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Being born in Indonesia, we were thrilled when we came across Lara Lee's book. The stories and photography inside the book transported me back to my childhood there. The colourful photos really capture the essence of Indonesia. The food and recipes inside are a joy and delicious. Stunningly written, it is a book I have enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed cooking. I can't recommend enough.
I lived and worked in Indonesia for several years, and can't believe more people don't know about the wonderful and diverse cuisines of the archipelago. I'm always looking to cook Indonesian recipes, but searching online can be hit and miss. Lara's book makes it easy to get started on making Indonesian food in your home kitchen, with ingredients that are readily available in Australian supermarkets. The recipes I have made so far taste great, with authentic flavours but added contemporary shortcuts or twists. Recommend!
I've loved reading Lara's cookbook because of her recipes and how she tells the story behind each dish. I literally read it at night like a storybook! As an Indonesian living in the UK, I've LOVED trying out her recipes (in the pictures attached we've made Ayam Betutu, Nasi Uduk, Sambal Matah, Jagung Bakar and Coconut Pannacotta). She also has alternatives if you're a vegan, vegetarian or if you prefer to roast or shallow-fry things rather than deep-fry (as lots of Indonesian street foods are deep fried). Another thing to point out is that Lara lists out ingredients which are easier to find if you don't live in Asia so don't be scared of the exotic inggedients she uses as she's explained perfect alternatives for us homecooks. I'm so very proud of this cookbook that I'm buying another one for my boyfriend's aunt. Hopefully through this cookbook, more and more people will be e 10 10 not detecting would buy again then truexposed to our cuisine and the great dishes we offer.
There are so many reasons why I love this book. My top 5 are below.
1) The author is authentic. The stories of her journeys and experiences that accompany her recipes makes the cookbook stand up on it's own as a book. It differentiates from many others that are simply a list of recipes. You can hear her speaking to you as you read her stories, which makes the book even more compelling.
2) You can obtain the ingredients! So many times I've made an attempt at an interesting recipe and I could not buy the ingredients that made the recipe, resulting in failed dishes and another cookbook left on the shelf. You don't have to be back packing around Indonesia to gather the critical ingredients before you start - they are in the supermarkets.
3) The author explains how to make the ingredients that are foundations of many recipes when they're not available to buy themselves.
4) Everything I have cooked so far works brilliantly, each delivering a great result without disappointment. That's fantastic considering how many recipes are here. My favourite at the moment is the kwetiau (pork and prawn rice noodles).
5) I love the set menu idea's at the end of the book, making it simple to put on a vegan or vegetarian dinner - or simply just to have a menu where all the dishes complement each other perfectly. Takes out the thinking of creating a menu if you're new to Indonesian cooking.
It's simply a great book, brings Indonesia into my kitchen in a modern, up-to-date and dare I say hip way that's just awesome. This book is setting a very high bar. Off now to make Nasi Goreng for lunch!
I sent this back. I’ve spent some time in Indonesia and love the food so I was really looking forward to making some of my favourite dishes at home. Unfortunately, the recipes in here feel a bit like an expat version of Indonesian food. They just lack finesse. Think meat piled in meat piled on noodles. The photography is also off key - to hip London designer for my liking- and so it isn’t especially a pleasure to browse either.
I have cooked several dishes from this book already and I only received it yesterday. The sambals and peanut sauce are the best I've made. The photography is slightly off-putting by today's standards and does not do the book justice. For once your own dishes may turn out to be better looking than the pictures. Other than that I am excited and delighted by this book.
After nearly 3 months of lockdown and getting bored of my own cooking this book has been a revelation. It's beautiful just to look at, so colourful and vibrant. I was a bit concerned that i wouldn't be able to find some of the ingredients but the recipes are so versatile you can literally use whatever is in the fridge. The Nasi Goreng is so quick and easy to make and the mushroom and aubergine soup sends my taste buds tingling. It's my new favourite cookbook. Thanks Lara Lee
I have cooked more recipes from this book in a month than I cook from most recipe books in years. The recipes are quite simply superb. The instructions are easy to follow, and there are a manageable number of processes involved so you don't need to spend all evening in the kitchen !