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It Rains Fishes: Legends, Traditions, and the Joys of Thai Cooking Paperback – July 1, 1995


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New and Popular Cookbooks for Fall
Get inspired with new and popular cookbooks and other food-related titles in Fall into Cooking.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pomegranate Communications; 1st edition (July 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876543565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876543566
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
This book will definitely challenge and enhance your cooking skills.
blakletter
Moreover, the book contains helpful suggestions on preparation techniques, for locating and purchasing ingredients, and for ultimate presentation of the dish.
D. Bruce Carter
I read the entire book, front to back and was greatly enlightened on the culture and art of Thai cooking.
Juno Lake

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
This beautiful book contains:
About 30 high quality gourmet Thai recipies. (this amounts to about 30% of the book)
Very detailed analysis of all the many flavors involved and information about each ingredients so that you gain a deep insight into the way Thai flavors come together. For example, she has sections titled: "Creating Harmonies with Primary Flavors" "The Hot Flavor and It's Sources" "The Sour Flavor and it's Sources" (this aspect of the book alone make the book worth buying)
Lots of technique advice, including advice about shopping for ingredients.
Anecdotes about the writers experience in Thailand as a child and recently.
A spiritual, holistic approach to cooking.
Beautiful artwork.
====
I really felt I was getting a very complete lesson in thai cooking from a master. The author's love and spirit and mastery just pours from the page.
Even thought I bought an additional book to obtain more recipies, I'm still be able to do a better job preparing them because of the foundations taught in the book.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By blakletter on July 2, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author of this cookbook goes out of her way to present not only traditional recipes, but enough knowledge and technique to help you achieve traditional taste. This is no mere recipe book, it's more of a guide to Thai cooking.
From the very start, Loha-Unchit explains everything about the essential components of Thai cuisine and exactly what they do to each dish. Interspersed amongst her recipes are stories related to the dishes that may seem sappy to some, but generally help explain what the cook is trying to achieve with each recipe.

This book will definitely challenge and enhance your cooking skills. After preparing a few of the selections she presents, you won't just know how to whip up several dishes by rote- you'll have a very good understanding of the essentials of Thai cooking.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By D. Bruce Carter on August 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
First and foremost the book presents a series of recipes, easy to follow and in every instance a delight to prepare and to serve. The preparation of the ingredients, their traditional uses, and helpful information about potential combinations provide the reader with a banquet of information about the preparation of food in the traditional Thai style. Moreover, the book contains helpful suggestions on preparation techniques, for locating and purchasing ingredients, and for ultimate presentation of the dish. Loha-Unchit clearly strives to prepare the reader for the Thai cooking experience: providing basic instruction for those just beginning and important details to more experienced Thai cooks.
The book also is visually beautiful. Numerous line drawings and beautiful images (apparently watercolors) provide the reader with beautiful images ranging from market scenes in Bangkok to illustrations of people working in the countryside. I found myself going back to the pictures and imagining myself observing the scenes they depicted.
Finally, this book is a feast for the mind. Loha-unchit provides the reader with a history of the foods, their origins, and their place within the Thai cuisine. Loha-unchit guides us through a process that enables us to obtain and employ ingredients to produce authentic and traditional Thai cuisine with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of results. For example, although the book contains recipes for making your own curries from scratch it also provides suggestions for commercially available curries that provide the flavors closest to Thai home-made.
This is not a cookbook for those who think you can label a dish Thai by adding a few peanuts and a bit of lemon grass.
Read more ›
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Sykes on May 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
"It Rains Fishes" is a wonderful example of a cookbook that relates a nation's cuisine in terms of the culture that creates it. The book is as much a testament to the author's love of Thailand as it is a presentation of Thai recipes. You can enjoy reading it even if you never cook a single dish. But if you do choose to take it into the kitchen, you will find the recipes straightforward and obviously refined by many years of implementation by students. Perhaps the most valuable lesson is the author's description of how Thai dishes are put together, less by recipe than by balancing the five dimensions of taste (sweet, salt, bitter, sour, hot). One cannot recreate Thai dishes with a quarter teaspoon of this and an ounce of that. It must be done in the moment by taste. That very philosophy, along with the use of fresh local ingredients, underlies much of New American cooking. The book's downfall, then, is obvious -- the availability of ingredients local to Thailand. If you live in an area with a good collection of Asian markets, you might have some luck. But if you rely on the "Asian" section of your local supermarket, you won't. It's pretty much that simple.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 21, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have had the pleasure of taking classes with the author and although the book does not compare to having her in the kitchen with you, it does do a very good job describing all the ingredients and their relationship to each other. The hardest part of Thai cooking is learning about the ingredients and how to prepare and blend them in the glorioius taste of Thailand. Other cookbooks, will give you a recipe with no explanation with the author making the assumption that everyone will be using the same exact ingredients. Unfortunately, fish sauce, shrimp pastes, curry pastes, etc. all have varying amounts of salt and other flavors so a simple recipe (unless you use the same brands, etc.)usually does not come out correctly. She explains effectively how to correct all these associaed problems by correcting or balancing the salt, the sweet, and the sour elements to get the desired outcome. A finished recipe comes as close as you can to getting the food at a good restaurant or ! actually going to Thailand.
The art work is really phenomenol. It is illustrated with wonderful watercolors. It is in some ways also an art book.
My only complaint about this book is the quantity of recipes. I would have preferred perhaps to have had more recipes and less art work but as this is only a minor complaint, I can still recommend this book. If you live in the SF Bay area, consider taking classes with the author; otherwise buy the book.
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