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Simple Thai Food


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Thai takeout meets authentic, regional flavors in this collection of recipes for accessible, economical Thai classics-from the rising star behind the blog She Simmers.

Table of Contents


Noshes and Nibbles (khong wang)
Sweet Potato Fritters with Peanut-Sweet Chile Sauce
Pineapple with Sweet Peanut-Chicken Topping (Galloping Horses)
Crispy Dumplings (Gold Purses)
Pork Satay
Herb-Baked Cashews
Fried Spring Rolls
Leaf-Wrapped Salad Bites
Pork Toast with Cucumber Relish
Fish Sauce-Marinated Fresh Shrimp with Spicy Lime Dressing (Naked Shrimp)
Corn Fritters

Rice Accompaniments (kap khao)
Stir-Fried and Deep-Fried Dishes
Chicken-Ginger Stir-Fry
Stir-Fried Pumpkin with Eggs
Fish Cakes with Cucumber-Peanut Relish
Stir-Fried Chicken with Chile Jam
Fried Chicken Drumsticks
Son-in-Law Eggs
Shrimp Curry Stir-Fry
Ground Pork Omelet
Stir-Fried Glass Noodles with Chicken
Crispy Wings with Three-Flavored Sauce
Stuffed Egg Crepes
Stir-Fried Beef with Banana Peppers
Mushroom-Oyster Sauce Stir-Fry
Sweet-and-Sour Vegetable Stir-Fry with Chicken
Chicken-Cashew Stir-Fry
Fried Sun-Dried Beef

Fried Fish and Green Mango Salad
Spicy Grilled Beef Salad
Pork in Spicy Dressing with Iced Broccoli Stems
Broiled Eggplant Salad with Shrimp
Northeastern Minced Chicken Salad
Glass Noodle Salad
Green Papaya Salad
Mixed Fruit Salad, Som Tam Style
Herbal Salmon Salad

Clear Soup with Silken Tofu and Chicken Dumplings
Coconut-Galangal Chicken Soup
Hot-and-Sour Prawn Soup with Chile Jam
Oxtail Soup
Spicy Vegetable Soup with Shrimp and Lemon Basil
Southern Hot-and-Sour Turmeric-Chicken Soup
Duck Red Curry with Pineapple and Tomatoes
Beef Green Curry with Thai Eggplants
Vegetable Sour Curry with Shrimp
Sweet Dry Curry of Pork and Long Beans
Chicken Kari "Yellow" Curry
Fish in Red Curry Sauce
Beef and Vegetable Curry, Jungle Style
Spicy Crispy Catfish with Fried Basil
Phanaeng Curry with Chicken and Kabocha Squash
Beef Shank Matsaman Curry

Shrimp-Coconut Relish with Vegetable Crudites
Fish with Lime-Chile-Garlic Dressing
Grilled Steaks with Roasted Tomato Dipping Sauce (Crying Tiger)
Curried Fish Custard
Grilled Pork Neck with Dried Chile Dipping Sauce
Turmeric Grilled Chicken

One-Plate Meals (ahan jan diao)
Noodle Dishes
Rice Noodles with Chicken and Chinese Broccoli
Pad Thai with Shrimp
Curry Noodles with Chicken
Rice Noodles with Beef and Chinese Broccoli Gravy
Rice Noodles with Beef-Tomato Gravy
Rice Noodles "Drunkard's Style" with Chicken
Egg Noodles with Clams, Chile Jam, and Basil Stir-Fry

Rice Dishes
Shrimp Paste Rice
Rice Soup with Shrimp
Chicken, Water Morning Glory, and Satay Sauce on Rice
Rice Congee with Pork Dumplings and Eggs
Chicken and Fried Garlic on Rice
Fried Rice with Chicken
Chicken in Brown Sauce on Rice
Spicy Basil Chicken and Fried Eggs on Rice

