Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

"Thai Cooking" by David Thompson


Recommended Posts

He's an Aussie, I know that. Maybe you should hunt down some of the people who hang out on the Down Under forums and get them to check this thread.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Awbrig, try searching on Nahm (his London restaurant). He was brought over from Sydney to open in the space left at the upscale boutique Halking hotel when Stefano Cavallini's restaurant there closed. My understanding is that he has collected family-heirloom handwritten recipes all over Thailand (the traditional way they are disseminated over there) and is the only non-Thai to have cooked for their royal family.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

the book has the most brilliant and purest recipe for larb that i've ever seen. i bring this book to bed with me and tuck it under my pillow. it comforts me and makes me feel safe, and loved.

other discussions of this book are throughout egullet. you can probably search on the author's name to come up with more praise, and, a picture of awbrig's boy. :blink:

glad your thai beef salad came out good.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Adam, I like pounding too!

Or I use a stick blender (as suggested by Basildog) for better control than you get with a blender or processor.

Edited by Jinmyo (log)

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mortar. Pestle. Pounding.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is inducing Larb Jones. Must go get Larb for lunch... firesmile.gif

=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

Link to post
Share on other sites

John Thorne reviews in the book in the current issue of Saveur. He says about what I said: it's a great read, totally uncompromising on ingredients and techniques, and therefore really hard to cook from. What he doesn't mention is that physically, it's a piece of junk: bad design, bad construction, bad photos. I still think everyone who's serious about Thai food has to own this book, but I can't get as excited about it as other people.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

Link to post
Share on other sites

mamster's right about the quality of the book. my binding was broke the day it arrived.

i haven't cooked much from it ('cept for the perfect larb), but i've reviewed many of the recipes and they didn't jump out as something that would pose any sort problem.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a review in Art of Eating #63.

No doubt, there are more approachable Thai cookbooks, but none has the breadth of this one. bla bla bla. This book is an inspiring challenge to cooks, and it will be a touchstone for coming generations interested in genuine Thai food.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to post
Share on other sites
Adam, I like pounding too!

Or I use a stick blender (as suggested by Basildog) for better control than you get with a blender or processor.

Nah, stick introduces to much air. Just blend the sloppy stuff (shallots) or annoying stuff (kaffir lime leave) and add to the pestal ground stuff. Blending lemon grass or gingeroid stuff is a no-no (fibre issues), unless you cut it up real small, in which cse you might as well pound. I want a bigger mortar.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's right.

And I think that the blender rubs the oils the wrong way but I can't prove it.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to post
Share on other sites
John Thorne reviews in the book in the current issue of Saveur.  He says about what I said:  it's a great read, totally uncompromising on ingredients and techniques, and therefore really hard to cook from.  What he doesn't mention is that physically, it's a piece of junk:  bad design, bad construction, bad photos.  I still think everyone who's serious about Thai food has to own this book, but I can't get as excited about it as other people.

I have been given three copies, two Australian printings, one UK and all have been fine in phyisical quality. Could be a USA specific problem? Certainly, USA paper backs fall apart very easily.

As to cooking from the book, I haven't seen any real issues with it. I live in Edinburgh, which produce wise is terrible, but I can get all the ingredients, except yabbies and murray cod, which are Australian specific, and long coriander, which is I know not what. I know that you had problems getting fresh green peppercorns, but I assume that other ingredients should be OK?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, I'm a little surprised by the assessment of the US copy, too. My book is gorgeous, with a heavily stitched binding and lush pics. Sometimes I just like to take it down from the shelf and pet it.

As for ingredients, after my brief phase of not knowing where to find things I've now located just about everthing I've needed. I do agree with mamster on the technique front, though - Thompson is absolutely uncompromising. Sometimes I follow his instructions to the letter, and sometimes I cheat a little. But overall, I have learned to love to pound.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Similar Content

    • By Mutleyracers
      Hi all. I hope you are well. I am just into baking bread due to lockdown and need help. Ideally I would like modernist bread but the wife is not quite agreeing to that yet. So I would like some where to start for now until she comes around to the idea. After she has tasted all my amazing breads I make. 
       
      I would like this to be in metric rather than imperial.
       
      Thank you 
    • By Burmese Days
      Hello everyone,
       
      This is my first post, so please tell me if I've made any mistakes. I'd like to learn the ropes as soon as possible. 
       
      I first learned of this cookbook from The Mala Market, easily the best online source of high-quality Chinese ingredients in the west. In the About Us page, Taylor Holiday (the founder of Mala Market) talks about the cookbooks that inspired her.
      This piqued my interest and sent me down a long rabbit hole. I'm attempting to categorically share everything I've found about this book so far.
       
      Reading it online
      Early in my search, I found an online preview (Adobe Flash required). It shows you the first 29 pages. I've found people reference an online version you can pay for on the Chinese side of the internet. But to my skills, it's been unattainable.
       
      The Title
      Because this book was never sold in the west, the cover, and thus title, were never translated to English. Because of this, when you search for this book, it'll have several different names. These are just some versions I've found online - typos included.
      Sichuan (China) Cuisine in Both Chinese and English Si Chuan(China) Cuisinein (In English & Chinese) China Sichuan Cuisine (in Chinese and English) Chengdu China: Si Chuan Ke Xue Ji Shu Chu Ban She Si Chuan(China) Cuisinein (Chinese and English bilingual) 中国川菜:中英文标准对照版 For the sake of convenience, I'll be referring to the cookbook as Sichuan Cuisine from now on.

