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Thai Street Food

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Thai Street Food transports readers straight into the bustling heart of Thailands colorful street stalls and markets--from the predawn rounds of monks fanning out along the aisles to the made-to-order stalls ablaze in neon and jammed with hungry locals after dark. Featuring nearly 100 authentic dishes plus lavish photography accompanying every recipe, this stunning Thai Street Food transports readers straight into the bustling heart of Thailand’s colorful street stalls and markets--from the predawn rounds of monks fanning out along the aisles to the made-to-order stalls ablaze in neon and jammed with hungry locals after dark. Featuring nearly 100 authentic dishes plus lavish photography accompanying every recipe, this stunning cookbook is the definitive guide to Thailand’s culinary street culture. The recipes, such as Steamed Fish with Chilli and Lime Sauce, Pork Satay, Roast Duck and Egg Noodle Soup, and Sweet Banana Roti illuminate the beguiling world of food so integral to the Thais.   Scholar and chef David Thompson lives with a singular passion for Thailand’s customs, culture, and people. Although he claims “It’s all about the food,” this ambitious work shares his insights into the rhythms and nuances of Thai daily life along with a fascinating history of its richly diverse street cuisine. This cookbook is a tempting, inspiring, and authoritative account of Thai street food, the vibrant culinary mosaic rich with community.


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Thai Street Food transports readers straight into the bustling heart of Thailands colorful street stalls and markets--from the predawn rounds of monks fanning out along the aisles to the made-to-order stalls ablaze in neon and jammed with hungry locals after dark. Featuring nearly 100 authentic dishes plus lavish photography accompanying every recipe, this stunning Thai Street Food transports readers straight into the bustling heart of Thailand’s colorful street stalls and markets--from the predawn rounds of monks fanning out along the aisles to the made-to-order stalls ablaze in neon and jammed with hungry locals after dark. Featuring nearly 100 authentic dishes plus lavish photography accompanying every recipe, this stunning cookbook is the definitive guide to Thailand’s culinary street culture. The recipes, such as Steamed Fish with Chilli and Lime Sauce, Pork Satay, Roast Duck and Egg Noodle Soup, and Sweet Banana Roti illuminate the beguiling world of food so integral to the Thais.   Scholar and chef David Thompson lives with a singular passion for Thailand’s customs, culture, and people. Although he claims “It’s all about the food,” this ambitious work shares his insights into the rhythms and nuances of Thai daily life along with a fascinating history of its richly diverse street cuisine. This cookbook is a tempting, inspiring, and authoritative account of Thai street food, the vibrant culinary mosaic rich with community.

30 review for Thai Street Food

  1. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Mathews

    David Thompson's Thai cookbooks combine history, photography, and travel commentary with an intimate knowledge of ingredients, cooking methods, and taste combinations. You can read Thai Street Food even if you have no intention of cooking this spicy, tasty, remarkable cuisine. BUT... if you want to cook it, just do it. Don't worry about the ingredients that you cannot find in the oriental markets or the grocery store. Grow yourself some Lemon Grass and Thai hot peppers, Basil and cilantro. David Thompson's Thai cookbooks combine history, photography, and travel commentary with an intimate knowledge of ingredients, cooking methods, and taste combinations. You can read Thai Street Food even if you have no intention of cooking this spicy, tasty, remarkable cuisine. BUT... if you want to cook it, just do it. Don't worry about the ingredients that you cannot find in the oriental markets or the grocery store. Grow yourself some Lemon Grass and Thai hot peppers, Basil and cilantro. Otherwise, remember. The Thai cook is a master of using the ingredients on hand. Follow that rule and learn the basics. Your food will be remarkable. Tasty. Wonderful.

  2. 4 out of 5

    British Richard

    If David Thompson's Thai Food seems intimidating (which, in some ways, it is), this book is the perfect in to Thai cuisine. The book is loosely separated into three sections, morning, noon and night, and more precisely divided up by food type (curries, desserts, snacks etc). I've worked my way through maybe half of the recipes, and have to say that the vast majority have been fantastic. I was lucky to be living in Melbourne when I was given this book, as the recipes require some ingredients If David Thompson's Thai Food seems intimidating (which, in some ways, it is), this book is the perfect in to Thai cuisine. The book is loosely separated into three sections, morning, noon and night, and more precisely divided up by food type (curries, desserts, snacks etc). I've worked my way through maybe half of the recipes, and have to say that the vast majority have been fantastic. I was lucky to be living in Melbourne when I was given this book, as the recipes require some ingredients which are unavailable outside of Asian grocers; and even with Melbourne's large South East Asian communities, there were some which remained unavailable. Thompson takes an honest approach to his ingredients, recommending substitutes for some rarer herbs and vegetables, but also making clear that for some things, there are no substitutes. One thing I have noticed, after spending a couple of months in Thailand, is that his recipes are pretty generous when it comes to coconut cream and chillies. That said, given the wide variation in quality and consistency of coconut cream, and the varying heat of chillies, I suppose discrepancies are to be expected. The recipes cover the length and breadth of Thailand, and offer varying levels of complexity. Recipes aside, the book is a beautiful montage of Thai market scenes, a setting close to Thompson's heart. The photography is wonderful, as are the author's descriptions of the recipes, and of the changing rhythms of the marketplace. I have to say, there really is nothing to fault this book on. Even if you own Thai Food, this is worth owning as well; while it returns to many of the dishes Thai Food covered in its final sections, it adds new ingredients and accompaniments, making familiar dishes even better.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brett

