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The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook
Home Cooking from Asian American Kitchens
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The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook
Home Cooking from Asian American Kitchens

By Patricia Tanumihardja
2009, 347 pages, Hardback.

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Comments from Back Cover
About the Author

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Book Description from the Front Cover Flap

The kitchen goddess is definitely the Asian American grandmother. She is the glue that holds the family together; the keeper of cultural and culinary tradition; the source of all things delicious, pungent, salty, and satisfying. Pull up a chair at the kitchen table and pick up some chopsticks-grandmothers who cook Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, Indonesian, Thai, and Indian cuisine are in the kitchen stirring up culinary delights for you. What's your favorite? Crispy Shrimp Rolls or Shiu Mai or a satisfying bowl of Nepalese Nine-Bean Soup?

To compile the recipes for this gratifyingly expansive cookbook, author Patricia Tanumihardja (whose grandmother hailed from Indonesia) served as cultural historian, recipe transcriber, and surrogate granddaughter. How else could she garner the recipes for such dishes as Water Spinach with Shrimp Paste and Chilies, Pan-Fried Tofu Simmered in Sweet Miso Sauce, or Grandma Yangja's Cabbage Kimchi? These are the authentic dishes you don't necessarily find in restaurants: Steamed Meatballs with Tangerine Peel, Gingered Oxtail Stew, 1-2-3-4-5 Sticky Spareribs, and Clay Pot Lemongrass-Steamed Fish. And if you believe that the noodle was invented by an Asian grandmother, you are ready for a bowl of Pancit (Filipino Fried Noodles) or Ohn No Khauk Swe (Chicken Coconut Noodle Soup).

This beautiful culinary tour of Asian American kitchens makes many cultural stops, with a panoply of flavors and a bountiful menu of dishes along the way. So even if you aren't fortunate enough to have an Asian grandmother yourself, double happiness can be yours by sharing and enjoying these enduring recipes.

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Comments from Back Cover

America is a land of immigrants, and Patricia Tanumihardja's soulful work illuminates how Asian women - queens of their family kitchens - enrich our flavorful culinary landscape.
- Andrea Nguyen, author of Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors and Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More

My own first, and lasting wonderful, impressions of Japan were of obaachan (grandmothers); their food and stories continue to nourish me decades later. Thanks to Patricia Tanumiharadja's Asian Grandmothers Cookbook, everyone will have a chance to be nurtured by an Asian Granny.
- Elizabeth Andoh, author of Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen

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Background on

Patricia Tanumihardja writes about food, travel, and lifestyle through a multicultural lens. She was born to Indonesian parents, grew up in Singapore, and after living on and traveling across three continents, she now considers the United States home. Tanumihardja lives on the Monterey Peninsula in California with her husband. Please visit her Web site,, and blog,

Lara Ferroni is a Seattle-based photographer who has contributed images to,, Seattle magazine, and Portland Monthly, among others. She also blogs about food on Cook & Eat ( and about food photography and styling on Still Life With (

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