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18 Reviews
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original Thai Cookbook
I wish to congratulate this book because this is the only book I've turned to in "drastic times" - times where I've had to impress my friends that I can cook Thai food. Being Thai, the recipes had to be right and taste good. Well, it has served me well time and time again. Jennifer Brennan, Congratulations!
Published on March 17, 2000 by Tuptim Lane

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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ketchup in Pad Thai???
I've had this book for years and although there's a lot that's good about it (and the recipes are tasty) this book has a pretty typical problem: it was written in 1981. Most experienced cooks know that cookbooks from this time period suffered from at least one of two problems: 1 (and this is not this book's problem) the confusion that oleo or veggie oil is butter or 2...
Published on October 8, 2002 by James Jennings


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original Thai Cookbook, March 17, 2000
This review is from: The Original Thai Cookbook (Paperback)
I wish to congratulate this book because this is the only book I've turned to in "drastic times" - times where I've had to impress my friends that I can cook Thai food. Being Thai, the recipes had to be right and taste good. Well, it has served me well time and time again. Jennifer Brennan, Congratulations!
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic and Easy, July 12, 2000
This review is from: The Original Thai Cookbook (Paperback)
We spent six weeks in Thailand, traveling the country from top to bottom. We kept a daily diary based upon what we ate and where we ate it. Most of the places we ate at were tiny cafe-style shops with one person both cooking and running the place. Loving Thai food, I made copious notes of the ingredients I could identify by sight, and asked the cook to point to ingredients I didn't understand. If he/she didn't have the product, I would write out a phonetic pronounciation of the Thai word, then go to the local market and ask the merchants to show me this item. (Needless to say, the vendors had a good laugh at my wild gesturing and mis-pronunciation.) Thailand was a great adventure and a feast for the palate. I came home with a dozen recipes of my favorite foods and went straight to the bookstore to compare the ingredients of "my" recipes with those of the Thai cookbooks available. Jennifer was dead-on. Her recipes were almost identical in simple ingredient composition and perfectly replicated the fresh flavors we had so recently experienced. Simple, delicious, and always successful. Jennifer demonstrates that good Thai cooking can be easy!
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best comprehensive cookbook on Thai food in English, August 22, 1999
By 
Tiah A. Foster (Sun Lakes, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Original Thai Cookbook (Paperback)
I've travelled extensively and frequently in Thailand since 1972 and find this cookbook to be the single best authoratative guide to Thai cooking in English. It helps she gives the Thai spelling of ingredients, as you can take it with you to a Thai grocery store and be sure you are getting exactly what you need. She gives clear directions, especially for using ingredients new to a Western cook. And the recipes taste not only terrific, but 'right.'
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive recipe collection/interesting Thai anecdotes, December 29, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Original Thai Cookbook (Paperback)
This was my first Thai cookbook and now with 5 others in my collection, it's still the one I turn to most. The recipes contain more ingredients than the do other cookbooks for the same dish. This lengthens preparation times but makes me trust the authenticity more. The curry recipes produce complexly flavored, thick, very rich sauces. If you prefer thinner sauces, look at other books which dilute the coconut milk with chicken stock. This book also has amusing and informative anecdotes about Thai cooking and Thai life. There are many helpful explanations about those ingredients which are strange to Westerners. Like most Thai cookbooks, there are occasional imprecisions - just exactly how much is a "piece" of galanga? But the bottom line is this is the best Thai cookbook I've found.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ketchup in Pad Thai???, October 8, 2002
By 
This review is from: The Original Thai Cookbook (Paperback)
I've had this book for years and although there's a lot that's good about it (and the recipes are tasty) this book has a pretty typical problem: it was written in 1981. Most experienced cooks know that cookbooks from this time period suffered from at least one of two problems: 1 (and this is not this book's problem) the confusion that oleo or veggie oil is butter or 2 (and this is this book's problem) a general lack of availability of authentic ingredients which leads to ridiculous substitutions which just don't quite work. No matter how many great stories JB tells, she still substitutes ketchup for tamarind paste and as much as I love my Pittsburgher Heinz 57 Lovin' soul, ketchup ain't tamarind.
Otherwise, not a bad cookbook, which I do reference often, if just to read JB's stories.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Deal, March 3, 2003
By A Customer
I was an exchange student in Thailand in 1975. I was lucky enough to live in two homes during that year's stay that had outstanding cooks, one in an affluent home and one on a ranch/factory where I ate in the "executive" dining room three times a day. Meals would usually consist of 4 or 5 entrees, so during that year I sampled about every conceivable Thai recipe.

