Gluten-Free: The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen Cookbook Review

Earlier this year, my good friend and cookbook author Karen Morgan of Blackbird Bakery had me over for dinner one night, as she was testing out a chocolate mayonnaise cake and I noticed Laura B. Russell’s cookbook “The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen” on her kitchen counter and just couldn’t put the book down! What genius (and let me just add now my personal hero) had ventured into the magical and mystical world of gluten-free Asian Cuisine? Be still my heart Laura B. Russell had done that and so much more.

Having lived in San Francisco with one of the largest Asian populations in the US, I became so spoiled with having access to a variety of Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese food prior to being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. My affinity of Asian Cuisine developed while growing up once a week my mother used to take me to a local restaurant in our neighborhood called “China Town Kitchen” that made the best crab rangoon! I was truly devastated when I found out essentially all Asian food would be off my “can eat” list with going gluten-free.

In April, Laura attended the Nourished Food Blogger Conference in Chicago, which was food blogger conference that catered to those with food allergies such as Celiac Disease. Due to my getting lost in the underbelly of Chicago’s streets (I was literally lost on Polk/Wacker Streets which run along side the river in Downtown Chicago in a construction maze), so I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting with Laura at that time.

Well the good news is Laura B. Russell is coming to Austin, TX on a book tour to promote her cookbook “The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen” on Friday, September 14th at Book People. You can find all the details about the book tour/signing here!

Diving head long into the book, I was quite impressed with the structure of the book. Laura goes into great detail to provide the reader with a comprehensive road map to guide you through the art of gluten-free Asian cooking.  Laura starts with “Getting Started” which includes identifying sources of gluten in common Asian ingredients, as well as stocking your gluten-free kitchen to begin cooking gluten-free Asian Cuisine – Keep these list close to you when at the grocery store for sure!

As you delve deeper into “The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen” Laura makes the journey of gluten-free Asian cooking simple by breaking out each chapter in such a simplistic manner, but logical in the cooking process as well.  From sticks and sauces to traditional noodle dishes, Laura has delved deeply into the culinary landscape of Asian Cuisine guiding the reader through step-by-step and delivered a book with such luscious gluten-free recipes it will leave you wanting for more!

What are my favorite recipes in “The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen“?  Where do I start!   Here is a list to get you started, but I could clearly go on as there are so many great recipes that span the culinary road map of Asia in this cookbook:

  • Grilled Pork Satay
  • Crispy Spring Rolls
  • Sticky Rice Dumplings with Chicken and Mushrooms
  • Miso Glazed Scallops
  • Roasted Pork Meatballs
  • Salad Rolls with Crab & Spicy Mango Sauce
  • Gingery Pot Stickers
  • Korean Green Onion Pancakes

What I also love about Laura’s book is that it really is quite healthy, the manner in which she’s constructed each of the recipes (100 recipes) and honored the traditions of the Asian cultures (Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese).  Leo Cong also did an incredible job with the food photography in this book as the dishes leap off the pages and make you salivate as you turn every page! I for one can’t wait and I hope your able to come out and meet Laura B. Russell in person at her book signing on September 14th at Book People here in Austin, TX!

Laura thank you for a copy of your amazing cookbook! It will be a time-honored go-to for gluten-free cooking in my household for sure! My younger brother has given it a seal of approval having lived in South Korea for the last 5 years, as he’s loved every recipe we’ve cooked up so far and he’s making Bulgogi this weekend!

For those of you whom aren’t familiar with Laura, she is the former associate editor of Food & Wine cookbooks, the ¬Å“Gluten Freedom¬Â columnist for the Oregonian, and a frequent contributor to Prevention magazine. She has followed a gluten-free diet since 2007. Visit www.laurabrussell.com for more on her work, recipes, reviews and one of my favorite sections of her website “Gluten Free 101”

Photo Credit:  Laura B. Russell / Leo Gong

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