Book Reviews,  Cookbooks

Book Review: The Thai Cookbook

The Thai Cookbook: More than 80 delicious recipes, regional styles, and flavorsThe Thai Cookbook: More than 80 delicious recipes, regional styles, and flavors by Editors of Chartwell Books
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you enjoy Thai food and want to try your hand at making it yourself, this cookbook is a good place to start. There’s a wide variety of dishes for every skill level, and something for every palate.

For those that are new to Thai cuisine, the cookbook starts with a four-page article that introduces readers to a bit of Thailand history, geography, culture, and influences. It also touches on foods easily found in Thailand, and describes table manners and etiquette. It’s always good to have some grounding in the country of origin of the food you are cooking.

The cookbook is divided into logical groupings: snacks and street food, soups, salads, fish and shellfish, meat and poultry, curries, stir-fries, noodles and rice, vegetables, and desserts.

A glossary and index are always welcome features in any cookbook. In addition to those, The Thai Cookbook includes a detailed glossary describing the Thai ingredients required for the recipes. I enjoyed reading the entire glossary, from Asian shallots to yellow bean sauce. I learned so much about foods I had never heard of before.

Photography plays an important role in recipe instructions. We need to know what we’re aiming for. How should our food look? Did we read the assembly instructions correctly? Photographs are not only inspiring, they confirm our work. Most of these recipes are captured in beautiful photography, though there’s a few in each chapter that are not photographed. I’m not sure why they didn’t go for 100% when they were already at about 90% of recipes photographed.

The Thai Cookbook should make a welcome addition to your cookbook collection, especially if you enjoy learning about other cultures and cooking beyond your own country’s borders.

My thanks to the Editors of Chartwell Books, Quarto Publishing Group, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a digital review copy of this book. This review is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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