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Learn How to Cook Tasty Thai Foods 15 Best Thai Cookbooks

Learn How to Cook Tasty Thai Foods: 15 Best Thai Cookbooks

If you’re planning an exotic trip to Thailand, and you want to experience local dishes in your home, we have just the solution for you— cookbooks!

Thai cookbooks focus on the traditional and modern dishes that can be made in most kitchens with simple utensils. 

In most Thai cookbooks, there are Thai recipes ranging from simple stir frys to elaborate sauces calling for ingredients like fermented fish paste, tamarind juice and shrimp paste.

There are so many Thai cookbooks out there and it can oftentimes be confusing trying to pick which one is the best. 

All of them claim to be authentic, with hundreds of Thai recipes, but which ones really are the best? In this post we’ve listed the 15 best Thai cookbooks for anyone who wants good advice and great recipes!

15 Best Thai Cookbooks Worth Following

15 Best Thai Cookbooks Worth Following
Image source: iStock

Cooking authentic Thai dishes is a delightful experience. Whether you are a beginner in cooking or an experienced chef, this article will provide you with the best Thai cookbooks.

1. Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes from the Thai Home Kitchen

Simple Thai Food Classic Recipes from the Thai Home Kitchen
Highlights:Thai desserts
One-plate dinners
Basic recipes
Best For:Home cooks of all levels who want to expand their horizons with Thai cooking
Approximate Price:293 THB – 940 THB
Where to Buy:Amazon

For the busy American home cooks, Leela’s straightforward Thai dishes are adapted in this cookbook.

Each recipe offers several ways to cook the spicy foods quickly and easily, as well as alternatives for products that are difficult to come by.

You may simply make easy Thai sweets, one-plate dinners, and basic recipes with this cookbook.

The collection of 100 Simple Thai Food recipes, which she is well known for having on her culinary site, will make it simple for even the busiest home cooks to try out new Thai dishes.

Simple Thai Food is a comprehensive introduction for anyone interested in trying Thai cooking, with chapters on essential ingredients and equipment, base recipes, one-plate meals, traditional rice accompaniments, and even Thai sweets.

By the end of the book, you’ll be able to make duck red curry and tom yam soup that will put your neighbourhood takeout place to shame. 

However, perhaps more importantly, you’ll open your eyes to the amazing possibilities that authentic Thai cuisine has to offer. 

Overall, Simple Thai Food explored an exciting world of Thai flavours and dishes, such as Stir-Fried Chicken with Chile Jam, Leaf-Wrapped Salad Bites, and Crispy Wings with Three-Flavor Sauce.

2. Thailand: The Cookbook

Thailand The Cookbook
Highlights:Traditional Thai foods
Best For:Cooks of all skill levels who want to experience the real Thailand in their kitchen
Approximate Price:Approximately 1,800 THB
Where to Buy:Amazon

Thailand: The Cookbook shares the well-known dishes of this colourful and diverse nation, such as Massaman Curry and Phat Thai, as well as the less well-known ones, such as Pandan Pudding and Dragon Fruit Frappe. 

In order to create this book, renowned French photographer and author Jean-Pierre Gabriel travelled all around Thailand for three years.

What makes this more interesting is that he ensured to write it in English and Thai, featuring recipes that are genuinely authentic.

This cookbook’s opening chapters begin with a rich history of Thai food and regional variations. It has about 500 recipes ranging from straightforward snacks and drinks to curries, stir-fries, and elaborate desserts.

You may learn how to make traditional Thai foods like beef massaman curry and green papaya salad by following the uncomplicated instructions.

Ultimately, Thailand: The Cookbook is one of the best Thai cookbooks in print these days, with more than 500 recipes and is comprehensive and easy to use.

3. Thai Food by David Thompson

Thai Food by David Thompson
Highlights:Traditional and modern Thai foods
Local Thai specialties
Best For:– Those seeking a thorough understanding of Thai cuisine that includes historical and cultural details

– Home cooks with experience looking to recreate traditional Thai dishes
Approximate Price:1,310 THB – 2,030 THB
Where to Buy:Amazon

Interestingly, it took about ten projects to complete this particular Thai cookbook, ensuring utmost detail for every recipe. Thompson’s broad cookbook provides an in-depth look at Thai cooking ingredients and how they originated and evolved.

Thai Food by David Thompson stands out as a cookbook because it includes both well-known and enduring traditional Thai cuisines and lesser-known local Thai specialties.

Also, all dishes featured in the book are beautifully photographed – even lovely scenes from all throughout Thailand are included.

You’ll want to start preparing Thai food right away thanks to the clear instructions and striking illustrations.

