Presenting the foods of India, Pakistan, Ceylon, Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, Korea, China, and Japan in one volume is no mean feat--even if the volume is as outsized and unwieldy as this one. Solomon itemizes the spices favored by each Asian nation and gives some basic directions on preparing coconut milk, handling chiles, and boiling long- and short-grained rice. Otherwise, the instructions are anything but detailed. The recipes, as one might imagine, are extraordinarily varied: a delicate crab omelette from Vietnam, the fiery Korean beef dish bulgogi, a Burmese cake traditionally baked to celebrate a baby's first tooth, a lime and date chutney from the author's native Sri Lanka, an assortment of Indian curries, and Japanese fish and vegetable specialties. This is clearly meant as a book for someone wishing to dip into a wide array of Asian fare, though the recipes are, if anything, a bit too authentic for gastronomically timid Westerners. Dried seaweed, raw marinated fish, pork skin salad, and squid fried with chilies may scare away quite a few. And the photos don't help. Overly loud and insistent, they won't' necessarily entice the experimentally inclined steak-and-potatoes audience they were meant to draw.