Paperback: 142 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press (September 1, 1993)
Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.5 x 9.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #258,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #36 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Asian Cooking > Thai #3023 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International
This was my 8th Thai cookbook, when I thought it unlikely there was much else for me to learn.Little did I know! The book is laid out beautifully, with (mostly) one recipe to a page. There are no photographs, but the gorgeous illustrations by Helen Semmler more than make up for them. Each recipe is preceded with a short, instructive commentary.The recipes themselves ... if you are the type of person who, when in a new restaurant, will look for a dish you are not familiar with and smile broadly when told: "Oh, you wouldn't like that," then you MUST track down a copy of this book. There are more unusual and unique dishes, and new tastes, in this slim volume than in all the rest of my Thai cookbooks together.This is my textbook when I teach Thai cuisine. I used to feel like an impostor when Thai natives would sometimes take my class - not any more! I just lead off with "Nam Prik Kai Kem" (relish of salty duck eggs with fresh vegetables - it might take you several years to acquire a taste for it) to establish my credentials.Especially interesting are the primitive dishes, like Gaeng Som Pla Tua Fak Yaew (sour orange curry with snake beans), that date from before chilies were introduced to Thailand by the Portuguese. It is fascinating to make some of the historical dishes completely authentically -- without chilies and using only pepper for heat.One particular Royal Thai appetizer, Saeng Wa Gung Pao, aptly described by Mr. Thompson as: "the quintessence of good Thai food," is the single finest dish I have ever made - well worth the trouble of tracking down the ingredients. Royal Thai cuisine is not yet well known in America, which is a crying shame.
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