Asian Cooking for Dummies in Review – Dinner Is Served!

Being an Asian myself, I can say with a great deal of certainty that Asian dishes can more than hold their own with what the rest of the world can offer. There’s a reason why a good number of them are very popular in the world’s other six continents.

And as I discovered with Asian Cooking For Dummies, they’re also fairly easy to cook despite their elaborately-prepared appearances. With 60 traditional video recipes from China, India, Japan and Thailand, this easy-to-use app should make you kitchen-bound in no time.

There are only five menu items presented in a dock under the recipes already categorized by country and in true For Dummies fashion, each one is a no-brainer. Under the default Browse icon, you only need to tap Chinese Cooking for Chinese dishes, Indian Cookingfor Indian fare and so on. A Search icon allows you to search recipes by country, ingredient or preparation time.

Tapping the Tools button reveals three options namely Converter (for converting units of measure), Timer (to aid you with baking time although you probably already have that in your oven) and a Shopping List where all the ingredients that you tap in a given recipe is transferred for future shopping reference. The Share icon allows you to share any recipe with Facebook and Twitter while the Favorites section is well, where your favorite food items in the app are saved.

The meat of the app, pardon the pun, lies in the well-produced videos of the recipes themselves. To Anuman’s credit, the step-by-step presentations that start with showing what the ingredients look like (coriander, anyone?) to the actual cooking are, in the absence of a better term, truly for dummies. Even more impressive is the way they lend an air of authenticity to the actual proceedings. In keeping with the traditional nature of the dishes, an Asian-sounding woman walks you through every step of the way as each country is well-represented by a corresponding cook and background music. The bearded Indian cook, in particular is even wearing a turban while cooking.

Maybe it’s because I’m using an iPhone 3G to review this app but for some reason, some videos can’t be loaded and viewed. Good thing each recipe also comes in text form with clear and detailed instructions so you can still actually cook them even without watching how they’re done.

As for the recipes themselves, most of the dishes presented here are those that are already familiar to most people. Among them, are the Hot and Sour Soup, Sweet and Sour Pork and Fried Rice from China; Chicken Curry, Fish Tandoori and Mutton Biryani from India; Sashimi, Miso Soup and Sushi with Nori Seaweed from Japan; and Chili King Prawns and Lime Soup and Spicy Seafood Salad from Thailand. Entrees dominate the recipes while appetizers and dessert items are quite limited.

Since the app is called Asian Cooking for Dummies, it doesn’t leave much room for something more exotic or adventurous. And I kinda lament the fact that only four Asian countries are represented as there are many other exciting recipes from Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and even my native Philippines. While I can understand that much of the app’s $3.99 price tag can be attributed to its elaborate efforts. I do hope Anuman continues to provide updates that include more recipes from yes, other parts of the region. As it is, Asian Cooking for Dummies already provides a generous sampler of delicious Asian recipes that should keep you busy for a while. Yes, they don’t look like a piece of cake by any means but thanks to this app, preparing them is not exactly rocket science either.

App Summary
Title: Asian Cooking For Dummies Developer: Anuman
Reviewed Ver: 1.2 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $3.99 App Size: Size: 6.9 MB
  • Easy navigation
  • Well-produced step-by-step videos
  • Recipes in both video and text forms
  • Universal binary
  • Some videos can’t load on older iDevices
  • Limited to only four Asian countries
  • Leaves you wanting for more


This review was brought to you by TouchMyApps Contributor Edwin Sallan. You can find him on Twitter @edwinsallan.

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