This week, Chronicle Books officially launched its Asian Market Shopper app, part of the publisher's new line of cooking apps for iAppliances (Droid versions are reportedly on the way).
Researched and written by Santa Cruz-based author Andrea Nguyen, author of the great Into the Vietnamese Kitchen, the app provides descriptions of 100 ingredients commonly found in East Asian, Southeast Asian, and South Asian groceries, many of which are used in 25 basic recipes that Nguyen has also developed for the book. The app costs $3.99 through iTunes or Apple's app store.
SFoodie compared the app to a similar one titled Asian Ingredients 101, published last year by Sutro Media ($0.99 through the app store). Its author is Patricia Tanumijardja, who wrote The Asian Grandmother's Cookbook — incidentally, her parents also run a sweet neighborhood Indonesian restaurant in Seattle. Like Asian Market Shopper, Asian Ingredients 101 provides photos and descriptions of 100 ingredients, perhaps 60 percent of which are also included in Nguyen's app.
Which of the two should you buy? Depending on what you're looking for, SFoodie would say neither or both.