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Author Abigail Sotto-Raines shares recipes of favorite noodle and rice dishes from all over Southeast Asia

TWO staple ingredients not only in Filipino cuisine but in Asian dishes as well are rice and noodles.  This comes as no surprise because the Philippines have been a melting pot of different cultures from Southeast Asia. 

Cover of “Rice. Noodles. Yum.: Everyone’s Favorite Southeast Asian Dishes” by Abigail Raines

This is why Filipino American first-time author (who also manages the blogsite, Manila Spoon) Abigail Sotto-Raines is so excited to share to everyone her favorite dishes via her book “Rice. Noodles. Yum.:  Everyone’s Favorite Southeast Asian Dishes.” 

Born and raised in the Philippines, Abigail often spent her days with her grandmother cooking traditional Filipino meals in which rice and noodles provided the base for so many delicious and interesting flavor combinations. Later on, she traveled extensively in Southeast Asia where she discovered the wealth of rice and noodle-based dishes.

Currently residing in Hamden, Connecticut with her husband Mark and two kids (William and Sophie), Abby is a lawyer turned stay-at-home mom. However, her love for cooking did not begin naturally.

The author, Abigail Sotto-Raines with her husband William and children William and Sophie.
| Photo from ManilaSpoon.com

“Truth is, I had to learn to cook out of necessity,” she wrote on her blog, Manila Spoon.  “As anyone familiar with the Philippines would know, when you grow up with a maid, oftentimes you never learn the wonderful art of cooking.  Back then, I always knew that when dinner’s on, the food would be ready at the table, often prepared by anyone in the house but me.  I did dabble a bit on cooking after college but never really pursued it passionately.”

It was when she got married and settled in the United States that she had to learn how to cook.  Starting with basic recipes, Abigail eventually became comfortable in the kitchen through trial and error.  She started Manila Spoon to document her adventures in cooking and to share her collection of recipes which her family has tried and enjoyed through the years.

After six years of blogging, she released just last June, “Rice. Noodles. Yum.” containing 75 (yes, 75!) authentic rice and noodle dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines.   Apart from popular Asian dishes like pad thai from Thailand and serabi from Indonesia; she included fusions and recipes with a twist like an Asian-Italian spaghetti and meatballs made of rice noodles and curried beef gravy, and Suman Con Chocolate (Steamed Glutinous Rice Cakes with Chocolate Sauce).

There are more easy-to-follow recipes inside the cookbook that readers will surely enjoy cooking.

“Rice. Noodles. Yum.: Everyone’s Favorite Southeast Asian Dishes” is available on Amazon (www.amazon.com), Barnes & Noble, Book-A-Million and IndieBound (www.indiebound.org).

Visit Abigail’s blog at www.manilaspoon.com.

RECIPES:
Suman con Chocolate | Carioca

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