It's a wrapNina Simonds, who served up A Spoonful of Ginger last year, now invites us to wrap 'n roll, to fashion fabulous finger-friendly food that is fresh, healthy, and a breeze to put together. In Asian Wraps: Deliciously Easy Hand-Held Bundles to Stuff, Wrap and Relish, with 75 recipes and full-color photos throughout, Ms. Simonds emphasizes the casual and the seasonal. The peerless packets featured in her book come in all sizes, from bitsy bites that make appealing, uncommon appetizers to substantial entree roll-ups. And thrilling fillings Miso Salmon, Mu Shu Shrimp, Curried Coconut Chicken, Malaysian Marinated Pork, salads swathed in savory sauces, vegetarian variations touched with meatless magic will tempt cooks, both timid and time-toughened, to improvise, innovate and experiment. Luckily, wraps are not only tasty, they're trendy and that makes it easy to purchase interesting, varied wrappers a big bonus in our time-challenged world. Asian groceries offer the widest variety, but most supermarkets now carry wonton and egg roll skins and an ever-growing array of flour tortillas large, small, plain, and flavored that, when brushed with a bit of sesame oil and steamed, take on an Asian aura. To turn over a new leaf, wrap-wise, you can enfold fillings in the broad leaves of lettuces and cabbages, conventional and otherwise. Ms. Simonds, who has lived, studied, and traveled in Southeast Asia, mingles the earthy with the exotic, making the Far East seem quite near.
Sybil Pratt is an avid cook.