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"Thai Cooking" by David Thompson


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Pounding is good.

"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

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I'm not sure about this 'un-compromising' thing. Yes, he gives detailed instructions on how to make a curry paste via mortar and pestal, and says that this is the best way. However, he does say to use a blender as well, as he relises that it is very time consuming to pound (pounding good BTW). He then goes on to describe why a blender is better then a food processor for the job. What problem with this? Sad if a book gets canned because it is too authentic.

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Charlene, for a big, stock-up-on-everything shop I go toTawana Supermarket on Chepstow Road, W2. If I just need fresh ingredients (some of which I expect will be hard to find, like green papaya, fresh green peppercorns or fresh tumeric) I go to New Loon Moon Supermarket on Gerrard STreet. And when I'm in the middle of putting something together and suddenly realise I don't have kaffir lime leaves, I drop everything and run to Wing Yip. :smile:

Adam: I'm not talking about the pounding quite so much as the heavy sigh you can almost hear Thompson make when he concedes that most cooks simply don't have time to make their coconut cream from fresh coconuts.

Edited by Miss J (log)
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you can almost hear Thompson make when he concedes that most cooks simply don't have time to make their coconut cream from fresh coconuts.

Oh, well. I never do that.

I've done it a few times just to see.

I open a tin.

"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

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he does say to use a blender as well, as he relises that it is very time consuming to pound (pounding good BTW).

Okay, I was exaggerating, and I enjoy pounding, too (although my downstairs neighbors don't). I think the US edition must be different, since the front isn't pink, for one thing.

I think I may be overreacting to the atrocious design of this book, and I might be more inclined to cook from it if it looked nicer. It did inspire several recipes for my mystery basket entry, and they were very successful, which hints that as I use it more, Thai Food may well grow on me.

This reminds me of a sausage-related question I had, but I'll ask on Cooking.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Yes, but that was a SUNDAY, Adam. Sunday is fun day. (Hell, I've been known to make puff pastry on Sundays, JUST BECAUSE I CAN.) Sometimes one has to cook amazing, almost authentic Thai food during the week. And I can just imagine Mr J's response if I told him that dinner would be ready after I'd made coconut cream, pounded for around half an hour, THEN started simmering a curry for another half hour-ish. (He would roll around on the floor making starving-to-death noises, if you must know.)

Mamster likes to pound. Heh. Mamster, welcome to the collective. :biggrin:

Edited by Miss J (log)
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I like this book, I won't say love yet because I haven't used it enough.

I have made a duck currry that was very good and am going to try the laab next week.

Because of its authenticity I am having a really hard time finding a lot of the ingredients and almost every recipe I look at has at least one thing I am sure I will never find in Japan.

I like pounding too! :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I've actually just purchased it this morning. Pink.

"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

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I ordered mine from Amazon and it came last week. Pink.

I have to agree about the photographs. They suck. I read a recipe and can't for the life of me figure out how it comes out looking like the picture. As encyclopedic as this book is, I would have thought that the extensive use of photography could have been better employed to instruct the reader. Pictures of some of the more obscure ingredients would have been nice. I found myself googling on some of them when I got curious as hell. And I do some Thai cooking. I even have a cooking friend that has her own Kaffir lime tree for Chrisakes and we still found things in this book that we had never heard of. Oh well... Back to Hong Kong Market.

The recipes are intriguing and I intend to try some of them. However, I have a basic question. It occurs to me that the elaborate nature of Thai cooking has to be an anomoly in the history of the world. Even the "country" cooking (as opposed to palace cuisine) seems to be incredibly time consuming. How did the Thai people come to develop such a labor intensive cuisine? Are they in such a land of plenty that they don't have to spend all of their time in the rice paddies and can indulge themselves in this complex pastime? Am I missing something here? Do we have a cultural anthropologist lurking on this site that can explain this phenomenon?

I do love the book. Good reading and it does capture a lot of detail. But I draw the line at making my own coconut cream.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Had a small dinner party last night for 12 (okay 8 of them were kids ages 7 and under and since they only ate rice and cucumbers I guess we shouldn't count them) using this book.

