Bangkok: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of Thailand

Leela Punyaratabandhu. Ten Speed, $35 (368p) ISBN 978-0-399-57831-1
Punyaratabandhu, the woman behind the popular She Simmers cooking blog and author of Simple Thai Food, expands on her previous work in this outstanding collection of toothsome Thai fare. Where her previous effort favored ease, Punyaratabandhu here focuses on authenticity. She fondly recalls some of her favorite food memories, many of which can be traced to her grandparents’ collection of cookbooks, and shares classic dishes and family favorites such as steamed dumplings with chicken-peanut filling and fried chicken with crispy garlic. A spicy beef soup with sweet potatoes and basil is just as appealing here as in the early-19th-century cookbook where it was discovered, as is the story behind the classic Boat Relish, an ever-changing mélange of leftovers originally prepared for the king. Punyaratabandhu does an admirable job of including recipes for all skill levels and geographies, but readers interested in recreating jade noodles with barbecued pork or a 24-hour massaman curry may run into some sourcing issues if they don’t live near a well-stocked Asian market. This is a truly remarkable collection of cleverly selected recipes. Punyaratabandhu is a gifted storyteller, and her work is an outstanding addition to the Thai cooking canon. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/2017
Release date: 05/09/2017
Ebook - 978-0-399-57832-8
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