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Real Vegetarian Thai [Paperback]

Nancie McDermott
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1 1997
Real Thai has gone vegetarian! Everyone loves Thai food, but it's not easy to find truly meatless dishes. Thai cooking expert Nancie McDermott has developed inventive variations on traditional recipes, providing health-conscious cooks with a repertoire of meatless dishes that captures the vibrant spirit of Thailand. A helpful glossary introduces readers to the seemingly mysterious yet widely available ingredients and equipment used in Thai cooking and offers tips for finding or substituting them. With an emphasis on the classic techniques, ingredients, and flavors of Thai cuisine, this groundbreaking cookbook provides one hundred delicious recipes for everyday meals and special occasions.

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Product Description

About the Author

Nancie McDermott is a food writer and cooking teacher specializing in the cuisine of Thailand, where she spent three years as a Peace Corps volunteer. Her food articles have appeared in numerous magazines, and she is the author of the perennially popular cookbook, Real Thai.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Early in my three-year sojourn in Thailand, I made the common observation that Thai people seem to eat all the time. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious recipes, well laid-out book March 8 2004
Vegetarians have long bewailed the difficulty of making Thai food: almost every ready-made Thai curry paste available contains shrimp or worse. Now it is possible to concoct your own! McDermott has created an Eastern cookbook with a Western eye, taking the mystery out of this delicious cuisine. Recipes are categorised along familiar lines, exotic ingredients are explained in a glossary and sources listed, unusual techniques (from opening a coconut to roasting chillis) are fully explained. This cookbook is very helpful indeed: there's even a bibliography and a list of menu suggestions, you can alter the amount of heat in a dish to taste (I'm a wimp about chillis and am doing fine), and she is not too snobbish to suggest replacements, such as ginger if galanga is unavailable. The lay-out is clear and easy to follow, and there are several interesting anecdotes about McDermott's travels in Thailand and the traditional Thai way of life.
The recipes are imaginative, healthy, straightforward to make, and they work beautifully. Many of them are vegan, and adaptations are usually suggested for those which are not. A "Basic Recipes" section gives recipes for essentials such as the different curry pastes, roasted chilli paste, vegetable stock, and "mushroom mince" (which she has invented to replace minced meat in traditional recipes).
Some examples of recipes included are:
Crispy spring rolls with sweet and hot garlic sauce
Green papaya salad
Jasmine rice soup with mushrooms, green onions and crispy garlic
Red curry with eggplant and sweet peppers
Butternut squash in fresh green curry
Firecracker broccoli
Coconut ice cream
Thai iced tea
To my surprise, Thai cookery turned out not just to be possible for vegetarians and vegans (an astonishing number of recipes are here, and meat-eaters will certainly not feel deprived), but the ingredients are easy to find, the recipes easy to make, and the results are dazzling.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the Pad Thai recipe Sept. 19 2002
This is a great cookbook -- I love eating Thai food in restaurants, but it's hard to feel comfortable as a vegetarian, since I know there's often still fish sauce in foods marked 'vegetarian'. Everything I've tried from this cookbook tastes wonderful and authentic. As others have said, it's not for quick meals, especially since many recipes require home-made curry paste.
In response to the reviewer who wondered if this cookbook was on the short side because of its vegetarianism -- removing fish paste/fish sauce from Thai food is non-trivial, since it's in almost everything. In some dishes, it mainly adds salt, and soy sauce can (and is) a usual substitute. Others, I'd imagine, just don't taste right without it. That said, I'd love it if this cookbook were longer, since what it includes is wonderful.
If you're not vegetarian, the same author has a non-veggie thai cookbook as well. (According to the specs, it's a few pages shorter, but I haven't looked at it.)
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By A Customer
I bought this book and was truly excited about it. The author has what seems to be real knowledge about Thai cuisine, having been a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand. However, in the end, there's just not much here in the way of recipes. Perhaps it's a good start if one has never cooked Thai. However, other Thai cookbooks I have seen are so much broader with so many more recipes, and I was hoping to find all of those exciting recipes in vegetarian versions. I may be being unfair if, as the author says, most Thai food has meat or at least fish in it. The author has taken a wonderful first step in finding innovative ways to omit ALL animal products. So really, I suppose, we just need more books like this and we have an area that needs much more vegetarian exploration.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Usefull Cookbooks in My Library Nov. 14 2002
This book has so many great recepies for just about any palate. Sometimes the recepies can look a little daunting and complicated, but it assumes you're using all fresh ingredients, which you don't always have to. After all, cumin powder is in my opinion just as good as fresh cumin seeds. Or more available anyway. Basically, once you take the time to create a few of the "staple" ingredients in this book (red and green curry paste are essential), you can make just about anything in here quickly and cheaply. And it's GOOD! I'm never going to forget the look on my friends' faces when I came out with an eggplant curry that I'd made from this book. Everyone was amazed. So if you want to do something different, and you're a bit creative, this book is for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Thai cookbook March 4 1998
By A Customer
I purchased this cookbook about two months ago and I have been using the book faithfully since.
I have received rave reviews of my dishes from my friends and family. Since Ms. McDermott provides recipes for all the sauces, stocks, and other bases, this is the ideal cookbook for vegetarians (and vegans) who are conscientious of what they eat.
Many of the recipes call for curry paste and vegetable stock. I made both of these items en masse and froze them; now I can throw a quick Thai meal together in under an hour.
I am not an expert in Thai cuisine, so I cannot comment on the authenticity of the dishes. However, the dishes are nutritional, flavorful, and colorful. I wholeheartedly recommend this cookbook.
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