Wednesday, July 23, 2014

REVIEW: Simple Thai Food


Title: Simple Thai Food
Author: Leela Punyaratabandhu
Genre: Cooking
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Publication date: 5.13.2014
Pages: 236

Date read: 6.24.2014

Recommended by: NetGalley, Read 2 Review

Summary: 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 book 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 recipe 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 e3nsure 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 and 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.


Shortly after I graduated from high school, I met a girl around my age named Mary. Her mother was from Thailand and she was such an amazing person. I learned so much from her – and got to taste some of the best food I have EVER had the pleasure of tasting. Ever since then, I have been a huge fan of Thai food, but nothing is ever as good as the authentic food I got to taste from her kitchen and the kitchens of some of her friends.


I've been to culinary school, and authentic food has always been a passion of mine, so when I came across this book at NetGalley, I grabbed it up. I am so glad that I did. It is informative and filled with beautiful pictures. It tells about each recipe, ingredients and their substitutes, and gives plenty of information on how they eat food in Thailand. The background information on each recipe was very well done and sometimes hilarious, especially her discussion on "Naked Shrimp" (Fish sauce-marinated fresh shrimp with spicy lime dressing).


I learned a lot of things from this book, like that canned cream corn was a popular ice cream topping in Thailand in the 1970s, and have a list of recipes that I can't wait to try. If you like cooking and are into Thai food, this is a book you should definitely pick up. :)

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