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The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon

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Notes about this book

  • okcook on February 18, 2012

    I am on my second copy of this fantastic book. The first one was used so much it fell apart. Not that is was poorly bound, just use. So many great recipes with ingredients that are easily found nowadays. Can't recommend this book highly enough.

  • PrincessK on August 05, 2010

    Per Chowhound: Kikkoman is saltier than Korean Soy Sauce so it is a good idea to start with a little less than called for in a recipe, then taste test.Kikkoman can also be modified to use as a general base for soy sauce based dipping sauces by adding the sugar and honey as per above.Sempio is a good brand and they make both the soup soy sauce and the dark soy sauce.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Rice with vegetables (Sabzi pilau)

    • Eurydice on December 18, 2013

      This would be good with a simple curry with lots of sauce - eg dhal

  • Saffron and lemon sweet pilau (Kesar pilau)

    • okcook on February 18, 2012

      This is a wonderful aromatic rice dish, made many times.

  • Punjabi leavened bread (Naan)

    • Lu1950s on March 08, 2013

      Took about 3 hrs. to rise. I made the naan on my baking stone instead of baking sheets. Ten minutes at 450 deg. F. was too long to bake on the stone, making the naan dry. Four minutes was about right, but top didn't get as browned as I would have liked. Tried to use broiler to brown top, but then dried out the naan again. I think next time I won't worry so much about getting a darker color.

  • Chicken Everest

    • okcook on February 18, 2012

      This is my go to chicken recipe for friends who haven't had good curries. It isn't too spicy but full of flavours. It is very impressive at the table and I usually make double the spice paste and put the other half in the freezer for another chicken with very little prep. to do.

  • Eggs in coconut milk gravy (Mootay molee)

    • wester on January 21, 2015

      Good and easy. I didn't use the chiles, just some pepper flakes.

  • Lamb curry (Mutton kari)

    • chrisguzzi on June 23, 2015

      This is my 'Go To' recipe for lamb curry. It is always great and I like to use the full amounts of ingredients but with less lamb so that we have plenty of gravy.

  • Lamb in spices and yoghurt (Roghan josh)

    • okcook on February 18, 2012

      It was good but a ton or work to make.

  • Spiced lamb with saffron and almonds (Badami gosht)

    • debkellie on June 19, 2014

      Ms Solomon suggested this as a good intro to "spicy food" for kids, as it has no heat...I used my *best* saffron, and that really shone through. It is spicy, but mild is too light an epithet! It responded well to mango chutney as a sambal: it does need some sweet accompaniment to give it a highlight. Would give it another go.

  • Peas with fresh cheese (Mattar panir)

    • okcook on February 18, 2012

      Be sure to make your own panir.

  • Curried mushrooms, potatoes and peas (Taazi khumben alu mattar kari)

    • okcook on February 18, 2012

      seemed to take longer to cook and an extra 1/2 cup or so of water.

    • dalees on July 03, 2013

      Will need more water that stated. A fabulous recipe that I have made many times

  • Spicy fried okra (Bhendi bhaji)

    • okcook on November 21, 2012

      This is one of the best okra dishes I've tasted. Fried to a nice brown colour brings out the spice flavours.

  • Spinach with yoghurt and spices (Palak raita)

    • okcook on February 20, 2015

      We usually make cucumber raita but this spinach raita is wonderful. The fenegek seeds add a nice crunch and the other spices add a depth of flavour.

  • Chicken curry (Kukel mas curry)

    • MikeCirillo on February 21, 2016

      This is a great recipe. Of course you have to make sure you have all the spices on hand but to me it was very interesting to make a genuine curry adding the spices individually and using curry leaves, which I had never used before. If you have the ingredients the recipe is not really that difficult - add this, then add that etc. I do have a mortar and pestle and either that or a spice grinder would allow you to grind your own coriander and cumin, but you can buy them pre-ground. The dish makes a wonderful light brown sauce. I served the dish with brown rice which was a nice combination. This is a great winter dish - comfort food.

