Susan Feniger’s Street Food
By: Susan Feniger with Kajsa Alger & Liz Lachman
Publisher: Clarkson Potter

I know I’m dating myself here, but one of my all-time favorite cooking shows was Too Hot Tamales. It was on The Food Network, way back when it was a fledgling cable channel, and starred chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken. The camaraderie between the two best friends made the show fun to watch and the recipes were wonderful. Whenever I spot a show featuring either one of these ladies now I always make a point to tune in. They are one of my foodie crushes. Meeting either one in person would be a squee-worthy moment.

Recently I won a Barnes and Noble gift certificate and I decided to spend it on beautiful cookbooks. As I was browsing the selection I came across Susan Feniger’s Street Food. The book went into my shopping cart immediately. I am a big fan of street food. I’ll make u-turns on a busy road to stop at a food truck. Often the menus on trucks and carts are just as unique and tasty as anything served in a restaurant. I see Ms. Feniger is also a fan, since she has traveled the world and then brought back some of the street food recipes for her restaurant, STREET. A restaurant offering street food delicacies? Awesome. I just wish it wasn’t on the other side of the country, in Los Angeles.

The recipes in this book are some of the dishes that are or have been offered on the rotating menu at the restaurant.  Tasty treats from around the world are featured in categories ranging from Starters & Small Bites to Elixirs & Tonics & Lhassis. So basically snacks to drinks and everything in between, including spice mixes and condiments. While some of the recipes have more exotic ingredients, things you’d need to find a specialty or ethnic markets, there are plenty made with easily attainable ingredients. In most cases, substitutes are also listed for those hard-to-find items. While this book is a pleasure to read, with pictures of every dish and tales of sampling street food in exotic locales, this is definitely a cookbook I will use. Just a few of the recipes I want to make are Korean Chopped Salad with Sesame Dressing (a riff on bi bim bap) and Romanian Sweet and Sour Eggplant. So far I have only tried the Egyptian Bus Stop Kushary, which is a blend of rice, pasta and lentils. I wasn’t sure how the combination of ingredients would work together, but I really enjoyed the recipe which is featured on Page 11 of this Scribd preview. Even my hubby, who is not fond of vegetarian meals, liked it. I had to make a few substitutions and I would make one change in the future. I replaced the vegetable broth with chicken broth and the harissa with Thai red chile paste because that is what I had on hand. Also, I would’ve liked the lentils to be a bit more tender, so in the future I’ll add those in a few minutes before the rice.

If you are a fan of street food or just looking for unique recipes from many different regions around the world I would definitely recommend this book. You can take a journey in words to exotic places like the Mongolian Steppes and Bezirgan, Turkey. Then head to your kitchen and make some of the foods from that region. To find out more about the book you can visit: http://streetfoodbook.susanfenigersite.com .

This review is linked to Foodies Read 2013 Challenge and Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads.

14 thoughts on “Review: Susan Feniger’s Street Food

    1. There are some great tips on how to cook things and notes about the exotic ingredients, so it actually would be good for cooks at any level, I think.

    1. I just watched the South American episode of the Street Food show. Yowza! I’m adventurous, but not enough to try a frog (whole poached, live a few minutes earlier) smoothie. Ewwww!

    1. I made reservations at their restaurant in Las Vegas. Unfortunately my flight was late and I missed it, so I had to settle for just having snacks at their bar instead. Still, the food was excellent even though the menu was scaled down from the main restaurant.

  1. Thanks for introducing me to Susan Feniger :). Street food and food trucks certainly seem to be the vogue these days. I remember loving the ones in Honolulu (we called them lunch wagons, though). It was good homemade comfort food and really hit the spot. Will have to look for Susan’s book.

    1. We only have a few food trucks in our area, mostly Mexican food. One opened a restaurant, but after awhile he closed it and went back to the food truck setup! There are some excellent food trucks in the metro Detroit area and Ann Arbor, MI area. There’s even a food cart court in Ann Arbor with everything from Indian chaats to pizza!

    1. I am definitely a food truck junkie! I love them so much I decided to feature them in my first women’s fiction series. 🙂

  2. I’ve been hearing a lot about street food lately, but am not familiar with Too Hot Tamales or this cookbook. I’m afraid of becoming an even less adventurous eater as I get older, so a cookbook like this would be good to shake up my cooking repertoire.

    1. I really loved the recipes in this book. There were so many that I want to try! I love street food, so I would suggest broadening your culinary horizons by stopping at a cart or food truck if you ever get the chance. 🙂

    1. I know! I’m thinking that show was on between 15 and 20 years ago. BTW, I have the cookbook from that show and it’s great. As I recall there is a cinnamon chicken recipe that we really loved.

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