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Favorite "Thai" Cookbook


weinoo
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As I continue to hunker down, I'm attempting to get better at cooking stuff from cultures/places we'd normally go out to eat for. I can find some pretty darn good Thai food in Elmhurst, for example. However, we're not going out to eat, so it's my stove and me.

 

I own the following Thai cookbooks:

 

Thai Street Food: Authentic Recipes, Vibrant Traditions [A Cookbook] - David Thompson

 

Thai Food - David Thompson

 

True Thai: The Modern Art of Thai Cooking - Victor Sodsook

 

Keo's Thai Cuisine –  Keo Sananikone 

 

May Kaidee's Thai Vegetarian and Vegan Cookbook - May Kaidee (she opened a restaurant right across the street from our building a year or two ago - it was good the first tine we ate there, then it sucked).

 

There might be one or two others, but I'm tired of scanning my bookshelves. And yes, I know Ricker has a few books, because someone who can't keep a restaurant open ought be writing cookbooks.  And yes, I know I can look at youtube videos, web sites, blogs, etc. etc. But I'm old school - I enjoy holding a book in my hands, getting it dirty, writing in the margins, putting stupid Post-It flags on pages with recipes I might attempt (especially since I just ordered a ton of Thai pantry stuff).

 

So - what Thai cookbook am I missing? And what Thai cookbooks do you own - and cook from?

 

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Nancie McDermott's Quick & Easy Thai - Everyday Recipes was recently recommended to me by several friends (including @Jaymes) on another forum. Jaymes reports that she and her son cook regularly from it and like the results. So far I can only pass along the recommmendation, though. I borrowed the book last week (via Kindle) and then forgot I had it. That's another disadvantage of electronic books!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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David Thompson's works are great. I agree.  I find Thai Food is fascinating but I don't find myself making anything from it.  I like Andy Ricker's Pok Pok book - it's good for northern Thai and some Isaan. He also has a good discussion on substituting chilies that are typically used in Thailand with ones we can find in the NY area.  I also like https://hot-thai-kitchen.com/ or her You Tube channel. I'm not usually a fan of her non-Thai recipes, but her Thai ones ahve been reliable and tasted similar to what I've had in Thailand.

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Not at the level of David Thompson, a more entry-level Thai cookbook that I've enjoyed cooking from is Leela Punyaratabandhu's Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes from the Thai Home Kitchen

Her second book, Bangkok: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Thailand, is also good.  Her website is here

 

Her most recent book came out in March.  I haven't seen it and it's not Thai:  Flavors of the Southeast Asian Grill: Classic Recipes for Seafood and Meats Cooked over Charcoal

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I am a fan of Charmaine Solomon.  She has a Thai cookery book that I have used forever and her The Complete Asian Cookbook has a Thai section.  I don’t think I Have made anything from either book that I did not like.  

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While I have a few others, under the banner of KISS, I reach for Keo's Thai Cuisine, mentioned above.    Approachable product and instruction.  But most important, reliable and delicious results.   I have one copy in town, one in the country where I have fewer than 2 dozen cookbooks.   Should say something.

eGullet member #80.

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12 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

Not at the level of David Thompson, a more entry-level Thai cookbook that I've enjoyed cooking from is Leela Punyaratabandhu's Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes from the Thai Home Kitchen

Her second book, Bangkok: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Thailand, is also good.  Her website is here

 

Her most recent book came out in March.  I haven't seen it and it's not Thai:  Flavors of the Southeast Asian Grill: Classic Recipes for Seafood and Meats Cooked over Charcoal

 

I have both Simple Thai Food and Bangkok.  I should revisit them.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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13 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

I am a fan of Charmaine Solomon.  She has a Thai cookery book that I have used forever and her The Complete Asian Cookbook has a Thai section.  I don’t think I Have made anything from either book that I did not like.  

 

Thanks for that reminder, Okanagancook. I have her Complete Asian. I'll pull that out before looking for more Thai cookbooks. :) 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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My vote also goes to David Thompson... with the disclaimer that it's the only Thai cookbook I've ever owned so I have nothing to compare it to. :P 

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I know you specifically said this *wasn't* the advice you wanted -- but take a look at Hot Thai Kitchen, and particularly the YouTube videos.

 

Pai (the host) does have a cookbook, though I haven't read it.

 

I have bought and borrowed Thai cookbooks for years (including most of the ones listed above) and would occasionally manage something decent from them, but it was always a ton of work and something wasn't right. It wasn't until I was able to watch someone make the recipes that some of the techniques clicked for me.

At least for me, some of the techniques used in Thai cooking are counterintuitive or non-obvious -- e.g., you have to get the oil to separate out of the coconut milk when you're making a curry, and you want to wait for it to happen at a certain point in the process. At least for me, that was way easier to watch than try to figure out from text. 

So even if you find a book book you like, it might be worth watching her cook through a similar recipe to see the process.

Edited by dtremit (log)
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Just now, dtremit said:

I know you specifically said this *wasn't* the advice you wanted -- but take a look at Hot Thai Kitchen, and particularly the YouTube videos.

 

Love her.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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