Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes from the Thai Home Kitchen by Leela Punyaratabandhu

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Notes about this book

  • ellabee on July 02, 2014

    Excellent run-down by the author of the differences between her blog and the cookbook: ...Pad Thai series:

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Chicken-cashew stir-fry (Kai phat met mamuang himma-phan)

    • mziech on September 15, 2018

      Loved it. Can make this on weekdays, really easy and delicious.

    • Kduncan on March 23, 2021

      Simple quick recipe albeit a good amout of chopping. Results are great, will definitely be making again.

  • Beef green curry with Thai eggplants (Kaeng khiao wan nuea)

    • sarahcooks on August 08, 2016

      I made this using Leela's green curry paste recipe. It was so so good. I had a timing issue so I added the beef and after simmering a few minutes, stuck it in a 250F oven for an hour, then finished when I got home. The beef was so tender and added a lot of flavor to the sauce.

    • wcassity on July 07, 2017

      Very delicious. I added way more curry paste than suggested, and it was still mostly mild with just a nice kick at the end. I added diced zucchini and green beans as well.

    • hirsheys on May 13, 2018

      This was good, though I used brisket, which was the wrong choice because it got chewy. I also got the little tiny eggplants, which are lovely, but full of seeds. The process of this curry was easy and worked well, and the taste was great with the homemade curry paste from the book.

  • Rice noodles with chicken and Chinese broccoli (Phat si-io kai)

    • sarahcooks on July 01, 2017

      The whole family loved this. I managed to make double it by turning my gas stove up to power boil, but I wouldn't really recommend it. I used leftover Chinese bbq pork instead of chicken and it was fantastic.

    • wcassity on January 31, 2021

      Delicious! Basically pad see ew, but more rounded flavor. Bought the soybean sauce she recommends on Amazon. Added dashes of Korean chili flakes and fish sauce at the end. Used regular broccoli.

    • twoyolks on January 17, 2015

      It took me longer to cook than the time specified but my chicken was in larger pieces. He finished dish needs to be seasoned with fish sauce, dried chili pepper, and salt.

  • Phanaeng curry with chicken and kabocha squash (Kaeng phanaeng kai kap fak thong)

    • TrishaCP on October 24, 2019

      This is a great version of a Panang curry. Pretty much flawless, though more veggies wouldn’t be bad. The squash is the best part.

    • patioweather on April 06, 2018

      Trust her timing and do not overcook the squash!

  • Curry noodles with chicken (Kuai-tiao kaeng sai kai)

    • TrishaCP on November 30, 2018

      I thought this dish was good. It is very saucey. The first night we ate it with noodles and the second night with rice and I liked it better with the rice. I used homemade yellow curry paste from the book, and store-bought red curry paste. I don't think the hard-boiled eggs are vital but you definitely need the fried shallots (crispiness and bite) and cilantro (fresh herbiness).

  • Ground pork omelet (Khai jiao mu sap)

    • bernalgirl on August 12, 2021

      My family absolutely loved the flavor of this dish, but did not like what the cornstarch did to the texture of the eggs. The mixture spattered into pieces when frying and the crispy bits were slightly grainy. Next time I’ll try rice flour in place of cornstarch (a suggested option).

  • Spicy basil chicken and fried eggs on rice (Khao rat phat ka-phrao kai khai dao)

    • bernalgirl on June 02, 2021

      Savory and delicious, a perfect easy dinner with steamed rice and sliced cucumbers

    • twoyolks on July 31, 2017

      Ground chicken just doesn't have enough flavor to stand up to the sauce ingredients. This is similar to Stir-fried minced beef with chillies and holy basil (Neua pat bai grapao) from Thai Street Food but I like that much better.

    • meggan on June 10, 2021

      Nice simple dinner. You will likely need to add stock as it is a little dry.

  • Chicken in brown sauce on rice (Khao na kai)

    • bernalgirl on August 24, 2021

      What a sleeper recipe! This is perfect weeknight comfort food, after making this I understood her story in the head note about eating this all the time when she first moved to the US. I served this over brown rice without the egg, which would be delicious but wasn’t in the cards tonight. The cilantro and chile are key to adding some bright fresh flavors to complement the sauce, we also topped this with Thai chile vinegar. I had intended to make a stirfry of romano beans to go with but ran out of time, so I added them here. I blistered them in the wok, added the broth and brought that to a boil before adding the chicken mixture. They were perfectly tender, and it made a complete meal over brown rice.

    • twoyolks on September 23, 2021

      This was really fast to make and quite tasty. I only marinated it for 4 hours and I used Thai basil instead of cilantro all of which worked fine.

  • Spicy grilled beef salad (Yam nuea yang)

    • twoyolks on July 09, 2019

      Other than marinating, this was quick and easy to make. The flavor was good but not quite excellent. I added mint and Thai basil as I had plenty and liked their addition.

  • Northeastern minced chicken salad (Lap kai)

    • twoyolks on November 29, 2016

      This is extremely spicy. It calls for 2 tablespoons of chile powder for 12 oz. of ground chicken. It was too spicy to eat.

