It's somehow fitting that possibly the best book on centuries-old cooking styles isn't a new one, but an updated reprint of a classic.
"The Complete Asian Cookbook" by Charmaine Solomon (Tuttle Publishing; $39.95) first came out in Australia in 1976, and it has been a staple in our kitchen for ages. The new edition -- thankfully -- doesn't try improve on the original but jazzes it up to include things like the use of food processors. The more than 800 authentic recipes cover everything from rose-flavored drinks to mango ice cream. It's a pleasant introduction to Indian and Pakistani vegetables, seafood from Sri Lanka, Nonya cooking from Singapore and fried noodles a la the Philippines. The foods of China and Japan share space with Cambodian dishes and Malaysian wonders.
There's also a preparation guide, an ingredient glossary, and what to do if you can't find daun salam.