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Classic Thai Cuisine Paperback – September 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (September 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898155630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898155631
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The contrasting tastes and textures of dry, wet, sour, sweet, hot, mild, crisp, and soft, which comprise Thai dishes, have given this cuisine an increasing popularity in the U.S. Thompson presents classic recipes in three main sections, with appetizers given a separate chapter, followed by snacks and noodles and finally main dishes and desserts. There is very little repetition; each unique recipe contains new and useful background about ingredients, a history of the dish, serving suggestions, and a lively watercolor illustration. Both the English name and the authentic name are given for each dish. The glossary is quite complete, with lengthy explanations about selection, freshness, substitutions, and preparation. This flexible cuisine with its wonderful balance of flavors and textures is well served by the format presented here, useful for both beginner and the more experienced cook. Iva Freeman

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Foster VINE VOICE on March 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
This was my 8th Thai cookbook, when I thought it unlikely there was much else for me to learn.
Little did I know! The book is laid out beautifully, with (mostly) one recipe to a page. There are no photographs, but the gorgeous illustrations by Helen Semmler more than make up for them. Each recipe is preceded with a short, instructive commentary.
The recipes themselves ... if you are the type of person who, when in a new restaurant, will look for a dish you are not familiar with and smile broadly when told: "Oh, you wouldn't like that," then you MUST track down a copy of this book. There are more unusual and unique dishes, and new tastes, in this slim volume than in all the rest of my Thai cookbooks together.
This is my textbook when I teach Thai cuisine. I used to feel like an impostor when Thai natives would sometimes take my class - not any more! I just lead off with "Nam Prik Kai Kem" (relish of salty duck eggs with fresh vegetables - it might take you several years to acquire a taste for it) to establish my credentials.
Especially interesting are the primitive dishes, like Gaeng Som Pla Tua Fak Yaew (sour orange curry with snake beans), that date from before chilies were introduced to Thailand by the Portuguese. It is fascinating to make some of the historical dishes completely authentically -- without chilies and using only pepper for heat.
One particular Royal Thai appetizer, Saeng Wa Gung Pao, aptly described by Mr. Thompson as: "the quintessence of good Thai food," is the single finest dish I have ever made - well worth the trouble of tracking down the ingredients. Royal Thai cuisine is not yet well known in America, which is a crying shame.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JC on February 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I searched on line for cook books that touched on authentic Thai cuisine. David Thompson came up as someone who had experienced the culture thoroughly. I searched for a copy of Classic Thai cuisine on Amazon and found a cheap used copy. After receiving it and reading the recipes I found that the recipes are "Super" authentic. So much so that I don't know where to get some of the ingredients. When I do find a source...Oh boy, will I be doing some really authentic Thai cooking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By OmahaP on April 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is great and cheap. All of the recipes require a trip to a good Asian Market but otherwise you can get everything that is necessary to cook from this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Bigelow on June 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As far as simply the recipes go this is an adequate recipe book.
But knowing and appreciating David Thompson's writings I was hoping for some Thai anecdotes to accompany the recipes. Sadly there is nothing but the ingredients and instructions.
I write this review in case someone else is considering the book for similar reasons.
The book itself meets it's description.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We have had a lot of fun spending a weekend hunting down ingredients in asia town, local vendors, and specialty food shops to make an Sunday night authentic Thai feast using this book. If this does not sound like your particular brand of leisure this book is not for you.

The dishes are reminiscent of Taw Vigsittaboot's cooking at Thai X-ing in DC - to qualify that statement it is the highest complement I could give to a dish. The fact that this book has helped me relive some of that food euphoria keeps it on the top of the heap in our house despite the considerable effort needed to procure ingredients.

A GREAT FIND! Thanks David!
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