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New David Thompson book out Monday - Thai Street Food

Samuelinthekitchen Oct 19, 2009 07:05 PM


For fellow devotees of David's this will come as exciting news.

Thai Food has always been a cooking bible for me and one of my most treasured kitchen resources. Here's hoping the magic happens twice.

  1. vorpal Sep 26, 2010 07:49 AM

    I just got my hands on Thai Street Food, which is now available in the US and Canada, and it is exquisite: loaded with gorgeous photographs and absolutely delicious sounding recipes that I have never even heard of before despite my long study of Thai food. I cannot wait to delve in and start cooking!

    7 Replies
    1. re: vorpal
      flourgirl Sep 26, 2010 07:56 AM

      I received my copy in the mail a couple of days ago and I completely agree. THis is a wonderful book and I can't wait to try some of the recipes. But first I'm just going to spend some quality time with it curled up on the couch.

      1. re: flourgirl
        vorpal Sep 26, 2010 08:44 AM

        Hear, hear! I've been perusing it nonstop since I got it yesterday, much to the chagrin of my family, our affectionate and slightly needy pets, and the couple of houseguests we've had over. I just can't put it down, however! Tonight I'll be trying his Chinese Chive Cakes (pg 56), just to warm up with something easy and delicious sounding. (That, and I'm having a wicked carb craving, and this looks like it promises to satisfy.)

        1. re: vorpal
          tipitina Dec 16, 2010 05:01 PM

          Has anyone tried any of the recipes yet?

          1. re: tipitina
            vorpal Dec 22, 2010 05:46 AM

            I've tried a few, mostly with good success.

            1. re: tipitina
              vorpal Dec 22, 2010 05:47 AM

              Oh! And his recommendations for Raad Na helped me to finally perfect my own recipe for Pad Ki Mow.... I am so thrilled! I've been modifying it for years trying to get it just right, and his noodle cooking technique pushed it over the top.

              1. re: vorpal
                tipitina Jan 4, 2011 12:42 PM

                which recipe is for Raad Na? I'm curious what the technique was that helped you.

                1. re: tipitina
                  vorpal Jan 19, 2011 02:29 PM

                  Pan frying the noodles in small batches in an incredibly hot wok to get some char on them. I now actually fry rice noodles in a few tbsp of oil in small batches until crispy, remove, and then add at the end of my pad ki mow. They soften and soak up the sauce and are intensely delicious. Everyone used to love my old pad ki mow with slurpy rice noodles but it is unanimous that this pad ki mow is without peer.

      2. The Dairy Queen Jan 19, 2010 03:49 PM

        When I look at Amazon (US version) they have a book by Thompson called "Thai Food" whereas alibris has a bunch of books called Classic Thai Cuisine. What is the difference between these two books?


        2 Replies
        1. re: The Dairy Queen
          vorpal Jan 19, 2010 10:11 PM

          I believe that Classic Thai Cuisine was his original book from long ago. Thai Food revises and expands upon this, and should be considered as a replacement.

          1. re: vorpal
            The Dairy Queen Jan 20, 2010 10:21 AM

            Oh, I see now. "Classic Thai Cuisine" seems to be about 10 years older. Thank you for the clarification.


        2. The Librarian Oct 21, 2009 04:53 PM

          Just wanted to mention that you can go on Amazon's UK web site to buy books that aren't available here.


          21 Replies
          1. re: The Librarian
            vorpal Jan 18, 2010 02:45 PM

            Unfortunately, it's only available in Australia :(. I've only seen it on this website:


            I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of it. The excerpts and page scans look utterly delightful.

            1. re: vorpal
              The Dairy Queen Jan 18, 2010 04:09 PM

              vorpal, how does this book compare to his other book on Thai cookery? The recipes in Thai Street Food look surprisingly accessible...

              I might have to have this book!


