By Peter Magers updated on 09/03/2013
Asian Cuisines ($3.99) features a wonderful look, plenty of delicious recipes, and step-by-step instructions to help anyone, novice or pro, cook some very appetizing dishes.
Easily navigate Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Thai menu options; browse for low-sodium, high-fiber, low-fat, or vegetarian dishes; star your favorites; and make a shopping list inside the app. There’s even a quick calendar-reminder and kitchen-timer tool.
The real beauty of the app becomes most apparent, however, when the actual cooking begins. If you’ve ever grabbed an authentic ethnic cookbook, you’ve undoubtedly run into something ambiguous that stressed you out, like advising you to add [insert spice you’ve never used before here] “to taste.” That’s fine and dandy for something that doesn’t change its flavor during the cooking process, but if you’ve never cooked with it, how would you know?
Asian Cuisines is quite the opposite, however. Ingredients are precisely measured and instructions are clear. Sometimes there are issues with translation, but the accompanying photos assure you that you’ve succeeded in creating the very thing you aimed for.
That’s not to say Asian Cuisines is absolutely perfect: An option to convert the metric measurements to more common ones would be a stellar improvement. There’s also some dodgy grammar and vocabulary here and there (though nothing that is unclear in its intent). The only real “problem” with Asian Cuisines is that you’ll really want even more recipes and menus to choose from. There’s a fantastic variety, but they all look so good (and turn out so well), that you’ll be sad when you come to the end of a list. Of course, we will just have to fervently hope for updates.
In the meantime, content yourself with impressive options like Steamed Clams with White Wine or Spicy Stewed tofu; surprise your friends with Thai-Style Coconut Cake for a change; or even serve party guests a homemade Spicy Peanut Snack. There are choices for every type of occasion and every palate.
Asian Cuisines is your passport to a whole new delicious cultural experience. The app is optimized for iPhone 5, but compatible with a very broad range of devices, including many previous generation iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads. Bon appetit!