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Nov 24, 2005 07:48 PM

Need recommendation for very basic Thai cookbook

  • l

My 11 year old niece is learning to cook and is progressing very quickly. She loves Thai food so I was wanting to get her a very basic Thai cookbook for Christmas and of course, her mother will help her with the recipes. Does anybody have a basic, beginning book that they can recommend?

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  1. I would recommend "Bangkok to Bali in 30 Minutes." Though it's not just Thai -- it's Southeast Asian -- it's the best treatment of basics and staples of Thai cooking I've found. It doesn't begin to approach the depth or comprehensiveness of David Thompson's Thai Food, and the title is cheesy, but it's ideal for beginners (I'm in that category) who are just learning techniques and ingredients.

    1. I'd recommend Quick & Easy Thai by Nancy McDermott. I have it and it's great.

      1. The Best of Thai and Vietnamese Cooking, by Mai Pham. I love it. It's simple, it always comes out perfectly, and there are explanations of some of the more abstruse ingredients.

        1. I've been using The Original Thai Cookbook by Jennifer Brennan for years. It's full of very easy to follow recipes, and everything I've ever made from it has been a hit.

          1. m
            mary shaposhnik

            I don't know how basic the other books are, but I'd recommend for these circumstances "Thai Home Cooking" by Sompon Nabnian and Robert Carmack. It has a very excellent, well-designed introductory section with very clear photos and descriptions of Thai ingredients and equipment. The other recipes are also attractively done, one per page, each with a photo, so it would be very encouraging to a new Thai cook. The recipes will definitely call for Thai ingredients -- not supermarket substitutions -- but enough of them are straightforward enough that she should be able to start cooking right away. I've used a lot of the recipes for curries, and love the results. Sompon runs a long-standing cooking school for foreigners in Chiang Mai, so his approach to explaining things is very clear (or so I think).