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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Despite the errors pointed out...
...this is still one of the best written journeys into the modern thai kitchen and thai lifestyle. For a cookbook it gives a comprehensive and (mostly) accurate description of the thai regions and gives away some rare recipes that adds to the genuine feeling so often lacking in other thai cookbooks.
Published on November 12, 2002

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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Compendium of Errors
Vatch's Thai Cookbook is a compendium of errors. It is amazing that it was ever published and not shredded in reviews. Consider the following - 1. On page page 30 he states that yellow noodles are made from rice flour and eggs. They are made from wheat flour, not rice flour. 2. On page 30 he states that sen yai noodles are referred to as rice sticks. This isn't...
Published on August 24, 2000 by Michael Moore


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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Compendium of Errors, August 24, 2000
By 
Michael Moore (Bangkok, Thailand) - See all my reviews
Vatch's Thai Cookbook is a compendium of errors. It is amazing that it was ever published and not shredded in reviews. Consider the following - 1. On page page 30 he states that yellow noodles are made from rice flour and eggs. They are made from wheat flour, not rice flour. 2. On page 30 he states that sen yai noodles are referred to as rice sticks. This isn't true. Sen yai noodles are usually fresh and soft - a far cry from a stick. Sen lek noodles are sometimes referred to as rice sticks. 3. On the same page he states that wun sen noodles are made from soy beans. They aren't. They are made from mung beans. 4. Again on page 30 he states that "kanom jin "are only made in large quantities for special occasions." Kanom jin is served at special occasions (its cheap), but it is also sold at virtually every traditional market in Thailand. In the South they are eaten for breakfast each day by vast numbers of people. In Bangkok and other cities they are served at sidewalk stalls and small restaurants. This is a far cry from only being served at special occasions. 5. His statement that kanom jin are made from rice flour is incorrect. They are made from whole grains of rice that have been soaked in water for long periods of time. 6. The statement that the cream sinks to the bottom of the can in canned coconut milk is laughable. Like dairy cream, coconut cream floats to the top of milk. Following Vatch's advice will accomplish the opposite of what is intended. This is pretty basic stuff. Has this man ever been in a kitchen? 7. The statement that bai grapao is a "sweet basi." is incorrect and fails to recognize what is unique about the Thais eating bai grapao. Sweet basil is categorized as Ocimum basilicum; bai grapao is an Ocimum sanctum and quite different in appearance and taste from a sweet basil. The Thais, unlike almost anyone else, eat it in large amounts. 8. The amazing statement on page 78 concerning chilies: "you can always remove the seeds before cooking, this will leave some of the flavour and almost none of the heat." This is absolute nonsense and can lead to unpleasant experiences for readers of the book. The seeds have the least capsaicin (the alkaloid producing the heat) of any part of the chili. The vast majority of the capsaicin in a chili is contained in the placental tissue to which the seeds are attached. Scrape away the pith in the center of the chili and you will remove much of the heat. 9. The statement on page 86 that spices "exotic spices" are rarely used in Thai cooking doesn't make sense. The recipe for red curry paste on page 89 contains a tablespoon of coriander seeds and a teaspoon of cumin seeds. Red curry paste is one of the most frequently used ingredients in Thai cooking. What does he mean? 10. The statement that says rice is low in calories, but capable of supplying nearly 80% of the bodies energy requirements doesn't make sense. How can something be low in calories and provide 80% of our energy requirements?
This kind of cookbook is harmful. It arrives in an attractive package and appears to be written by an expert, but perpetuates myths and inaccuracies. Readers deserve better.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Despite the errors pointed out..., November 12, 2002
By A Customer
...this is still one of the best written journeys into the modern thai kitchen and thai lifestyle. For a cookbook it gives a comprehensive and (mostly) accurate description of the thai regions and gives away some rare recipes that adds to the genuine feeling so often lacking in other thai cookbooks.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All You Need To Know , Do it right, cook it right., April 5, 2000
Thumbs up Vatch. A Great Book. Got to know when I borrowed you from our National Library. Reading through, I must add this spicy book to my present collection of recipe books. Systematic, structured with sharp colourful pictures enabling any novice cook to understand and prepare a meal with ease and confidence.
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Vatch's Thai Cookbook: 150 Recipes with Guide to Essential Ingredients (Great Cooks)
Vatch's Thai Cookbook: 150 Recipes with Guide to Essential Ingredients (Great Cooks) by Vatcharin Bhumichitr (Paperback - September 1, 2004)
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