Get cooking! If you need a break from takeout but can’t part with Thai food – it’s time to cook it yourself. I’m a few years into “DIY pad Thai” and am pretty proud of the results. (Top tip? Order six bottles of fish sauce with every cookbook).
Below, find thirty-one superb Thai cookbooks for all skill levels, including four German-language books, plus niche options for noodle-lovers, lazy but greedy people and, fine, vegetarians, too. Why not try your hand at a homemade Thai curry? Enjoy!
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The 31 Best Thai Cookbooks
General Thai cookbooks
1. Thailand: The Cookbook
Thailand: The CookbookView on Amazon
How to fulfill all your foodie dreams? Start here. “The definitive guide to Thai cuisine, with 500 authentic recipes from every region brought together in one comprehensive and beautifully produced volume.” Available in hardback.
*Also available in a German language edition: Thailand – Das Kochbuch
2. Maenam: A Fresh Approach to Thai Cooking
Maenam: A Fresh Approach to Thai CookingView on Amazon
I bought this cookbook myself and liked it so much I bought another copy for friends. Prepare to amaze yourself – but stock up on fish sauce. And coconut milk. And hungry relatives. “More than 100 flavour-driven Thai recipes built on technique, balance, tradition, and innovation from award-winning chef Angus An.” Available in hardback and for Kindle.
3. Simple Thai Food
Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes from the Thai Home KitchenView on Amazon
“Thai takeout meets authentic, regional flavours in this collection of 100 recipes for easy, economical, and accessible Thai classics—from the rising star behind the blog She Simmers.” Available in hardback and for Kindle.
4. Thai Food
Thai Food by David ThompsonView on Amazon
This is my urgent plea: adopt David Thompson as your personal kitchen god. He’s the godfather of Thai cooking and I embarassed myself thoroughly when I met him once (I did not, could not, play it cool). I was given this encyclopaedic book for Christmas about 15 years ago and, besides occasionally dabbling, didn’t delve into its expertise until lockdown. It. Is. Superb. SUPERB. Thanks to this book, I – a truly terrible cook – can make fried rice I’ll gladly feed to other people. And then do that smug thing where you wait for the compliments. Available in hardback and paperback – get the hardback so it survives the next 20 years in your kitchen.
5. Pok Pok
Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand [a Cookbook]View on Amazon
“A guide to bold, authentic Thai cooking from Andy Ricker, the chef and owner of the wildly popular and widely lauded Pok Pok restaurants.” Available in hardback and for Kindle.
*Also available in a German language edition: Pok Pok Gelebte Thai-Küche
6. The Principles of Thai Cookery
The Principles of Thai Cookery by Chef McdangView on Amazon
“[A] beautifully presented encyclopedia of Thai cuisine. Informative, instructional and inspiring, McDang’s warm narrative takes the reader on an extensive journey through the history, culture and style of Thai food that starts with background on eating habits, regional differences and foreign influences.” Available in hardback.
7. It Rains Fishes
It Rains Fishes: Legends, Traditions and the Joys of Thai CookingView on Amazon
While this book was published in 1995, the reviews are so glowing it merits inclusion. Such as? “Actually the best book on cooking I’ve read, Period. This isn’t a “cookbook” where you just get a collection of recipes, this is a comprehensive textbook on the theories and history of Thai flavors and cooking.” Available in paperback with secondhand copies also available.
8. 101 Thai Dishes
101 Thai DishesView on Amazon
At the time of writing, this new-in-2022 book is the #1 best-seller on Amazon for Thai cookbooks. Available for Kindle and in paperback and spiral-bound.
9. Night + Market
Night + Market: Delicious Thai Food to Facilitate Drinking and Fun-having Amongst Friends a CookbookView on Amazon
“If you love to eat Thai food, but don’t know how to cook it, Kris Yenbamroong wants to solve your problems. His brash style of spicy, sharp Thai party food is created, in part, by stripping down traditional recipes to wring maximum flavor out of minimum hassle. Whether it’s a scorching hot crispy rice salad, lush coconut curries, or a wok-seared pad Thai, it’s all about demystifying the universe of Thai flavors to make them work in your life.” Available in hardback and for Kindle.
