Cooking The Books 3: Thai Street Food

I’ve had lots of great eating experiences in the past couple of weeks, but I need to mentally digest them and sort through the photos. So here’s a terribly delayed post with pretty food pictures to start off the weekend instead. :)

You may remember a previous Cooking the Books post where a group of us food bloggers caught up and cooked a meal using recipes from Bill Granger’s Holiday. This post is about Cooking the Books 3, where we all cooked recipes out of Thai Street Food. (We’re already planning CTB 6, which just goes to show how far behind I am.)

Thai Street Food is another one of those books that I’ve owned for a while, but never cooked anything out of. And the reason for that is simple – the recipes look ridiculously complicated. Which probably explains why we didn’t have much food for this gathering…. by our standards, at least.

I decided to make the Chiang Mai curried noodles with chicken. Some people thought I used store bought paste for this (W T F. Do they know me at all??) but no, I actually followed the recipe in the book and made my own paste. To be honest, it wasn’t hard, though it did have a longish list of ingredients. It turned out quite well, the curry soup was tasty but fairly mild, but I’m not sure if I would make it again. I think I would’ve liked it to be punchier. Oh, and mine looked totally different to the one in the book…

Kat made both a pad thai and green papaya salad. They were both delicious and I love how she even made the red chilli flowers to garnish them with.

The other Kat made these fantastic grilled pork skewers. Check out her post for the recipe.

Thanh brought along sweet pork, which was pork belly cooked in a dark, sticky glaze. I think he should’ve tripled the portions for the recipe, we could’ve easily eaten much more. ;) Check out his post for the recipe.

Cherrie made the beef madtarbark with a cucumber relish. Check out her post for the recipe.

Shellie did the wonton and barbeque pork soup. Doesn’t it look just like a bought one in her recycled Costco wonton noodle bowls? Check out her post for the recipe.

April’s contribution was the braised pork hock with star anise. It could’ve come out of a Chinese cookbook! We thought that about most of the dishes we made – I think the Chinese section of the book had the least scary recipes!

Here’s all the food laid out. It was a very small spread for us! I blame the complexity of the recipes and the long ingredient lists.

It’s not a gathering without dessert but none of us made a recipe from the book – must’ve put it in the “too hard” basket. :) Instead, Shellie baked us an orange chiffon cake. Oh, chiffon cake, I love you! You know I hate orange and chocolate together, so I just ate the cake without the topping. It was so light and fluffy.

And Cherrie made these Filipino chiffon cakes with cheese. Cake with grated cheese on top? Sounds weird I know, but they were actually rather good. Just think of them as cheesecake. :)

If you don’t own Thai Street Food, but have been thinking about it, I hope this gives you an idea of some of the recipes in the book. The recipes look very complex with lots of ingredients, but (at least for the one I made) it just seems to be the way it’s written and laid out – it’s not that hard when you get into it. Some steps are unnecessary and can be cut out to make it even simpler ie garnishes.

It’s a huge book though, so a bit hard to cook from in that sense – it takes up far too much kitchen bench space! But it is beautiful and the photos are mouthwatering. I’m glad I own it, but I only wish I had someone else to cook the recipes for me. :p

Does anyone else have Thai Street Food and/or cooked something from it? What’s a good recipe to try?