and although he loves this book he used the term "dumbed down" for some of the recipes. I don't agree. I would say there are some short cuts, but they make sense and the results are quality. Plus I think the suggestions up front for pantry staples are well thought out. 

 

I'm not a stranger to Asian food, and have been cooking Viet dishes and various wontons and pot stickers and stir-fry for some time. I also have taken an intensive week-long class in Thai cooking. I see this book as a very useful basic resource. The recipes include lots of classics that you have probably eaten if you eat Asian food out and for the most part they are not tricky and are forgiving if you lack either time or esoteric ingredients. Unique to this book is that the range of recipes covers a wide swath of Asian foods, which is different than most specialized Asian cookbooks. The LP cuteness self-congratulatory factor is just short of annoying, but to make up for it the authors do seem genuinely friendly.

 

I'm happy that there is a thread dedicated to this book and will continue to post in it as I work through the recipes. Don't expect a systematic Chris Hennes treatment! Right now I'm having a love affair with potato kugel. 


Edited by Katie Meadow (log)
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Anna and Katie,  thank you for your comments.  They are exactly what I was hoping for.  To clarify, I wasn't looking for authentic in the sense that I would have to use my (non-existent) mortar and pestle and starting pounding together 38 different herbs and spices.  I am hoping this book will enable me to make tasty, enjoyable dishes with a minimum of fuss, using some store bought ingredients.  I like the fact the book covers more than one Asian cuisine.  As for the magazine, I did buy LP once, but it wasn't for me so I passed it along to someone who did enjoy it but haven't purchased another copy since.

 

Hopefully a few others might pipe up as well.

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Heidi, thank you. I subscribe to her newsletter and that started me thinking about buying the book.

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 Thanks from me too, heidih.   Smitten kitten's take on hot and sour soup seems to parallel my own so I might be willing to try the one in this book.  


Edited by Anna N Typos (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I got the book from my local library, and liked it enough to buy it. I think I'll probably be turning to it more frequently than some of my other more authentic but more labor intensive cookbooks. I've tried two recipes, a claypot chicken and a beef and celery dish, that were both really good and recipes that could be cooked on a weeknight. It has a good section on Asian ingredients, with both descriptions and photos with some info on recommended brands. 

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I was delighted today to learn that this cookbook should be on its way to me as a premium for a public radio station donation. 

This post on the station's food program blog includes a photo and list of the "Lucky Peach beginner Asian pantry staples" in case anyone wants to assess what's needed.  I have most everything already, except for the peanuts, how funny is that xD - probably the most accessible one!  

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On 2/10/2016 at 2:50 PM, Katie Meadow said:

I have made two dishes in the book and eaten a third at a friend's. Most recently I made the Massaman curry, which was really good. My only complaint was that in order to braise the chicken with liquid that covers you need a lot of liquid and the dish ends up more like soup. Still very good. The next day I drained off some of the liquid and reduced it for a less soupy curry. Very very good. This is just the kind of dish that leftovers were made for. A great use for dark meat chicken.

 

I chronicled my experience with the Beef Noodle Soup on the thread Beef Cuts for Soup. Fabulous flavorful stock, but the meat needed more cook time since it wasn't the tenderest cut. Totally worth tweaking.

 

A friend served the Miso Glazed Eggplant and it was quite nice. Not my favorite way to eat eggplant, but good. He says he makes it frequently, and he also likes the recipe for Oshitashi. He is an enthusiastic reader of LP magazine, which I am not. He just returned from Japan and although he loves this book he used the term "dumbed down" for some of the recipes. I don't agree. I would say there are some short cuts, but they make sense and the results are quality. Plus I think the suggestions up front for pantry staples are well thought out. 

 

I'm not a stranger to Asian food, and have been cooking Viet dishes and various wontons and pot stickers and stir-fry for some time. I also have taken an intensive week-long class in Thai cooking. I see this book as a very useful basic resource. The recipes include lots of classics that you have probably eaten if you eat Asian food out and for the most part they are not tricky and are forgiving if you lack either time or esoteric ingredients. Unique to this book is that the range of recipes covers a wide swath of Asian foods, which is different than most specialized Asian cookbooks. The LP cuteness self-congratulatory factor is just short of annoying, but to make up for it the authors do seem genuinely friendly.

 

I'm happy that there is a thread dedicated to this book and will continue to post in it as I work through the recipes. Don't expect a systematic Chris Hennes treatment! Right now I'm having a love affair with potato kugel. 

 

 

Question - The recipe simply says "add chicken" and the ingredient list is "1.5 lbs chicken thighs". Do you put in the thighs whole and break up later while eating?

 

Did you slice the thighs into large chunks?

 

Did you use skin on?

 

My inclination would be to use boneless/skinless for easier eating and to cut them up. 


Anyone got any ideas?

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Okay, since it has been more than a year since I made this, I can't really remember. But being me, most likely I used bone-in skin-on thighs and put them in whole. I might have even used whole leg/thigh pieces, which I do frequently, mostly because my favorite chicken comes that way. Also I must have served them whole, right from the pot. Chicken with skin and bones typically contributes more flavor to a dish, but I don't see why you couldn't use skinned and boned thighs if that's what you like. I wouldn't cut it up first, though; you could cut it into large pieces right before you serve it, or give your guests knives, so they can do whatever they like. If you cut it up first it will cook fast, and your sauce won't be as flavorful. Lucky Peach techniques seem pretty reliable to me, so I'm thinking if they don't specify the chicken be skinned or cut up they probably don't mean it to be done. After reading my post I realize I really haven't cooked much from the book. Got side-tracked, what else is new.

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