Thai Cookbooks We Like
Explore beyond pad thai
We did a lot of research for our pad thai recipe. These three cookbooks were particularly helpful in explaining Thai cuisine, and got us excited to try different Thai recipes. Which is exactly the point of a gateway dish!
This is no casual Thai cookbook. It’s a comprehensive catalog of Thai history, culture, ingredients, techniques, and equipment—and that’s just the first 200 pages. The following 400 (yes, 400) pages of recipes are an encyclopedia of dishes, with introductions calling out specific techniques, tips, or ingredients and a closing list of good accompaniments. If you’re serious about the art of Thai cooking, this James Beard Award winner is a good investment.
Lemongrass and Sweet Basil: Traditional Thai Cuisine
While not an exhaustive gathering of recipes (no sweets are included), Lemongrass and Sweet Basil is a straightforward beginner Thai cookbook that includes iconic dishes like pad thai, papaya salad, and satay. Each recipe serves four people and comes with a spice level rating and a photo (though not a particularly beautiful one). The glossary and basic methods section are helpful for understanding Thai techniques and ingredients. The sections are arranged by region with a personal introduction to each written by the author, who owns and operates Arun Thai Restaurant in Sydney, Australia.
The Food of Thailand
When not being used in the kitchen, this beautiful book can preen on the coffee table. Not one page is without gorgeous photographs of everyday Thai life, helpful how-tos, or intriguing ingredients. Comprehensive and informational, with recipes for every course—including a section on street foods—this book is better for those familiar with Thai food, rather than the novice Thai cook.