Friday, July 25, 2014

Books Books Books: Simple Thai Food by Leela Punyaratabandhu

I'm finally getting back into the book reviewing! I'm excited and hopefully you are too! Here goes my first book review back from my time off. :P

When I was in high school, we had a foreign exchange student come and visit from Thailand. Until then, I had never really been exposed to the Thai culture, all I knew was they had elephants and spicy food. My foreign exchange brother, as my sister and I called him, had a dream of someday opening his own restaurant, which of course led to him cooking for us once or twice. He also found a delicious restaurant in Milwaukee where we ended up going several times throughout his stay that served authentic Thai food. I think it was at that point that I fell in love with Thai cuisine. Nearly eight years later, this cookbook has fully renewed that love for Thai food.

Leela Punyaratabandhu has done an amazing job with bringing out the beauty and subtle complexity that Thai food offers. As soon as I opened the book, I was struck by the colorful pictures and ended up paging through the book first just to see the bright colors of the food that I could not wait to cook in my own kitchen. Her descriptions of each dish at the start were funny and felt homey at the same time, with a friendly voice to the narrations and optional American alternatives that make each dish more available to those of us unable to order completely authentic ingredients.

As with many different authentic cuisine books, some of the ingredients were a bit more on the pricy side, so for people on a limited budget it is a bit more difficult. It also is not a cookbook that is friendly towards certain dietary restrictions, just as a forewarning. Another thought to be noted is that this cookbook is not for those looking for a quick meal; the recipes are complicated and require several ingredients that most households would not normally have in order to attain the unique Thai flavors. However, the aroma that filled my apartment as I tried my hand at Leela's recipes is one that will bring your friends and neighbors knocking to try a taste.

I hope that you get the opportunity to try out some of these recipes, which I will be posting a few of my own vegetarian alterations as well as possibly some chicken recipes as soon as I get my act together.

Sara :)

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

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