    Made me miss BKK. I whimpered like one of the 120,00 stray mutts in Krung Thep. Seriously, if I keep thinking about it I'll shirk responsibilities and buy a plane ticket. Beautiful. I need to take a walk...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carla

    Gorgeous photography, impossible to use as an actual cookbook. The thing must weigh 5 pounds.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marilou Scott

    It is a HUGE book and would be difficult to use in the kitchen as such. I reckon that it is a coffee table book as well. One gets the feeling of what it feels like to be in the natural environs of Thai streets. The photography is outstanding in this sense. The recipes aren't that complicated but I wouldn't have space for this in my bookshelf. I'm happy to borrow this from the library if for some reason I fancy cooking Thai food or go to the restaurant.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Simpson

    Beautiful photos and very true to the food. Not so practical for most Western cooks/kitchens, though, and the flavors may be a little strange to people more familiar with Americanized Thai food.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Zaynaz

    This is such an impressive book. It's the largest cookbook I own, and half of the pages are large, evocative photos of Thailand and Thai people. This book, more than any other has made me really want to visit Thailand. The recipes are printed on water resistant paper (which is a brilliant idea), and each one is pictured and they all look delicious. The author introduces each recipe and gives really exhaustive directions, which is helpful since there are authentic recipes- not simplified or This is such an impressive book. It's the largest cookbook I own, and half of the pages are large, evocative photos of Thailand and Thai people. This book, more than any other has made me really want to visit Thailand. The recipes are printed on water resistant paper (which is a brilliant idea), and each one is pictured and they all look delicious. The author introduces each recipe and gives really exhaustive directions, which is helpful since there are authentic recipes- not simplified or adapted for the Western palate. Some recipes use ingredients that are hard to source and unfamiliar, others have very long ingredient lists, so it can seem a bit intimidating, if, like me, you're not an experienced hand with Thai cooking. But they are doable, and that's largely thanks to the author's detailed, accurate instructions. He even tells you how it should taste when you're done. I've cooked a few of these and had success. I don't cook from it often because I almost never have everything on hand, but when I have used it the results made up for the trip to the grocery store- even my Thai food hating sister liked the Pad Thai. The only reason the book loses a star is because of how huge it is- laid flat it takes up half my bench. But there is a smaller version available now. If you want to cook Thai food and aren't put off by complexity, hard to find ingredients and a lot of spice paste grinding get this book, it really is worth it, plus it's beautiful to look through.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Woodman

    This is both a cookbook and a coffee table book. The size of it might be a problem for most people's cookbook section in their kitchens--it is huge--so you might end up having to store it on your coffee table anyway--but that would be ok, because there are dozens of gorgeous pictures that remind me of walking streets in Thailand, where there are two kinds of food. The first is really a restaurant, but outdoors, and with only one or two options--rice with some kind of curry on top of it (when we This is both a cookbook and a coffee table book. The size of it might be a problem for most people's cookbook section in their kitchens--it is huge--so you might end up having to store it on your coffee table anyway--but that would be ok, because there are dozens of gorgeous pictures that remind me of walking streets in Thailand, where there are two kinds of food. The first is really a restaurant, but outdoors, and with only one or two options--rice with some kind of curry on top of it (when we bought food from this sort of establishment, there would be a great effort on the part of the seller to let us know what we were ordering, but we rarely understood--we got one of each dish, shared them, and marveled at how delicious it was). The other sort of food that is sold is more of a snack, and food that can be eaten standing up on the street--so it truly is for those on the go. These sorts of places predominated, and the food is pennies per serving. The recipes in this are very appetizing and good as well. Outstanding addition to a Thai cookbook collection.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Chandler

