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Jun 26, 2008 08:07 PM

Asian/Thai Cookbook

Looking for a good cookbook for Asian foods and Thai food in particular. One that has the basic peanut sauce as well as recipes for Green Papaya Salad and Fried Rice.
Thanks for your help.

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  1. Thai cookbooks are fraught. Either they result in nothing you would recognize as Thai cooking or, as in David Thompson's amazing ``Thai Food,'' the recipes are way more complex than anything you might even contemplate cooking on a weekend. I suggest the books by Charmaine Solomon, a Sri Lankan cookery writer who lives in Australia - the Complete Asian Cookbook in particular, although she also has a dedicated Thai cookbook. The recipes are authentic in spirit, well-researched, and most important, they work.

    1. Vatch's Southeast Asian Cookbook
      by Vatcharin Bhumichitr (he's Thai, the book is great and very straight forward)

      Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia
      by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid ((very coffeetable, but great recipes)

      1. Keo's Thai Cookbook is one of my favorites - not too complex, good sauces, and good pictures which Iove when reading a cookbook for inspiration. And Evil Jungle Prince - well lets just say it tastes as good as the name is amusing.

        3 Replies
        1. re: AlaskaChick

          hey alaska chick! i'm now craving that awesome evil jungle prince (that takes one's breath away)! ;-P

          i agree wholeheartedly with your recommendation of keo's. good recipes, and excellent photos! (critical for mr. alka, the photos...)

          keo's does have the som tum recipe...and here's one, too:

          1. re: AlaskaChick

            agree on charmaine solomon's books. haven't seen the venerated "thai food" by thompson. is it a scholarly approach?

            looking for vatch's book, i came across this:

            didn't vatch do some videos (online) demonstrating thai cooking?

            1. re: alkapal

              Thompson himself has a scholarly bent - he knows everything about royal Thai cooking of a hundred years ago, which he believes is the summit of the cuisine - but he owns fantastically expensive Thai restaurants in Sydney and London, and the recipes themselves are pretty straightforward. It is the definitive book on Thai cooking in English. As with the equivalent volumes by Tsuji, Diana Kennedy and Claudia Roden. I admire it and refer to it far more than I actually cook out of it.

          2. Thanks for your responses everyone.

            1. I like Asian Ingredients by Bruce Cost.

              It details elements and procedures in addition to a patchwork of recipes. it may not tell you exactly how to make what you crave, but gives you enough background that you can wing it and produce a passable version.