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To Asia, With Love Paperback – 29 September 2020

4.5 out of 5 stars 137 ratings

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From the Publisher

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Product description

Review

Bestselling author Hetty McKinnon's love letter to Asian food, including more than 80 vegetarian recipes with a modern twist.

Book Description

Bestselling author Hetty McKinnon's love letter to Asian food, including more than 80 vegetarian recipes with a modern twist.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Plum (29 September 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1760787671
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1760787677
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 19.9 x 2.4 x 26.3 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137 ratings

About the author

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Hetty McKinnon is a cook and food writer, with a passion for vegetables and community. In 2011, she established Arthur Street Kitchen from her home in Sydney, where she delivered home-made salads to locals on her bicycle. In 2015, Hetty and her family relocated to Brooklyn, New York, where she continues to cook and write about food.

Hetty is the author of three bestselling cookbooks, Community: Salad Recipes from Arthur Street Kitchen (2014), Neighbourhood: Salads, Sweets and Stories from Home and Abroad (2017) and the award-winning Family: New Vegetarian Comfort Food to Nourish Every Day (2019). She is also the editor and publisher of multicultural food journal Peddler and the host of the magazine’s podcast The House Specials. She is a regular recipe contributor to New York Times Cooking, Epicurious, ABC Life, Food & Wine, and The Guardian.

For more info and latest recipes, visit www.arthurstreetkitchen.com.

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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 September 2021
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Kris
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious recipes inspired by Hetty McKinnon's childhood and Chinese heritage
Reviewed in Canada on 9 April 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious recipes inspired by Hetty McKinnon's childhood and Chinese heritage
Reviewed in Canada on 9 April 2021
As she says in the introduction for To Asia, With Love, this book “is my homecoming, a joyous return to all the humble yet deeply nurturing flavours and meals of my childhood. It is also a celebration of the exciting and delicious possibilities of modern Asian cooking.”(9) The recipes McKinnon offers are the everyday dishes she grew up with (she describes the recipes as being grounded in her Chinese heritage with influences from the Western world), the dishes which she hopes will find a place in the kitchens of home cooks.

To Asia, With Love is also a book about her mother. At the heart of this book is the story about a daughter’s love for her mother. To Asia, With Love is part memoir too, with each of the chapters beginning with a story linking McKinnon’s experiences to her recipes, with the stories being invariably linked to her mother in some way. Whether it’s discussing the morning meal rituals McKinnon grew up with, making dumplings, the legacy of rice, or even finding empathy in the unlikeliest of places when making salad, McKinnon’s mother’s presence is felt. Warm and comforting, McKinnon’s story about food is a story about her mother – personal and loving: “…the smell of ginger on my mother’s hands”(247) a small, cherished memory that links Hetty’s story to her food. Adding to the intimacy she creates by sharing her family food and stories, she uses photos taken on 35mm or medium format film as a nostalgic compliment.

As with all her recipes, the food shared in To Asia, With Love is vegetarian with many vegan and gluten free options. It seems a bit funny to me that I’m only getting to the actual food at this point in my review. While I try recipes and cook to review, I find that with some books I linger. With Hetty’s books I always linger with delicious enjoyment, finding food that seamlessly fits into my cooking routines. The recipes in To Asia, With Love are organized into 6 chapters: A big breakfast, Lucky noodles, Dumplings and other small things, Rice is gold and all the things to eat with it, Salads for life, and Not too sweet. In the introduction, she discusses the flavors, techniques, and ingredients which are essential to cooking Asian food and, throughout the book she offers substitutions for ingredients as well.

At this point, I’ve made (and remade) over a dozen recipes and while I am a seasoned home cook, I found myself making dishes I’ve never attempted before. Often, I feel unskilled when it comes to crimping dough. Even though I grew up enjoying the ultimate Ukrainian dumpling – the varenyky – I can never quite make the crimping as nice as my mother or grandmother can. Feeling like I’m all thumbs, I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to proficiently crimp the dumplings (there’s even a recipe for gluten free dough!), wontons, bao, and momos from the book. I poured over her instructions in the book, and then watched (and re-watched) her ABC Life video on how to fold and stuff dumplings and the results speak for themselves!

One thing I have a strong dislike for and try not to make are muffins. Just one glance at my Instagram feed will show you the truth of that statement. I’m not sure if I’m too lazy to want to fill up a muffin tin, then clean it after use but even when I looked at McKinnon’s recipe for Peanut and Coconut Mochi Muffins, I strongly debated with myself whether I could use the batter to make a loaf or a cake instead. I even wondered if I could cut the recipe in half so that I didn’t have to use/clean two muffin tins. Pretty bad, huh? Thankfully, I got over myself and made the recipe as written and, I can report that I’ve never been so pleased to make or enjoy muffins. As she claims in her recipe notes, these muffins are moreish, and I am grateful that her recipe makes an enormous 24-muffin batch because I could easily eat many in one sitting! I’m new to the joys of mochi, so for those of you unfamiliar with it, imagine crossing a muffin with a marshmallow. Mochi’s pleasantly chewy texture is due to the use of glutinous rice flour, which is different from regular rice flour. While I adore all the recipes I’ve made from To Asia, With Love, these mochi muffins might be my favourite (it turns out my husband’s favourite is the recipe for Flourless Soy Sauce Brownies).

To Asia, With Love is also a wealth of homemade pantry staples – from her Everything Oil and Ginger-Scallion Oil to her Vegan “Fish” Sauce and the Reliable Dumpling Dipping Sauce, McKinnon once again demonstrates her keen understanding of flavour and how to create beautifully delicious recipe components at home. Since my husband doesn’t eat fish, enjoying anything using fish sauce is almost impossible, that is until I made my first batch of Vegan “Fish” Sauce from the book! Now, I have a bottle always ready in my refrigerator for those times I need to add extra flavour to meals I make or for when a recipe calls for its use.

With her fourth cookbook, To Asia, With Love, Hetty McKinnon continues to inspire me with her delicious recipes as well as her heartfelt stories and remembrances. McKinnon is a true original in the way she champions and encourages home cooks to use recipes to tell their own stories – in her words: “Most importantly, this book is a celebration of how flavour can so powerfully connect us to the past and create pathways to our future.”(9) To Asia, With Love will be a wonderful addition to your cookbook library.

While this is a verified review (I purchase 3 book as gifts), I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Hetty McKinnon and Prestel for providing me with a free, review copy of this book. I did not receive monetary compensation for my post, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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Amanda Stringer
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE this! Love her work, she's so talented and darling!
Reviewed in Canada on 12 April 2021
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AK
5.0 out of 5 stars If I could only have one cookbook for the rest of my life, this would be it
Reviewed in Canada on 15 June 2021
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Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Reviewed in Japan on 1 July 2021
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