By Annabel Rainsford.
Turmeric Grilled Chicken, p 96.
Discover the vibrancy of Thai cuisine and learn a little culinary history inside the pages of Shayne Austin’s lively cookbook, Thai Food Sensation.
A short walk among Thailand’s streets may nearly overwhelm the senses. Among the bustling footpaths and frenzied traffic, pedestrians are tempted by the tantalizing aromas of exotic spices wafting from street food vendors. When passing by, visitors need only stop a minute to watch as a tasty treat is whipped up in minutes without any fuss. All kinds of skewered meats are turned over on smoky grills, paper thin banana pancakes are flipped and drizzled with syrups, cocktails are shaken and vegetables are tossed in sizzling woks.
Steamed Whole Baby Barramundi with chilli, garlic and lime, p 171.
From cover to cover, it is these recipes that burst from the pages with the enticing flavours known to Thailand’s traditional style cooking. Drawing inspiration from ingredients and methods honed over the course of history, Thai Food Sensation documents Thailand’s most popular and internationally loved dishes.
Not only does Thai Food Sensation share the recipes for your favourite Thai tastes - both street food delights and restaurant feasts - it delves into the history of how Thailand’s much-loved cuisine developed over time. Introducing the country as new, Thai Food Sensation maps out the regions within the country by outlining popular dishes from each area. Most of Thai cuisine is founded by a fusion of cultures, an exchange of ideas, the trade of exotic ingredients, methods and utensils used for cooking.
Pork Porridge Soup, p 66.
The Thai food we know today aims for a balance of elements; sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours and a harmony of textures which are considered equally important essentials to every dish. When a dish is done right, the result is a mouth-watering experience to be remembered. Follow Shayne’s guidance and experience this for yourself in dishes like the steamed whole baby barramundi with chilli, garlic and lime, served with tangy garnishes and sides and chow down on easy street food snacks like turmeric grilled chicken spiced to tingle the taste buds. Find familiarity with basic ingredients like fried garlic, roasted chillies, Adjard syrup and sticky rice and try your hand at creating Thai relishes and dipping sauces. Shayne considers these recipes to be the very soul of Thai cookery, adding texture, taste, vibrancy and spice to a dish and providing an irresistible depth to every bite. A treat for readers, Shayne even shares the recipe for his favourite breakfast dish, Jok, a pork porridge soup with ginger, black pepper and soy sauce with a soft boiled egg on top that can be commonly found in early opening restaurants across the country.
For a taste of Thailand’s street food without the tickets to travel, be sure to get your hands on a copy of Thai Food Sensation and get started on your culinary adventure.
Images and recipes extracted from Thai Food Sensation by Shayne Austin, Published by New Holland Publishers.