Review of Busaba, Bangkok Thai Cookbook
I take a peek at Busaba - the new book all about Thai cooking - and make a pretty serious aromatic Thai Yellow Curry from scratch. Scroll on for all the deets.
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I was emailed to see if I'd like to try a new book that was coming out, called Busaba. But don't for one minute think that it's just red and green Thai curries and maybe a bit of pad Thai. This is truly modern Thai cooking, brought to you by the restaurant chain Busaba, which has 13 restaurants in London.
It's split into 5 main chapters - Street, Feast, Fresh, Sweet and Bar. In Street, there are some gorgeous twists on fried rice, dumplings, wings and omelette. In Feast, you'll find main meals - curries, stir-fries, burgers and treats like slow cooked pork belly, all with a Thai twist. Flick over to Fresh and you'll find loads of side dishes and salads - squid and mango; Yam Pak with Chicken and Hot and Sour Pork Salad. Sweets - obviously desserts. Rice puddings, sorbets, ice cream and banana wontons. And then the Bar section is snacks and drinks. Sugar and Spice Roasted Cashews, Matchstick Chicken Dips and Ginger and Mint Iced Jasmine Tea.
I LOVE the photography - it's bright and colourful and recipe shots are interspersed with shots of Thailand street vendors, and markets adding to the theme of the book. The cover is wood effect, textured with a gold disc in the centre showcasing the title. The book screams luxury but also authenticity.
The book doesn't cater for specific diets - but it does mark recipes as vegetarian, vegan, nut free or gluten free. Quite often you can scan through the recipes and make your own subs or leave out potential trigger foods if you need to (coconut aminos vs soy sauce, for example). A chilli icon gives you a hint as to how spicy it is, too.
I decided to make the Aromatic Spiced Chicken Curry, on page 126 of the book. It was easy to follow, didn't use every pan I had in the house (a bonus) and was only a little bit spicy - much less than I expected. The kids loved it, too, with some fluffy Jasmine rice and a tangle of crispy-fried shallots on top.
Some of the ingredients in the book you'll perhaps struggle to get hold of, depending on where you live - but switch them out for something you can, or you'll probably be OK with sourcing it all from a large-ish supermarket.
If you're a fan of Thai cookery, you're going to love it. It has the potential to increase your repertoire of Thai cooking, and venture, if you haven't already, into the world of steamed buns, wontons and stuffed crab.
You can find out more about the book here, on Amazon.
Have you tried anything from the book? Let me know what you think in the comments below.