10. Rosa’s Thai Cafe
Rosa’s Thai CafeView on Amazon
“Rosa’s Thai Cafe. Born in the East. Raised in the East End. In keeping with its contemporary twist on authentic Thai cuisine (sometimes based on western ingredients), Rosa’s Thai Cafe celebrates traditional Thai cooking techniques and features over 100 recipes, including dishes from the menu at Rosa’s as well as family favourites and regional dishes”. Available in hardback and for Kindle.
11. Curry Guy Thai
Curry Guy ThaiView on Amazon
Just released mid-2022 to rave reviews. Available in Kindle and hardback.
12. Baan: Recipes and Stories from My Thai Home
Baan: Recipes and Stories from My Thai HomeView on Amazon
A self-described “Thai-born girl with a foreign face”, this book is an absolute gift for greedy people. Discover how to cook complete Thai feasts, or start by erasing all trepidation in the “how to cook rice” section. More from Amazon: “Born and raised in Bangkok, [author] Kay spoke Thai before she spoke English and has spent more than half her life in Thailand. Baan–meaning the hearth, the home, the community, the place where you come from–is a true homage to her childhood, to the delicious recipes that she was raised on, and a cuisine and country that she loves.” Available in hardback and for Kindle.
Bangkok: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Thailand [a Cookbook]View on Amazon
Another cookbook from Leela Punyaratabandhu, author of Simple Thai Food (above). “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.” Available in hardback and for Kindle.
*Also available in a German language edition: Bangkok: Rezepte und Geschichten aus dem Herzen Thailands
14. Busaba Bangkok Thai
Bangkok Thai: The Busaba CookbookView on Amazon
“Bangkok Thai: The Busaba Cookbook takes everything the restaurants legions of fans love about Thai cookery and makes it available to the amateur chef. The book offers 100 recipes ranging from salads and soups to stir-fries, wok noodles, curries and chargrills, as well as Asian-inspired cocktails and desserts.” Available in hardback.
Reader favourite cookbooks
15. Pok Pok Noodles
Pok Pok Noodles: Recipes from Thailand and BeyondView on Amazon
“From chef and bestselling author Andy Ricker comes this definitive guide to the most delicious and time-honored noodle dishes of Thailand with recipes anyone can make at home.” Available in hardback and for Kindle.
16. The Better than Takeout Thai Cookbook
The Better than Takeout Thai Cookbook: Favorite Thai Food Recipes Made at HomeView on Amazon
“Create the exciting flavors of your favorite Thai meals in your own kitchen―no delivery necessary. The Better-than-Takeout Thai Cookbook reveals the secrets to making iconic dishes and introduces a menu of new options to discover.” Available in paperback and for Kindle.
17. Kin Thai
Kin ThaiView on Amazon
Kin Thai? It means eat Thai – and we should. Pre-order now for its June release. Available in Kindle and hardback.
*Also available in a German language edition: Kin Thai: Moderne thailändische Küche
18. Quick & Easy Thai
Quick & Easy ThaiView on Amazon
Weeknight Thai food, here you come. “100 authentic Thai recipes that can be prepared simply in thirty minutes or fewer by home cooks of all levels”. Available in hardback.
19. Hot Thai Kitchen
Hot Thai KitchenView on Amazon
The much-lauded cookbook companion to the Hot Thai Kitchen YouTube channel. “Hot Thai Kitchen expresses perfectly all the reasons I fell in love with Thai food. It covers everything you need to know to get started cooking: how, what, where, and not to mention the beautiful recipes!” – Angus An, Chef/Owner of Maenam (cookbook mentioned above)
Thai street food cookbooks
20. Pok Pok: The Drinking Food of Thailand
Pok Pok: The Drinking Food of ThailandView on Amazon
“A cookbook featuring 50 recipes for Thai drinking food–an entire subset of Thai cooking that is largely unknown in the United States yet boasts some of most craveable dishes in the Thai canon, inspired by Andy Ricker’s decades in Thailand and his beloved restaurant, Whiskey Soda Lounge.” Available in hardback and for Kindle.