Although it contains all the traditional recipes, this monumental work also includes hundreds of lesser-known, but no less delicious and authentic Thai dishes. 

This book will definitely encourage cooks to branch out beyond green curry chicken and Thai fish cakes!

4. Maenam: A Fresh Approach to Thai Cooking

Maenam A Fresh Approach to Thai Cooking
Highlights:Contemporary Thai cuisine
Quick Thai recipes
Best For:Adventurous cooks of all skill levels
Approximate Price:524 THB – 983 THB
Where to Buy:Amazon

In Maenam: A Fresh Approach to Thai Cooking, Chef Angus An shows his readers how to combine traditional Thai flavours and cooking methods with regional, seasonal influences from the west coast in Maenam.

As one of the most oustanding chef-restaurateurs in Vancouver, Chef Angus An pulls out all stops in writing this Meanam. Overall, this cookbook documents his ongoing exploration of Thai food, providing an informative narrative to his approach.

Maenam provides the foundation for contemporary Thai cuisine with Chef An’s simple and easy-to-follow guidelines. While the recipes may be more fit for daring cooks, the instructions are clear enough for beginner homecooks to understand.

Many readers will appreciate how this book will expand their ability to create Thai dishes, and completely transform their kitchen in the process. Even busy readers have something to enjoy, such as the quick-to-make noodles and one-bowl meals.

Other stand-out recipes in Meanam include light and hearty soups for all seasons, flavorful and protein-rich salads, spiced stir-fries, savage curries, and cool desserts.

Notably, each recipe mixes rich, intense ingredients to Chef An’s modern approach to the crisp, sharp flavours of Thai food. 

Finally, this cookbook includes 100 of his distinctive creations – a generous sharing from this flavour-driven chef.

5. Pok Pok

Pok Pok
Highlights:Recipes from Southeast Asia
Authentic Thai cuisine
Best For:Home cooks
Approximate Price:482 THB – 590 THB
Where to Buy:Amazon

The dishes in Pok Pok were created by Andy Ricker using authentic Thai recipes he learned from locals while travelling throughout Thailand.

Andy Ricker had recently reopened his Portland restaurants after closing them due to the pandemic. However, readers can replicate Thai flavours and enjoy them at home – thanks to the recipes in Pok Pok.

Pok Pok is a simple Thai cookbook for home cooks of all skill levels, with simple-to-find ingredients, clear instructions, and only 70 recipes.

Since this cookbook was written with an American audience in mind, it includes advice on where to find ingredients locally.  

While there are a few recipes from other Southeast Asian nations, like Vietnam from this book, the vast majority of its content are Thai dishes. 

Those looking for strictly Thai recipes may be let down by Pok Pok. Also, cooking Thai dishes generally requires patience because some recipes require additional preparation time.

6. It Rains Fishes

It Rains Fishes
Highlights:Traditional Thai cuisine
Best For:Those who  are interested in authentic Thai cooking while learning the background of Thai cooking culture
Approximate Price:Approximately 893 THB
Where to Buy:Amazon

It Rains Fishes is more of a guide to Thai cooking than a simple recipe book. As the subtitle suggests, the recipes found in this book interspersed with tales about the foods featured.

While this approach may seem too sentimental for some, many readers remains appreciative the the text helps explain what the cook is attempting to accomplish with each recipe.

Kasma Loha-Unchit goes out of her way to provide traditional recipes as well as the knowledge and skills necessary for you to achieve traditional taste. 

She begins by detailing all of the fundamental elements of Thai cuisine and how each one affects each dish. 

Those who follow every detail of It Rains Fishes will find their cooking abilities tested and improved.

If you find yourself trying out the recipes here, you won’t just be able to whip up a few dishes by rote after cooking a few of the options she offers. You will also have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of Thai cooking.

7. 101 Thai Dishes

101 Thai Dishes
Highlights:Classic Thai cuisine
Thai street food recipes
Plant-based versions of well-known dishes
Best For:Adventurous cooks of all skill levels
Approximate Price:328-754 THB
Where to Buy:Amazon

101 Thai Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die is filled with authentic, simple, and highly craveable recipes from culinary genius and bestselling author, Jet Tila.  

This collection of must-try Thai dishes open the world of his Thai heritage to modern home cooks. For this publication, Jet teams up with Tad Weyland Fukumoto, a longtime friend and fellow chef. 

Together, they teamed up to create delectable recipes like Street-Style Basil Pork, Glass Noodle Stir-Fry, Hung Lay Northern Pork Curry, New Thai BBQ Chicken, Fried Tilapia with Three-Flavor Sauce and many more.

It also features recipes for dishes that range from tantalising classics to well-known street foods to underappreciated heroes from across the regions. 

