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Cooking Rice & Grains

Seductions of Rice

A Cookbook

by (author) Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid

Random House of Canada
Initial publish date
May 2003
Rice & Grains, Asian, Middle Eastern
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2003
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2003
    List Price

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From the bestselling authors of Hot Sour Salty Sweet, a paperback edition of their critically acclaimed cookbook about the humble grain of rice.

In this essential book about the world’s most essential food, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid travelled to the world’s major rice-eating regions and experienced first-hand dozens of varieties of rice, as well as the staggering array of foods that traditionally accompany them. In Seductions of Rice, they bring it all home in fabulous recipes and precious information, as well as an enthralling photographic journey of people and places. You will marvel at how food this simple can taste this good and be so satisfying.

About the authors

Jeffrey Alford is a writer, photographer, traveller and cook based primarily in northeast Thailand. He is the co-author, with Naomi Duguid, of six international cookbooks: Flatbreads and Flavors, Seductions of Rice, Hot Sour Salty Sweet, HomeBaking, Mangoes & Curry Leaves, and Beyond the Great Wall.

Both Flatbreads and Flavors and Hot Sour Salty Sweet won the James Beard Award for best Cookbook of the Year and Seductions of Rice and HomeBaking each won a Cuisine Canada Cookbook Award.

Jeffrey has contributed to Saveur, Food & Wine, Food Arts, Gourmet and many other magazines. He has appeared on the Food Network and the Martha Stewart show.

Formerly based in Toronto, ON, he now lives in Surin Province in northeast Thailand twelve miles north of the Cambodian border, with partner Somphit Janprung (better known as 'Pea').

Jeffrey Alford's profile page

Naomi Duguid is a writer, photographer, teacher, cook, and world traveler. Her most recent cookbooks, Burma and Taste of Persia, transported readers into cultures and flavors not yet celebrated in the West, and respectively won the 2013 IACP Cookbook Award for Culinary Travel and both the 2017 IACP Cookbook Award for Culinary Travel and the 2017 James Beard Award for Best Book of the Year, International. Her previous award-winning titles, coauthored with Jeffrey Alford, include Flatbreads & Flavors: A Baker’s Atlas, their first book, which won a James Beard Award for Cookbook of the Year; Seductions of Rice; Hot Sour Salty Sweet, also a James Beard Cookbook of the Year; Mangoes & Curry Leaves; and Beyond the Great Wall.
Duguid’s articles and photographs have appeared regularly in Lucky Peach, Food & Wine, and other publications. She is a frequent guest speaker and presenter at food conferences. She is the host of Toronto’s Food on Film series and has a strong online presence (Twitter and Facebook). Her stock photo agency, Asia Access, is based in Toronto, where she lives when she is not on the road.

Naomi Duguid's profile page


  • Winner, Cuisine Canada Best Cookbook of the Year (English)

Excerpt: Seductions of Rice: A Cookbook (by (author) Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid)

Thai Grilled Chicken (Gai Yang)

For conoisseurs of grilled chicken, Thailand is paradise. Grilled chicken, called gai yang, is a common street food and restaurant specialty, and though it is most closely associated with the regional cuisine of the northeast, each region has its own distinctive ways of marinating and grilling chicken. This recipe is our new favourite version, one we learned while staying in south Thailand near the town of Tap Sa Kae. Coconut milk is added to the marinade, giving the chicken even more succulence and depth of flavour.

2 cloves garlic
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons chopped coriander root, minced
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 cup canned coconut milk
3 pounds chicken breasts and/or legs, chopped into 10 to 12 pieces

Accompaniment: Hot-and-Sweet Dipping Sauce (recipe below)

Prepare the marinade using a large mortar and pestle or a small food processor: Combine the garlic, salt, and pepper and pound or process to a smooth paste. Add the coriander root and pound or process to a paste. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the fish sauce and coconut milk. Place the chicken pieces in marinade and turn to coat well. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Preheat a charcoal or gas-fired grill, then place the chicken 4 to 5 inches from the flame, bone side down. Once the bottom side is starting to brown, brush the pieces with some marinade, turn over, and cook on the other side until golden brown and the juices run clear.

Alternatively, the chicken can be cooked under a broiler. Preheat the broiler. Lightly oil a broiling pan, add the chicken pieces bone side up, and place 4 to 6 inches from the broiler element. cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or, until the chicken is starting to brown. Turn pieces over and lightly brush with a little of the marinade. Broil for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until the juices run clear.

Transfer to a platter and serve with the dipping sauce and plenty of sticky rice.

Serves 6 as part of a sticky rice meal.

Hot-and-Sweet Dipping Sauce (Nam Jeem Gai Yang)

Whenever you stop at a Thai street stall to buy gai yang (grilled chicken), you will be handed with your chicken a small back of sticky rice and and even smaller plastic bag of dipping sauce, bright reddish orange with chile peppers and sticky with sugar. The sauce is very easy to make at home and adds a wonderful final touch to grilled chicken, pork, or lamb. Serve in small individual condiment bowls so guests can dip their meat and their sticky rice in it as they eat.

1/2 cup cider vinegar or white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons chile pepper flakes or minced dried red chiles

Place the vinegar in a small nonreactive saucepan and heat to a boil over high heat. Stir in the sugar, lower the heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, using a mortar and pestle or a bowl and the back of a spoon, pound or mash the garlic and salt to a paste, then stir in the pepper flakes and blend well.

Remove the vinegar from the heat and stir in the garlic paste until dissolved. Let cool to room temperature; store in a sealed glass jar. The sauce will keep, refrigerated, for several weeks, but it is best used within 5 days.

Makes about 1/2 cup sauce

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Seductions of Rice:

“Lots of personal stories woven together by their overriding passion for flavour.” -- The Globe and Mail

“. . . a touching and vivid account . . .” -- Food & Wine

“Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid who invented a cookbook genre with Flatbreads & Flavors keep on in a similar way with Seductions of Rice. This is the only book that captures rice as a way of life.” -- Gourmet

“. . . simply stunning.” -- The New York Times

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Other titles by Naomi Duguid

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