I've moved from New York to South Florida, and though I gained in the food of Jamaica, Trinidad, Cuba, and Brazil, I've lost out on the food of Asia (well, unless Caribbean curries and roti count). I've found a neighborhood with some good food from the Indian subcontinent, but the rest of Asia is MIA.
The Thai restaurants down here - and I mean the ones that are recommended on Chowhound - use red pepper flakes rather than fresh chiles. The supposedly good Chinese restaurants, which are all Hong Kong Chinese, are weak as well, and forget finding any of the cuisines of mainland China. There's no Indonesian to be found at all.
There are a couple of Asian markets, however, so I'd love to learn to cook Thai or Chinese myself.
Does anyone have recommendations for well-written cookbooks? I'd love Thai, Indonesian, Szechuan, or any regional Chinese.
Books with just recipes are fine, but if the books had text about what is distinctive about the cuisines, explanations of ingredients, and descriptions of how to build a meal, it would be even better. I know that I can look on Amazon, but chow-tested books are usually the best.
Thanks for your help in advance.