HOW TO COOK STREET FOOD FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
(Clarkson Potter) ISBN 978-0307952585 0307952584
If you can't travel around the world to enjoy ethnic cuisine from street vendors, then cooking international foods at home is the next best thing.
Susan Feniger provides delicious recipes for Caribbean, Mexican, European, Middle Eastern, Indonesian, Thai, Singaporean, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian and Chinese street food. Several of these dishes are on her Los Angeles STREET restaurant menu.
Between the ethnic recipes, travelogues make you want to visit these international destinations to eat from food carts and stalls. Her 83 lavishly photographed recipes show you how to make the best street food at home until you go.
STREET restaurant recipes
Organized by type of food, from appetizers to desserts, each chapter of the 224-page cookbook begins with an index of recipes. Susan Feniger introduces each one.
Popular Street Food dishes at STREET in LA include Ukrainian spinach dumplings with lemon marmalade and sour cream, Cantonese radish cakes with Chinese sausage and Korean chopped salad with sesame dressing.
Vietnamese fish sauce
Susan Feniger describes ingredients such as Kewpie, Japanese mayonnaise, how it's different from regular mayonnaise (richer, because it is made with egg yolks rather than whole eggs) and where you can buy it (in Asian and Japanese food stores).
She also provides serving suggestions, such as using her recipe for tomato jam as a topping for Singapore crab cakes. Several introductions include stories about the origins of the cookbook's recipes.
In the Saigon chicken salad recipe, you read how Vietnamese chef, Mrs. Cam Van Dzoan, shows Susan Feniger how to make nuoc cham from Thai shrimp paste, chili, garlic, fish stock, lime juice and grated coconut palm sugar.
Sidebars describe ethnic spices, herbs and ingredients, like furikake (a Japanese condiment made from seaweed, sesame seeds, red chile, sugar and salt, sometimes with powdered miso and dried fish) and hoja santa (a Mexican herb leaf used to wrap tamales, cheese or fish).
Susan Feniger frequently suggests substitutes for hard-to-find ethnic ingredients. For example, she recommends fennel or anise seed to provide the same flavor as hoja santa. She also explains that you can use pomegranate molasses as a substitute for date or carob molasses.
The chapter on spice mixes contains recipes that are far superior to commercial spice preparations for international cooking, e.g., African spice mix and Middle Eastern za'atar spice mix. It includes instructions on how to make tamarind purée from tamarind fruit pods.
Indian street food
Travelogues describe the author's encounters with people cooking ethnic food, such as yufka (tahini-flavored flatbreads) in Bezirgan, Turkey. Another travel story from Kochi, India, describes a crispy snack made from salted, fried and curried mussels.
Susan Feniger explains how to make homemade paneer (fresh cheese), used to make Indian saag (a spicy spinach dish). She also includes recipes for a bhel puri puffed rice salad and spiced millet puffs sold at Asian chaat stands (also on the STREET restaurant menu).
More than 100 photos by Jennifer May show step-by-step cooking instructions, such as how to remove spines from cactus paddles (nopales) and make cheese-stuffed cactus relleno. Other images depict ingredients used in international cooking and saliva-inducing snacks and meals made with Street Food recipes.
Organizing the World's Kitchen
- Starters & Small Bites
- Travelogue: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Vegetables & Grains
- Land & Sea
- Travelogue: Kochi, India
- Curry & Tofu & Noodles
- Chutneys & Pickles & Other Condiments
- Travelogue: Bezirgan, Turkey
- Basic Spice Mixes & Pastes
- Travelogue: Mongolian Steppes, Mongolia
- Elixirs & Tonics & Lhassis
Susan Feniger is owner of the LA restaurant, STREET, co-owner of three Border Grill restaurants and co-host of the Food Network show, Too Hot Tamales. Kajsa Alger is the executive chef at STREET restaurant in Los Angeles. Liz Lachma is Susan Feniger's partner.