Jennifer Brennan's book's recipes produce the taste of real Thai cooking. If you want to cook Thai food like you get in a Thai home or on the streets in Thailand this is the book for you. Start with the Green Chicken Curry. For me this is the acid test, any Thai restaurant or cookbook that doesn't do curry right should be avoided. Other recipes I think are great are the Combination Fried Rice, Hot & Sour Shrimp Soup, Braised Chicken in Spices(outstanding), Chicken in Peanut Sauce, Sate, Thai Beef Salad(just like a Bangkok restaurant), Sweet & Sour Cucumbers, and Chopped Beef with Garnishes.

Unfortunately, many Thai cookbooks focus on glitzy pictures and the "Thai" food that you find in American Thai restaurants. The only time I ever ate Pad Thai in Thailand was on a Western Hotel's tourist lunch buffet. If you spend the time to make your own curry pastes and cook these curries you will be rewarded. You will have authentic Thai food. This book is your guide to the real deal!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a very complete book, great original thai recipes, July 15, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Original Thai Cookbook (Paperback)
First it contains practically all the recipes you could eat in Thailand while on vacation and some more. Second it not only uses original ingredients, but also think to indicate alternatives in a well-done glossary, so that you don't necesseraly need to get (at great cost) (all the) exotic ingredients. Third it also contains some valuable and interesting informations/background about Thailand and its cooking. I was delightfully surprised how much I could do with this little,affordable paperback and could only praised it. PS: the recipes taste great ... really ought to taste it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely the best Thai cookbook!, February 9, 1999
By A Customer
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This review is from: The Original Thai Cookbook (Paperback)
I can't say enough good things about this cookbook. I have been able to replicate or improve upon my favourite Thai dishes I've had in the best restaurants by using this cookbook. It's now falling apart from so much use and it's time I replaced my copy.
The Chicken lemongrass soup, the Tom Yom Soup, the Galloping Horses, and the meatballs are the best!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still one of the best ..., December 4, 2006
By 
This review is from: The Original Thai Cookbook (Paperback)
I have been collecting Thai cookbooks for years - and I still go back to this one. Starting eating Thai food in LA, CA - where you could get the "real" thing. It was hard to find Thai cookbooks back then and this was one of the first available. It isn't fancy like the newer cookbooks, but I don't buy based on them being a "coffee table book". "Pad Thai" is like spagetti (sp), so many variations on a theme - the recipe in this book is good, and I adjust it to suit my tastes. For a real delight, try her soup recipes - wonderful!
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting information and recipes, but format needs work., December 25, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Original Thai Cookbook (Paperback)
Recipes would be more user-friendly if formatted to make it possible to, at a glance, peruse the steps to follow, rather than have to read through the paragraphs and try to separate out the "to do" information. We like recipes to appear on one page, if possible, or at least to lay out so that ingredients and at least most of the preparation steps appear together.
Recipes could be simplified by using--or at least pointing out-- possible shortcuts making use of products available through Thai grocers. This cookbook would make Thai cooking more accessible if it informed users/cooks that these products are an option that in many cases, could simplify the recipes.
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The Original Thai Cookbook
The Original Thai Cookbook by Jennifer Brennan (Paperback - June 4, 1984)
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