54 books like Thai Home Cooking from Kamolmal's Kitchen

By William Crawford, Kamolmal Pootaraksa,

Here are 54 books that Thai Home Cooking from Kamolmal's Kitchen fans have personally recommended if you like Thai Home Cooking from Kamolmal's Kitchen. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India

Didi Emmons Author Of Vegetarian Planet

From my list on Southeast Asian cookbooks from a Chef who uses them daily.

Why am I passionate about this?

Thirty-two years ago, I got my start as a chef by cooking in a shoebox cafe in Boston that played with curious Asian ingredients. Ten years later, after using lots of Asian cookbooks, I was incorporating Thai and Vietnamese cooking into my menus at the restaurant I was running. A few years after that, I opened and ran a Vietnamese restaurant in Cambridge (unfortunately, after major success, it burned down after a year). After this, the tourism board of Malaysia sent me on a four-week trip to write about the street food for FoodArts magazine. It is these experiences that greatly influenced my interest in Southeast Asian cooking.

Didi's book list on Southeast Asian cookbooks from a Chef who uses them daily

Didi Emmons Why did Didi love this book?

This is a glossy cookbook published first in India and then in 1994 by an Australian division of Harper Collins. I’ve made many, many recipes in this book and it’s opened my eyes to the meat-free, texturally complex cuisine of South India. The careful but dynamic mix of ingredients such as mustard seeds, curry leaves, dried coconut, dal, and cumin seeds used in tempering dishes brings the food to life. I recommend this book to the curious and adventuresome home cook who enjoys shopping at Indian markets. The recipes are solid and for the most part easy once you become familiar with its cuisine and techniques.

By Chandra Padmanabhan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dakshin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Dakshin" in an ancient Sanskrit word meaning "south." It symbolizes what this Indian cookbook is all about - the best and most delicious of South Indian vegetarian cuisine.

Filled with tempting recipes and beautiful photographs, Dakshin: Vegetarian Cooking from South India presents the finest cooking from the region. Drawn from the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh, and the union territory of Pondicherry, the recipes in this vegetarian cookbook bring traditional South Indian cooking within reach of any cook in any kitchen.

From sambars and rasams, to cooling desserts and sweet treats, Dakshin takes you through the…


Book cover of Simple Art of Vietnamese Cooking

Didi Emmons Author Of Vegetarian Planet

From my list on Southeast Asian cookbooks from a Chef who uses them daily.

Why am I passionate about this?

Thirty-two years ago, I got my start as a chef by cooking in a shoebox cafe in Boston that played with curious Asian ingredients. Ten years later, after using lots of Asian cookbooks, I was incorporating Thai and Vietnamese cooking into my menus at the restaurant I was running. A few years after that, I opened and ran a Vietnamese restaurant in Cambridge (unfortunately, after major success, it burned down after a year). After this, the tourism board of Malaysia sent me on a four-week trip to write about the street food for FoodArts magazine. It is these experiences that greatly influenced my interest in Southeast Asian cooking.

Didi's book list on Southeast Asian cookbooks from a Chef who uses them daily

Didi Emmons Why did Didi love this book?

This book is written by Binh Duong, the owner and chef of a Vietnamese restaurant in Hartford, CT, and Marcia Kiesel, who was a food and wine magazine journalist and tester. I once opened and ran a popular pho restaurant in Cambridge and I relied heavily, almost fully, on this cookbook. Its recipes are almost never off-tune (and I highly recommend the dipping sauces and condiments chapter). Its recipes are easy to follow and every detail is clearly spelled out. Some ingredients may be foreign (tree ears, tiger lily buds) but nothing a decent Asian market would not have.

By Binh Duong, Marcia Kiesel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Simple Art of Vietnamese Cooking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The author shares his secrets to cooking such Vietnamese dishes as Coral Lobster, Hanoi Soup, Happy Pancakes, and Sweet Potato Nests with Shrimp


Book cover of Bangkok: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Thailand

Felicia Campbell Author Of The Food of Oman: Recipes and Stories from the Gateway to Arabia

From my list on best international cookbooks for both culture and food.

Why am I passionate about this?

Felicia Campbell is a food writer, editor, and author of The Food of Oman: Stories and Recipes from the Gateway to Arabia, the first English-language cookbook on Omani cuisine. She earned her masters degree in culinary anthropology from New York University with a specialization in Middle Eastern foodways. She has lectured on Omani food and food in zones of conflict at the Smithsonian Institute, Leiden University, New York University, and Arizona State University. She is currently developing a documentary series about endangered cuisines around the world. 

Felicia's book list on best international cookbooks for both culture and food

Felicia Campbell Why did Felicia love this book?

