Important Note: When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Content, pricing, offers and availability are subject to change at any time - more info.
- Thai Food by David Thompson is considered the ultimate resource for any cook serious about Thai cuisine. It’s print only but worth it. Hot Thai Kitchen, 101 Thai Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die, and Pok Pok, however, come close in sheer popularity.
- If you’re a vegetarian, empower your cooking know-how with Simply Vegetarian Thai Cooking by Nancy McDermott, while strict vegans can’t afford to overlook Vegan Thai Kitchen by Sarah Jansala.
- Look no further than Maenam, Kiin, and Night + Market for some of the best food photography to grace the industry.
Whether you’re in the mood for better-tasting pad thai than any restaurant has delivered, or something more exotic like the fermented pork delicacy sai grok isaan, we’ve got the perfect cookbook waiting in our review of the best Thai cookbooks to inspire and learn from. There’s nothing quite like getting it just right at home, and for that, you need the expert insight of a cultural expert and the guidance of a good book.
The 10 Best Thai Cookbooks
Are you passionate about Thai food? Expand your culinary expertise and cookbook collection with these ten top favorites.
Thai Cookbook: Learn How To Prepare Traditional And Modern Thai Comfort Food At Home, Cooking Over 100 Dishes Plus Vegetarian And Spicy Slow Cooker Recipes (International Home Cooking) by Adele Tyler
If you’re a complete beginner or don’t have time to fuss with details, this is the cookbook for you. The Thai Cookbook from Adele Tyler is part of the brilliant International Home Cooking series of six books, and each is specifically created to simplify recipes and techniques to a point where anyone can pull perfection. All traditional Thai food is covered with a chapter dedicated to vegetarian cuisine.
Despite delivering authentic flavor across all of its recipes, the ingredients are all easy to find at the average grocery store. While straightforward, all guidance clearly states every part of the cooking process and temperature control. There are even slow cooker recipes. It’s not the most in-depth discourse on technique, but by following the recipes and concise insight supplied, a cook learns invaluable know-how and models for fantastic Thai food to emulate.
About The Author: American author Adele Tyler is renowned for transforming authentic Asian, Indian, and Mexican recipes into incarnations that are true to their roots in terms of flavor but far better suited to beginners and Western chefs. The passionate vegetarian food enthusiast can be relied upon for healthy meals and tips on everything from meal planning and prep to ethnic flavor combinations.
101 Thai Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die: The Essential Recipes, Techniques and Ingredients of Thailand by Jet Tila
101 Thai Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die is one of the most vibrant, information-packed Thai cookbooks money can buy. Not only does it provide foolproof instructions for every popular Thai dish around, but the recipe collection is so authentic and in-depth that even local Thai chefs will find their favorites. Recipes are divided into curries and soups, noodles, seafood, appetizers, salads & umami veggies, rice, chicken, beef & pork, plant-based Thai, sweets, snacks, and condiments.
Everything about Chef Tila’s cookbook is a step above the rest. Aside from the gorgeous full-color photography that accurately represents each masterpiece of a meal and the massive variety of dishes, one of the best parts of this book is the way that instructions are given. Few books can compare to the detail and clarity benefitting both new and experienced chefs alike.
About The Author: Food Network superstar, Iron Chef, and leading authority on vibrant Thai cuisine, Chef Jet Tila, can be relied upon for delicious authentic traditional cuisine and vegetarian Thai recipes. With his help, home cooks will soon be infusing restaurant flavor into their meals.
- Total Recipes: 92
- Total Pages: 304
- Recipes Preview: Phat Si Ew (Stir-Fried Rice Noodles With Pork, Chinese Broccoli, And Soy Sauce), Steamed Whole Fish With Lime And Chiles (Plaa Neung Manoa), Sai Ua Samun Phrai (Northern Thai-Style Herbal Sausage)
- The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Yam Wun Sen “Chae Wang” (Sunny’s Fancy Glass Noodle Salad)
If you’re not already familiar with Pok Pok, you’ll soon fall in love with its world-famous cuisine after trying out the recipes in this quintessential guide to Thai cooking. It’s everything one would hope for from a culinary superstar. The author details everything from fundamental cooking techniques to understanding Thai ingredients and flavors. While Pok Pok focuses on Northern Thai cuisine and delves into the specialties better than any other book, most Thai favorites are there.