    Thompson's "Thai Food" is probably my most heavily referenced cookbook in our kitchen. It has more notes and tabs than any other volume on the shelf. I know I originally wrote a somewhat bewildered review, bemoaning the fact that numerous ingredients were unavailable in the small town I was living in, but I made do, found substitutes or stores that sold the real thing, and relished the flavors at dinner. This book is an entirely different animal in structurewhereas "Thai Food" is like a Bible, Thompson's "Thai Food" is probably my most heavily referenced cookbook in our kitchen. It has more notes and tabs than any other volume on the shelf. I know I originally wrote a somewhat bewildered review, bemoaning the fact that numerous ingredients were unavailable in the small town I was living in, but I made do, found substitutes or stores that sold the real thing, and relished the flavors at dinner. This book is an entirely different animal in structure—whereas "Thai Food" is like a Bible, thick, heavy, pages loaded with text and few pictures, "Thai Street Food" is more coffee table book, with full-page photos of the food and the people found in urban Thailand. But the text is still Thompson's, which is more valuable than even the best food photography. Thompson discusses the traditional source of the dish, lists substitutions, explains the best way of dealing with the ingredients when cooking, and has a way of describing the food's flavors in a simple, yet effective way.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    I initially assumed this book was simply Chapter 13 (of his magnus opus) as Coffee-Table Book. But that's not correct. TSF is a terrific book on its own, full of insights regarding Thais and their perfectly amazing street food, which is, frankly, one of the highlights of eating on the planet. Thompson is known for his encyclopedic knowledge and careful documentation of traditional Thai foods, both high and low culture varieties. But this book makes clear his complete love of the Thai people -- I initially assumed this book was simply Chapter 13 (of his magnus opus) as Coffee-Table Book. But that's not correct. TSF is a terrific book on its own, full of insights regarding Thais and their perfectly amazing street food, which is, frankly, one of the highlights of eating on the planet. Thompson is known for his encyclopedic knowledge and careful documentation of traditional Thai foods, both high and low culture varieties. But this book makes clear his complete love of the Thai people -- the photos are never so much about the dishes as the people making them, the people selling the food, eating together. Food is incidental to many of the best photos in this book. Thai food here is the basis for reflecting on the astonishing character of the Thai people. And the recipes ... certainly labor intensive. Even Thais don't make these dishes at home. That’s why they are made by pros!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deodand

    First things first: This is a coffee-table book and has a cover about three feet square. You won't be keeping this cookbook in the kitchen. I understand the publisher's intent, which was to allow the heavily detailed photos to be viewed without a magnifying glass. Still, that's quite a shock to find on your hold shelf. The recipes are strictly authentic, with few suggestions for substitution. I've always felt that there wasn't much room for North Americans to tinker with Thai recipes. It is truly First things first: This is a coffee-table book and has a cover about three feet square. You won't be keeping this cookbook in the kitchen. I understand the publisher's intent, which was to allow the heavily detailed photos to be viewed without a magnifying glass. Still, that's quite a shock to find on your hold shelf. The recipes are strictly authentic, with few suggestions for substitution. I've always felt that there wasn't much room for North Americans to tinker with Thai recipes. It is truly regional food, especially so in this book. Anyone who makes a serious foray into cooking these recipes outside of Thailand is facing some serious challenges.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Smiling Albino

    David Thompson creates a fabulous book that transports you to the streets of Thailand providing you with views, and visual stories around your favourite dishes and dozens more you've likely never tried. It's a beautiful book, with truly stunning photography of the food life of Thais. Sectioned into Morning, Noon and Night and the food that drives those times, the descriptions and recipes allow you to take memories of your time in Thailand back home. One of the most impactful travel and food David Thompson creates a fabulous book that transports you to the streets of Thailand providing you with views, and visual stories around your favourite dishes and dozens more you've likely never tried. It's a beautiful book, with truly stunning photography of the food life of Thais. Sectioned into Morning, Noon and Night and the food that drives those times, the descriptions and recipes allow you to take memories of your time in Thailand back home. One of the most impactful travel and food books we've seen. Highly recommended.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chef Leez

    Thai Street Food has a great many examples of Thai food as it is on the streets of Thailand. For free gourmet Thai vegan or omnivore recipes visit http://www.chefleez.com and download those you wantand watch the related tutorial video. Enjoy eating Thai cuisine!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    GORGEOUS! I want to go to Thailand! Well, I've always wanted to, and not just to get more green curry. But now I'm almost drooling due to the gorgeous photos and yummy recipes. Too bad the book is so oversized--it might keep me from trying to buy it and cram it in my cookbook shelf.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Beka

    This ginormous book is filled with tons of pictures from Thailand as well a very authentic recipes. Sadly, they're so authentic that I wouldn't be able to source the majority of the ingredients.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Graham Smith

    fantastic for anyone who loves thai street food

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joann

    GREAT pictures as well as good text around the recipes. Highly recommend this for the Asian food fan.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mike Barton

    Got me in the kitchen in a flash.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂

    More than a cook book, this is a beautifully illustrated look into the Thai way of life. NB: Version I've read is a softcover compact version.

  20. 4 out of 5

    James Ritchie

    Loved the beautifully presented photos, they really capture the heart of Thailand's food culture. The recipes are certainly authentic, however they're a stack of work for the average cook.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Donna Thorland

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emma

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pechluck Laskey

  24. 4 out of 5

    Agustini Burhan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Christine

  26. 5 out of 5

    Connie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jacques Botha

  28. 5 out of 5

    Annette Heslin

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Giacomelli

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marc Slot

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