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Buddha's Table: Thai Feasting Vegetarian Style Paperback – September 1, 2004
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About the Author
Currently, Chat runs Unusual Touch, a business specializng in catering, food consulting and restaurant design, Thai cooking classes, and culinary expeditions to Thailand.
Top Customer Reviews
I think the problem here is that the author is not himself a vegetarian (according to the intro) and therefore is not familiar with typical substitutions. The Tom Kha recipe omitted the usual fish sauce--just omitted it without any replacements. Could we use a konbu soupbase for a fishy flavor? Maybe some of that fermented bean paste? Something was missing. I'll have to attempt my own substitutions.
The Phad Thai recipe also just omitted the fish sauce without replacements. It had a pretty good flavor though. My husband thought it was great.
The author seems to use mushrooms in place of meat in most recipes. I like mushrooms, but if you don't, be warned.
I am familiar with good Thai flavor--there was a little hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant near where I used to live. The walls of the restaurant were decorated with framed magazine articles naming that restaurant as the most authentic Thai restaurant in the western United States. The food was excellent. The recipes in this cookbook are just close enough to remind me of that Thai restaurant, but far enough to make me really miss good Thai food.
The first time I opened this book, it made a cracking sound and now the pages are falling out; inferior binding, but the other books I own in this series are not falling apart.
Unlike the dominant cuisines of India, Thai cooking is not inherently vegetarian, and yet Buddhism, a religion with strong vegetarian tendencies is the most important religion in Thailand. This gives rise to the book's title and subtitle, `Thai Feasting Vegetarian Style'. This means that fish sauce, one of the most important Thai ingredients, has been removed from all recipes. This is probably about as dramatic as removing anchovies from all Italian dishes. Fortunately, the wealth of southeast Asian fermented bean pastes are up to filling in the gaps left by removing the famous `Nam Pla' from all recipes.
This is not to say Chat Mingkwan has abandoned Thai traditional cooking. He begins his book with an excellent little guide to Thai ingredients which is no replacement for good references such as Bruce Cost's `Asian Ingredients', but it is an honest coverage of the field with a firm commitment to the belief that there are a lot of Thai ingredients with which you cannot substitute and expect to achieve the right Thai taste. Foremost of these in my mind is galangal, a rhizome with some resemblance to ginger. But, based on the scientific names of the two plants, they are not closely related. They certainly do not belong to the same genus. Another unmistakable and unreplacable ingredient is tamarind.Read more ›
and yes i did the write the author who wrote me right back!- nice
Vegans please note that although it isn't mentioned on the cover, this cookbook is vegan. Or at least, I haven't found any animal products in its recipes yet. Dairy is practically non-existent in Thai cuisine anyway, and I've found one or two recipes where the author has purposefully used a vegan substitute instead of egg.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a vegan and Thai food aficionado, I appreciate having a Thai cookbook without any meat, dairy, or eggs but plenty of authentic flavor. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Anna
I have cooked several dishes from this book and added chicken to both. I purchased the book because I went to a cooking class put on by Chef Mingkwan. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Trade Wind Products
Every recipe I've tried so far has been amazingly delicious! I highly recommend this cookbook, even if you don't cook vegetarian. It is very easy to add some meat or seafood.Published 18 months ago by Lisa S
Lovely little book with delicious recipes - easy to execute with reliably delicious results.Published 20 months ago by Stormy
The recipes I have made have mostly turned out well - the papaya salad is delicious! Some recipes are a bit complex (as with most Thai cooking), but overall the author does a good... Read morePublished on May 23, 2014 by Amazon Customer
I bought as a gift and it was liked by the recipient...cant wait to try some of the recipes in the book.Published on February 18, 2014 by t larosa