Do you already know where you travel this summer? I’m making a trip to Japan. In general, I always find it very enriching to get to know new places and cultures. I’ve never been to Asia yet and I’m absolutely looking forward to it! This sense of anticipation made me read a bit about Japanese cuisine. I’m currently excited by buying Japanese ingredients in our local health food stores and transforming them into simple meals (such as this, this and this).
There is a book called “Asiatisch Kochen” (“Asian Cooking”) that offers a great introduction to the Japanese cuisine. However, the recipe of this book that I’m going to share with you is not Japanese, but Korean. The latest Japanese food I bought was black sesame seeds. When I saw those stylish and tasty-looking sesame ginger cookies in the book, I knew I had to make them. You’ll find the recipe, if you scroll down. The cookies were at least as delicious as expected. Maybe I’ll also need to go to Korea once so to explore more flavors of this interesting country… 😉
Here is my review of Jody Vassalo and Emily Ezekiel’s “Asiatisch Kochen”.
Author: Jody Vassallo, Emily Ezekiel
Publisher: AT Verlag
Jody Vassallo and Emily Ezekiel are cookbook authors and recipe creators that are thrilled by the international cuisine.
Who are Jody Vassallo and Emily Ezekiel?
Jody Vassallo works as a food stylist, recipe author and cookbook writer. Emily Ezekiel is a graphic designer, food stylist and recipe author. Both authors share a passion for international culinary specialities.
How are the recipes?
The recipes are divided into four countries. There is a section on Thailand, Japan, China and Korea. The chapters are again divided into recipe groups. In general, they begin with country-specific basics. Then, you’ll find small plates, main dishes and desserts. The recipe groups that are chosen vary from one country to another. For example, a whole chapter is dedicated to the traditional Kimchi in the Korean section, while the Chinese section focuses especially on soups and Dim Sum. All the recipes are explained with only three steps. Although I’ve never been to one of the represented countries, I have the impression that the dishes in the book are very authentic. In total, there are over 300 recipes in this thick book.
What else can you find?
For each country, there is a comprehensive overview on the typical foods. Not only the most important ingredients, but also the traditional kitchen utensils are presented with photos on several pages. The preparation time as well as the level of difficulty of the recipes is always written at the top left. As I said, the recipes are explained with three steps. For each step, there is an image. Furthermore, the end product is also shown on a beautiful photo. The appendix of the book contains a large glossary with detailed information about all the Asian ingredients.
What is particularly good?
I really like the design of the book «Asiatisch Kochen». It is simple and uniform. At the same time, there are a lot of beautiful photos. The concept of the three steps for the directions of the recipes is awesome. The chosen recipes are really easy to follow. Like this, you really feel like experimenting with foreign foods. Asian cooking is actually not so difficult like I thought it would be. You just need the right ingredients and in my opinion they are very well introduced in this book. By reading the book, you gain a lot of knowledge. Its precious content offers ideas and inspirations to make everyday cooking more versatile and creative.
What could be better?
I think that the title of the book is a little confusing. To reduce Asia to four countries does not justice the cuisine of this versatile continent. When I first heard about the book, I thought it would also contain Indian, Arabic, Russian and other recipes.
For whom is this book interesting?
Whoever is interested in the East Asian cuisine can learn a lot with the book «Asiatisch Kochen». Special ingredients, their use, kitchen utensils, recipes and more are provided. Moreover, the book is awesome for people who didn’t find the courage to try out Asian cooking yet because it seemed too difficult. Thanks to this cookbook I really feel like it can be quite easy and I can even improvise based on the recipes. When preparing a trip to Thailand, Japan, China or Korea the book servers as a great introduction for cooking lovers and gourmets. Leafing through the book already feels like travelling through Asia.
There are only a few dessert recipes in «Asiatisch Kochen». Maybe the Asians just don’t eat as much dessert as we do?! As I recently bought black sesame and as molasses as well as ginger can always be found in our kitchen, one of the desserts caught my attention. I’m speaking of the sesame ginger cookies. In the original recipe, they aren’t completely plant-based and contain a lot of refined sugar. This is why I changed the recipe a little. The result was absolutely tasty. Especially when we served the cookies lukewarm, as suggested in the cookbook.
SESAME GINGER COOKIES
lactose-free, soy-free, plant-based (vegan), sugar-free, wholegrain
Level of difficulty: easy
- 100 g/3.5 oz dates (stoned)
- 5 g/0.2 oz ginger (peeled)
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 70 ml und 1 tsp frying oil
- 250 g/8.8 oz wholegrain spelt flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 25 g/0.9 oz black sesame
- Blend the dates, the ginger, the molasses, the cinnamon and 70 ml frying oil with 100 ml water and a pinch of salt.
- Make a dough with this mixture, adding the spelt flour and the baking powder.
- Mix the sesame seeds with 1 tsp frying oil in a deep soup plate.
- Form 18 balls with the dough. Coat them with sesame and place them on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Flatten them a little. Then, bake the cookies for 10 to 15 minutes at 180C/356F in the preheated oven.
On the left, you see the image from the cookbook. On the right, there are my slightly adapted plant-based cookies.
And here you can buy the book:
What is your favorite Asian recipe?
P.S. We appreciate if you share the recipe on social media in case you like it.