THE INDONESIAN KITCHEN by Copeland with Mintari Soeharjo Marks


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Spices from India; sweet soy sauce evolved from the salty Chinese product; chiles from Mexico via the Portuguese and Dutch; peanut sauce from the legume that might be traced to Brazil through the Portuguese connection--or to Africa through India; leaves and roots from Southeast Asia; and coconut milk from their own islands--such are the major flavorings of Indonesia's crossroads cuisine. The substance, equally eclectic in origin, might be beef, brains, lamb, chicken, fish, shrimp, or bean curd. There is no mention here of tempeh, the fermented soy product that soy apostle William Shurtleff tells us is a staple with the Indonesian masses. There are, however, several rice recipes, and some vegetable dishes, indifferently marked ""for vegetarians."" Though the authors' writing style is uninspired, they provide an adequate orientation to their authentic, exotic ingredients (but no send-away source list). The prevailing spicy-sweet tone should appeal here, moreover, and the prospect of presenting a spectacular rijsttafel could send Americans out in search of kemiri nuts, kencur root, and jeruk purut. (And for more on Indonesian cookery, see Samuel-Hool, below.)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1981
Publisher: Atheneum