The troublesome truth about these exotic international cookbooks by amateur chefs is that Mekong Delta Crayfish and Rice turns out to be nothing but batter-fried shrimp. Paul Eve overextends his subject, producing not so much a primer on rice cookery as a spotty collection of recipes of variable authenticity culled from cuisines on five continents, including many entrees to serve on a bed of rice or with the rice on the side. American contributions are of the home economist composed variety (Franks and Calico Rice, Steak 'n' Rice, etc.). There are, however, several distinctive variations on paella, pilaf, risotto and jambalaya, and useful instructions for preparing sushi. But even after Eve's final note that boiled rice is tastier and healthier than plain pasta, bread or potatoes, we felt bloated.