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Thai Food Hardcover – 18 Oct 2002


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Pavilion Books (18 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862055149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862055148
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 4.8 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

The quintessential cookery book that covers not just one great cuisine, but in doing so the cultural and social history of a country. From simple street food to more complex dishes, this has everything you need to know. --The Daily Telegraph

About the Author

David Thompson is one of Australia's leading chefs, restaurateurs and cookery writers. He is also an eloquent ambassador for Thai food and culture. His Sydney restaurants have increased the awareness and appreciation of authentic Thai cooking. In July 2001 he opened Nahm, in London's Halkin Hotel. Seven months later Nahm gained a Michelin star, making it the first Thai restaurant to attain such an award.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 89 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Oct 2002
Format: Hardcover
There are almost as many Thai cookbooks as there are Thai restaurants in London. However, the majority of both offer toned-down, inauthentic fare that would be laughed at in Thailand itself. This book is a definitive compilation of carefully researched recpies that capture the enormous complexity and variety of one of the world's great cuisines - one that is all too often reduced to an embarassingly crude option of green/red/yellow curry by an ignorant British food industry. Don't buy this book if you want pretty pictures and "fake" dishes like sesame prawn toast - as natural a reflection of the depth of native cuisine as the ubiquitous banana pancakes on Bangkok's Khao Sarn road are of all of French, or Italian cuisine. Do buy it if you really want to understand Thai food and Thai people's passion for food, and if you want to create all manner of dishes, from the simple to the complex, that will delight even the most discerning of palates.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Feb 2006
Format: Hardcover
This has to be the most beautiful, well-researched and comprehensive book on any cuisine, bar none! And very importantly, David Thompson has included a wealth of history and background info on Thai gastronomy, culture and lifestyles, to help put everything into context. In that sense, I'm actually glad this is written by a non-Thai (although first that slightly put me off), as many things which to a Thai might have been obvious are explained by Thompson as only he can who has had to make a conscious effort to learn them from scratch.

One word of warning, though: the recipes are complex, and many of the ingredients can only be found in specialist (Thai / SE Asian) stores, and even then it's a challenge. So in a way the book is a bit frustrating - you're eager to get on and try the recipes, only to discover that you cannot find some crucial spice, herb or fermented-what-not.

Still, the sheer pleasure of just reading this...!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By pannacotta on 30 Aug 2008
Format: Hardcover
I'm a Thai living the UK. Hoping to find great recipes for traditional Thai dishes out of the country, I bought this book about two years ago. I have been truly satisfied with what David Thompson provided here. Several dishes are even hard to come across in restaurants in Thailand. He seems to have studied a great deal about the Thai cuisine [although some Thai names are not well transliterated into English]. Congratulations, Mr. Thompson! For the readers, this book is a must-have if you are into cooking Thai.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By D. Moller on 7 Jun 2006
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book with great expectations, all set up and ready for a new and better life full of thai food. I was first overwhelmed buy the book, and it took me an entire day just to read the introductionary chapters. It's very interesting, and there is a lot of background knowledge to be got about Thailand, it's history, cooking style and so on. However the recipes are SO complicated! Not the preparations (which tend to be on the hard side to) but the ingredients. I've only actually cooked a handful of things, and only by making great compromises. It's simply impossible getting the ingredients here, in spite of the fact that I have gone to Thai stores. If you live in Thailand this book is great for cooking. In Europe (and maybe America) it borders on impossible. To give an example of this is easy. By completely randomly opening the book I find a recipe that calls for: Langsart (peeled and stoned).. two types of chillies, ground caramelised peanuts, ..coconut vinegar (p. 357). The book is visually inviting, very extensive, and very well researched. A pity it's impossible as a cookbook
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68 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Tomasf on 12 Nov 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful and well written cookbook. it aims at being comprehensive and authentic and definitely succeeds. However, the author has the most exacting and uncompromising approach to ingredients and recipes i have ever encountered in a cookbook and this really undermines it in the long run. This book is all about producing the food that Thais eat in Thailand and as such, demands a whole bunch of really specialised ingredients. I live in Manchester and we have a bunch of Chinese/Asian supermarkets and at least 3 Thai food stores and even then I've had real trouble finding some of the things. And even if you could find everything, David tells you that you should really be making everything from scratch. From coconut cream to fermented pork this book teaches you how to make everything in Thai cookery and how the shop-bought versions really aren't quite the same. Personally, i find his level of exactitude off-putting. I want to make tasty things and be told they will be tasty, not pale imitations of what i could make if i lived in Thailand and had plenty of time and ingredients to hand. You simply cannot buy coconuts at three different stages of growth in Manchester. I also want to be told where and when i can make shortcuts, the author just tells you that you shouldn't which is unhelpful really.

The recipes are well described and, if you flick about to different sections, give loads of details about about EXACTLY how to prepare ingredients, cook things and what it is you're looking for at each stage of cooking. what i have made has been good (or great) but it's been the most laborious shopping trips ever. I had hoped that this would help me eat delicious Thai food regularly which it hasn't, it's just too daunting for that.
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