Hot Thai Kitchen - Pailin Chongchitnant | Cookbook Review

Pages: 246, Paperback
Publication date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Appetite by Random House
How I got the copy: by the publisher
Rating:  4/5 stars

The definitive Thai cookbook from a YouTube star!
Growing up in Thailand, Pailin Chongchitnant spent her childhood with the kitchen as her playground. From a young age, she would linger by the stove, taking in the sight of snowy white coconut being shredded, the smell of lemongrass-infused soups, and the sound of the pestle pounding against the granite mortar.

Years later, as a Cordon Bleu–educated chef in San Francisco, Pailin vividly remembered the culinary experiences of her youth. And so, on YouTube, Hot Thai Kitchen was born. Combining her love of teaching with her devotion to Thai food, Pailin immediately connected with thousands of fans who wanted a friend and educator.

In this much-anticipated cookbook, Pailin brings her signature warmth and impressive technique to Thai food lovers everywhere. She begins by taking readers on a beautifully photographed trip to Thailand to explore the culinary culture and building blocks central to Thai food. With foolproof and easy-to-follow instructions, Pailin breaks down the key ingredients, flavours, equipment, and techniques necessary to master authentic Thai cooking. Then, she shares her must-make recipes for curries, soups, salads, and stir-fries, including entire chapters on vegetarian and vegan dishes, dips and dipping sauces, and sumptuous Thai desserts. With QR codes to video tutorials placed throughout the book, you’ll be able to connect with Pailin online, too.

Both a definitive resource and an extraordinary exploration of Thai cuisine, Hot Thai Kitchen will delight and inspire you in your Thai cooking journey.

Hot Thai Kitchen is a very beautiful visual cookbook, as most are, and focuses on authentic Thai cuisines to make at home. The organization of this cookbook is very clear and straight-forward, which helps understand and follow each recipe. The cookbook dives into the basics of cooking and also the understanding of Thai cuisines. 

There are so many "how-to's" in this cookbook that aren't recipes that help understand the meaning and culture of Thai cuisines such as, Thai dining etiquette, constructing a well-balanced Thai meal, how it's different from other dishes, condiments, alcoholic beverage pairings, different regional Thai foods, the difference of "authentic" and "traditional", getting over the fear of ethnic cuisines and learning about Thai ingredients. There are so many additional features included in this cookbook that makes cooking a Thai meal a cultural learning experience. 

A great touch included throughout the cookbook are QR codes to videos Pailin has created about similar or relating recipes. I think this is great for additional help and I haven't seen it done before, which is a refreshing touch, then again I haven't looked at many cookbooks.

The only downside to the cookbook, in my opinion, is that it's focuses on cooking a lot of different meats. I shouldn't be surprised since it's an authentic Thai cuisine cookbook but I appreciate the alternatives it includes for vegetarians and vegans, and the vegetarian and vegan section even though it's very small.

Before reviewing this cookbook I wasn't aware of Pailin being a "YouTube star".

If you're interested in learning more about Hot Thai Kitchen check out Pailin's website and for some free recipes check out her YouTube Channel. But be sure to check out some vegetarian or vegan recipes options instead!


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