We had originally planned 6 dishes (there were also going to be 3 more people) to be eaten around 4:00 but because we didn't strart cooking until 4:30 we only made 3 and the pat thai (that required 2 hours of noodle soaking) changes to Thai style spring rolls (not in the book). So we made the green papaya salad and the chicken curry with green beans and ginger, both of which were very good.

My problem came with the proportion sizes, he says these recipes can serve 4 if served with a meal of about 4 to 5 dishes (approx. 1 dish per person) well we quadrupled the green papaya salad (we bought a bigger papaya than needed), tripled the curry, and each each adult had between 4 and 7 spring rolls. All the food was gone.

Do we eat an unusual amount of food? or are the portions just unusually small?

A lot of the curries call for only 100 grams of meat (about 1/4 pound), is this normal in Thai cooking.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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completely agree torakis, I made the beef paneng on Saturday which said 200g of beef, I bought 400g and it was just right for 2 people, it also looked NOTHING like the picture :angry: . Chicken larp was fantastic (said 150g of meat I used about 250g) as was a steamed egg mousse which I would never had considered making before.

The question now is what do I do with 50 sticks of lemongrass, half a ton of thai basil and 30 lime leaves I have left - can you freeze these?

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Charlene,

I haven't done it yet, but my vietnamese friends say that you can freeze lemongrass if you prepare it first. So, pre chop or peel and feed the lemongrass bulby part into a food processor (With 50 of those things your hands might get tired otherwise!) and then freeze. They say you can then just break off bits as you need it.

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made 3 more things last night

tom yam gung --it probably made a about 3-4 serving and was good, but there was nothing in the bowl except shrimp (so I added mushrooms as well) and I found the chopped lemongrass and torn lime leaves a litttle annoying to keep pulling from my spoon before putting it into my mouth.

grilled egglant salad with steamed eggs this was really good and even could have served 4 to 6, though my husband and I finished it off no problem.

fried rice with crab this also was very good, however most of these fried rice recipes only serve 1! I didn't notice that, but it was written under his general explanation of fried rice. How hard is it to put the # of serving at the beginning of each recipe?

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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...I found the chopped lemongrass and torn lime leaves a litttle annoying to keep pulling from my spoon before putting it into my mouth.

it's pretty standard to leave them in, as far as i've seen. it probably adds a bit to the aromatics of the soup when serving. but yes, it's a pain, and i've eaten my share of lemongrass that would have been much better on the plate.

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...I found the chopped lemongrass and torn lime leaves a litttle annoying to keep pulling from my spoon before putting it into my mouth.

it's pretty standard to leave them in, as far as i've seen. it probably adds a bit to the aromatics of the soup when serving. but yes, it's a pain, and i've eaten my share of lemongrass that would have been much better on the plate.

I have never been to Thailand, but when I have eaten the soup in restaurant the lemon gras and lime leaf are usually kept whole and smashed to impart flavor, the chopped lemongrass was quite an annoyance when trying to eat the soup! :biggrin:

Also my soup had a blue hue instead of red (like he said), because the shrimp I was using head blue gunk in their head, is this normal? I rarely buy shrimp with the head on.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I have never been to Thailand, but when I have eaten the soup in restaurant the lemon gras and lime leaf are usually kept whole and smashed to impart flavor, the chopped lemongrass was quite an annoyance when trying to eat the soup! :biggrin:

Also my soup had a blue hue instead of red (like he said), because the shrimp I was using head blue gunk in their head, is this normal? I rarely buy shrimp with the head on.

very been either. but you're right, it's usually just smashed and perhaps the leaves are torn in half. if it's too small to identify and pick out of your spoon than i can see how that would be annoying.

blue gunk? rut-roh! :biggrin:

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The question now is what do I do with 50 sticks of lemongrass, half a ton of thai basil and 30 lime leaves I have left - can you freeze these?

I thinkthe real question is why did you buy so much of the stuff? :wacko:

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Kristin, I usually tie the lime leaves and lemongrass inside cheescloth and fish them out. Sometimes though I'll take the vein out of the leaves, roll them tightly and julienne very very finely. I'll peel lemongrass down to the tender parts, slice down in half, turn, slice, turn, slice, turn slice, then mince finely.

"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

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