To welcome everyone to the table and demonstrate the variety of options available in the contemporary Thai kitchen, Jet also offers an exciting selection of plant-based versions of well-known dishes.

Overall, this informative and inclusive cookbook is a one-stop resource for learning about the rich culinary traditions of Thailand.

8. Thai Street Food

Thai Street Food
Highlights:Thai street food recipes
Best For:Best for those who have difficulty obtaining certain ingredients
Approximate Price:Approximately 1,966 THB
Where to Buy:Amazon

Thai Street Food transports you directly to Thailand’s crowded, vibrant markets and street food stalls.

The recipes featured in this book will have its readers salivating about the delectable Thai food enjoyed on the streets. And this is no small feat as Thailand is one of the top countries for the best street food.

In this cookbook, there are more than 100 recipes. Each one was written with great attention to detail, and are logically divided into the street foods eaten in the morning, noon, and evening.

There are detailed instructions and advice on how to make the dishes at home, making it a nifty resource for aspiring homecooks.

Additionally, while some Thai street food recipes take a long time to prepare, others dishes, like pad thai (made with grilled pork skewers) take less time.

Ultimately, Thai Street Food is a convenient resource, and it is best for those who don’t want to put forth the effort to obtain certain ingredients in their home cooking. 

9. The Food of Northern Thailand

The Food of Northern Thailand
Highlights:Northern Thai cuisine
Best For:Those looking for a go-to reference for northern Thai food.
Approximate Price:459 THB – 1,278 THB
Where to Buy:Amazon

The food in Northern Thailand is influenced by China, Laos, and Burma. This regional cuisine stands out because its flavours are distinct from those commonly found in Thai curry soups served at the majority of Thai restaurants in the United States.

Food of Northern Thailand is a cookbook with depth, featuring authentic recipes, and gorgeous photography – features that are most appreciated about it.

With a focus on Thai cuisine, regional ingredients, and cooking methods, each chapter focuses on each single province in Northern Thailand.

Finally, this cookbook proudly contains a wide range of recipes that will please every palate, from mild curries to extremely spicy laap.

10. Bangkok: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Thailand 

Bangkok Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Thailand
Highlights:Bangkok modern Thai cuisine
Best For:For experienced cooks wishing to explore the culinary gems of Bangkok, including its ingredients, cooking methods, and more
Approximate Price:426 THB – 1,147 THB
Where to Buy:Amazon

In this book, Leela has compiled 120 recipes for the various foods eaten in the nation’s capital in this cookbook about Bangkok.

Her passion for Bangkok is immediately apparent. In some ways, this is more than just a recipe book; it’s a love letter to the place where she was born.

Every recipe is arranged according to how Bangkok residents eat. For example, the chapters are divided into “Sweets,” “Rice Accompaniments,” and “Savory Bites.”

The exquisite photographs that accompany the carefully chosen recipes capture the essence of Bangkok.

However, this cookbook is not for newbies. This is more appropriate for people who have some prior experience preparing Thai food at home. 

Those with trouble accessing Asian markets may have some trouble with this book since some of the featured ingredients can be challenging to find.

11. Hot Thai Kitchen: Demystifying Thai Cuisine with Authentic Recipes to Make at Home

Hot Thai Kitchen Demystifying Thai Cuisine with Authentic Recipes to Make at Home
Highlights:Traditional Thai cuisine
Best For:Home cooks that wishes to explore authentic Thai flavors
Approximate Price:622 THB – 819 THB
Where to Buy:Amazon

Chef Pailin Chongchitnan received formal training from Le Cordon Bleu and fell in love with cooking at a young age.

Pailin Chongchitnant, a well-known YouTube chef, uses this cookbook to give her fans a closer look at her native country and well-liked family recipes.

Thai recipes from Hot Thai Kitchen are simple to follow. Pailin explains the essential ingredients, tools, and methods required to prepare authentic Thai food.

Thai curries, soups, salads, stir-fries, and other dishes are among her recipes. She also has entire chapters devoted to Thai dishes that are vegetarian and vegan, including delectable Thai desserts.

In this eagerly awaited cookbook, Pailin treats fans of Thai cuisine worldwide to her warm personality and impressive technique. 

She starts off by taking readers on a beautifully captured journey through Thailand to learn about the culinary traditions and fundamental ingredients of Thai cuisine. 

Pailin then breaks down the essential ingredients, flavours, tools, and techniques needed to master authentic Thai cooking with clear, simple instructions. 

The best part is, you can interact with Pailin online as well thanks to QR codes that are scattered throughout the book that lead to instructional videos.