              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                vorpal Jan 18, 2010 05:01 PM

                TDQ: I don't actually have it yet! I'm itching to buy it, but given the relatively expensive price ($100 AUD with shipping to get it over here to Canada, which is $95 CAD), as a graduate student, it's a bit too much to be an impulse purchase. I'm definitely going to fit it into the budget soon, especially considering how gorgeous it seems to be from the online excerpts and how much I love his first book.

                If I get it, I'll be sure to report back and let you all know.

                1. re: vorpal
                  The Dairy Queen Jan 19, 2010 03:20 AM

                  Sorry, I meant by just looking at the excerpts and recipes available in the link that the OP provided, how do you think it compares to his other Thai book? (I know it's not much to go on, but, still, I'd like your feedback if you're willing.)

                  My thought was that the excerpted recipes from "Thai Street Food" looked very accessible. I wasn't expecting that from David Thompson, from all I've read.

                  The photos are gorgeous.


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                    vorpal Jan 19, 2010 09:50 PM

                    Ooops... sorry as well! *grins* I didn't look at the sample recipes in any detail beforehand, so I didn't make the comparison.

                    I just glanced at the three recipes listed online, and my impression is that this book should still be substantially high quality and authentic in terms of the recipes themselves. His pad thai certainly doesn't cut corners in the name of accessibility, IMO.

                    Perhaps this is just me being overly excited and optimistic, though. I'm hoping that this book will be my New Testament in the Thompson Bible of Thai cooking.

                    1. re: vorpal
                      The Dairy Queen Jan 20, 2010 02:55 AM

                      Well, if I were to try to make some Thai street food, pad thai and green papaya salad would be first on the list, so, I might as well stop there.

                      I already have a recipe for papaya salad I like, and it's pretty similar to Thompson's, but I don't have one for pad thai, so I guess I'll just start with the sample recipes. Why not?


                2. re: The Dairy Queen
                  honkman Jan 19, 2010 10:56 AM

                  There is a rather controversial discussion about the new book from D. Thomspon on egullet and the questions if it is just a coffee-table book and if the recipes are dumped down.


                  1. re: honkman
                    The Dairy Queen Jan 19, 2010 11:17 AM

                    Thanks for the link. Very helpful.

                    I am very annoyed by large cookbooks with a lot of photos, a la Alford and Duguid. Such books are unwieldy in the kitchen, and so expensive that I worry about getting them dirty. I think photos are lovely, but I think too many can render a cookbook less useful (to me, anyway).

                    I think the comments by Peter (who just took a class with David Thompson) were the most helpful in answering my question. A paraphrase of the most salient (to me) of his points:

                    Per Peter, Thompson "gave a good explanation of why much of the street food is not traditional Thai, and that is because Thai food is designed to be eaten in company and street food is generally made for one person - something which never happens with traditional foods."

                    Peter said that there is no overlap in recipes. but that he found the recipes in the new book "more approachable and able to be interpreted and adapted to the ingredients you have on hand."

                    That was exactly my impression when I looked at the excerpts of the book.

                    I'm really torn now, between the unwieldy coffee tableness of it on the one hand, and the accessibility of it on the other hand.

                    Hmmm...I wonder when it will be available in the U.S.?


                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                      JonParker Jan 19, 2010 11:23 AM

                      I don't know but I want it. Thai Food is my favorite cookbook, period. Nothing else even comes close.

                      1. re: JonParker
                        The Dairy Queen Jan 19, 2010 11:25 AM

                        I kinda want it, too. :). I wonder when we can get it in the U.S.? Or, at least on Amazon UK? I've never bought anything from Amazon OZ; is it prohibitive, assuming Amazon anywhere has it?


                        1. re: JonParker
                          vorpal Jan 19, 2010 10:09 PM

                          Agreed 100%. Thai Food is the closest thing to a personal bible that I own. It is truly the Julia Child of Thai cuisine, and will be a classic for years to come.

