This book is the glorious result of their travels through the Mekong region of Southeast Asia, a fascinating area that extends south from China, through Laos and Thailand, to Cambodia and Vietnam. The book's more than 175 recipes for spicy salsas, welcoming soups, grilled meat salads and exotic desserts are accompanied by evocative stories about places and people. The recipes and stories are gorgeously illustrated throughout with more than 150 full color food and travel photographs.
Through the course of their travels in the Mekong region, Alford and Duguid came to realize that the local cuisines—just like those of the Mediterranean—share a common creative genius in the kitchen, a distinctive palate. This shared culinary approach emerges as the book unfolds. In each chapter, from Salsas to Street Food, Noodles to Desserts, dishes from different cuisines within the region appear side by side. A hearty Lao chicken soup is next to a Vietnamese ginger-chicken soup; a Thai vegetable stir-fry comes after Spicy Stir-Fried Potatoes from Southwest China.
The book invites a flexible approach to cooking and eating, for dishes from different places can be happily served and eaten together; Khmer Stir-Fried Pork with Green Beans pairs well with Grilled Tomato Salsa from China and Thai jasmine rice; Thai Grilled Chicken with Hot and Sweet Dipping Sauce goes beautifully with Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad and Lao sticky rice.
At last, the incredible flavors of this great culinary region are celebrated with all the passion, color and life that they deserve.