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Buddha's Table: Thai Feasting Vegetarian Style Paperback – September 1, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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A deeply personal collection of over 120 vegetarian recipes with from all around the globe from a bestselling author who loves to cook and travel. Learn more | See related books
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Here is a great collection of Thai recipes in terms of taste and execution for the home cook, adjusted to please Western vegetarian tastes. Enjoy salads, soups, stir-fries and curries, beautifully illustrated with full-color photographs. The author regularly appears as a guest chef at major culinary schools.

About the Author

Chat Mingkwan grew up in Bangkok, Thailand. He has apprenticed in provincial French cuisine at La Cagouille in Rayon, France, traveled extensively in Southeast Asia, and worked in restaurants in the San Francisco area.

Currently, Chat runs Unusual Touch, a business specializng in catering, food consulting and restaurant design, Thai cooking classes, and culinary expeditions to Thailand.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Book Publishing Company (TN) (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570671613
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570671616
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #675,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've made 3 recipes from this book, and all of them were edible, although the Tom Kha required some alterations before I was willing to serve it.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`Budda's Table' by Chat Mingkwan looks like a typical `little cookbook' you commonly see published by Chronicle Books, some of which are decent and some of which are a waste of money compared to other titles available for a similar price. This book, published by a house with the incredibly modest name of `Book Publishing Company' out of Summertown, Tennessee, has lots to offer, even if it isn't published by Alfred A. Knopf, Harper Collins, or Artisan.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My partner loves Thai food but we are vegan. This book allows us to create all the thai dishes we love but sometimes order with trepidation now because of fish sauce etc. what's amazing is that these recipes taste so much better! (especially the currys and tom yum soup which is criminally easy to make- who knew?!) The recipes are easy to follow and i love that the thai names are listed. sorry for all the restaurants that will miss our business but hello to all the markets that we will now visit.

and yes i did the write the author who wrote me right back!- nice
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Format: Paperback
This is a quiet, unassuming little cookbook - small size, no glossy pages, almost no pictures - but it's become one of my favourites. I've probably only cooked about 10 things from it so far, but that's partly because many of those things are so tasty that I keep making them again. The curry pastes are authentic and delicious, some of the salads are electrifyingly flavoursome, and the Coconut Galangal Soup blows me and my wife away every time (and never fails to impress guests). I've had one recipe misfire on me so far (it was a curry mousse dish, which came out too runny), though I suspect that it was my fault, and not the recipe's. Overall, Buddha's Table is a little gem that definitely deserves a place in your cupboard if you like to cook Thai from time to time.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Written by a professional restauranteur and Thai native, and printed in binding specially designed to lay flat for easy reference in the kitchen, Buddha's Table: Thai Feasting Vegetarian Style is a guide to the joy of meatless cuisine, focusing upon food styles from all four regions of Thailand. Recipes such as Crispy Noodles, Tofu Patties, Mung Bean Wraps and more are complemented with information on how to properly prepare Thai produce, spices, noodles, wrappers, and rice for those unfamiliar with Thai ingredients. A handful of color photographs enhance this superb and easy-to-use addition to any vegetarian cookbook shelf.
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