7 Best Thai Cookbooks and Recipe Books of All Time

We evaluate Thai recipe books based on 4 criteria, namely, authenticity, ingredient, popularity and difficulty of recipes to uncover the 7 best Thai cookbooks.

The Essence of Thai Cooking
Thai cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines in the United States and around the world. However, standard Thai food at home, street food, and food to facilitate drinking are quite expensive and hard to find in some areas when compared with Chinese food.

If you are an authentic Thai food and street food lover, grabbing some beautiful cookbooks, learn Thai recipes and how to cook Thai food at home is a good alternative to dining in a Thai restaurant. You can show your new skill to your friends and family and it's the fun-having amongst friends to cook Thai food using everyday recipes. Moreover, Thai food and Thai recipes are healthier too.

Inside the nutshell, Thai cuisine and Thai food culture are the crossroads between Indian food culture and Chinese food culture. Indian food has a very strong influence on most Thai curry dishes and Thai people adapt the stir-fry technique from Chinese cuisine.

What makes Thai food and Thai recipes so unique is the combination of 4 tastes, namely, sourness, sweetness, saltiness, and spiciness. These tastes help to create the party in your mouth or savory taste.

Finding Best Thai Cookbooks and Recipe Books
We read lots of articles about the Thai recipe book suggestions on the internet. Then, we compile the list of all highly rated Thai recipe book. Duplicate and obsolete entries are deleted.

After that, we ask a team consists of both Thai and American experts to evaluate each Thai recipe book based 4 on criteria, namely, authenticity, ingredient, the popularity of recipes and level of difficulty.

1. Authenticity: we know for the fact that some Thai recipe books are not written by Thai cooks or experts in the field. These authors are the experts in their areas (Asian Cooking Techniques) but just want to enter this market.

We can determine for sure which Thai recipe book is authentic by looking at the photos. Lots of time, the dishes don't look like Thai cuisine at all.

Some Thai recipe books contain lots of fusion version of Thai recipes, for example, "Meatballs in Curry Sauce", "Thai Crab Cakes" or "Soft Spring Rolls with Fresh Mint." These Thai recipes aren't recognized by Thai cooks anywhere in Thailand.

2. Ingredient: since many Thai ingredients for everyday recipes are not available in the United States, the Thai recipe books should explain how to substitute some ingredients and techniques to use or tell you where to find important ingredients like curry pastes or show you how to prepare some basic ingredients by yourself.

3. Popularity of Recipes: some Thai recipe books are too authentic and focus heavily on regional cuisine, which is uncommon to average Thai cooks too.

Another example is that some street food or night market delicious Thai food is popular but people don't usually cook at home.

4. Level of Difficulty: some Thai recipe book focus on royal recipes which contain difficult cooking ingredients and techniques to execute even for Thai cooks in Thailand.

Moreover, many recipes may require special equipment and tools that are not even common in the Thai kitchen.

Finally, we make the final cut based on our opinion and feedback we get from Amazon.com.

7 Best Thai Cookbooks and Recipe Books are as below:

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

  2. Hot Thai Kitchen: Demystifying Thai Cuisine with Authentic Recipes to Make at Home by Pailin Chongchitnant

  3. True Thai: Real Flavors for Every Table by Hong Thaimee

  4. Nong's Thai Kitchen: 84 Classic Recipes that are Quick, Healthy and Delicious by Nongkran Daks and Alexandra Greeley

  5. The Better Than Takeout Thai Cookbook: Favorite Thai Food Recipes Made at Home by Danette St. Onge

  6. Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand by Andy Ricker

  7. Thai Street Food: Authentic Recipes, Vibrant Traditions by David Thompson

Have you ever use Thai cookbooks and Thai recipe books on this list?

- Sunanta, Sirijit. "The globalization of Thai cuisine." Canadian Council for Southeast Asian Studies Conference, York University, Toronto. 2005.

- Salee, Marin, and Pongsak Shongpranam. "Development of standard recipes of Thai food used in traditional functions." 18. Rajamangala Institute of Technology Conference, Pathum Thani (Thailand), 15-17 Feb 2001. 2001.

Last review and update: August 18, 2018
About the Editor
Ben Benjabutr is the editor of Book Worm 4 Life. He holds a Master's Degree in business with 10+ years of work experience and 8+ years of experience in blogging and online content production. He enjoys reading books about business, lifestyle and literature and he loves to share what he learns from books. You can connect with him via Quora.