Yet, this is not a cookbook alone but rather a book that introduces food through Ricker’s own travels and experiences in Thailand. History, culture, and color commentary keeps you reading while introducing Southeast Asian cuisine in such a way that it makes you yearn to cook it. With the help of Pok Pok’s detailed instructions and captivating food journalism, you’ll soon be whipping up mouthwatering meals that no one will ever be able to forget.
About The Author: Following the success of the ever-popular Pok Pok restaurant, among early others, restaurateur and author Andy Ricker has published cookbooks that have changed the way home cooks look at Thai cuisine. The collaboration between Ricker, food writer JJ Goode and celebrated food photographer Austin Bush has rewarded foodies with a true work of art.
Maenam, named after the world-famous restaurant chain, is filled with incredible recipes backed by crystal-clear instructions and breathtaking photography. The sheer simplicity will draw readers in, while the refined, elevated results will keep you trying out every recipe until they’re all done. It is the definitive collection of modern Thai recipes that anyone who loves Thai cuisine should own.
Just as Maenam the restaurant set new standards for Thai cuisine, so will this book help you reach new pinnacles with your own food at home. Each recipe is concise and comes accompanied by must-know explanations and tips. All aspects of Maenam: A Fresh Approach to Thai Cooking are well-designed and superbly structured, which brings this book together in such a way that you won’t be able to put it down.
About The Author: Maenam’s head chef Angus An puts forth inspiring recipes for transformative Thai cuisine suited to modern palettes. His books detail signature recipes that are considered to be the best in their class. Look to An’s cookbooks for gourmet Thai food elevated to all-new highs.
Thai takeout is made affordable and easy by Simple Thai Food – a book that’s treasured as one of the ultimate resources for economical cooks. If you’re looking for Thai-American cuisine that’s supremely accessible, this is the cookbook for you. The recipes aren’t necessarily the quickest to prepare, but they are straightforward and easy to follow. Expect takeout flavor and elevated quality from each and every recipe.
The great thing about this book is that when something hard to find is called for, a workaround is also given. Simple Thai Food is not necessarily ideal for a complete novice with little interest in cooking, but those relatively new to Thai food and experienced chefs will find immense value in the traditional insight offered.
About The Author: Mastermind behind the ever-popular blog SheSimmers.com, Leela Punyaratabandhu is an author the world has fallen in love with because of her tasty, simple-to-prepare restaurant-quality food. Her cookbooks are backed with a wealth of information available externally online.
When one considers the outspoken personality of the author’s daughter, it becomes clear what to expect from this fun, innovative cookbook. The Pepper Thai Cookbook contains all the Teigan family’s favorites which can be best described as Thai-fusion food rather than traditional Thai cuisine per se. The New York Times bestseller begins each recipe with a brief but personal introduction that inspires genuine interest every time.
Anyone who appreciates American-Thai cuisine, as is typically found in fast food restaurants, will fall in love with these elevated, easy meals. After all, the author herself refers to many of the meals as Thai-ish. It’s not the recipe book you turn to for step-by-step’s to your favorite takeout but rather a source of excellent new dishes that are delightful in every way and well suited to the palate of anyone who enjoys fast food.
About The Author: Chef, T.V. personality, and mother of the acclaimed model and wife to John Legend, Chrissy Teigan, has shown the world just how much fun you can have with Thai cuisine. Pepper’s enthusiasm splashes over onto paper, putting forth some of the most vibrant modern Thai cookbooks in circulation.