  • Shredded cabbage (Gova mallung)

    • jdub1371 on July 11, 2016

      Delicious and so easy! I didn't have any dried Maldive fish or a reasonable substitute, so I did without. Used two largish deseeded serranos from my stash in the freezer and it was flavorful but not at all spicy hot. Dessicated coconut worked fine. I worried that the onions wouldn't cook through before the cabbage was done, but not only did they cook through, they melted right into the cabbage and practically disappeared.

    • mhaygood on February 04, 2012

      Excellent way to use up cabbage. Very easy

  • Squid fried with chillies (Sambal cumi-cumi pedis)

    • milgwimper on January 20, 2012

      My friends and I loved this recipe.

  • Chicken in coconut milk (Opor ayam)

    • Tommelise on September 21, 2010

      My favorite recipe from Charmaine Solomons books. I have had the book for about 20 years and used it a lot. Kemeri nuts are not available here in Denmark - I always use almonds instead.

  • Spiced grilled chicken (Singgang ayam)

    • Jane on August 20, 2010

      This was an interesting recipe as the chicken is first cooked in an aromatic coconut gravy then finished on the grill. I don't think I had ever grilled chicken that way before. It worked well as the chicken was very moist and flavorful but got that grilled chicken exterior.

  • Chicken grilled on skewers (Saté ayam)

    • wester on August 15, 2017

      Basic but very good. Also works as a stir-fry. I'm not too happy about the recommendation to use the marinade of raw chicken in the sauce, but when taking care to heat it enough the coconut is a nice change from the usual peanut sauce.

  • Dry-fried beef curry (Rendang daging)

    • MaryCunningham86 on April 25, 2014

      One of my favourite recipes ever, although I have not been able to find daun salam leaves so just leave these out. I serve this with coconut rice, sambal oelek, hard boiled eggs, roasted peanuts, fried dried anchovies and sliced cucumber.

  • Meat and coconut patties (Rempah-rempah)

    • wester on November 11, 2015

      Very dry. Won't make these again.

  • Eggplant petjal (Pecal terung)

    • okcook on December 18, 2015

      This is fantastic. Instead of boiling the eggplant cubes I microwaved them for three minutes on full power. Then one just makes the sauce to pour over the top.

  • Chicken curry with toasted coconut (Kari ayam kelapa)

    • wester on September 07, 2015

      Very tasty. Served with green beans, a very good combination.

  • Spiced braised liver (Semur ati)

    • blisstone on September 01, 2013

      Spiced Braised Liver: Semur Ati This one is a winner! I have made this recipe numerous times. I cut up a beef liver instead of using chicken or calf. Most people who try it (who like liver of course) consider it far more interesting than the classic liver and onion (which I also like very much). It's easy, fast and does not require tweaking for me. A really good midday lunch type food.

  • Chilli-fried cauliflower (Sambal goreng kembang)

    • Jane on August 20, 2010

      I'm always looking for interesting ways to cook cauliflower and I loved this one. The sauteed onions, garlic and red chiles give great flavour to what can be a bland vegetable. I didn't have any red chiles so used chile powder which seemed to work fine.

  • Fried noodles, Singapore style

    • Jane on September 15, 2010

      I'm a bit hesitant to add my note, since I played fast and loose with the recipe. But it was a great basic recipe for using up leftover meats and veg in the fridge. It has joined my quick everynight dinner repertoire.

  • Chicken curry with gravy (Kyetha hin)

    • Jane on August 20, 2010

      A good, quick and easy curry. Good flavor without being at all spicy (I missed out the optional chile powder). There was a lot of sauce. I think the way of cutting chicken pieces through the bones for curries adds a lot of flavor to the sauce (though I had to put up with the 17 yo son complaining about the bones).

