Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet

A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia

Publisher: Random House Canada
Recognizing that the wonderful flavours and tastes of Southeast Asia spill over national borders, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid set out to eat their way through the Mekong region's towns and villages, large and small, collecting recipes, cooking techniques, stories and photographs. Hot Sour Salty Sweet is the glorious result of their travels in the region extending south from China, down through Cambodia to Vietnam and including parts of Laos, Burma and Thailand.

Dishes like Spicy Grilled Beef Salad and Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Fresh Herbs appear side by side with exotic treats like Jungle Curry from North Thailand and Pomelo Salad from Cambodia. There are simple warming soups, easy stir-fries and brilliant hot salsas. And for those with a taste for the sweet, desserts include the delectable Sweet Satin Custard and Bananas in Coconut Cream.

Throughout, the authors offer vivid descriptions of their days spent searching out the complex, seemingly contradictory flavours of hot, sour, salty and sweet and reveal the delightful shared culinary palate of the peoples of the Mekong.

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The fabric of it all: At home, we have an old cherry wood dresser where we keep treasures from the Mekong. In it there are Hmong baby carriers painstakingly embroidered in reverse applique. There are Mien cross-stitch women's pants, and Akha bodices, shoulder bags, and leg wraps, all in the rich earthy colours so...
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