       
      Versions
      There are two versions of Sichuan Cuisine. The first came out in 2010 and the second in 2014. In an interview from Flavor & Fortune, a (now defunct) Chinese cooking
      magazine, the author clarifies the differences.
      That is all of the information I could find on the differences. Nothing besides that offhanded remark. The 2014 edition seems to be harder to source and, when available, more expensive.
       
      Author(s)

      In the last section, I mentioned an interview with the author. That was somewhat incorrect. There are two authors!
      Lu Yi (卢一) President of Sichuan Tourism College, Vice Chairman of Sichuan Nutrition Society, Chairman of Sichuan Food Fermentation Society, Chairman of Sichuan Leisure Sports Management Society Du Li (杜莉) Master of Arts, Professor of Sichuan Institute of Tourism, Director of Sichuan Cultural Development Research Center, Sichuan Humanities and Social Sciences Key Research Base, Sichuan Provincial Department of Education, and member of the International Food Culture Research Association of the World Chinese Culinary Federation Along with the principal authors, two famous chefs checked the English translations.
      Fuchsia Dunlop - of Land of Plenty fame Professor Shirley Cheng - of Hyde Park New York's Culinary Institute of America Fuchsia Dunlop was actually the first (and to my knowledge, only) Western graduate from the school that produced the book.
       

      Recipes
      Here are screenshots of the table of contents.  It has some recipes I'm a big fan of.
       
      ISBN
      ISBN 10: 7536469640   ISBN 13: 9787536469648 As far as I can tell, the first and second edition have the same ISBN #'s. I'm no librarian, so if anyone knows more about how ISBN #'s relate to re-releases and editions, feel free to chime in.
       
      Publisher
      Sichuan Science and Technology Press 四川科学技术出版社  
      Cover
      Okay... so this book has a lot of covers.
      The common cover A red cover A white cover A white version of the common cover An ornate and shiny cover  There may or may not be a "Box set." At first, I thought this was a difference in book editions, but that doesn't seem to be the case. As far as covers go, I'm at a loss. If anybody has more info, I'm all ears.
       
      Buying the book
      Alright, so I've hunted down many sites that used to sell it and a few who still have it in stock. Most of them are priced exorbitantly.
       
      AbeBooks.com ($160 + $15 shipping) Ebay.com - used ($140 + $4 shipping) PurpleCulture.net ($50 + $22 shipping) Amazon.com ($300 + $5 shipping + $19 tax) A few other sites in Chinese  
      I bought a copy off of PurpleCuture.net on April 14th. When I purchased Sichuan Cuisine, it said there was only one copy left. That seems to be a lie to create false urgency for the buyer. My order never updated past processing, but after emailing them, I was given a tracking code. It has since landed in America and is in customs. I'll try to update this thread when (if) it is delivered.
       
      Closing thoughts
      This book is probably not worth all the effort that I've put into finding it. But what is worth effort, is preserving knowledge. It turns my gut to think that this book will never be accessible to chefs that have a passion for learning real Sichuan food. As we get inundated with awful recipes from Simple and quick blogs, it becomes vital to keep these authentic sources available. As the internet chugs along, more and more recipes like these will be lost. 
       
      You'd expect the internet to keep information alive, but in many ways, it does the opposite. In societies search for quick and easy recipes, a type of evolutionary pressure is forming. It's a pressure that mutates recipes to simpler and simpler versions of themselves. They warp and change under consumer pressure till they're a bastardized copy of the original that anyone can cook in 15 minutes. The worse part is that these new, worse recipes wear the same name as the original recipe. Before long, it becomes harder to find the original recipe than the new one. 
       
      In this sense, the internet hides information. 
       
    • By TexasMBA02
      After batting about .500 with my previous approach to macarons, I came across Pierre Herme's base recipe online.  After two flawless batches of macarons, I've been re-energized to continue to work at mastering them.  Specifically, I want to try more of his recipes.  My conundrum is that he has, as far as I can tell, two macaron cookbooks and I don't know which one I should get.  I can't tell if one is just an updated version of the other or a reissue or what the differences really are.  I was hoping somebody had some insight.  I have searched online and haven't seen both books referenced in the same context or contrasted at all.
       
      This one appears to be older.

       
      And this one appears to be the newer of the two.

       
      Any insight would be helpful.
       
      Thanks,
       
    • By K8CanCook
      Update!! --- the sale is still going on at Amazon as of Sunday (11/24) at 11:15am EST
      ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
       
      Did anyone note the sale price on Modernist Cuisine today (maybe yesterday)? Amazon and Target dropped the set of tomes to $379!!!
       
      This price looks like it will change after today...so get it ASAP!!!

      https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/0982761007?pf_rd_p=183f5289-9dc0-416f-942e-e8f213ef368b&pf_rd_r=SRFCHFB5EFTGAA8AZHJX
      -or-
      https://www.target.com/p/modernist-cuisine-by-nathan-myhrvold-chris-young-maxime-bilet-hardcover/-/A-77279948
    • By Bollo
      I need a book on the application of rotavapor machine. I've searched something on web but i can't find something strictly professional for the kitchen please help me. To improve the research. 
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...