    • laurenlangston on July 09, 2016

      Really tasty -- I used cilantro instead of sawtooth coriander. I also used some ground chicken that I had in the freezer; I might do better by this recipe next time and whack it up myself, instead. Citrusy, spicy, herbaceous, great food for a hot day.

    • damjih on April 24, 2020

      This was pretty good, I halved the spice, the toasted rice powder is a must, which I made with the only rice I had (basmati) and it still worked out fine.

  • Crispy wings with three-flavored sauce (Pik kai thot sot sam rot)

    • twoyolks on September 24, 2015

      The wings were very crunch with a good mix of hot, sour, and sweet. I used two "red Thai chiles" and it provided just about the right amount of heat. I think there's a typo in the recipe as I only needed to fry my chicken wings for 8 minutes instead of the 20 to 25 listed in the recipe.

  • Rice noodles with beef and Chinese broccoli gravy (Rat na nuea)

    • twoyolks on March 08, 2018

      This was really soupy. I liked the beef the best. The rest was simply okay.

    • Lovestocook on December 17, 2015

      Really enjoyed this. Reduced the stock and cornflour (used instead of cornstarch) by 1/3 and still way too much liquid. Really flavourful gravy though and very tender beef.

  • Rice noodles "drunkard's style" with chicken (Kuai-tiao khi mao kai)

    • twoyolks on November 29, 2015

      I made this with beef instead of chicken and with a poblano chile instead of a Thai long green chile. I also omitted the tomato. The sauce just wasn't quite right. It was a lot darker than what I'm used to.

    • meggan on April 26, 2018

      This was good and easy but I have had better drunken noodles.

    • chawkins on August 14, 2019

      This was absolutely delicious. My chicken breast was close to a pound and I used 3 Thai bird chiles from the garden. Instead of the Thai long chile, I used a poblano chile. This will be in regular rotation in our house in the summer as I usually have the chiles, tomato and Thai basil in the garden and I'll add shrimp to the mix.

    • patioweather on April 18, 2018

      We loved this recipe, and it was easy so I'm definitely going to make it again. I made it with half chicken and half seitan. The chicken is not contributing that much, so it's easy to swap it out for whatever protein you'd like. In the future, I will add bamboo shoots to improve the veggie to noodle ratio.

  • Chicken and fried garlic on rice (Khao kai kra-thiam)

    • twoyolks on January 22, 2015

      This was tasty but wasn't particularly special. The dominant flavors were the soy and the white pepper.

  • Fried rice with chicken (Khao phat kai)

    • twoyolks on January 30, 2015

      This isn't amazing but, at the same time, is quite satisfying.

  • Sweet-and-sour vegetable stir-fry with chicken (Phat priao wan kai)

    • meggan on July 09, 2020

      I felt the cukes became slimy so next time I would just garnish with them but otherwise this was good. I used jarred banana peppers and it was fine.

    • imaluckyducky on June 24, 2020

      5 enthusastic stars! This dish comes together quickly and is really easy to balance out. The addition of cucumber to the stir fry was something new for me, and a delightful surprise - it adds a really nice toothsome texture and a refreshing bite. I made a double batch and only a small portion remains (3 adults and one 4yo had seconds). Do not be scared about the amount of fish sauce in the sauce, it does not overpower the flavor of the sauce. The stir fry sauce is also more liquidy than, say, a Chinese stir fry that you may be used to. My Thai partner defends that this is normal.

    • patioweather on June 15, 2021

      Not my favorite stir fry in this book but extremely enjoyable. I garnished with the cucumber as another commenter suggested.

  • Green curry paste (Nam phrik kaeng khiao wan)

    • hirsheys on May 14, 2018

      Green curry is my absolute favorite, and this paste came out really delicious. I was incredibly impressed with myself. I used my mini food processor to grind the paste, but I felt that I had to add a little liquid to help it puree. I used coconut milk, which worked well. It seemed like the paste was going to be super hot, but it wasn't at all - just a nice kick at the end, and some good umami from the shrimp paste. (Which smells absolutely disgusting, btw.) Note to self: next time, don't forget that you diluted the paste a bit with the coconut milk, so increase the amount in the curry.

  • Chicken-ginger stir-fry (Kai phat khing)

    • imaluckyducky on November 09, 2019

      5 stars! So please know that this stir fry isn't dry or has a thick sauce - it ends up being quite brothy. That said, the flavor is beautifully nuanced despite it being heavy on ginger. White button mushrooms do well in this recipe. Thai boyfriend and 3yo enthusiastically approved.

  • Stuffed egg crepes (Khai yat sai)

    • rmardel on November 09, 2020

      Love these! The filling can be made in advance which helps with the prep. They are a little tricky at first, but delicious. Marvelous on some lightly dressed greens.

  • Herb-baked cashews (Met mamuang himma-phan op samunphrai)

    • julesamomof2 on May 16, 2018

      A delicious, easy nibble. I should have made a double batch, my guests loved them so much.

