Real Vegetarian Thai by Nancie McDermott Review
Real Vegetarian Thai - The Thai Vegetarian cookbook by Nancie McDermott has made Thai cooking a lot simpler for vegetarians who have always struggled to make meatless Thai food. McDermott has fashioned an Eastern cookbook with a Western eye, taking the ambiguity out of this delicious cuisine. Recipes are categorized along well-known lines, exotic ingredients are described in a glossary and sources listed, curious techniques (from opening a coconut to roasting chillis) are entirely explained. This cookbook is very useful indeed: there's even a bibliography and a list of menu ideas, you can change the amount of heat in a dish to taste and she is not too high and mighty to suggest substitutes, such as ginger if galanga is unavailable. The presentation is clear and simple to follow, and there are many appealing tales about McDermott's travels in Thailand and the conventional Thai way of life.
The recipes are creative, healthy, uncomplicated to make, and they work brilliantly. Many of them are vegan, and adjustments are usually suggested for those which are not. A "Basic Recipes" section gives recipes for vitals such as the different curry pastes, roasted chili paste, vegetable stock, and "mushroom mince" (which she has created to swap minced meat in traditional recipes).
This book has a wide variety of great recipes for just about any palate. There are a couple of downsides to the book, it stresses quite a bit on using "fresh" ingredients which can sometimes be hard to find. Also, there maybe a few recipes that a novice may find a little little intimidating and complicated. However, if you just learn how to use some atlernatives, the dish will turn out just fine. For instance, Cumin powder can work just as well as cumin seeds. Essentially, once you take the time to prepare a few of the "staple" ingredients in this book (red and green curry paste are necessary), you can make just about anything in here quickly and inexpensively. And it's tasty! You are going to love the look on your friend’s faces when they taste some of the dishes in this book. If you want to do something different, and you're a bit artistic, this book is for you.
Some examples of recipes included are:
Crispy spring rolls with sweet and hot garlic sauce
Green papaya salad
Jasmine rice soup with mushrooms, green onions and crispy garlic
Red curry with eggplant and sweet peppers
Butternut squash in fresh green curry
Coconut ice cream
Thai iced tea
This Vegetarian Thai Cookbook is one of the best out there. The recipes are not just vegetarian and vegan friendly they also won’t leave a meat eater feeling deprived either. The ingredients are simple to find, the recipes effortless to make, and the results are stunning.
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