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Thailand: The Cookbook Hardcover – May 5 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (May 5 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071486529X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714865294
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 5.1 x 27.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"The ultimate encyclopedia of Thai cuisine." –

"Jean‐Pierre Gabriel’s beautiful and ambitious Thailand: The Cookbook extracts 500 recipes from the country’s most seasoned home cooks. Your coffee table will thank you." – Bon Appetit

"Sponsored by the Royal Thai Government, Thailand: The Cookbook is filled with more than 500 easy‐to‐follow recipes and color photographs – and as long as you own a steamer and a wok, you can recreate Gabriel’s journey at home." – CoolHunting

"Gabriel’s luscious photos capture the beauty of Thailand’s people, food, and landscape and rounds out this stellar compilation. Armchair travelers and cooks at all levels will welcome this remarkable book. . . a beautiful collection." – Publishers Weekly

"French author and photographer Jean‐Pierre Gabriel traveled in Thailand for three years to produce Phaidon’s latest masterpiece, Thailand: The Cookbook. From street food to home cooking, it’s a celebration of what makes Thai food culture truly special." – Tasting Table

". . . stunning, extraordinarily comprehensive" – Relish

"An unrivaled culinary record" – Conde Nast Traveller

"Phaidon specializes in brick‐like cookbooks telling you all you want to know about a given cuisine. Here Thailand gets the don’t‐drop‐it‐on‐your‐toe treatment with more than 500 recipes gathered from home cooks, markets, street food stalls and restaurants, designed to illustrate contemporary Thai cooking. Good points include the brevity and simplicity of many of the recipes. Who knew it was so stress‐free to make stir‐fried beef with broccoli in oyster sauce?" – The Telegraph (UK), Cookbook of the Week

"Phaidon’s Thailand: The Cookbook is a trove of regionally specific Thai delicacies. With trusty tour guides in tow, author Jean‐Pierre Gabriel treks all over the elephant‐shaped region’s forests and rice paddies to bring back savory recipes bursting with peanuts, dried shrimp, bird’s eye chiles, grated coconut flesh, tamarind puree and palm sugar." – Trendland

". . . massive and stunning – well worthy of any coffee table or display." – Library Journal

About the Author

Jean‐Pierre Gabriel, photographer and food writer, has spent over three years visiting every region of Thailand to collate and photograph this unique collection of recipes from authentic Thai cooks. During his travels Jean‐Pierre visited Thai homes, markets and restaurants to sample delicacies that vary from simple street food to elaborate palace cuisine and bring them together in this unique volume.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent piece of work. For someone who knows Thai culture, they know that most vendors do not reveal their recipes to other Thai people because that creates competition. Thai people work very hard to earn very little, and every competitor is a thorn in their business, and family prosperity. They will however share recipes with a foreigner since s/he is not seen as competition. This is what the author did, spending 3 years in Thailand accumulating recipes from every corner of the country. In this sense, the book is a rare gem, and with over 500 recipes to delight in, I think a few editing or presentation flaws can easily be overlooked. After having this beautiful book in my hands, and reviewing it, I would now say I would have easily paid more for it.
Thank You.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Thailand Cook book, cover is very beautiful as far as books go. However Good luck finding all the ingredients!
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Format: Hardcover
Already cooked with it -the recipe was delicious!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9d5a3ccc) out of 5 stars 24 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fd8e174) out of 5 stars Amazing reference book to Thai cooking May 8 2014
By eing6888 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a Thai, I was amazed by how authentic the recipe in this book are. There are multiple Thai dishes in the book that you will not be able to find at Thai restaurants in the US. Some of the dishes are very regional that it is even hard to find in other parts of Thailand. The directions were clear and easy to follow.
The reason that I buy Thai cookbooks that written by foreign writers is I felt like the foreign writers have an advantage over Thai writer when it comes to getting authentic recipe from the locals. The locals are usually more comfortable sharing the recipe with foreigners. And so far this is the best Thai cookbook I have in my collection.
42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d2bc1b0) out of 5 stars A Beautiful Book, But Some Major Flaws Aug. 14 2014
By ColoradoCaver - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really wanted to love this cookbook, but I can't. It is vast in scope, beautifully bound, and I very much enjoyed the essays on Thailand and the photographs of the country. While I enjoy photos of finished dishes, the absence does not bother me. I showed the book to a friend who owns a small Thai restaurant, and she proclaimed it very authentic, and was amazed by the presence of the insect recipes. Why don't I love it? Well, I will echo some points from other reviews. In my opinion, the lack of transliterated names for the dishes is a huge drawback. If I want to prepare a dish I have seen elsewhere and can't see the Thai name, how can I possibly find the recipe in the index? I can try to guess what the author translated it to, but that has been pretty unsuccessful so far. Or I can look at every, for example, chicken recipe and read it, hoping the list of ingredients will appear to match what I hope to cook. That, too, has not worked well so far. Thai ingredients should also have transliterated names. Anyone who eats or cooks Thai knows what fish sauce, but when I went to a Thai grocery to look for "fermented fish sauce" the owner said there were at least a couple of possibilities, and without a Thai name, I should try them and see which I preferred in that particular recipe.
And I second the complaint about the editing. I went to prepare a curry recipe portioned for 4-6, and it called for 10 onions. I love onions, but I don't think so. I reduced it to 2, and it did turn out great. I also found ingredients listed, and then never called for. Come on, editors, every recipe should be prepared following the proofs before the book is printed! A few times I got the impression the author took recipes he received from others and typed them up without ever testing them or even considering if they could be correct.
I also would appreciate a different organization of the book, say by main ingredient.
The glossary of ingredients is very good. The index would be great if it included transliterated names.
If you are an experienced Thai cook, you should be able to overcome this books shortcomings and be able to prepare some great-tasting, authentic dishes. If not, I cannot recommend this volume.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cf70f18) out of 5 stars Great cookbook May 14 2014
By J. Matt Rupel - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just got this a few days ago and have made two recipes from it (Beef & coconut milk curry, fried pork spring rolls w/ sweet chile dipping sauce). Both were delicious! The book is a very handsome hardcover with gold leafing and many full-color photos. The recipes seem very authentic (although I'm no expert on Thai cuisine) and almost all of them are enticing.

