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Simple Thai Food


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

Table of Contents

Noshes and Nibbles (khong wang)
Sweet Potato Fritters with Peanut–Sweet Chile Sauce 
Pineapple with Sweet Peanut–Chicken Topping (Galloping Horses) 
Crispy Dumplings (Gold Purses)   
Pork Satay  
Herb-Baked Cashews  
Fried Spring Rolls  
Leaf-Wrapped Salad Bites  
Pork Toast with Cucumber Relish
Fish Sauce–Marinated Fresh Shrimp with Spicy Lime Dressing (Naked Shrimp)   
Corn Fritters   
Rice Accompaniments (kap khao)
Stir-Fried and Deep-Fried Dishes
Chicken-Ginger Stir-Fry  
Stir-Fried Pumpkin with Eggs  
Fish Cakes with Cucumber-Peanut Relish  
Stir-Fried Chicken with Chile Jam  
Fried Chicken Drumsticks  
Son-in-Law Eggs  
Shrimp Curry Stir-Fry  
Ground Pork Omelet  
Stir-Fried Glass Noodles with Chicken
Crispy Wings with Three-Flavored Sauce   
Stuffed Egg Crepes 
Stir-Fried Beef with Banana Peppers 
Mushroom–Oyster Sauce Stir-Fry 
Sweet-and-Sour Vegetable Stir-Fry  with Chicken 
Chicken-Cashew Stir-Fry 
Fried Sun-Dried Beef 
Fried Fish and Green Mango Salad   
Spicy Grilled Beef Salad  
Pork in Spicy Dressing with  Iced Broccoli Stems
Broiled Eggplant Salad with Shrimp 
Northeastern Minced Chicken Salad 
Glass Noodle Salad 
Green Papaya Salad 
Mixed Fruit Salad, Som Tam Style    
Herbal Salmon Salad 
Clear Soup with Silken Tofu and Chicken Dumplings    
Coconut-Galangal Chicken Soup 
Hot-and-Sour Prawn Soup with Chile Jam 
Oxtail Soup
Spicy Vegetable Soup with Shrimp and Lemon Basil 
Southern Hot-and-Sour Turmeric-Chicken Soup   
Duck Red Curry with Pineapple  and Tomatoes   
Beef Green Curry with Thai Eggplants
Vegetable Sour Curry with Shrimp 
Sweet Dry Curry of Pork and Long Beans 
Chicken Kari “Yellow” Curry   
Fish in Red Curry Sauce
Beef and Vegetable Curry, Jungle Style  
Spicy Crispy Catfish with Fried Basil  
Phanaeng Curry with Chicken and  Kabocha Squash  
Beef Shank Matsaman Curry  
Shrimp-Coconut Relish with Vegetable Crudités  
Fish with Lime-Chile-Garlic Dressing
Grilled Steaks with Roasted Tomato Dipping Sauce (Crying Tiger) 
Curried Fish Custard 
Grilled Pork Neck with Dried Chile Dipping Sauce   
Turmeric Grilled Chicken   
One-Plate Meals (ahan jan diao)
Noodle Dishes
Rice Noodles with Chicken and Chinese Broccoli 
Pad Thai with Shrimp 
Curry Noodles with Chicken 
Rice Noodles with Beef and Chinese Broccoli Gravy 
Rice Noodles with Beef-Tomato Gravy 
Rice Noodles “Drunkard’s Style” with Chicken 
Egg Noodles with Clams, Chile Jam, and  Basil Stir-Fry 
Rice Dishes
Shrimp Paste Rice 
Rice Soup with Shrimp 
Chicken, Water Morning Glory, and Satay Sauce on Rice 
Rice Congee with Pork Dumplings and Eggs 
Chicken and Fried Garlic on Rice 
Fried Rice with Chicken 
Chicken in Brown Sauce on Rice 
Spicy Basil Chicken and Fried Eggs on Rice 
Sweets (khong wan)
Toasted-Coconut Meringue Cookies  
No-Bake Almond Cookies (Golden Supreme)  
Chewy Banana-Coconut Griddle Cakes  
Coconut Ice Cream with Jackfruit
Bananas in Sweet Coconut Cream (Bananas in Nunhood) 
Pineapple in Scented Iced Syrup  
Crunchy-Chewy Water Chestnut Dumplings in Iced Coconut Syrup 
Mango and Sweet Coconut Sticky Rice   
Pumpkin Custard  
Sticky Rice Pearls in Sweet Coconut Cream  with Poached Eggs   
Basic Recipes and Preparations (sut phuenthan)
Long-Grain White Rice  
Steamed Glutinous Rice  
Homemade Tamarind Pulp  
Coconut Milk from Scratch  
Curry Paste from Scratch  
Basic Aromatic Paste
Curry Powder 
Red Chile Powder   
Toasted Rice Powder
Fried Shallots and Fried Shallot Oil   
Chile Jam  
Fried Garlic and Fried Garlic Oil  
Sriracha Sauce  
Sweet Chile Sauce  
Satay Sauce
Dried Chile Dipping Sauce 
Cucumber Relish 
Vinegar with Pickled Chiles 
Chile Fish Sauce 
Crispy Fried Eggs 
Medium-Boiled Eggs 
Ingredients Glossary 
Note on the Romanization of Thai Words 
Mail-Order Sources 
Measurement Conversion Charts 

