Bangkok Cookbook Review

Bangkok Cookbook Review

Title: Bangkok: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Thailand
Author: Leela Punyaratabandhu
Published: May 9, 2017, Ten Speed Press
No. of Pages: 368
Cover Price: $35.00 Hardcover $18.99 Kindle

Cookbooks have changed over the years, in that many contain much more than recipes. Bangkok: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Thailand is one such book, and it contains, history, essentials on ingredients and cooking utensils, beautiful pictures, information on the people and customs, and, of course fabulous recipes.

Thai food has been trendy for several years, and its popularity doesn’t seem to be diminishing. Most of us place Thailand in the “exotic” category, and this book proves that we are right. The flavors of Thailand are quite distinct, and, luckily, because it is trendy, the ingredients are easy to find in Asian grocery stores as well as some larger mainstream grocery stores. So, there is no excuse for not making this exotic and luscious cuisine at home.

The book contains curries of all kinds – who doesn’t like Thai Curry – and the directions are easy enough for even beginning cooks to understand. Preparing the dishes in the book will require a trip to pick up ingredients, but many can be frozen or can stay in the fridge indefinitely. Although many of the recipes in the book are ones that are found on Thai menus across the country (like various curries, papaya salad, hot and sour soup, and chicken satay), there are dozens of mouthwatering dishes that are most likely only prepared in Thai homes. Spicy Beef Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Basil is a winner, as well as Omelet Roll with Crabmeat Filling. Barbecued Pork with Sweet Gravy on Rice, and Coconut rice with green papaya salad, sweet shredded beef, and chicken red curry are both excellent. Included in the book are several appetizers that are different from the ubiquitous satay (although there is a great recipe for that, too).

This is not a cookbook for those who don’t want to spend time in the kitchen. The ingredient lists are long, and many of the recipes are time-consuming. However, so far every recipe I have made has been worth it. There are dozens of recipes in the queue, and my family is enjoying new and innovative Thai dishes that are requested often.

This book is pretty enough to use as a coffee table book, and has enough information on Thailand to keep even the non-cooks occupied and fascinated.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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