of the Southeast Asian Grill
60 vibrant recipes proving that Asian roadside barbecue is just as easy, delicious, and crowd-pleasing as American-style backyard grilling.
Sharing beloved barbecue dishes from the Southeast Asian countries of Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Indonesia, experienced author and expert on Asian cooking Leela Punyaratabandhu inspires readers with a deep dive into the flavor profile and spices of the region. She teaches you how to set up your own smoker, cook over an open flame, or grill on the equipment you already have in your backyard. Leela provides more than sixty mouthwatering recipes such as Chicken Satay with Coriander and Cinnamon, Malaysian Grilled Chicken Wings, and Thai Grilled Sticky Rice, as well recipes for cooking bone-in meats, skewered meats, and even vegetable side dishes and flavorful sauces.
The fact that Southeast Asian-style barbecue naturally lends itself to the American outdoor cooking style means that the recipes in the book can remain true to tradition without any need for them to be Westernized or altered at the expense of integrity. This is the perfect book for anyone looking for an easy and flavorful way to expand their barbecue repertoire.
Aaron Franklin, chef / owner of Franklin Barbecue and author of Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto
“Flavors of the Southeast Asian Grill is brimming with recipes geared for anyone’s backyard! Leela’s years of eating, cooking, and writing have come together in a harmonious balance of simplicity and complexity.”
J. Kenji López-alt, author of The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science
“Anyone who has spent time in Southeast Asia is familiar with the curl of smoke rising up behind the crowds on busy street corners; the whiff of charred meat, caramelized sugar, and fish sauce drifting from alleyways; and the deeply flavorful, charred meal that they announce. With plenty of photos, precise recipes, and Leela’s deep understanding of both her native cuisine as well as western supermarkets and kitchens, Flavors of the Southeast Asian Grill will quickly help that fragrant smoke become a permanent resident above your own backyard.”
Meathead, barbecue whisperer, publisher of AmazingRibs.com, and author of Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling
“I want every weekend warrior who dotes on burgers, brats, steaks, and ribs to buy this book. I know you love Thai satay and Vietnamese delicacies, but you didn’t think you could do it at home. Well you can, and you must, because you can actually do it better than most restaurants. Leela has opened a whole new world of taste adventures to the barbecue lover, and we should all rush into it. I am inspired!”
“Punyaratabandhu reaches back to her childhood in Thailand and her travels across Southeast Asia to create 60 recipes that enticingly capture the essence of the region’s barbecue. Unusual seafood options include grilled stingray covered in a chile paste and cooked atop banana leaves, and herb-filled grilled fish with a spicy tamarind dipping sauce. Ghee-smoked chicken and rice, meanwhile, provides an exciting challenge with its use of the dhungar method of smoking, in which the chicken and a container of ghee are placed into a pot, then burning charcoal is lowered into the ghee and the pot is sealed, thus infusing the bird with a “buttery, smoky flavor.” After noting that clay jar chicken is “one of thee most fun outdoor cooking activities I have experienced,” Punyaratabandhu doesn’t follow up with instructions for the process, instead offering a way to replicate it in a ceramic Kamado grill (one of the only letdowns here). Fans of Cantonese roasted duck may want to experiment with the honey-roasted duck variation, with a chile-soy-vinegar sauce that takes two days to set; simpler recipes include three different types of grilled beef skewers. Experienced backyard grillers looking to up their game will find opportunity aplenty in this challenging, brightly flavored collection.