Everyday Thai Cooking is a cookbook that divulges not only some of the easiest-to-follow instructions for classic Thai cuisine around but also most of the Thai kitchen staples. Thoughtful accompanying photographs show you the ingredients you’re going to be working with while the recipes are also gloriously showcased.
Recipes are short and to the point and seem to always produce food worth talking about. From the variety of recipes to the impressive meals they produce, Everyday Thai Cooking is so versatile that you could very well turn to it every day. Whether you’re cooking for two or cooking for twenty, there are enough stunning dishes to produce a multitude of exotic spreads and ample home comfort food.
About The Author: Who better than the celebrity chef and author fondly known as the ‘Asian Rachel Ray’ to supply invaluable Thai cooking recipes, techniques, and secrets? The culinary leader packs tons of must-know info onto each page while supplying recipes that cooks of all skill levels can rely on for exemplary results.
Hot Thai Kitchen: Demystifying Thai Cuisine with Authentic Recipes to Make at Home: A Cookbook by Pailin Chongchitnant
The first thing you’ll notice about Hot Thai Kitchen is how much coverage is given to Thai cooking techniques and theory. It’s one of the most well-written guides to understanding Thai cuisine, culture, and cooking available. Readers are even taught tips to eat like a Thai local, for example, with a fork and spoon to get every last grain of rice. Even the ingredients are given the devotion that they deserve and need to be understood and implemented in new recipes of the reader’s own creation. Furthermore, QR codes leading to the author’s website are placed at the points where video instruction and further resources are most beneficial.
Buying this book is a no-brainer if you’re a fan of the author’s YouTube channel. Just keep in mind roughly half the book is cooking theory and illustrations, while the other half delivers recipes. It’s a valuable resource for anyone who wants to improve their cooking know-how while broadening their understanding of Thai flavors simultaneously. Thai cooking is an art that is wonderfully elevated to its highest level through the pages of this book. Some criticize the number of recipes, but one simply can’t deny the wealth of wisdom supplied.
About The Author: Author and ever-popular YouTube personality Pailin Chongchitnant has a special way of turning complex cultural dishes into foolproof Thai food that anyone can pull off to perfection. Her superior angle on Thai food is the product of being born there before qualifying as a cordon bleu chef in later life in America.
The author’s personal experience growing up in Northern Thailand has influenced the gorgeous food journey known as Kiin. Kiin: Recipes and Stories from Northern Thailand is clearly a passionate creation that depicts ingredients, local Thai markets, and Thai culture wonderfully. Readers will be happy to know that the food tastes as great as it looks when following the simplified instructions.
While straightforward and easy to follow, intermediate to advanced cooks should know that they’ll find great value in the instruction and advice. All meal groups are covered, from appetizers and curry to desserts, sauces, and condiments. All ingredients are accessible at the average Asian grocery store or online. Pick Kiin if you enjoy a cookbook that’s infused with personality or appreciate food photography.
About The Author: Canadian author, chef, and co-owner of Toronto’s Northern Thai Kitchen, Sabai Sabai, Sukhothai, and Kiien, Nuit Regular is an authority officially recognized by Thailand’s government as a leading authority on Thai cuisine. The Masterchef guest judge, with several recipes heralded to be the very best of their type, is a fantastic source of high-end Thai cooking insight.
Night + Market: Delicious Thai Food to Facilitate Drinking and Fun-Having Amongst Friends A Cookbook
Night + Market is all about Thai party food at its best. If you entertain and have a fondness for Thai, then this is the ideal book to have on hand. After an introduction, alcohol pairings, and the necessities needed to cook, the recipes are divided into grandma (traditional Thai), tourist in Thailand, meats & dips, using what you have that classifies versatile anytime recipes, T.G.I.F. (the best of party food), and basics (D.I.Y. Thai staples).
