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Hot Thai Kitchen: Demystifying Thai Cuisine with Authentic Recipes to Make at Home Paperback – March 8, 2016
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About the Author
PAILIN CHONGCHITNANT was born and raised in Thailand. After attending the University of British Columbia, she made her way to Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in San Francisco, and began cooking for both Western and Thai restaurants. She is the creator and host of Hot Thai Kitchen, a popular cooking show on YouTube, which takes an educational approach to Thai cuisine. Visit her at www.hot-thai-kitchen.com
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Top Customer Reviews
What I was really pleased with to see immediately is that Pai did an excellent job at putting a substantial amount of information in the first few chapters of the book that go really far in explaining a lot of the foundation of Thai cooking. As you may know from her videos, she is an excellent teacher in that she communicates really clearly what she is doing, how to do it correctly, and most importantly, WHY she is doing it. (and all with a dose of charm!) Cooking isn't just assembling a bunch of ingredients in a bowl. Knowing how and when to add an ingredient and what that ingredient is contributing to the recipe in terms of flavor and texture is very important. I think that is why Pai can help you make good recipes great when you are actually preparing them.
There is a lot of info on the various ingredients, from herbs to sweeteners to all the unique sauces that are used. And yes, we all wish we had a friendly Thai grocer down the street, but for most of us in N. America, that isn't common, so she gives some good tips on finding ingredients or when she believes "Educated substitutions" (good word choice) or even omissions are ok for the sake of the recipe. You should never let a lack of finding a key ingredient keep you from trying to learn these recipes, so she will help you overcome!
There is also a section specifically on vegetarian and vegan dishes which is really great as that diet is quite common and Thai food lends itself really well to being easily offered in a veg variation.
I see a lot of the great recipes I have already tried from her videos featured in this book, but was also pleased to see even more new ones as well as foundation recipes like curry pastes and stocks. You will see some nice mention of the region of dishes which is good, because I think that's one of the main missing pieces of information that many new to Thai food don't get at first. They don't often get to learn, that the cuisines in the North and South are dramatically different in style from each other and that curries don't just come in green or red. (see JUNGLE curry!)
I am sure anyone new or familiar to Thai cooking will really love this book. One other cool feature of the book is that there are QR codes throughout it that allow you to quickly view a video on said topic right on your phone from the Hot Thai Kitchen site as you are reading! Ingenious!
Something else that I have not seen before in a cooking book is a small table on each recipe page that shows a "breakdown" on the ingredients in terms of what their role is. (sauce, aromatic, flavor) This is a cool feature and, as Pai says, she wants to help you understand how the recipes are assembled so that you can mix and match your own components to start to make your own dishes! This table really helps to do that in my opinion.
Enjoy the recipes, technique and beautiful images that fill this great book!
I have been cooking Thai food from Pailin's YouTube recipes for about 8 months and this book really rounds out the whole experience. And I might add, I make some pretty awesome Thai food now!!