12. The Better than Takeout Thai Cookbook

The Better than Takeout Thai Cookbook
Highlights:Quick Thai recipes
Thai favourites
100 Traditional Thai recipes
Best For:Home cooks that wishes to explore Thai restaurant’s flavours
Approximate Price:400 THB – 832 THB
Where to Buy:Amazon

The Better-than-Takeout Thai Cookbook demonstrates how to quickly prepare your pantry so that you can start cooking in under 30 minutes. 

In order to have curry paste on hand for last-minute meals, you’ll even learn how to make it from scratch. This Thai cookbook also offers helpful ingredient substitutions, serving ideas, and other information.

In this cookbook, you’ll find:

  • Quick Thai Cooking: Make flavorful meals in less than 30 minutes by stocking your pantry with a few signature ingredients.
  • A Menu of Favourites: Noodles, Soups and Salads, Curries, Seafood, and more are just a few of the chapters that will help you find the foods you’re craving.
  • 100 Recipes: Enjoy traditional restaurant fare like Pad Thai and Yellow Curry with Chicken and Potatoes, or try something different like Thai-Style Omelet or Jungle Curry.

13. Baan: Recipes and Stories from My Thai Home

Baan Recipes and Stories from My Thai Home
Highlights:Thai favourites
Traditional Thai recipes
Best For:Adventurous and experienced cooks
Approximate Price:524 THB – 981 THB
Where to Buy:Amazon

The word “baan” refers to the hearth, the home, the neighbourhood, or the place from which you are originally, and this new book by Kay Plunkett-Hogge perfectly captures that sentiment through Thai cooking.

Over the course of about 30 years of travel, Kay gathered over 120 recipes from friends, acquaintances, and street-stall vendors throughout Thailand. In which, all of the recipes were tried and tested in London.

With her concise, clear recipes and explanations of shortcuts, kitchen tricks, and ingredient swaps, Kay deconstructs the mystique surrounding Thai cuisine. 

As a result, anyone with a regular Western kitchen can make delectable, authentic Thai food.

Whether you’re making sticky white rice or steamed jasmine rice, all the secrets to perfect rice cooking are revealed in this cookbook. 

Snacks and Aharn Len, Yums, Laarps, and Tums, Soups, Stir-fried and Deep-fried, Curries, Stews, and Braises, Grilled, Steamed, and Baked, Pickles, Relishes, Dipping Sauces, as well as Drinks and Desserts, are all included in the chapters.

14.  Vegan Thai Kitchen

Vegan Thai Kitchen
Highlights:Plant-based recipes with bold flavours
Best For:Cooks that focuses more on vegan Thai cuisine
Approximate Price:328 THB – 622 THB
Where to Buy:Amazon

This cookbook introduces the 75 reimagined Thai recipes by Jansala that are intended to be filling, time-efficient, and above all, delicious. 

She offers appetisers like Tofu Satay, entrées like Spicy Basil Tempeh, curry sauces you’ll want to prepare repeatedly, and even vegan desserts like Mango Sticky Rice. 

With each recipe, Sarah teaches you how to make delicious food, but she also explains the flavours, significance, and history of Thai cuisine. 

Moreover, the Jansala mother-daughter team has condensed all of their industry and generational expertise into a single, straightforward guide to traditional Thai cuisine.

15. True Thai: The Modern Art of Thai Cooking

True Thai The Modern Art of Thai Cooking
Highlights:Thai cuisine presented in elegant way
Best For:Cooks of all levels
Approximate Price:Approximately 295 THB
Where to Buy:Amazon

True Thai is more than just a recipe book; it’s a collection of thank-you notes that demonstrate Thai food’s commitment to sensory gratification. There is even a chapter on making beautiful, many-of-them-edible Thai-style table decorations.

The 250 recipes in True Thai present Thai cuisine in an effortless and elegant way, with each recipe including helpful and interesting notes.

Notably, True Thai is the most reliable, understandable, and authentic Thai cookbook ever published in English.

True Thai is typically prepared with ingredients and equipment that you already have in your kitchen. 

Additionally, its extensive glossary of ingredients will assist you in choosing the best brands of essential Thai ingredients like coconut milk and fish sauce in addition to the freshest produce and the spices with the most flavour. 

You’ll find many Thai dishes that have already won over Americans in True Thai’s 250 recipes, including Crispy Sweet Rice Noodles (mee krob) and calming, fragrant Chicken-Coconut Soup with Siamese Ginger and LemonGrass (tom kha kai). 

Everything is here from the succulent, spice-rubbed barbecued chicken found in Thai provinces to the elaborate, time-honoured dishes served to Thailand’s royal family, like King Rama V’s Fried Rice.

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