Anyone with a general understanding and fascination with Thai cuisine will broaden their knowledge and conjure all new inspiration by reading this bright book. The author’s overflowing creativity sets a great model to follow for budding chefs when crafting their own recipes. You’ll learn how to make all the Thai pantry must-haves, tons of finger food, and so many fast-to-make snacks that you’ll keep coming back to.
About The Author: Chef at the successful Night + Market restaurant in Los Angeles, Thai-American Kris Yenbamroong reveals many of his secrets derived from traditional cooking processes of Northern Thailand through his superbly detailed writing.
Best Vegetarian & Vegan Thai Cookbooks
Cook up plant-based Thai food at its best with the help of these two excellent cookbooks.
Simply Vegetarian Thai Cooking has recipes for all classic Thai cuisine that’d you’d expect just without meat. Even the recipes that conventionally call for eggs have been adapted, and the recreations are out of this world. While Thai staples are called for and detailed in various recipes, substitutions for some of the trickier-to-find items are listed. All of the recipes in this book are authentic in flavor and designed with good health in mind, but they are also supremely simple to put together.
Some readers may long for more pictures but the recipes come out far better than anyone could hope and are very easy to follow. The author’s combinations are nothing short of inspired creations. Many tips will change the way you make otherwise conventional dishes like certain salads forever. Many of the recipes are sure to become your go-to favorites.
Prepare to be blown away by just how simple and irresistible vegan Thai food can be. Vegan Thai Kitchen: 75 Easy and Delicious Plant-Based Recipes with Bold Flavors divulges the secret recipes of one of Oregon’s most successful chefs. Readers can look forward to classic recipes that are wonderfully recreated. There’s also a selection of amazing gluten-free Thai food.
The recipes are divided into classic Thai stir-fry soft tofu & more, gluten-free noodles & fried rice, easy starters, 15-minute salads & soups, everyday curry recipes, Thai desserts, and Thai teas & tropical smoothies. Some are going to need an Asian grocer, but the effort is well worth it because you can’t go wrong by following the instructions. No matter how experienced you may or may not be in the kitchen, all of the recipes in Vegan Thai Kitchen are a cinch to pull off. Sure, it doesn’t have the base recipes for staple sauces and the like, but the meals will have everyone coming back for more.
About The Author: Co-author and first person to open a vegetarian Thai restaurant in Portland, Sarah Jansala, in collaboration with her mother, Renoo Jansala, knows exactly how to create all new versions of classic favorites while keeping key Thai flavors intact.
Best Print-Only Thai Cookbooks
There are no digital versions of these top Thai cookbooks, but each and every one is well worth owning. . Many serve as the leading resources for Thai cooks/ chefs around the world.
The author of Thai Food has risen to become the foremost global authority on traditional Thai culinary techniques transposed for the modern world. His recipes are the product of a career spent alongside Thai royalty, with the wisdom carried over through crystal-clear instruction in every one of his books. This is a cookbook that you can spend hours learning from. Some ingredients are exotic, but there’s truly no worthy replacement for the few meals that ask for something strange. Readers will find that Thai Food is one of the longest cookbooks they’ll encounter and every last word is gold.
We’d go as far as saying that this is indeed the ‘bible’ for Thai cooking, as many have claimed. Expect a good spread of quick meals ranging to extraordinary creations of time-consuming, meticulous complexity. No matter what type of Thai Food you’re looking for, Chef David Thompson has you covered. All foodies and eager cooks should check out another key cookbook from the same author that’s fundamental to modern Thai cuisine, Thai Street Food: Authentic Recipes, Vibrant Traditions. There’s no better source for classic takeout recipes in print.
About the Author: Globally renowned award-winning chef and author David Thompson is considered an unwavering authority on Thai cuisine of all types by most of the world. Chef Thompson has taken several Thai Street Food awards and now shares his expertise and insight through some of the best cookbooks the world has ever seen.
