The flavors of Southeast Asia are the star in this collection of recipes from Leah Cohen, the Top Chef alum and restaurateur.
Growing up half-Filipino, Leah Cohen never thought food from her mother's side would become her life's work. But after working in Michelin-starred restaurants and then competing on Top Chef, Cohen was still searching to define what made her food hers. She found the answer in Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia, and yes, the Philippines, as she rediscovered the deliciously sweet, pungent, and spicy flavors of her youth and set out to take them back with her to New York.
Now, Cohen brings the exciting flavors of Southeast Asia to the masses in her beloved New York City restaurants. And in this cookbook, she shows readers how to use pantry staples like fish sauce (the salt of Southeast Asia), coconut milk, and shrimp paste to delicious effect, and gives home cooks the confidence to embrace what she calls the "controlled chaos" of Asian cooking in their own kitchens. As Cohen explains, Southeast Asian cooking varies by country, but what unites the cuisine is the balance of flavor that creates deep umami in every dish. From addictive street food snacks like Lumpia (Filipino spring rolls) to Burmese Eggplant Salad, Grilled Cod in Banana Leaf with Yellow Curry, Crisp Banana Fritters, and even fiery cocktails, this cookbook presents authentic dishes with a modern twist. With more than 125 recipes, it will inspire home cooks to let their taste buds travel.
About the Author
Leah Cohen is the owner of Pig & Khao and Piggyback Bar in New York City. Leah continues to find culinary inspiration through her Southeast Asian travels and helms her restaurants' kitchen with the help of her husband, Ben Byruch.
"Leah Cohen is the genuine definition of a 'great cook.' She understands her arsenal of Southeast Asian ingredients better than anyone I’ve ever met. Sign me up for Fried Red Snapper with Green Mango, Cashews, and Crispy Garlic."
–Bobby Flay, Chef