Cookbook Review: ‘What I Cook When Nobody’s Watching’

Book cover of Poh Ling Yeow's 'What I Cook When Nobody’s Watching'
Book cover of Poh Ling Yeow 'What I Cook When Nobody’s Watching'
FIFTY+SA acclaimed food writer Mandy Hall reviews Poh Ling Yeow’s new cookbook ‘What I Cook When Nobody’s Watching’.

It’s a big, bold claim to suggest that you have trialled and tried every recipe in a cookbook before the book in question has even hit the shelves – however, when it comes to Poh Ling Yeow’s ‘What I Cook When Nobody’s Watching’, I can proudly say with hand on heart that this is indeed the case. Yes, every recipe.

‘What I Cook When Nobody’s Watching’ is the cookbook we’ve all been waiting for and didn’t know it. It’s like an exquisitely bound personal invitation into Poh’s kitchen. A deeply personal insight into how Poh goes about her craft, like a backstage pass or front door key to a seat at Poh’s table. It’s a book that celebrates everything fabulous about food – the joy, the memories, the magic, the honesty, the cheekiness and the comfort.

It’s a book about food we can share. Food that makes you smile. And, perhaps most importantly, food-borne from recipes that we can all make. Some will be familiar, others foreign. But one of this book’s many triumphs is that it offers guides, tips and tricks that encourage the reader to try new things and thoroughly enjoy the experience, whether we are cooking for one (and have 5 minutes in which to plate up) or have planned a special feast to feed and nourish those we love.

Poh has shared many gorgeous recipes in her book. Some utilise simple, everyday, readily available ingredients, while others include new finds. There’s the inclusion of elements that require no cooking at all and treasured family favourites, the dishes that might be served when the now-grown Yeow kids (Poh included) still find their way home to Mumma Yeow’s table for dinner. There are super quickies as well as entertainer’s delights, plus tips and ideas that help in the kitchen and the garden, including a nifty method for bringing you back when you’re feeling a little worse for wear. And for all those JAMFACE stall fans, there are a few tightly held recipes for some of those favourites you line up for at the Farmer’s Markets each Sunday.

Another one of Poh’s loves shines through in ‘What I Cook When Nobody’s Watching’ – people. Friends, relatives and even Poh’s beloved doggos, Rhino and Tim, all play a significant part in this very special and refreshingly honest book.

It’s as full of love and joy as it is simple and yummy recipes. And best of all, it is Poh all over. Her vast talent, genuine warmth and love of family and feeding others is there on every page. There are thrifty tips to make life—and cooking—easier and every single recipe has been tested and refined over and over to ensure utter joy and maximum yumminess with every dish you cook. And who doesn’t want that?

RRP $44.99

Read more about Poh Ling Yeow’s ‘What I cook when nobody’s watching’ at Plum/Pan Macmillan Australia.

Images: Henry Trumble

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