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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on 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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on November 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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on March 4, 1998
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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on August 24, 2000
As a vegetarian who adores Thai food, this recipe book was a fantastic find. All the recipes I've tried have come out very tasty, and it was easy to find the ingredients at the local supermarket, with some additional items at an asian grocery. Granted, I live in California where ethnic food items are easy to come by, but we now eat several Thai meals a week. I've even learned to make some substitutions so that the recipes fit a Zone diet, by decreasing the noodles and increasing the seitan or tofu.
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on August 26, 2001
This is a GREAT cookbook. I've just recently turned vegetarian and was worried that in doing so I wouldn't be able to enjoy thai food anymore but his cookbook makes it easy! The recipes are VERY authentic and oh so tasty! I made the satay with grilled vegetables (marinated) with a sweet/sour cucumber salad last night and let me just say YUM! I'm very pleased and glad I have this cookbook in my collection
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on August 6, 2001
I own several Thai cookbooks, but this one is my favorite hands down. Like any Thai cookbook, the recipes require some advance preparation to make the sauces and curry pastes, but once you set aside a few hours to prepare the basic recipes the meals are quick, easy, and delicious. The author's love of Thai food really comes through. I whole heartedly recommend it.
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on December 23, 1998
I have been using this book for just over a year, and it is wonderful. Every recipe is a new adventure. The recipes are not simple, but the instructions are clear and the rewards are great. If you are looking for a book that will teach you to cook the best Thai food you have ever tasted, this is it!!
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