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10 Top Cookbooks For DIVERSE Recipes From Around The World

Master the art of international cooking.

Want unique recipe ideas? Check out some of these best-ever cookbooks for delicious global eats.

What makes them so special? They mark food milestones in the development of food culture, cultivating in incredibly special recipe ideas. We also threw in some cookbooks that simply make good reading on a lazy Sunday afternoon, or that offer a particularly wide range of cuisines.

So chop to it! Check out these 10 top-rated cookbooks for amazing food from around the globe.

1. Beard On Bread by James Beard

This book talks about the fundamentals of making bread by hand without the need for fancy equipment. There’s nothing quite like kneading dough by hand, turning a shaggy ball into a smooth one that springs back to the touch. It’s old-school (the book was first published in 1973!) but very satisfying.

Anyone who has ever wanted to make bread but was unsure about handling yeast and such should start with Beard On Bread. Like the best recipe writers, Beard, a tireless champion of American cooking, writes clearly and unambiguously, guiding the novice with a sure hand.

Available on Amazon.

2. Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Vol. 1 and 2) By Julia Child

French food is mistaken to be only for fancy restaurants. Mastering the Art of French Cooking might be one of the best cookbooks to introduce the beauty of French dining at home. Child has a gift for writing perfectly clear instructions that also reflected her can-do energy.

Child’s book is simply a delicious cookbook. Her mushroom soup recipe is perfect; she’ll also guide you through a foolproof Crème Renversée au Caramel (or Caramel Custard). Another great recipe is Gratin de Pommes de Terre Aux Anchois (or Gratin of Potatoes, Onions and Anchovies).

Available on Amazon.

3. Harumi’s Japanese Cooking by Harumi Kurihara

This cookbook offers no-nonsense recipes for the type of dishes that regular Japanese people cook and eat at home. Recipes include Steamed Chicken Salad With Sesame Sauce, Simmered Pork and Steak Marinated In Two Kinds Of Miso, and the like.

Harumi’s Japanese Cooking was her first one in English. If you’re a fan, her subsequent books, Harumi’s Japanese Home Cooking and Everyday Harumi, will probably find their way to your bookshelf eventually, too.

Find Harumi’s Japanese Cooking on Amazon.

4. The Kitchen Diaries By Nigel Slater

Slater makes cooking seem like a pleasure. Instead of exhorting home cooks to turn out complicated dishes by performing kitchen gymnastics, he gives do-able recipes which do not require special equipment, but which always taste good.

Available on Amazon.

5. Restaurant Man by Joe Bastianich

Restaurateur Joe Bastianich’s television persona – on the American version of the cooking competition MasterChef – is brash and intimidating. He has perfected the dead-eye stare, which he trains on contestants who dare to present bad food. But you can’t deny that his comments are constructive. The same goes for his unique cookbook.

A harsh but real guide on how to be a so-called Restaurant Man, the tone of the book is all machismo, and begins with a mathematics lesson in opening and operating a restaurant.

If there is one thing to take away from reading the book, it is this pungent quote: “You have to appear to be generous, but you have to be inherently a cheap f*** to make it work.”

This book is required reading for anyone with stars in their eyes and grand plans to open a restaurant.

Available on Amazon.

6. Garlic And Sapphires by Ruth Reichl

This 2005 book by Ruth Reichl, who a The New York Times restaurant critic from 1993 to 1999, is a must-read for anyone who wants to write about food seriously.

In her book, she reproduces some of the reviews, but it is the back stories that are the best reasons to read the book.

Available on Amazon.

7. The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Lopez-Alt unleashes science on home cooking, but is careful to tread the line between making that science relevant to the home cook and nerding out so much that he loses his readers.

Learn the science behind why using certain techniques and ingredients can result in a better dish.

Available on Amazon.

8. Heat by Bill Buford

The founding editor of literary magazine Granta and a writer with The New Yorker quits his job at age 52 to, among other things, work in the kitchen of one of chef Mario Batali’s restaurants, learn to make pasta in Porretta in Italy, and learn the art of butchery with Dante-quoting, larger-than-life Dario Cecchini in Tuscany.

The honest depiction of work and life in a professional kitchen will either galvanise those with dreams to work in a restaurant or put them off completely.

But you get a buzz from his triumphs and start to root for him as he works to perfect the art of making pasta, and tries to understand Cecchini. 

Available on Amazon.

9. Nerd Baker by Christopher Tan

This book, filled with photos and anecdotes from the author’s travels, bucks the trend and delivers in spades, because he is a serious baker who can also communicate methods and techniques clearly.

Available on Amazon.

10. The Red Dot Melting Pot Cookbook by International Cooking Club Singapore (ICCS)

If you’re looking for a cookbook with authentic recipes from all around the world, The Red Dot Melting Pot Cookbook has got your covered. True to its name, this collection brings together all the different flavours found in the cultural melting pot that is Singapore. The International Cooking Club Singapore (ICCS) has more than 500 participants, both locals and expats, and this book has recipes from about 75 countries!

Here, you’ll find unique recipe ideas such as black rice pudding, Brazilian cheese breads, Singapore’s iconic chilli crab and more!

Available for order from ICCS.

Originally by Tan Hseuh Yun, The Straits Times, 8 May 2016 / Additional Reporting: Isabel Wibowo / Image: Jumpstory

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