The Best Thai Cookbooks. Bring Bangkok home with you.

Thailand is so much more than traffic light coloured curry. Some ingredients can be tough to come by but no where near the number of places like China. Personally, we love taking ideas from Thai cuisine and using them to change up our favourite dishes. Dauphinois potatoes with Thai aromatics or risotto made with green curry paste as a base are superb ways to mix up your home cooking with minimal effort. The best thai cookbooks will help you bring the heat and bold flavours of the backpacker paradise/general paradise of Thailand into your kitchen.

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Hot Thai Kitchen: Demystifying Thai Cuisine

In our list of the best Thai cookbooks, we should probably start with the best one. This is a clear winner for us, from the success of her YouTube channel of the same name Chongchitnant has created an excellent book of easy to follow recipes combining her Thai heritage with Cordon Bleu skills. The best thing about this book are the QR codes which link to video tutorials on dishes and cooking techniques. It’s like a cookbook and cooking class in one!

Thai Food

This is probably the most complete book on Thai food in the list. With over a decade of research behind it, David Thompson’s book explores every facet of Thai cuisine. The recipes are lengthy and very involved but come with excellent insights into the ingredients and techniques of Thai cuisine. If you’re a confident cook then this could be the only Thai book you need.

The Better-than-takeout Thai Cookbook

No list of best thai cookbooks would be complete without a book to help you make your favourite takeout dishes at home for a fraction of the cost. Now we know that the takeout we love isn’t quite the same as the food served in Thailand, even if it’s only because they’ve reduced the heat for us weak Western types. This book has pretty much every dish you would find on a takeout menu and they’re all designed to be completed in 30 mins or less. What could be better?!


Pok Pok: Recipes and Stories from the Streets, Homes and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand

Possibly the longest book title ever. But Pok Pok brings Andy Ricker’s experiences in Bangkok and beyond to life as well as being loaded with superb Thai recipes with a real sense of place and culture. This is a big book, lots of it being interesting insights into the food of Thailand but the recipes are superb. You’ll need to do some serious ingredient hunting for quite a few of them so if Thai ingredients are hard to come across where you live it isn’t ideal. A fascinating book nonetheless

Thai Street Food: Authentic Recipes, Vibrant Traditions

If you know anyone who has been to Thailand they will tell you about the street food. Even people who haven’t been to Thailand will tell you about the street food. So fitting that we include a homage to Thai street food in our best Thai cookbooks. As well as being a superb collection of street food recipes it also serves as an insight into the Bangkok street food scene. With fantastic photographs, you will be able to see all that the streets of Bangkok can offer. Finding the right ingredients can be tricky at times and it’s a hefty book but since mine don’t move around much it doesn’t bother me.

Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes from the Thai Home Kitchen

Leela Punyaratabandhu is a native of Bangkok, she started out as a blogger but her passion for the food of her home has led her on to bigger things. A fantastic, genuine collection of easy recipes to please almost all palates. The only downside is there are very few vegetarian recipes, the ubiquity of fish sauce makes being vegetarian in Thailand very difficult. But a great book for the beginner and learning recipes from a native always brings great stories and understanding of the importance of the dishes too.

The Everything Thai Cookbook

We love this more modern take on Thai food. Accessible ingredients and easy to follow recipes make pretty much every one of the 300 recipes achievable to all. There aren’t any colour photos, which may put some people off but everything is nicely written and laid out that it doesn’t feel less for not having them.

Thai Slow Cooker Cookbook: Classic Thai Favourites made Simple

So this sounds insane right? Recipes for amazing Thai food that you can chuck in the slow cooker is a must have on a list of the best thai cookbooks. Most recipes require less than 30 minutes prep time, then pop them in your slow cooker, go to work and come home to your house smelling amazing and dinner already done! Is this the best thing ever? I’m not syaing it is but I’m also not saying it isn’t.

Bangkok: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Thailand

A very personal cookbook from Leela Punyaratabandhu. If you want to really understand the food of Bangkok and what it means to the people this is a fascinating read. With some cracking recipes, though more complex and needing more niche ingredients than her other book on this list, and the wonderful personal insight into the food of Bangkok it offers so much more personality than many books.

The Food of Northern Thailand

We really like a book with a more regional focus, cuisine is complex and very variable across almost all countries and drilling down in one area can give you some spectacular recipes often over-looked. Claiming to have many recipes never previously translated into English, this book takes you throught the villages of Northern Thailand and the native dishes. You’ll need access to some fairly unique ingredients to fully appreciate this book but the depth of knowledge it offers is superb.

Want more cookbook recommendations? Look no further:

Scottish Cookbooks  |  Japanese Cookbooks  |  Chinese Cookbooks  |  Thai Cookbooks  |  Spanish Cookbooks

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The Plate Unknown is an educational food blog. Here we share information about world food culture, the origin of dishes from around the world, and tips for taking a food-focused trip.  

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