21. Thai Street Food
Thai Street Food: Authentic Recipes, Vibrant Traditions [a Cookbook]View on Amazon
We’re back in the supremely expert hands of David Thompson. Part cookbook, part coffee table book. “Thai Street Food transports readers straight into the bustling heart of Thailand’s colorful street stalls and markets–from the predawn rounds of monks fanning out along the aisles to the made-to-order stalls ablaze in neon and jammed with hungry locals after dark. Featuring nearly 100 authentic dishes plus lavish photography accompanying every recipe, this stunning cookbook is the definitive guide to Thailand’s culinary street culture.” Available in hardback and paperback.
22. Sweet, Savory, Spicy
Sweet, Savory, Spicy: Exciting Street Market Food from Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and MoreView on Amazon
This book includes a wide array of Southeast Asian food. “Explore the street food stalls, night markets and hawker centers of Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and more without ever leaving home thanks to chef and Masterchef Australia finalist Sarah Tiong’s satisfying Southeast Asian recipes.”Available in hardback and for Kindle.
Northern Thai cookbooks
23. Kiin: Recipes and Stories from Northern Thailand
Kiin: Recipes and Stories from Northern ThailandView on Amazon
“Kiin, which means “eat” in Thai, transports readers to northern Thailand on a journey to discover the ingredients, markets, and culture that inform all of the recipes.” Available in hardback and for Kindle.
24. Hawker Fare
Hawker Fare: Stories & Recipes from a Refugee Chef’s Isan Thai & Lao RootsView on Amazon
“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”. Available in hardback and for Kindle.
25. The Food of Northern Thailand
The Food of Northern Thailand: A CookbookView on Amazon
With twenty years in Thailand and total fluency in Thai, Austin Bush’s resumé includes a who’s-who of food and travel publications – from Bon Appétit to Saveur. All you really need to know? This book draws high praise from Andy Ricker of Pok Pok. He writes: “The Food of Northern Thailand is now my go-to reference for this amazing cuisine; it should be yours, too.” A James Beard Award Finalist. Available in hardback and for Kindle.
Vegan and vegetarian Thai cookbooks
26. Rosa’s Thai Cafe (Vegetarian)
Rosa’s Thai Cafe: The Vegetarian CookbookView on Amazon
“Finding strictly vegetarian food in Thailand can be tricky, where fish sauce is the king of the kitchen. This brilliant book adds a wealth of exciting new recipes to your vegetarian repertoire.” Available in hardback and for Kindle.
27. Vegan Thai Kitchen
Vegan Thai KitchenView on Amazon
This is no personal endorsement for meat-less Thai food … but here you go.
German-language Thai cookbooks
In addition to the German language editions of Pok Pok, Kin Thai and others mentioned above, the following come highly reviewed:
- Simply Thai: Das superschnelle Thai-Kochbuch
- Thai-Küche: Pad Thai, Tom Yum & Co.
- Kochen Wie in Thailand
- Das Thai-Kochbuch: Bilder Geschichten Rezepte
Favourite Thai cookbooks
Love eating? Never stop thinking about food? Double or treble it if you’re talking Thai food. Hopefully these superb Thai cookbooks mean tasty times ahead but, until your Amazon order arrives, don’t miss these:
- Start here: How to travel Thailand like a pro
- My favourites: Thai snacks and drinks
- Books: The best novels about Thailand
P.S. You can find every tip for Thai food and drink in the archive (both Thai cooking at home as well as restaurant recommendations in Thailand), or subscribe by email and get all the details straight to your inbox. Enjoy!Subscribe by email