Leela Punyaratabandhu doesn’t dumb things down in her cookbook, which is an ode to the city of her birth. Hers are Bangkok-style Thai dishes as they are cooked in Thailand. Through it we learn not only how to caramelize beef using jaggery (an unprocessed sugar), but also how to pair it with deeply savory and spicy dishes for a meal that harmonizes contrasting flavors and textures. The suggested meals in her book require cooking sets of dishes, often four or more. While not the makings of an easy weeknight dinner, if you follow her instructions, the results are truly transportive.

By Leela Punyaratabandhu,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bangkok as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From one of the most respected authorities on Thai cooking comes this beautiful and deeply personal ode to Bangkok, the top-ranked travel destination in the world.

WINNER OF THE ART OF EATING PRIZE

Every year, more than 16 million visitors flock to Thailand’s capital city, and leave transfixed by the vibrant culture and unforgettable food they encounter along the way. Thai cuisine is more popular today than ever, yet there is no book that chronicles the real food that Thai people eat every day—until now.

In Bangkok, award-winning author Leela Punyaratabandhu offers 120 recipes that capture the true spirit of…


Book cover of Hawker Fare: Stories & Recipes from a Refugee Chef's Isan Thai & Lao Roots

Natacha Du Pont de Bie Author Of Ant Egg Soup: The Adventures Of A Food Tourist In Laos

From my list on Lao cuisine and food culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by Lao Food for more than two decades. When I first went to Laos, the communist regime had closed the country for years but the isolation had kept the food culture in stasis, uncontaminated by outside influences. It was virtually unknown outside the regional area and deserved to be better known and celebrated. Lao cuisine is a remarkable synthesis of a thousand years of history, culture, and, as the French would say ‘terroir’, that unique context of land and farming practice that results in regional flavour. I love that authentic food, and I admire the beautiful country, and the friends I have made in my exploration of both. 

Natacha's book list on Lao cuisine and food culture

Natacha Du Pont de Bie Why did Natacha love this book?

Many children of Lao refugees, who fled the communist take-over in the ’70s, are now coming of age and sharing their take on Lao cooking across the globe. Hawkers Fare details the story of James Syhabout who earned his spurs as a chef at hallowed restaurants such as The Fat Duck and El Bulli before opening his own Commis in Oakland and gaining two Michelin stars of his own.

Though known for fine dining this book is a homage to his Lao roots and his journey of discovery into his origins as the son of refugees who came to the US with nothing but their ability to work hard. He tells their story and returns to Laos himself where he picks up the flavours of his mother’s homeland with the scrupulous nose of a super-chef. It includes recipes that are both authentic but, unusually, measured out with pinpoint accuracy in…

By James Syhabout, John Birdsall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hawker Fare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From chef James Syhabout of two–Michelin-star restaurant Commis, an Asian-American cookbook like no other—simple recipes for cooking home-style Thai and Lao dishes

James Syhabout’s hugely popular Hawker Fare restaurant in San Francisco is the product of his unique family history and diverse career experience. Born into two distinct but related Asian cultures—from his mother’s ancestral village in Isan, Thailand’s northeast region, and his father’s home in Pakse, Laos—he and his family landed in Oakland in 1981 in a community of other refugees from the Vietnam War. Syhabout at first turned away from the food of his heritage to work in…


Book cover of Magic Bean: The Rise of Soy in America

Chloe Sorvino Author Of Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed, and the Fight for the Future of Meat

From my list on the meat industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an investigative journalist who focuses on the intersection of finance, wealth accounting, and climate change. I head up food and agriculture coverage at Forbes, and have been reporting on the wealth and power hiding within the food industry for nearly a decade. I’ve been called a billionaire whisperer, and have a knack for getting folks to talk. Based in New York City, I’m a member of a Lower East Side community-supported agriculture share and keep composting worms on my terrace garden. 

Chloe's book list on the meat industry

Chloe Sorvino Why did Chloe love this book?

Livestock eat a lot of corn and soy, and Matthew David Roth shares the detailed history of how industry fueled that rise over only a few decades. I found the primary documents and deep research Roth cites to be illuminating. I write about how monoculture like commodity soy has had devastating impacts on the soil and waterways across the U.S. This book was key to my research because it’s so important to understand how we got here.

By Matthew Roth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Magic Bean as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the turn of the twentieth century, soybeans grew on so little of America's land that nobody bothered to track the total. By the year 2000, they covered upward of 70 million acres, second only to corn, and had become the nation's largest cash crop. How this little-known Chinese transplant, initially grown chiefly for forage, turned into a ubiquitous component of American farming, culture, and cuisine is the story Matthew Roth tells in Magic Bean: The Rise of Soy in America.

