Hot Sour Salty Sweet

by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

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Recommended by

Susan Low

Food writer

Naomi Duguid is the food writer I’d most like to be when I grow up. Her evocative writing about the food, people, culture and cooking of the countries of Asia are utterly transporting, and her words and recipes have literally set me off on more than one journey to far-flung lands. When I need escape, this and her other books (Behind the Great Wall, Burma, Mangoes & Curry Leaves) are the ones I find myself reaching for, to be taken out of my current place and time, to somewhere faraway but delicious.

Hsiao-Ching Chou

Food journalist

Balancing flavors and textures is intrinsic to the Chinese cooking I had always known. Alford and Duguid’s book expanded the landscape of my understanding. I knew that these flavors and principles weren’t exclusive to Chinese cooking, but I didn’t know how universal their application was. That they traveled with their family and photographed their journeys modeled what was possible: that culinary wanderlust, curiosity, scholarship, and publishing could combine with raising a family.

Chris Ying

Editor-in-Chief, Lucky Peach

Southeast Asian cooking was a complete mystery to me before I started cooking from this book. In a lot of ways, it's still a great unknown frontier to me (and most people). I love how this book for its recipes and for the story it weaves about a fearless family traveling throughout SE Asia—it's inspiring both in the kitchen and outside of it.

Matt Goulding

Co-founder of Roads & Kingdoms and author of Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan’s Food Culture

Nobody conveys a richer sense of environment and culture than Naomi, and this book is the pinnacle of her collaboration with Jeffrey. It's the cookbook I most wish I had written myself.

Annica Wainwright

Food industry consultant

Robyn Eckhardt

Food and travel journalist and author