Traditional recipes are presented with wonderfully precise traditional instructions, and classical Thai techniques by It Rains Fishes: Legends, Traditions and the Joys of Thai Cooking. Many readers consider this and the author’s other celebrated book to be the two most remarkable discourses ever written on authentic Thai cuisine. It is undoubtedly one of the truest to its roots cookbooks we’ve ever seen, which is exactly what you want. Don’t expect a cookbook with a massive variety of recipes but rather a collection of excellent meals introduced and wonderfully explained by the author.
The reader will learn not only what ingredients to use together but why. If you want to understand Thai cuisine at its core to hone your skills to be as close to a local chef as possible, this is the book for you. Anyone who values It Rains Fishes will simply have to own the author’s second book, Dancing Shrimp: Favorite Thai Recipes For Seafood as well. From selecting and preparing seafood to creating preserves and staple ingredients like fish sauce, it has it all.
About The Author: Thai American cooking instructor, author, and Thai tour guide Kasma Loha-Unchit is a chef and writer like no other. Over the last forty years, the renowned specialist has taught Thai cooking, which imbues her books with reaching wisdom. For authentic traditional Thai cooking, this is the number one source.
Thailand: The Cookbook is a must-have for anyone who values having the broadest range of recipes at their disposal. There are five-hundred winners in this book spanning everything from stir-fries and snacks to the most complex desserts. Unlike most cookbooks with this many recipes, the author and renowned food photographer has included several inspiring images of Thai culture and its food that rounds off this publication beautifully.
It’s one of the most comprehensive cookbooks around, with both techniques and recipes expounded with a span of recipes and insight comparable to David Thompson’s masterpiece. All the ingredients are easily accessible, but the tradition and authenticity instilled are crystal-clear. To have it by your side and page through in print makes it clear to see why Thailand: The Cookbook is considered a true work of art.
About The Author: Author and food photographer Jean-Pierre Gabriel spent three years traveling Thailand to produce his fine cookbook filled with such vibrant pictures that they alone make the publication worth celebrating. Yet, it’s his ability to capture Thailand concisely that makes his work so comprehensive.
Simply Thai Cooking is famous for doing exactly what it claims. Turn to this long-standing favorite for some of the clearest, most foolproof recipes to Thai staple dishes in publication. All of your favorite restaurant meals are there and ready in under half an hour if the superbly structured instructions are followed. It’s a wonderful book to own in print that you’ll keep coming back to for inspiration and helpful hints.
Regardless of whether you’re experienced or not, there’s endless insight waiting in this best-selling cookbook with multiple editions in print. This is one Thai cookbook that the vast majority of owners consider to be indispensable. Between the descriptions of the ingredients, detailed recipes, and expert advice, readers are left with absolutely no questions concerning Thai food.
About The Author: Co-authors “Food God” Byron Ayanoglu and Thai culinary specialist Wandee Young have put together some of the world’s most trusted resources and recipes for cooking Thai food. Ayanoglu’s experience as a food journalist for over thirty years combines with Wandee’s insight to create cookbooks that are as easy to follow as they are a pleasure to read.
Frequently Asked Questions – Best Thai Cookbooks
Find the answers to any lingering questions you need about the best Thai cookbooks here.
The best Thai cookbook depends on your skill level and preferences, but there are certain books that are more celebrated than others. Anything David Thompson writes, such as Thai Food or Thai Street food, is accepted as setting the bar for Thai cuisine. Although Pok Pok comes very close to the acclaim of the forerunning leader. Those who value authenticity in the representations of Thai culture and cuisine communicated as a synergy typically treasure It Rains Fishes and Dancing Shrimp by Kasma Loha-Unit.
Whereas most foreigners mistakenly believe the tasty stir fry Pad Thai to be Thailand’s national dish, it is actually Tom Yam Kung. While not as well known outside of Thailand, the hot and sour shrimp soup Tom Yam Kung predates it and is locally accepted as the national dish of Thai citizens. It’s a must-try with countless variations on the classic recipe that relies on oyster mushrooms, galangal, lime, chilies, and lemongrass.