  • Green papaya salad (Som tam malako)

    • laurenlangston on July 09, 2016

      This is a solid recipe -- everything I want in a som tam. It's the third som tam recipe I've made (the other two by way of Kurt Kahrs and Andy Ricker), and I'll probably check out a few more, but I absolutely see myself returning to this one.

  • Duck red curry with pineapple and tomatoes (Kaeng phet pet yang)

    • runoutofshelves on October 31, 2019

      This was great. On a very hot night. I love recipes using bbq duck from chinese restaurants. We made the paste and stashed away two portions in the freezer.

    • MmeFleiss on April 12, 2018

      I used chopped roast duck from my local Chinese grocery store and a pineapple that I cut up a few days ago. Dinner took less than 10 mins and everyone raved about how good it was. A keeper for sure.

  • Spicy crispy catfish with fried basil (Phat phet pla duk thot krop)

    • lkgrover on March 04, 2018

      This is excellent! The catfish has great flavor. The other ingredients seasoned the fish, but didn't create much sauce. I substituted jalapeno chiles for Thai chiles (for less heat).

  • Chicken kari "yellow" curry (Kaeng kari kai)

  • Shrimp curry stir-fry (Kung phat phong kari)

    • patioweather on November 05, 2020

      I was dubious about the egg and while it felt a little strange, it was delicious.

  • Fish in red curry sauce (Chuchi pla)

    • patioweather on August 16, 2021

      Simple and delicious. Only takes a few minutes.

  • Sweet dry curry of pork and long beans (Phat phrik khing)

    • patioweather on April 09, 2018

      Recipe does not say when to add the shrimp. I did it when I added the fish sauce and sugar.

    • Chef_Penelope on September 23, 2021

      Per Leela's website, the dried shrimp should be pounded with a mortar until reduced to cottony flakes. The flakes should be added along with the oil and curry paste at the beginning. She also suggests serving with rice.

  • Sweet chile sauce (Nam jim kai)

    • patioweather on April 04, 2018

      Flavorwise, this is exactly what I expect from a Thai dipping sauce for fried spring rolls. Next time I make it, I will dramatically decrease the amount of tapioca starch. After sitting it turned into a sludge.

  • Satay sauce, the easy version (Nam jim satay)

    • patioweather on April 17, 2018

      Everyone adored this. It makes a huge amount, so you can use it for multiple applications. The "easy version" was so delicious and easy that I'm not sure why I would ever make the non-easy version.

  • Cucumber relish (Ajat)

    • patioweather on April 09, 2018

      Delicious but extremely sweet, so serve alongside something tangy or spicy.

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Reviews about this book

  • Boston Globe by T. Susan Chang

    ...what it says: unusually simple, and still really Thai. It’s written with grace, dedication, and humor, and there’s nothing like it on the market...if you want a single Thai book, this is it.

    Full review
  • Advocate by Diane Anderson-Minshall

    ...a great new collection of 100 Thai recipes that are simpler, quicker, and easy to manage than we’ve seen before. The foodie that Saveur’s dubbed the best regional cuisine blog...

    Full review
  • NPR by T. Susan Chang

    2013 Top Summer Cookbooks: ...seems to pull it off, coming up with recipes that are weeknight-doable yet electric with ingredients you can just about find...Shortcuts or not, they're delicious.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • ISBN 10 1607745232
  • ISBN 13 9781607745235
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Mar 27 2014
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 240
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Ten Speed Press
  • Imprint Ten Speed Press

Publishers Text

Thai takeout meets authentic, regional flavors in this collection of 100 recipes for easy, economical, and accessible Thai classics--from the rising star behind the blog She Simmers.

Who can say no to a delicious plate of Pad Thai with Shrimp; a fresh, tangy Green Papaya Salad; golden Fried Spring Rolls; or a rich, savory Pork Toast with Cucumber Relish? Thai food is not only one of the most vibrant, wonderfully varied cuisines in the world, it also happens to be one of the tastiest, and a favorite among American eaters.

The good news is, with the right ingredients and a few basic tools and techniques, authentic Thai food is easily within reach of home cooks. Take it from Leela Punyaratabandhu, a Bangkok native and author of the popular Thai cooking blog She Simmers. In her much-anticipated debut cookbook, Leela shares her favorite recipes for classic Thai fare, including beloved family recipes, popular street food specialties, and iconic dishes from Thai restaurant menus around the world.

All of Leela’s recipes have been tested and tweaked to ensure that even the busiest cook can prepare them at home. With chapters on key ingredients and tools, base recipes, one-plate meals, classic rice accompaniments, and even Thai sweets, Simple Thai Food is a complete primer for anyone who wants to give Thai cooking a try. By the end of the book, you’ll be whipping up tom yam soup and duck red curry that will put your local takeout joint to shame. But perhaps more importantly, you’ll discover an exciting new world of Thai flavors and dishes—including Stir-Fried Chicken with Chile Jam, Leaf-Wrapped Salad Bites, and Crispy Wings with Three-Flavored Sauce—that will open your eyes to all the wonderful possibilities that real Thai cooking has to offer.

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