Das (Baan) Thai Kochbuch/ The Thai Cookbook by Chainarong Toperngpong

Today’s media review is about Das (Baan) Thai Kochbuch by Chainarong F. Toperngpong (text & layout) and Gisela Goppel (illustrations) (ISBN: 978-3941087477). The second edition of this book was published in 2014 by Jacoby & Stuart, Berlin. This book is in German language, comprises 140 with colour illustrations throughout, flexible hardcover. It costs 19,95 EUR.

Das (Baan) Thai Kochbuch

In ‘Das (Baan) Thai Kochbuch / The Thai Cookbook’ the author Chainarong Toperngpong presents the reader his most popular Thai family recipes and the classic recipes of his father’s Baanthai restaurant (1982-2011) in Germany. What is more, he makes the reader familiar with Thai table manners and also shares personal, amusing and hilarious anecdotes from the Baanthai restaurant. The book is beautifully illustrated with colourful and exotic paintings by Gisela Goppel.

Das (Baan) Thai Kochbuch/ The Thai Cookbook

Cover, ‘Das (Baan) Thai Kochbuch/ The Thai Cookbook’ by Chainarong Toperngpong

Thus, the cookbook starts with an introduction (Herzlich Willkommen) and some basic information about the structure of the book and the recipes concerning portions, options for vegetarians and the glossary. The cookbook has nine main chapters which are about ‘Basic Recipes’ (Grundrezepte), ‘Soups’ (Suppen), ‘Appetizer’ (Vorspeisen), ‘Stir-Fries’ (Wokgerichte), ‘Fish & Seafood’ (Fisch & Meeresfrüchte), ‘Currys’, ‘Recipes/Menus for Families’ (Familienessen), ‘Desserts’ (Nachspeisen) and stories about the ‘Baanthai’. The book closes with a glossary, menu suggestions and an alphabetical register.

012-013 Baan Thai Kochbuch

012-013 Baan Thai Kochbuch, Thailand illustration

The first chapter about ‘Grundrezepte’ (Basic Recipes) seems to be the largest chapter of this book. It presents the most important Thai basic recipes like those for making curry pastes, dips, roasted chili powder and information about how to prepare Thai sticky rice and steamed Jasmin rice for instance. The following chapter about ‘Suppen’ (Soups) presents popular Thai soups like Tom Yam Gung (Sauer-scharfe Suppe mit Garnelen) and Tom Kha Gai (Kokossuppe mit Hühnerbrust und Galgant). These are all time favourite soups among Thai people as well as Westerners.

070-071 Baan Thai Kochbuch

070-071 Baan Thai Kochbuch, Hoi Pad Samun Prai recipe

The next chapter about ‘Vorspeisen’ (Appetizer) presents recipes for preparing well-known and loved Thai snacks and appetizers like Tord Man Pla (Thailändische Fischtaler), spring rolls, glassnoodle salad and green papaya salad (Som Tam), for example.The following three chapters about ‘Wokgerichte’ (Stir-Fries), ‘Fisch und Meeresfrüchte’ (Fish & Seafood) and ‘Currys’ sum up the essence of Thai cuisine and also point out the importance of seafood and different kinds of curries in Thailand.

102-103 Baan Thai Kochbuch

102-103 Baan Thai Kochbuch, Gluai Tood recipe

The chapter ‘Familienessen’ introduces recipes for ‘families’ and is the most interesting section in my view. These are the author’s most beloved Thai family recipes and are those Thai dishes that the Baanthai restaurant staff liked to eat. These were recipes that were not included in the restaurant’s menu. Hence, some of these recipes might appear unfamiliar and exotic. An example is ‘Muu Palo’ (Schweinshaxe Thai-Art) which is Thai style pork leg. The author points out that many of these dishes are of Chinese origin.

Das Baan Thai Kochbuch, Glossary

Das Baan Thai Kochbuch, Glossary

For all sweet tooths ‘Nachspeisen’ (Desserts) offers a small but mighty selection of the most popular Thai desserts like sticky rice with mango (khao niaow mamuang) and fried bananas (gluai tood). Finally, the last chapter offers personal and amusing stories about the Baanthai restaurant.

Summing up, I really like and appreciate ‘Das (Baan) Thai Kochbuch’ for several reasons. Firstly, I find it very useful that the author gives additional tipps and tricks on how to prepare the dishes. I also appreciate that he describes the preparation of the dishes concisely. Secondly, I like the selection of Thai recipes in this cookbook since they are the most popular and well-known. Finally, this cookbook seems special to me because it includes many personal experiences of the author in his father’s restaurant. Last but not least, the beautiful illustrations by Gisela Goppel are a treat to the reader’s eye 🙂

Yours, Sirinya