  • Akyaw

    • PrincessK on August 05, 2010

      Basically, this is a vegetable stir-fry with a list of 18 potential veggie ingredients from which to choose.

  • Green curry of chicken (Kaeng khieu wan kai)

    • Jane on August 20, 2010

      This was a really quick and easy recipe, especially as I cheated and used pre-prepared green curry paste. Though according to a blog post I read, Kasma Loha-unchit, author of 'It Rains Fishes', says it is perfectly acceptable to use curry pastes. The curry had great flavor. There was a lot of sauce which was quite liquid so it definitely needed rice.

  • Fried meat balls (Tod man nuer)

    • AliciaWarren on September 14, 2013

      Page 310 in my book. This is my favourite meatball recipe and the reason I buy pork mince when I buy beef mince. There's no need to add salt because there's plenty of salt in the fish sauce. It's a very sticky mix to roll into balls. Flouring your hands helps. I find it's not very spicy, it can easily take additional Thai spices if you choose.

  • Steamed fish with young ginger (Pa khing)

    • Eurydice on August 20, 2012

      My new favourite steamed fish recipe. Easy too!

  • Steamed chicken with tomatoes (Ga hap ca)

    • PrincessK on August 05, 2010

      The only caveat I would give is that when the dish is almost finished it should be given a good stir and then put back to steam for 5 minutes. The chicken clumped together and a couple pieces in the middle of clumps didn't cook even though everything else was definitely done.

  • Chicken with lemon grass (Ga xao xa ot)

    • MikeCirillo on February 14, 2016

      Flavorful and aromatic. Need to cut chicken pieces into about 16 pieces and use two pans otherwise chicken steams. Not much sauce, but the bits of peanut, lemon grass and scallions along with chicken juices and fish sauce make a flavorful semi-dry accompaniment.

  • Pork cooked with sugar (Thit heo kho kho)

    • JocPech on June 29, 2015

      This is one of my favourite recipes. However, I prefer to make it with a more gelatinous cut of pork such as shoulder or, even better, shank. It does then need to be cooked for longer (even three to four hours at a slow simmer) but eventually it becomes truly melt-in-the-mouth. I also sometimes make it with young leeks instead of spring onions.

  • Chicken adobo in coconut sauce (Adobong manok)

    • milgwimper on January 20, 2012

      We liked this recipe. The first time I tried it I goofed it up, but it was still tasty.

  • Simmered pork (Umba)

    • PrincessK on August 05, 2010

      Per chowhound: takes about 2 hours stovetop. Might be good in a slow-cooker.

  • Red cooked chicken (See yo gai)

    • JustineHogan on June 21, 2016

      Delicious and so quick and easy to make. Works well with chicken maryland pieces - also try with drumsticks or nibbles. Delicious served on jasmine rice with a drizzle of sauce sprinkled over the top.

  • Chicken with walnuts and broccoli (Sai lan far gai pin to yan)

    • wester on June 24, 2015

      A simple but good stir-fry. The broccoli, chicken and walnuts complement each other very well. I used quite a bit more broccoli than the recipe requires and liked it that way.

  • Tea eggs or marbled eggs

    • wester on January 02, 2015

      I prefer recipes for tea eggs that use soy sauce instead of salt. They look and taste better.

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Publishers Text

An incomparable work reissued on the 25th anniversary of its first publication!

Serious cooks know the real thing when they see it, and Charmaine Solomon's Complete Asian Cookbook is it. Having garnered a legion of fans and rave reviews, this cookbook classic has served as a staple in kitchens around the world for 25 years. With an unmatched grasp of all the major culinary traditions of Asia, she presents recipes from Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos. Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Dishes range from Burmese Twelve Variety Soup to Sri Lankan Mas Paan (meat buns). Recipes are presented with uncommon clarity, and ingredients are explained and discussed in terms if availability, quantity, suitable substitutions, and storage. A vigorous, masterful work from a remarkable author, this is the ultimate kitchen resource.



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