We’ve been following Peter Meehan’s Lucky Peach around here since Issue 1, the Ramen Issue. I was working with Saveur’s digital brand at the time, and ran out for a copy pretty much immediately after seeing the press release (they had me at “ramen”). That issue became quite the collectors’ item, and I eventually relinquished my copy on eBay for a small fortune. But, suffice to say I was circling the door every day around mail time waiting for my copy of Meehan’s cookbook to show up.
The book is titled Lucky Peach: 101 Easy Asian Recipes, and all you have to do to ensure Meehan’s no-BS style shows through this book is flip it over to the back cover. It’s admittedly inauthentic. But it’s good. And it’s insanely easy. The rules of no deep-frying and no subrecipes are presented in the introduction. This is followed by several awesome visual sections: an intro to the minimum recommended equipment for good Asian cooking (rice cooker, wok, and optionally, a wok spatula, spider slotted spoon and mortar and pestle), a briefing on critical rice and noodles, and three levels of pantry steez: basics like miso, rice vinegar, soy and peanuts; intermediate stock that includes a variety of spicy and savory goodness; and a champion level that gets into dried shrimp and mushrooms, furikake, umeboshi, shichimi, etc. The photos are helpful for simply taking the book with you and plucking the items you need off the shelf of your local Asian market. (For what it’s worth, my pantry is only about intermediate-level right now.)
All recipes include drool-worthy photos and are divided into sections: cold dishes, breakfast (pancakes gets a separate section, +1 since we’re pancakes-all-day around here), soups, noodles, rices, warm veggies, chicken, seafood, other meats, and sauces. There are only two desserts, but really if you make some of these recipes you’ll prob be full by then. Our first selection combined one of our favorites (ramen) with one of our vices (laziness): the Rotisserie Chicken Ramen really requires only that you pick up a rotisserie chicken on the way home from work and utilize ramen, scallions, bacon, eggs, ginger, soy and mushrooms you prob have on hand if you followed their pantry suggestions. It’s only time-consuming in that you have to let the broth cook for two hours while you do other stuff.
All in all, if you love the magazine you’ll love this cookbook. It’s delightfully straightforward – Meehan understands how to get maximum flavor for minimum effort.
Learn more here – Lucky Peach: 101 Easy Asian Recipes.
This book was provided by Blogging For Books; all opinions are our own.