Tommy Tang, celebrated chef and owner of Tommy Tang’s restaurants in Los Angeles and New York, shares his flair for creating unique, delectable cuisine from his native Thailand in Tommy Tang’s Modern Thai Cuisine. Here, he presents over ninety of his signature recipes, which combine elements of Japanese, Indian, American, and European dishes with traditional Thai flavor. Although the flavors may be exotic, Tommy has made his recipes as simple as can be. Most dishes require only standard utensils, and many call for ingredients easily found in supermarkets. Easy-to-follow instructional illustrations guarantee professional results, while beautiful full-color photographs help you choose the perfect recipe for your next cooking adventure.
If you love Thai food, but have always thought that it was beyond your culinary reach, Tommy Tang is here to change your mind. Let Tommy Tang’s Modern Thai Cuisine bring the joy of Thai cooking to your home.
Tommy Tang was born in Bangkok and moved to the United States in 1972. Ten years later, he opened the original Tommy Tang’s in West
Hollywood, California. When he opened a second restaurant in New York’s Tribeca area in 1986, he became America’s first bicoastal chef. Tommy also shares his expertise on
his PBS cooking show.
Cooking is an easy way to relieve stress—or at least I hear that some people say so. Who, I wonder? All I know is that cooking can be fun and entertaining; it is a way to go back to basics; and cooking at home can do a world of good for the family budget.
When was the last time you invited friends or neighbors to come over for a home-cooked meal? I can already hear the answer: Who has time? Who has the energy? It’s easier to dine out or get something delivered. Sure, restaurants and takeout are convenient—but who ever said that convenience is better for you? Even if you can afford to dine out every night, that’s not the point.
You won’t have to rush out to buy special utensils to prepare my modern Thai cuisine. Use whatever pots and pans you already have in the kitchen; I don’t even use a wok myself. Consider this book a set of simple guidelines, and don’t be afraid to substitute other ingredients wherever you wish. Trial and error will make you an expert on Thai cooking and will allow you to create your own new dishes.
As you’ll readily see in thumbing through the recipes, I use a number of ingredients that are not indigenous to Thailand’s cooking, preferring to mix the best of East and West into my own lighter, simpler, and more versatile cuisine. Such ingredients as rosemary, arugula, cream, pine nuts, and olive oil do not belong to the standard Thai repertoire, but I find that they enhance it immediately. Additions like these put my own personal stamp on the recipes, not to mention making them uniquely delicious. And ingredients that may be unfamiliar are defined in the Glossary, which precedes the recipes.
You will also notice that I have not included any desserts in this book. Plenty of cookbooks have great dessert recipes, and I wanted to give all the space I had to presenting my own Thai cuisine. Nothing makes a better dessert for a Thai meal than a tempting bowl of fresh fruit (the more exotic, the better), but if you know of a terrific patisserie, who’s to say no?
Now that you’ve bought this cookbook, don’t let it sit on the shelf. I really want to encourage you to use it. The recipes are easy to follow, and it’s especially enjoyable to let others participate in preparing the meal. You’ll get to know your friends—even your mate—better if you cook together; you will find that you talk about things that wouldn’t otherwise come up, and it will make you closer. Invite your parents over for a meal; this is a pleasure that money can’t buy.
One thing I deeply regret is that I will never again be able to prepare a meal for my own mom. I urge you not to have the same regrets. Enjoy cooking for your family; forget about convenience; spend more time in the kitchen and create some great meals. Bon appétit.
Please note: All recipes in this book serve 4 people, unless otherwise indicated. You can double the recipe to serve 8, or halve it to serve 2.