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- Title: Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes from the Thai Home Kitchen
- Autor: Leela Punyaratabandhu
- Publisher (Publication Date): Ten Speed Press (May 13, 2014)
- Language: English
Thai takeout meets authentic, regional flavors in this collection of 100 recipes for easy, economical, and accessible Thai classics–from the rising star behind the blog She Simmers.
Who can say no to a delicious plate of Pad Thai with Shrimp; a fresh, tangy Green Papaya Salad; golden Fried Spring Rolls; or a rich, savory Pork Toast with Cucumber Relish? Thai food is not only one of the most vibrant, wonderfully varied cuisines in the world, it also happens to be one of the tastiest, and a favorite among American eaters.
The good news is, with the right ingredients and a few basic tools and techniques, authentic Thai food is easily within reach of home cooks. Take it from Leela Punyaratabandhu, a Bangkok native and author of the popular Thai cooking blog She Simmers. In her much-anticipated debut cookbook, Leela shares her favorite recipes for classic Thai fare, including beloved family recipes, popular street food specialties, and iconic dishes from Thai restaurant menus around the world.
All of Leela’s recipes have been tested and tweaked to ensure that even the busiest cook can prepare them at home. With chapters on key ingredients and tools, base recipes, one-plate meals, classic rice accompaniments, and even Thai sweets, Simple Thai Food is a complete primer for anyone who wants to give Thai cooking a try. By the end of the book, you’ll be whipping up tom yam soup and duck red curry that will put your local takeout joint to shame. But perhaps more importantly, you’ll discover an exciting new world of Thai flavors and dishes—including Stir-Fried Chicken with Chile Jam, Leaf-Wrapped Salad Bites, and Crispy Wings with Three-Flavored Sauce—that will open your eyes to all the wonderful possibilities that real Thai cooking has to offer.
Many ethnic cuisines seem forbidding to the home chef because exotic ingredients aren’t readily available and because of the required painstaking (and time-consuming) preparations. Relax in the hands of newbie author and experienced food-blogger Punyaratabandhu, who streamlines her way to the table with popular dishes like satay, pad thai, curries, and congees, among others. Not content with simplifying instructions, she also identifies which foodstuffs can accept substitutes and which can’t (like lemongrass and galangal). Even better, there’s an appended list of online ordering sources for those nonmetro dwellers. The more than 100 recipes fall into one of four categories: noshes and nibbles, rice accompaniments, one-plate or bowl meals, and sweets, each with a colorful preface. With her instructions (and assurances), readers just might try oxtail soup, rice congee with pork dumplings and eggs, herb-baked cashews, and pumpkin custard. Many of the basic recipes that inform Thai cooking are gathered at the back, from steamed glutinous rice (aka sticky rice) to all types of curry paste. This is a new appreciation for a quiet cuisine. –Barbara Jacobs
“Thai has long been underrepresented in my pantry, my refrigerator and on my cookbook shelves because I never felt I had enough support to cook much beyond a beef curry made with canned coconut milk and a commercial red curry paste. Punyaratabandhu’s practical and calming tone — plus her delicious-sounding recipes — make me want to do much more Thai cooking.” – The Chicago Tribune”I have generally found “Quick,” “Easy,” and “Simple” to be disingenuous labels when it comes to Thai cookbooks […] But Punyaratabandhu seems to pull it off, coming up with recipes that are weeknight-doable yet electric with ingredients you can just about find if you try hard […]. Shortcuts or not, they’re desperately delicious.” – National Public Radio “… blogger Leela Punyaratabandhu (shesimmers.com) has a way of marrying convenience with high flavor ….” – GOOD READS OF 2014, National Public Radio”Punyaratabandhu […] does simplify the complexity of Thai cuisine. […] To write this book, she travelled back to Bangkok where she visited friends and family and interviewed street vendors and other cooks so she could best capture the flavours of her home country in a way that a North American could get.” – The Globe and Mail “… Punyaratabandhu’s […] a masterful hand-holder: If you love Thai food but the ingredients and preparation have you cowed, this is the book to get …” – THE 20 BEST COOKBOOKS OF 2014, The Globe and Mail”… The work developed into this, her first cookbook, and it shows a confidence and care absent in many books by more seasoned authors. […] “Simple Thai Food” is what it says: unusually simple, and still really Thai. It’s written with grace, dedication, and humor, and there’s nothing like it on the market. […] In other words, if you want a single Thai book, this is it.” – The Boston Globe “… Written by the popular shesimmers.com blogger, this is the best home Thai book currently available …” – TOP 10 COOKBOOKS OF 2014, The Boston Globe”Simple Thai Food […] takes a measured approach to traditional Thai cuisine; it is neither dogmatic nor full of shortcuts. […] Punyaratabandhu writes most of these recipes as she would prepare them for Thai guests […]. Yet in her extensive and detailed headnotes, she includes helpful hints for preparation, shopping tips, and, most importantly, good ideas for substitutes. In this way, readers are given a wealth of options, none more (or less) delicious than the last …” – THE YEAR IN COOKBOOKS: OUR FAVORITE READS OF 2014, Serious Eats
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I’m a Thai who grew up in Thailand and now live in the US. I have been cooking some simple Thai dishes at home. Now that I’m pregnant and have morning sickness I have no energy to cook. I asked my husband (American) to cook some Thai foods following the instructions in this book. He hasn’t cooked any Thai foods before but he has tasted several exotic Thai dishes. I’m very impressed with the results as he carefully follows the recipes and instructions in this cookbook. He said the instructions are very clear and the cooking is fairly simple. I looked at a few other Thai cookbooks and found this book contained the most day-to-day homemade meals that I grew up with. The cooking style is homemade and authentic Thai. The dishes once done may look different than what you will see from Thai restaurants in the US. For example, Pad Thai, I grew up seeing how it was made on a daily basis. Pad Thai in Thailand will have a light (clear) color which I prefer while Pad Thai at most Thai restaurants in the US will have red or dark brown color which I believe the sauces have been modified. Needless to say my husband and I are very happy with this cookbook. If you’d like to try the homemade versions of Thai foods, I highly recommend this book.