Lemongrass and Sweet Basil: Traditional Thai Cuisine

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9781566566001: Lemongrass and Sweet Basil: Traditional Thai Cuisine

Easy-to-follow, modern approach to traditional Thai cuisine with stunning photos of the Thai way of life.

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About the Author:

Alison Plummer is a Devon-born journalist, editor, and columnist. She specializes in travel, food, wine, and lifestyle writing and does some photography of her own for a wide range of publications.

From Publishers Weekly:

Food is both integral to and expressive of Thai culture, and Signavong's foray through the country's major regions and their distinctive cuisines is, with its wealth of photographs, a good introduction to Thailand's charms as well as its traditional food. Signavong, who owns a restaurant in Australia, contextualizes each recipe with bits of history, legend and gastronomy, noting a dish's origins or the way Thai people serve it. The largest section contains recipes from central Thailand, such as fiery Jungle Chicken Curry and Panang Beef, but Signavong also provides classics from Isan (the northeast region, where he was raised), northern and southern Thailand, as well as a chapter on Thai "tapas" like Shrimp in Pastry and Chicken Satay. His cultural descriptions, unfortunately, are more detailed than the cooking instructions, so most recipes are not for the novice cook, who will likely be daunted by preparing a whole coconut for the Steamed Salmon in Young Coconut and the complicated process behind Deep-Fried Rice Balls with Chiles and Lime. None of the recipes will work for people who lack a nearby grocery that stocks ingredients like galangal and tai pla, a sauce made from fermented fish innards; although Signavong includes a helpful glossary and offers a few tips for possible substitutions, most exotic ingredients are irreplaceable. Experienced cooks who can obtain them will find this book an excellent primer for Thai cooking, but others may be frustrated by the many inaccessible recipes, especially after being enchanted by the rich culture illustrated on every page.
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