10 books like Thai Home Cooking from Kamolmal's Kitchen

By William Crawford, Kamolmal Pootaraksa,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Thai Home Cooking from Kamolmal's Kitchen. Shepherd is a community of 8,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Dakshin

By Chandra Padmanabhan,

Book cover of Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India

Didi Emmons Author Of Vegetarian Planet

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

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Didi's favorite books.

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.

Dakshin

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…


Simple Art of Vietnamese Cooking

By Binh Duong, Marcia Kiesel,

Book cover of Simple Art of Vietnamese Cooking

Didi Emmons Author Of Vegetarian Planet

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

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Didi's favorite books.

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.

Simple Art of Vietnamese Cooking

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


Bangkok

By Leela Punyaratabandhu,

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 the list on best international cookbooks for both culture and food.

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Felicia's favorite books.

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.

Bangkok

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…


Hawker Fare

By James Syhabout, John Birdsall,

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 the list on Lao cuisine and food culture.

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Natacha's favorite books.

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…

Hawker Fare

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…


Magic Bean

By Matthew Roth,

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 the list on the meat industry.

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Chloe's favorite books.

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.

Magic Bean

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…


Slavery, Bondage, and Dependency in Southeast Asia

By Anthony Reid (editor), Jennifer Brewster (editor),

Book cover of Slavery, Bondage, and Dependency in Southeast Asia

Ulbe Bosma Author Of The Making of a Periphery: How Island Southeast Asia Became a Mass Exporter of Labor

From the list on slavery in Asia.

Who am I?

I find it crucially important that we acknowledge that slavery is a global phenomenon that still exists this very day. Dutch historians like me have an obligation to show that the Dutch East India Company, called the world’s first multinational, was a major slave trader and employer of slavery. I am also personally involved in this endeavour as I am one of the leaders of the “Exploring the Slave Trade in Asia” project, an international consortium that brings together knowledge on this subject, and is currently a slave trade in Asia database.

Ulbe's book list on slavery in Asia

Discover why each book is one of Ulbe's favorite books.

Why did Ulbe love this book?

This book became the starting point for many publications on slavery in Southeast Asia. It is a collection of essays that not only provides us with an overview of the entire region over the past 700 years but also suggests how we can study the multifarious forms of slavery and bondage in the region in a comparative manner. Although almost forty years old it is still indispensable reading for any course on slavery in Southeast Asia, including my own course.

The Beach

By Alex Garland,

Book cover of The Beach

Lacie Waldon Author Of The Layover

From the list on a romantic getaway without leaving the couch.

Who am I?

I grew up reading about so many incredible places that I knew by the age of eight that I wanted to be a flight attendant one day. It was the only job I could think of that would allow me to explore every part of the world. And it has. I’ve been flying for seventeen years, and my wanderlust is still holding strong. If I’m not going on an adventure, I’m writing or reading about one. And, thanks to great authors who have created even greater characters, I never travel alone. 

Lacie's book list on a romantic getaway without leaving the couch

Discover why each book is one of Lacie's favorite books.

Why did Lacie love this book?

This is the only book on the list that’s not actually a romance. There is romance in it, though, so I think it counts. Regardless, I love this book and will always recommend it. I just happened to read it before I did my first big backpacking trip alone, and it totally influenced the way I approached those three months. In the book, the main character is obsessed with not just being a tourist but really experiencing the world in an adventurous way. It’s been years since I read it, and I still think about it all the time. If I was stranded on a deserted island and could only have one book with me, it would be this one. 

The Beach

By Alex Garland,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Beach as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On Richard's first night in Bangkok, a fellow traveller slits his wrists, leaving Richard a map to "the Beach", where white sands circle a lagoon hidden from the sea, coral gardens and freshwater falls are surrounded by jungle. Richard was looking for adventure, and now he has found it.


A Fortune-Teller Told Me

By Tiziano Terzani,

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 the list on far-flung places and times.

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Idanna's favorite books.

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.

A Fortune-Teller Told Me

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…


Three Came Home

By Agnes Keith,

Book cover of Three Came Home

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

From the list on 20th Century Borneo.

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Judith's favorite books.

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.”

Three Came Home

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,…


A Dragon Apparent

By Norman Lewis,

Book cover of A Dragon Apparent: Travels in Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam

Tom Vater Author Of The Man With The Golden Mind

From the list on Laos and the CIA's covert war there.

Who am I?

I’m a writer and journalist with an eye on South and Southeast Asia. I first visited beautiful, land-locked, and sleepy Laos in 2000, as the country reluctantly reemerged from post-revolutionary isolation. I researched and co-wrote The Most Secret Place on Earth, a feature documentary on how the CIA created a clandestine army to fight Laotian and Vietnamese communists, rigged elections, and eventually destroyed much of the country with carpet bombing. This slice of secret history forms the narrative backbone of my novel. The Man with the Golden Mind is a spy thriller, as well as an ode to one of the most isolated countries in the world.

Tom's book list on Laos and the CIA's covert war there

Discover why each book is one of Tom's favorite books.

Why did Tom love this book?

This classic travel book, first published in 1951, is said to have inspired Graham Greene to travel to Vietnam and to write The Quiet American, the greatest piece of fiction on white men in Southeast Asia. It is also a charming and charmed eyewitness account of the dying days of the French colonial occupation of Indochina which makes A Dragon Apparent a document so much of its time that readers might it find quaint, patronizing, and perhaps a little racist. The locals don’t come away very well but neither does the author who barely speaks to them. That said, Lewis’ observations of Luang Prabang are worth revisiting.

A Dragon Apparent

By Norman Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

a poignant description of Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam in 1950, with all their beauty, gentleness, grandeur and intricate political balance intact - Restores this lost world, like a phoenix, from the ashes of the Vietnam war and its aftermath - shows the Vietnamese guerilla movement in its infancy, ranged against the French colonial powers, and the early affects of imported Western materialism - a best-seller when first published, and venerated by all the Saigon-based war correspondents in the '70s - inspired Graham Greene to go to Vietnam and write The Quiet American


5 book lists we think you will like!

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