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Best Thai Cookbook

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I'm looking for a Thai cookbook that focuses on regional Thai cuisine and has well-tested recipes. Anyone have any favourites?

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  1. My favorite Thai cookbook is Thai Food, by David Thompson, an Australian chef. Some of the ingredients were initially challenging to find, only because of name differences. A few items aren't available in my area at all, most notably certain fish and seafood. But once I figured out that long leaf coriander for instance is sold as sawtooth or culantro here, I have been able to cook just about anything from the book. With some simple substutions at times.
    It's a rather scholarly book, with a whole chapter devoted to the history and cultivation of rice in Thai culture. I find that stuff very interesting. The book is laid out interestingly, with a menus chapter that has several courses meant to be served togeher. The street food chapter is fabulous.
    The best laab I've made comes from that book and every salad I've made is wonderful. Every soup as well. The book may not be for everyone, but I love cookbooks that are so readable.
    For everyday, after work Thai food I really like Nancie McDermott's Quick and Easy Thai. All of the fish and seafood recipes are wonderful and are the vegetables and salads. Great book for after work or a busy day when complex flavors are desired.

    4 Replies
    1. re: zataar

      Nancie McDermott's older book, Real Thai is a good book that is organized by regions. It isn't as comprehensive as Thai Food, but it is very user friendly.

      1. re: zataar

        I have a few Thai cook books and have to second that Thai Food is a great one. The depth of research is impressive, the variety of recipes something I haven't seen before, and the whole package is beautiful.

        1. re: Zatan

          Thirds for Thompson's book...it manages to be exhaustive and complete without being inapproachable. Good explanations of techniques & ingredients, as well as the underlying concepts of what makes a meal, how the thai combine foods, etc.

      2. re: zataar

        I'll second David Thompson's book. Another great text that is difficult to get a hold of is Kasma Loha-Unchit's "It Rains Fishes". Absolutely worth checking out, particularly if you're interested in increasing your knowledge of the theory and techniques of Thai cookery.

      3. Dancing Shrimp by Kasma Loha-Unchit. The recipes are very well tested. They turn out better than any Thai restaurant I've been to here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Now I refuse to eat Thai here in the U.S. if it's not home cooked. The only experience that has measured up is actually eating in Thailand.