THE ORIGINAL THAI COOKBOOK by Jennifer Brennan

THE ORIGINAL THAI COOKBOOK

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Brennan's long, appreciative introduction to the Thai people, nation, festivals, food history, kitchens, cuisine, and meal presentation will have readers hunting for sources of laos powder and lemon grass before they get into the recipes. For those who can't find such items locally, she appends a list of mail-order sources. She also describes the unfamiliar ingredients in authoritative and fascinating detail, and takes similar care with her instructions when recipes call for unfamiliar procedures. A clutch of curry recipes comes with directions 'for basic curry pastes to keep on hand and a brief treatise on the term curry and the Southeast Asian chapters in its history. In addition to the laos and lemon grass (also common to the Indonesian cuisine introduced by Marks and Samuel-Hool, below), the Thai make heavy use of coconut milk, garlic, ginger, chiles, tamarind, and fresh coriander. Salty fish sauce is ubiquitous--the Thai equivalent of soy sauce, Brennan notes. Staples are ""sticky"" (short-grain polished) rice and fish, with chicken, shrimp, pork, and beef following fish in that order. (This is no cuisine fort strict vegetarians. Meat, chicken, and shrimp, sometimes in combination, appear in everything from fried rice to fried bean sprouts, watercress salad, and water chestnut salad.) Few if any of the recipes can be put together from items on hand in even a sophisticated American kitchen, but Brennan makes it worth going out of your way for ingredients: picture your guests admiring that spicy stew caught in ""egg thread nets,"" which you'll make by ""trailing"" beaten eggs over hot oil

Pub Date: April 16th, 1981
Publisher: Marek--dist. by Putnam