Best Thai cookbooks for authentic recipes from pad thai to delicious curries

Best Thai cookbooks for authentic recipes from pad thai to delicious curries

(Evening Standard)

“I would like that as my last meal on Earth,” I told a friend a few years ago as we sat on neon-colored wobbly stools at the curb of a busy Bangkok street.

On a typically damp evening among the endless stream of scooters and street vendors calling to tourists, my nose had discovered a small hut where two women were chopping, frying and cooking all kinds of food in a wok. The unnamed stall had no menu and for the equivalent of £1, you were treated to a mountain of the freshest, tastiest mix of noodles, vegetables and meat.

The delicious combination of flavors and comforting feel of the dish inspired me to try Thai cuisine at home. Like many people, of course, I’d have cooked a stir-fry – and even a pad thai – at home, but it wouldn’t be easy to make the most delicious dish I’ve ever had.

Surprisingly, with a little patience and creative flair, cooking Thai-inspired food at home isn’t too difficult. We spoke to cookbook author John Chantarasak to pick up some top culinary tips.

“I find Thai cooking at home so incredibly satisfying, the different cooking styles and techniques make for an exciting ride,” explains the half-British, half-Thai chef. Investing in a good quality and large pestle and mortar is a real game changer. This appliance has many versatile uses, from mashing curry pastes to grinding roasted dried herbs and crushing aromatic ingredients to get the maximum flavor for soups and stews. to acquire.

“I would also find it incredibly difficult to cook authentic Thai food without fish sauce, palm sugar and chilies in my pantry.”

So, it’s time to say, tear yourself away from your favorite Thai takeaway and take a plunge as you learn how to cook authentic food from The Land of Smiles in your kitchen.

With these top cookbooks, all the flavors and tastes you love can be recreated in no time, as most recipes are deceptively simple (although your guests will never guess!).

Thailand, the cookbook

If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to Thai food, look no further as this cookbook contains over 500 recipes that span the breadth of Thailand and beyond. There’s everything from beloved Massaman Curry and Phat Thai to relatively unknown dishes like Pandan Pudding.

With a range of recipes it appeals to novice cooks and professional chefs alike – you can prepare a delicious and simple seven-ingredient meal such as the crab and papaya salad, or take the time to perfect the art of Thai cooking while you working on a roast duck noodle soup. Be adventurous with your drinks too – the Dragon Fruit Frappe is perfect for breakfast or great for sipping throughout the day.

In addition to the recipes, there are also personal stories, historical and cultural explanations and, above all, particularly moving photography of both landscape and food.

Buy now £26.99, Amazon

Dominique’s kitchen

Winner of Channel 4’s The Great Cookbook Challenge, Dominique Woolf presents a collection of hassle-free recipes brimming with flavor and goodness. The easy recipes require only a few ingredients, many of which are already in the cupboards.

As When it comes to fresh ingredients, I make sure I also have garlic, lime and peppers at home.”

We love the combination of Thai and British food in many of these recipes – the caramelized pineapple Eton Mess and Miso Caramel Pears are the summer desserts we didn’t know we needed. If you’re trying to be healthy (aren’t we all!) but find stereotypical “health dishes” boring and hard to digest, the Hot Smoked Salmon Rice Bowl and Singapore-Style Tofu will be your new best friends for a hearty yet feel- good dinner alternatives.

Buy now £14.00, Amazon

The Nutmeg Route

Spices are an integral part of Asian cuisine. It’s not all about heat, spices can add depth, flavor and layers to cooking, as this beautiful cookbook reveals.

Taking the reader on a historical journey, this book features 80 recipes that profile different spices and show how they can be used and combined to create tasty recipes you won’t believe came out of your kitchen. This book is an exploration of the entire Asian continent and shows how spices and culture have become intertwined over the centuries.

Try the Tandoori Roast Chicken to brighten up a Sunday lunch, or for those who can handle the heat, the delicious Rica Rica Prawns provide a nice kick.

Buy now £17.99, Amazon

Kin Thai

Cookbooks don’t get any more colorful than these. With some of the most exquisite photography, Thai food is brought to life in a sensory and immersive experience – we guarantee your stomach will rumble before you pass the introductory pages. The dishes don’t disappoint either, and novice cooks will be grateful for the clear instructions and well-explained “basics” section.

If you fancy an easy weeknight dinner, give your chicken some flavoring and try the grilled cilantro and garlic chicken. Alternatively, the Smoky Eggplant Salad is an absolute must, it’s so delicious you wouldn’t know you were eating a salad! For the more adventurous eaters, the Beef Tongue with Chilli Relish is not to be missed.

Buy now £16.75, Amazon

Rosa’s Thai Cafe

From the founder of the award-winning café group Rosa’s, comes a cookbook brimming with iconic, authentic and beloved Thai dishes. In addition to the 100 recipes, there are special sections on cooking techniques and stocking your pantry – useful information for Thai food lovers.

We love that there is a little bit of everything in this book. From small bites and salads to curries and grills, you’ll find something to tickle your taste buds, whatever the time of day. Our absolute favorite dish is the Beef Massaman Curry which melts in your mouth (we’re not exaggerating!). For something a little lighter or the perfect dish to serve to large groups, try the Soft Shell Crab Salad or Larb Spring Rolls which can be prepared ahead of time and zipped up in a matter of minutes.

Throw out the store-bought sauces and condiments, as the homemade Sriracha will blow your mind.

Buy now £15.46, Amazon

Curry Guy Thai

Lovers of Asian food will no doubt have heard of The Curry Guy, the iconic chef who describes curry recipes from around the world. Now Dan Toombs is back with his latest take on Thai food with over 100 recipes inspired by your favorite takeaways and restaurants.

The perfect balance of sweet and sour with just the right amount of salt, these recipes will quickly become a weekly staple, especially the Pad Thai and Yellow Chicken Curry. Thanks to the nature of home cooked food, these meals are relatively healthy and packed with goodness.

Spend some time trying out recipes from the sauces and garnishes section – there are plenty of curry paste instructions that, once made, can be stored for months and are guaranteed to elevate your homemade Thai meals incredibly.

Buy now £11.15, Amazon

To Asia, with love: everyday Asian recipes and stories from the heart

It can be difficult to make family meals without spending all day in the kitchen. This best-selling cookbook from Hetty McKinnon achieves this because she creates traditional vegetarian dishes in unconventional ways. Her many Asian salads, including Smashed Cucumber Salad and Finger-lickin’ Good Edamame Beans, make this a perfect cookbook for summer and alfresco dining. Impressively, you’ll find that most recipes cater for dietary requirements or offer simple substitutes for vegans.

Buy now £18.85, Amazon