The soybean's journey from one continent into the heart of another was by no means assured or predictable. In…


Book cover of A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East

Idanna Pucci Author Of The Lady of Sing Sing: An American Countess, an Italian Immigrant, and Their Epic Battle for Justice in New York's Gilded Age

From my list on far-flung places and times.

Why am I passionate about this?

Early in life, I felt the presence of a “guardian angel” who would take my hand and accompany my mind to imagine distant cultures. I grew up in Florence, and in our history, there were so many tales of people coming from afar, and of Florentines traveling across deserts and oceans. And as time passed, I would be drawn to beautifully written true stories which opened windows onto different epochs and dramas of life in both near and far-flung places of the world.

Idanna's book list on far-flung places and times

Idanna Pucci Why did Idanna love this book?

Warned by a Hong-Kong fortune-teller not to risk flying for a whole year, the author – a vastly experienced Far East war and revolutions correspondent of the German Der Spiegel – took what he called “the first step into an unknown world.” It turned out to be one of the most extraordinary years he ever spent: he was marked by death and instead he was reborn. Geography expanded under his feet. Magnificently written in the best traditions of travel literature. A full immersion into the invisible world and belief systems that shape Southeast Asian cultures.

By Tiziano Terzani,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Fortune-Teller Told Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Warned by a fortune-teller not to risk flying, the author - a seasoned correspondent - took to travelling by rail, road and sea. Consulting fortune-tellers and shamans wherever he went, he learnt to understand and respect older ways of life and beliefs now threatened by the crasser forms of Western modernity.

William Shawcross in the Literary Review praised Terzani for 'his beautifully written adventure story... a voyage of self-discovery... He sees fortune-tellers, soothsayers, astrologers, chiromancers, seers, shamans, magicians, palmists, frauds, men and women of god (many gods) all over Asia and in Europe too... Almost every page and every story…


Book cover of Three Came Home

Judith M. Heimann Author Of The Most Offending Soul Alive: Tom Harrisson and His Remarkable Life

From my list on 20th Century Borneo.

Why am I passionate about this?

Judith M. Heimann grew up in New York City, where her father and both his brothers were newspapermen. She lived in Borneo in the mid-1960s with her American diplomat husband John Heimann, and their school-age children. In Borneo, she made lifelong friends of Tom Harrisson, his then-wife Barbara, and indigenous people she later wrote about. After a career in Europe, Asia, and Africa, as a US diplomat alongside her husband, in retirement she became a nonfiction writer and went back to Borneo several times to research her books, help on tv documentaries, and celebrate anniversaries of important wartime dates there; she still remembers the names of the people, the songs, the carvings and paintings, and especially the way the local people met her and her family more than halfway. 

Judith's book list on 20th Century Borneo

Judith M. Heimann Why did Judith love this book?

Again, it’s Agnes Keith, but this time using her gentle voice to describe the trials that she, her husband, and their son and their neighbors and friends endured during their stays in Japanese World War II prison camps in tropical Borneo. One critic wonderingly comments about this book that it “records but never renders pain, observes human nature but never attacks any individual” and concludes “the author’s writing is restrained and touching.”

By Agnes Keith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Three Came Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the Japanese take Borneo in 1942, Agnes Keith is captured and imprisoned with her two-year-old son. Fed on minimal rations, forced to work through recurrent bouts of malaria and fighting with rats for scraps of food, Agnes Keith's spirit never completely dies. Keeping notes on scraps of paper which she hides in her son's home-made toys or buries in tins, she records a mother's pain at watching her child go hungry and her poignant pride in his development within these strange confines. She also describes her captors in all their complexity. Colonel Suga, the camp commander, is an intelligent,…


Book cover of Rivers of Iron: Railroads and Chinese Power in Southeast Asia

Brantly Womack Author Of China and Vietnam: The Politics of Asymmetry

From my list on China perspectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

Where you sit determines what you see. China is complex, and so it pays to move around and view it from as many perspectives as possible. My view of China is formed by visits to all of its 31 provinces and to most of its neighbors.  A professor of foreign affairs at the University of Virginia, I have taught and written about Chinese politics for the past forty years, and I have worked with Chinese universities and scholars. This list suggests some excellent books presenting different vantage points on China’s past and present.

Brantly's book list on China perspectives

Brantly Womack Why did Brantly love this book?

Two prominent aspects of China’s recent economic development are its mushrooming network of high-speed rail and its efforts to encourage infrastructure in its neighbors and beyond through the Belt and Road Initiative. The careful research of this book brings the two together. In exploring the different attitudes toward China among its southern neighbors the authors give a concrete account of how involvement is shaped by the prospects, concerns, and politics of each country. Meanwhile, it is clear that China is achieving a new centrality and connectivity in mainland Asia. What remains to be seen is whether a connected Asia is also a unified one.