About the Author

Leela Punyaratabandhu grew up in a traditional Thai home in the heart of Bangkok where cooking was taken very seriously. She created the cooking blogShe Simmers, which in 2012 was voted "Best Regional Cuisine" blog by Saveur. Her writing has appeared in CNN Travel, a website on Asian travel destinationsby CNN International, and the award-winning food website Serious Eats, among others. Leela divides her time between Chicago and Bangkok.


Best Book of 2014, NPR
Best Cookbook of 2014, The Globe and Mail
Best Cookbooks of 2014—Serious Eats

“Simple Thai Food is just what folks need: a simple, easy-to-follow cookbook on a delicious cuisine (and one of my favorites!) that most people aren’t used to making at home. With clear, friendly instructions and valuable tips and techniques, Leela unlocks the flavors and seasonings of real Thai cooking—spicy salads, coconut-rich soups, blazing bowls of curry, and the fiery, flavorful condiments that go alongside. Thanks to Leela, I’m excited to create these authentic Thai dishes in my own kitchen!” 
—David Lebovitz, author of My Paris Kitchen 
“In this compendium of favorite Thai dishes, Leela has managed to make the recipes accessible and straightforward for a home cook, and to keep them very true to what a modern Thai cook (in Thailand as well as in the West) would recognize as ‘authentic.’ She does offer substitutions when ingredients are more difficult to find, but they never skew far from what a Thai mom would use in her own kitchen. Leela even sneaks in a few dishes that you might not find in your local Thai restaurant, but will probably become your favorites!” 
—Andy Ricker, chef/owner of the Pok Pok restaurants and author of Pok Pok 
“Leela has crafted an authoritative, opinionated, and thoroughly down-to-earth collection of traditional Thai recipes, written especially for cooks who weren’t lucky enough to be born in Thailand. All the basics are here, beautifully organized, from curry paste to coconut milk and beyond.” 
—David Tanis, author of One Good Dish
“Simple Thai Food is a beautiful snapshot of Leela’s effort to stay connected to her Bangkok roots through food, and a wonderfully practical guide for those of us who want to create authentic Thai flavors at home.” 
—James Oseland, editor-in-chief of Saveur and author of Cradle of Flavor
“Leela re-creates her beloved taste memories, and then invites us in—offering tools, inspiration, and fresh context in equal measure. You will want these recipes for so many reasons—the craft, joy, deliciousness, backstory—and you will want (and come close to experiencing) Leela herself at your table, imparting her fine intelligence and warmth.” 
—Mollie Katzen, author of The Moosewood Cookbook and The Heart of the Plate

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