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Jun 7, 2005 09:27 AM

Recs for a good Thai cookbook?

  • c

I'd like to get a good starter book, where I have at least some chance of finding the ingredients in the metropolis that is Baltimore, MD.

Thanks for the help!

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  1. Out in the SF Bay Area, we have a really good cooking teacher, Kasma Loha-Unchit. She has two books, out of print, but you can order them direct from her. Also her web page has recs on where to get some of the ingredients mail order.

    Best to you--cooking Thai is great!


    1. d
      Das Ubergeek

      I suggest Mai Pham's cookbook... can't remember the exact title but it's something like "Best of Vietnamese and Thai Cooking at Lemon Grass Cafe". The recipes won't bowl you over but it's a great introduction.

      As for ingredients, find an Asian market, or order online... these things are not so often found in "white" supermarkets.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        I have Mai Pham's 'Best of Vietnamese and Thai Cooking'. It was one of my first Thai cookbooks and I found it very informative. Some of the recipes are quite good -- the 'spicy eggplant and broccoli in ginger sauce' always gets rave reviews.

        She does recommends ingredients by brand name which makes the shopping easier (there are at least a dozen brands of fish sauces and soy sauces alone!).

      2. I love "The Best of Thai Regional Cuisine" by Chat Mingkwan. It has a wonderful section of ingredients, their descriptions and even explain the differences of the different thai regions. Everything I have made from this book is really excellent. I would think the book is for the experienced cook who doesn't have a problem making their own curry or chili sauce bases.

        1. I like both of the previous recs you received, but I thought I'd add another.

          It's not really a "starter" cookbook, but you might want to look at David Thompson's "Thai Food" (2002) if you are ever in a bookstore. See what you think before buying. I think it's a great resource. He provides loads of recipes and info from the easy to the more difficult. And if you are having difficulty finding "authentic" ingredients, he gives info re: adequate substitutes in the "ingredient" section of the book.

          He also wrote a small paperback in the early '90's called "Classic Thai Cuisine" which is comprised of ubiquitous/classic thai dishes. Last time I checked it was still available at for under $10.

          1 Reply
          1. re: OSM

            A second vote for David Thompson's first, smaller book, Classic Thai cooking. Its a paperback from Tenspeed press - it includes lots of interesting recipes - it sits next to his bigger, more expensive tome on my shelf and is in no way inferior in quality of info.

          2. This isn't a cookbook, but I love the recipes, with pictures of the ingredients and equipment, at the import grocer site linked below. The pictures and ingredient descriptions really help when you go to a store, but you could also order from them. I discovered I love krachai!