Columnist and story-teller
I've often been discouraged from eating the Thai food found in many THAI restaurants in America, as it doesn't taste at all the same as it does back home.
I have been living in America, now, for 56 years. I witnessed the beginnings of the Thai food industry here in the early seventies: so we are talking about nearly 50 years ago, when real Thai ingredients were not yet here. The very first Thai restaurant in NYC was called Bangkok/Tokyo restaurant, and instead of using coconut milk in its curry dishes it used regular milk. Gaprow (a Thai herb] and Horapha (Thai basil) were nowhere to be found, and Keemao- which means drunken noodles- had only just recently been invented in Thailand.
Nobody then, including me, even knew what Keemao was. Of course, as it's super delicious today it's found all over the world. And as a consummate Thai food eater, I find the perfect and RIGHT way to cook this famous Thai dish to be found within this book. It is the most insightful and true-to-form Keemao.
What I like very much about this book is the flexibility it allows in cooking all the dishes. Even today, we still may not have all the Thai ingredients at hand here in America, so alternatives are needed. For example, instead of veggies like Kana- found mostly in Asian markets, but not in the general markets- we can use Kale.
The most important thing here, though, is the TASTE. Thai dishes should taste exactly like Thai food, no matter what ingredients are used, Kale or Kana. And that's where the idea of cooking like a Thai in this book comes from. Be true to the Thai ingredients as much as you can, but if you have to use some substitutes PLEASE still cook like a Thai, anyway. The great charm and essence of this book concentrate totally on cooking real Thai food outside of Thailand, especially in America.
And it's wonderfully done, indeed, as the book is very well written and resourceful. Not only will you be cooking Thai food in the Thai style, but you will say, "Is that all there is?" as everything in the book is easy to understand and to follow. Thai food isn't hard to make. Some of the necessary Thai ingredients in this book are even available in the general market places. I can easily find Nampla and Nammunhoy in Hamptons' supermarket today.
You just have to understand how to cook like the Thais do. That's all there is. And this book will absolutely show you how to do just that.