My only criticism so far is that the book seems to suffer from a lack of careful editing. The recipe for Beef & Coconut curry, for example, calls for "2 1/2 cups coconut milk (1 pint/600 ml)." A pint (in the U.S.) is 16 ounces, but 2.5 cups is 20 ounces? Perhaps it is an imperial pint (568 ml)? The recipe at one point says "add one cup coconut milk", but never says when to add the other cup, or cup and a half, whichever it is. Many other recipes also call for "a bunch", "a handful", "1.5 shallots." Of course this is common for many cookbooks, and won't be a problem for most experienced cooks. Make a recipe once, and you'll get a very good idea of where amounts need to be adjusted. I just sometimes wish the authors/editors could be a little more precise the first time around.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9da215e8) out of 5 stars A mixed bag... July 7 2014
By Crazy88Line Cook - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Not quite up to snuff yet is how I feel about this newer Phaidon Press cookbook "encyclopedia" of Thai food; for several reasons.
Having bought 'Silver Spoon' years ago and been left cold by the format and dearth of color photos, I have to admit I still use it on occasion and I thought this would be an improvement as PP has put out numerous cookbooks since. While there are color photos included they are mostly general pictures of Thailand and Thai people perhaps connected with growing or preparing food. I like to know what a dish should look like when it is finished and there is more than enough blank space on just about every page to have
included more of these kinds of pictures.( At a higher price point to cover the cost of photo inclusion I doubt the publishing house would have lost money.)
Recipes are given using two different standards of measure so the cook should decide which one to go with before the prep and execution, a minor detail. A major fault on the other hand is to give a list of ingredients and then not have all of them accounted for in the actual cooking instructions. DO NOT call for a cup of beef stock, for example, and then leave it out entirely when putting the dish together- this is inexcusable and seems to be more and more the case with publishers across the board, not just Phaidon.
Another format flaw is in sectioning the book by cooking method instead of type of food: I would not have bought this book had I known that almost every recipe would include some form of pork. I would have had a better idea of the pork content had the book been divided according to Beef,Fish,Pork,Noodles etc.
In order to get something out of this purchase I intend to use the book as a future gift but even there I will have to be careful. A LOT of the ingredients are not easy to find and with the recipes being sometimes less than complete I have to think in terms of someone who is motivated to find the ingredients as well as prepare the dishes. Preparation in most cases is not difficult in terms of the actual hands on work but again this is balanced by the amount of time and effort it will take to stock a pantry for it. In all the book is a nice idea but didn't truly translate to the pages.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fd8e9f0) out of 5 stars Recipes fail. Bad editing. Looks better than it actually is. Jan. 11 2015
By Phin74 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not a good book. At least not as good as it looks. I feel foolish for having bought it sight unseen. I had so much hope and now I feel let down.

This is just a collection of obscure recipes large enough to look impressive and authoritative. 5 out of 8 recipes I've tried failed (and I'm not a Thai cooking newbie). Did they test any recipes? It appears they just compiled them and translated them into English. The recipes are unhelpfully named in English, too, which, as one of the reviewers has pointed out, is one of the most frustrating things about this book. For example, unless you know Thai, the only way to distinguish between three distinct dips: Spicy Shrimp Dip, Spicy Fermented Shrimp Dip, and Shrimp Chili Dip would be to read through the ingredient lists and make guesses as to what dishes they are. No Thai names in English alphabet are given for any recipes. The book is full of things like this. Not very well edited at all.

There's no background information. No headnotes. No explanation about how each dish fits into a meal. Sometimes recipes are categorized by course, sometimes by method of preparation. I find this book unhelpful at best and exasperating at worst. I wanted to love it so much but I just can't. This could have been such a wonderful resource on Thai cooking, but it appears to have been mishandled. So as much as I want to like this book, as it stands, I can't recommend it. Sorry.
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