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Cooking with David Thompson's "Thai Street Food"


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I have chicken satay and grilled pork marinating now for dinner. The satay recipe was slightly different than most that I see, but smells great and makes sense.

My only beef so far is that several of the recipes I was drawn to based on the photos use ingredients that the author admits can only be found in Thailand. He offers substitutions, but they seem half hearted.

And a fish sauce made with rice roaches?!? :shock:

Edited by Doodad (log)
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His 'bible' achieved such success based on his training with an erstwhile royal chef and its adherence to 'basics' in Thailand such as crushed coriander root in so many recipes and, as you said, ingredients that are hard to find outside of Thailand.

So? Either get the ingredients or approximate, but it seems churlish to take out your frustrations on him, as obnoxious as he may be, just because he's staying true to the cuisine that has become his livelihood.

As for the substitutions you mentioned - what are they? I'd love to be able to help on that front. In Thailand, just as in any part of the world, there are as many ways of cooking the recipes he has transcribed as there are people who cook them!

All hail the satay! Did you use your own curry powder? I've just run out of a batch that was given to me by an ex-student from Madagascar and not sure what to do next time I fancy making it.

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The one ingredient I remember off the bat is santol (?) Some kind of fruit that he mentioned a certain apple as being an appropriate substitute. Others were herbs or for instance a dried, cured beef that will never be seen here.

The satay did not call for curry powder, but several spices, some powdered like tumeric, that made a sort of curry. Based on my local Thai place, it is spot on as to the flavors.

I can honestly say I have never been called a churl before. :raz:

Oh, one more thing. I always thought the plum sauce that came from the local Thai place with spring rolls was an anomoly, but he presented the exact same jazzed up Chinese plum sauce for spring rolls in the book. Live and learn.

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