                        2. re: The Dairy Queen
                          honkman Jan 19, 2010 11:27 AM

                          According to Amazon it will be available in the US by 10/12/2010

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                            buttertart Jan 20, 2010 05:26 AM

                            Hurray hurray for your comments on Alford and Duguid. They are beautiful books but a pain to use in the kitchen. Have to say I'm also not keen on their fey new-Agey writing style.

                            1. re: buttertart
                              flourgirl Jan 20, 2010 09:46 AM

                              I love Alford and Duguid's books - own every one of them. Beautiful books that let me travel vicariously AND make some delicious food.

                              And they don't get dirty because I use a book holder with an acrylic plate.

                              1. re: flourgirl
                                buttertart Jan 20, 2010 09:53 AM

                                Glad you're pleased with them, chacun a son gout.

                                1. re: flourgirl
                                  The Dairy Queen Jan 20, 2010 10:06 AM

                                  I know you are not alone in your opinions on Alford and Duguid. When Mangoes and Curry Leaves Cooking was COTM lots of people cooked from it and loved it.

                                  Cooking is arm-chair travel for me. In fact, most of the cookbooks I own are ones I picked up on my travels, or after returning from a trip, to try to re-create the food I experienced.

                                  I have a very small kitchen, so, the Alford and Duguid books-- especially when open to the page where the recipe is--take up a lot of kitchen space. They don't fit in my book holder. They are beautiful, but not very practical.

                                  It's not that I don't appreciate the lovely photography, I do, but I'd rather have the book split into two: a cookbook that is normal sized with photos of just the food; and a "travel" companion book that sits on my coffee table that can be as large, and glossy, and unwieldy as it wants to be.

                                  But because I cannot afford the space or the expense of a humungo book, I just can't justify owning any of the huge Alford and Duguid books. I currently only own Seductions of Rice. Flatbreads and Flavors is on my list to pick up, but I've had to pass on the others.

                                  Bummer, because I know I'm missing out on some fantastic recipes.

                                  I have some fears that Thompson' Street Food might be similar... I hope not, because I really like to COOK from my cookbooks.


                              2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                BangorDin Jan 20, 2010 02:56 PM

                                Shouldn't any and all COOKBOOKS be floppy (open to a page and stay open) and wipeable??

                                1. re: BangorDin
                                  The Dairy Queen Jan 20, 2010 03:54 PM

                                  Yes, absolutely, as long as they aren't the size and weight of the Rosetta stone.


                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                    flourgirl Jan 21, 2010 06:15 AM

                                    Dairy Queen - I understand what you're saying. I can absolutely see how books that size might not be practical for a lot of people. (I live in a fairly small house - 1850 sq. ft, but the kitchen is pretty big. I forget sometimes that not everybody has that kind of space.)

                                    1. re: flourgirl
                                      buttertart Jan 21, 2010 06:20 AM

                                      I surely don't. Big kitchen for NY, but with about 3 usable feet of counter space!

                                      1. re: buttertart
                                        flourgirl Jan 21, 2010 12:19 PM

                                        I actually don't have a lot of counter space either. I wasn't as into cooking when the kitchen had to be redone over 10 yrs ago as I am now and I definitely made some mistakes. Although I also really like the way the kitchen is laid out otherwise so I don't know what I would change either. But, anyway, I make up for it with a couple of roll away carts and I use the two kitchen tables as work surfaces as well. But I would LOVE to have one of those big islands to spread out on. That would be heaven to me.

                      2. a
                        AAQjr Oct 21, 2009 03:14 PM

                        Love David Thompson! I can't wait until this comes out stateside. Give us a review when you get to make a few of the dishes..

                        1. m
                          MartinDC Oct 21, 2009 11:29 AM

                          I'd never heard of him. My Thai resource has always been Nancie McDermott's Real Thai. I'll be on the lookout when it comes out here.

                          1. c
                            celeryroot Oct 20, 2009 05:45 AM

                            I dont think it is available in US yet.

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