By David M. Lampton, Selina Ho, Cheng-Chwee Kuik

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rivers of Iron as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What China's infamous railway initiative can teach us about global dominance.

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled what would come to be known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)-a global development strategy involving infrastructure projects and associated financing throughout the world, including Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. While the Chinese government has framed the plan as one promoting transnational connectivity, critics and security experts see it as part of a larger strategy to achieve global dominance. Rivers of Iron examines one aspect of President Xi Jinping's "New Era": China's effort to create an intercountry…


Book cover of Rewriting Adam

N. MacCameron Author Of Leoshine, Princess Oracle

From my list on combining science fiction with fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love knowing about things. Science is both a knowledge base and a way to discover new knowledge. I’ve been looking through microscopes and telescopes (that my dad built) from my earliest toddling. Though I have never been to university I have picked the brains of my scientific siblings (one of whom is a biology professor) and I read widely. Gathering crumbs from many sources gives a wider knowledge base than one university child afford. Scientists begin with speculation. I love inventing systems and worlds where we break one or a few of our known laws of nature or physics. Marrying science with fantasy births marvelous offspring!

N.'s book list on combining science fiction with fantasy

N. MacCameron Why did N. love this book?

Lost, confused, and feeling the victim, Ethan visits Thailand. He falls down a sinkhole into an alternate reality. Even more lost among really weird people, feeling even more confused and victimized, he learns the true meaning of life. But can he get back to live his real life?

Who hasn’t tumbled into Ethan’s emotions? We go along thinking we’re doing good and suddenly the worst happens. We didn’t deserve any of it yet we’re stuck alone and destitute in it.

Ethan meets an archaeologist who introduces him to indigenous people and their ghost stories. I love cultural studies, sociology,  archaeology, anthropology, and linguistics, all sciences represented in this story. Reality gets smudged and blurred, but love, loyalty, and forgiveness remain true and unshaken in this beautiful story of redemption.

By Connie Mae Inglis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rewriting Adam as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this debut novel from Connie Mae Inglis, readers travel with Ethan Adam on his quest to find answers to questions he has barely articulated.


All his life, Ethan's felt betrayed by the ones he's loved.


Feeling homeless, and without hope, Ethan travels from the Canadian prairies to Southeast Asia, searching for he knows not what.


When his path crosses with an archaeologist heading to an unexplored area of northern Myanmar, Ethan goes on a journey into an Edenesque world of welcoming telepathic humans, strange voices, and a cunning enemy. For what purpose? He doesn't know.


Can he figure it…


Book cover of Islam Translated: Literature, Conversion, and the Arabic Cosmopolis of South and Southeast Asia

Iris Idelson-Shein Author Of Between the Bridge and the Barricade: Jewish Translation in Early Modern Europe

From my list on translation and culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been studying Jewish translation for over a decade now. I’m fascinated with the way translation enables dialogue between different languages and cultures without eliminating the differences that make such dialogue worthwhile. Most of my work has been dedicated to translation between Christians and Jews, but I’m also interested in the ways in which translation functioned (and continues to function) within Jewish culture as a means of conversation between different communities, classes, genders, and generations. 

Iris' book list on translation and culture

Iris Idelson-Shein Why did Iris love this book?

I stumbled upon Ronit Ricci’s captivating book while finalizing my own research on early modern Jewish translation in Europe. The experience of reading this book was a little like (what I can only imagine) discovering an unknown relative on 23andme must feel like.

Ricci explores the literary networks that developed during the spread of Islam through early modern South and Southeast Asia. She shows how translators from Arabic into Javanese, Malay, and Tamil developed a remarkably creative approach to translation and how they domesticated (“localized” is her preferred term) their sources, reshaping unfamiliar concepts to resonate with their target readers.

Engaging with Ricci’s book was an uncanny experience; here, in a distant translator culture, I found fascinating parallels to the issues and concerns I encountered in my own research, often approached in surprisingly similar ways. Who would have thought that Old Yiddish and Old Javanese shared such common ground?

By Ronit Ricci,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Islam Translated as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The spread of Islam eastward into South and Southeast Asia was one of the most significant cultural shifts in world history. As it expanded into these regions, Islam was received by cultures vastly different from those in the Middle East, incorporating them into a diverse global community that stretched from India to the Philippines.

In Islam Translated, Ronit Ricci uses the Book of One Thousand Questions-from its Arabic original to its adaptations into the Javanese, Malay, and Tamil languages between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries-as a means to consider connections that linked Muslims across divides of distance and culture. Examining…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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