The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FOOD -

mately a cook­book.

The book is di­vided into chap­ters de­voted to main in­gre­di­ents, and the recipes are well­writ­ten and easy to fol­low. This is, how­ever, not your typ­i­cal Viet­namese cook­book. It’s a chef’s cook­book, which means that Chinn has given his in­ter­pre­ta­tions of Viet­namese dishes, and tweaked some fu­sion dishes, too. Not all the recipes are sim­ple, as some in­volve chef’s tech­niques and ad­vance plan­ning.

Along­side sim­ple Viet­namese sal­ads are recipes for Red Wine Braised lamb Shanks with Ap­ple Risotto and Oys­ter Brulee. There are also non-Viet­namese recipes such as the Moroc­can Beet­root Salad with Hazel­nutcrusted Goat’s Cheese.

I tried the eas­ier recipes from the book. One was the Ba­nana Blos­som Salad With Chicken. In his recipe, the ba­nana blos­som is eaten raw but I blanched it. I also used chicken meat from the thigh, rather than breast fil­lets. It’s sim­i­lar to Thai and Per­ankan ker­abu, but not as in­tense.

The other recipe I tried was BC’s Grilled Chicken Wings, mostly be­cause I like the story of the grumpy hawker who leaves the wooden skew­ers for the chicken at the side of a lamp post. Chinn was dis­ap­prov­ing of her hy­giene stan­dards un­til he was told they were the best grilled chicken he’d ever eat in his life. He tried them, and was im­me­di­ately on a mis­sion to fig­ure out the recipe for the sauce. All his at­tempts met with fail­ure, un­til the lady made some right in front of him when she ran out of sauce late one night.

The recipe is sim­ple, made with in­gre­di­ents most of us have in our kitchen, and it’s real tasty, too.

I’ll prob­a­bly never get around to try­ing the harder recipes, but this grilled chicken wings recipe is a keeper.

I also love the pho­to­graphs in the book, es­pe­cially those of the streets and stalls. I only The team of Hun­gry Cater­pil­lar, Marty and Veg­gie Chick (whose cook­ery col­umn ap­pears in on the first Mon­day of ev­ery month) re­views cook­books in this reg­u­lar se­ries. To give read­ers an idea of what the books are about, they also test recipes from the pub­li­ca­tions. wish there were less of Chinn’s por­traits ... and yes, I am aware it’s a celebrity chef’s cook­book.

n Hun­gry Cater­pil­lar blogs at hun­gryc.com

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