Asian Pasta, by Linda Burum (Aris Books: $22.95 clothbound; $12 paperback, 222 pp.)

If any pasta book is characteristic of Los Angeles, it would be this one. In this city, the large Asian population has led to an amazing variety of noodles available dried and sometimes fresh in Oriental markets. In addition, there are noodle-related products such as rice paper, egg roll, won ton and spring roll wrappers.

Author Burum, a Los Angeles native, tells what to do with these ingredients, not only reproducing pasta specialties from the Orient, but including a chapter that reflects the current fashion for East-West cooking. A short chapter on making basics such as Chinese egg noodles, soba and rice wrappers will be valuable to cooks not located near Asian markets. The recipes themselves cover pastas from Japan, China and Korea and all the countries of Southeast Asia, making this a comprehensive and informative book.

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