Sweets (khong wan)
Toasted-Coconut Meringue Cookies
No-Bake Almond Cookies (Golden Supreme)
Chewy Banana-Coconut Griddle Cakes
Coconut Ice Cream with Jackfruit
Bananas in Sweet Coconut Cream (Bananas in Nunhood)
Pineapple in Scented Iced Syrup
Crunchy-Chewy Water Chestnut Dumplings in Iced Coconut Syrup
Mango and Sweet Coconut Sticky Rice
Pumpkin Custard
Sticky Rice Pearls in Sweet Coconut Cream with Poached Eggs

Basic Recipes and Preparations (sut phuenthan)
Long-Grain White Rice
Steamed Glutinous Rice
Homemade Tamarind Pulp
Coconut Milk from Scratch
Curry Paste from Scratch
Basic Aromatic Paste
Curry Powder
Red Chile Powder
Toasted Rice Powder
Fried Shallots and Fried Shallot Oil
Chile Jam
Fried Garlic and Fried Garlic Oil
Sriracha Sauce
Sweet Chile Sauce
Satay Sauce
Dried Chile Dipping Sauce
Cucumber Relish
Vinegar with Pickled Chiles
Chile Fish Sauce
Crispy Fried Eggs
Medium-Boiled Eggs

Ingredients Glossary
Note on the Romanization of Thai Words
Mail-Order Sources
Measurement Conversion Charts

About the Author

LEELA PUNYARATABANDHU grew up in a traditional Thai home in the heart of Bangkok where cooking was taken very seriously. Leela created the cooking blogShe Simmers, and her writing has appeared in CNNGo, a website on Asian travel destinations by CNN International, and the award-winning food website Serious Eats. Dividing her time between Chicago and Bangkok, Leela is equally knowledgeable about Thai restaurants in the United States as in Bangkok. She has conducted numerous interviews with chefs, restaurateurs, and Thai cuisine experts in both countries.


Best Book of 2014, NPR
Best Cookbook of 2014, The Globe and Mail

Best Cookbooks of 2014-Serious Eats

Simple Thai Food
is just what folks need: a simple, easy-to-follow cookbook on a delicious cuisine (and one of my favorites!) that most people aren't used to making at home. With clear, friendly instructions and valuable tips and techniques, Leela unlocks the flavors and seasonings of real Thai cooking-spicy salads, coconut-rich soups, blazing bowls of curry, and the fiery, flavorful condiments that go alongside. Thanks to Leela, I'm excited to create these authentic Thai dishes in my own kitchen!"
-David Lebovitz, author of My Paris Kitchen

"In this compendium of favorite Thai dishes, Leela has managed to make the recipes accessible and straightforward for a home cook, and to keep them very true to what a modern Thai cook (in Thailand as well as in the West) would recognize as 'authentic.' She does offer substitutions when ingredients are more difficult to find, but they never skew far from what a Thai mom would use in her own kitchen. Leela even sneaks in a few dishes that you might not find in your local Thai restaurant, but will probably become your favorites!"
-Andy Ricker, chef/owner of the Pok Pok restaurants and author of Pok Pok

"Leela has crafted an authoritative, opinionated, and thoroughly down-to-earth collection of traditional Thai recipes, written especially for cooks who weren't lucky enough to be born in Thailand. All the basics are here, beautifully organized, from curry paste to coconut milk and beyond."
-David Tanis, author of One Good Dish

"Simple Thai Food is a beautiful snapshot of Leela's effort to stay connected to her Bangkok roots through food, and a wonderfully practical guide for those of us who want to create authentic Thai flavors at home."
-James Oseland, editor-in-chief of Saveur and author of Cradle of Flavor

"Leela re-creates her beloved taste memories, and then invites us in-offering tools, inspiration, and fresh context in equal measure. You will want these recipes for so many reasons-the craft, joy, deliciousness, backstory-and you will want (and come close to experiencing) Leela herself at your table, imparting her fine intelligence and warmth."
-Mollie Katzen, author of The Moosewood Cookbook and The Heart of the Plate

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