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Old 04-09-2005, 06:46 PM   #1
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My cook book failed me

I used a new recipe from my Vietnamese cook book (Pleasures from the Vietnamese Table by Mai Pham). It failed miserably! Worse yet I found out it might not even be a real Vietnamese recipe (authentic, that is)... I tried the pomelo and grilled shrimp salad.

I made it, and it looks visually pleasing, like a Vietnamese salad should. But MAN, is it bitter and it sure tastes terrible. I called my Dad and Uncle (both I are good cooks) and asked if this fruit is ever used for salad. They both laughed at me and said heck no! That they have never heard of anyone making this type of salad.

*sigh* Now I have to dig out the shrimp and salvage that, but I will toss the rest. I have a TINY bit of hope and will call my friend's Mom, maybe this is a hard core Vietnamese dish and it's regional...though I doubt it. It's usually a decent cookbook, I wonder if the author tossed this in just because it would sound exotic...

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Old 04-09-2005, 07:07 PM   #2
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I did a search and found 4 recipes for pomelo and grilled shrimp salad (one was from the book you mentioned), so apparently it is a combination that some people like. One was a Thai recipe and another a Filipino recipe. The other two, including of course the one you mentioned, were Vietnamese.

Barbara
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Old 04-10-2005, 02:48 AM   #3
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Did you use the green or the purple pomelo? I actually dont know what color a pomelo is. Never heard of one. Are they tart?

Also, Im sorry your recipe didnt come out well. I think its happened to all of us. I made a dish last week that LOOKED great, but had no taste. I had to change the whole thing. But atleast you salvaged the shrimp!
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Old 04-10-2005, 01:38 PM   #4
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HTC, how disappointing! I can relate. Bought a great "looking" cookbook & wanted to make one dish that interested me. After reading through the recipe, when I got it home, noticed it was incomplete/unclear/vague. Had to wonder, did author include it for glam-value, rushing the book to the publisher, or was the problem with the proof-reader?

Also understand your point about perhaps it's a regional recipe. But, the cookbook should make that clear to readers. Maybe, a note to the author might help other cooks too.

Noticed the lovely pics you've posted of the dishes you've made. Ever thought of writing your own cookbook? I'd buy it. I would love to learn more on how to make authentic Thai dishes at home.

P.S. Re bad cookbooks - IMO The Joy of Cooking is the worst. Maybe some people swear by it. I found it a waste of money & a BORE. Perhaps we could have a section for cookbook reviews.
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Old 04-10-2005, 07:53 PM   #5
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I went and reread through the book, she didn't have any special story to go with the recipe, so if it's regional, I don't know what part of Vietnam. I still like the book though, since she has a couple of good tips in there. My favorite part of the book is the pictures she has of all the herbs and their names. I know what they all look like, but don't know what they are called, so this definitely helps.

Thanks for making me feel better guys, you're the best!
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