We all have a tie to the beautiful faraway land that is Thailand. For many, it’s the place we reminisce on with fondness, as we recall the backpacking days of our youth. For others, it’s a destination that sits high on bucket lists, a journey including, but certainly not limited to, the bustling city of Bangkok, the misty mountains of Chaing Mai, and the pristine beaches of Koh Tao.
It comes as no surprise that Thailand, despite its distance from the UK (about 12 hours and 15 minutes by plane, to be precise) holds such influence over our travel plans and escape wish lists. This can certainly be down to the white sands, friendly people, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences it offers. However, on the other hand, there’s no denying the universal desire for Thai food. It is one that cannot be fulfilled with anything but sour-spice contrast or coconut-based curries.
Luckily, you no longer have to travel from sunrise to sunset to satisfy your cravings. In fact, you don’t even have to venture down the road to your local Thai restaurant.
Introducing: Thai Made Easy, the cookbook of simple, modern recipes for every day by Yui Miles. In other words, the cookbook your kitchen has been waiting for.
Last week we were invited to the launch party of quarter-finalist, Yui Miles who has just launched her very first cookbook. Unlike any other book available in the UK market, Thai Made Easy demystifies the process of cooking flavourful Thai dishes at home, with clear, uncomplicated instructions and accessible, supermarket-friendly swaps for traditional Thai ingredients.
For cookbook author Yui Miles, a passion for Thai food is ingrained in her early childhood memories. Born and raised in Bangkok, she recalls waking at 4 am to prepare food for the monks at her local temple. What’s more, she comes from a family that has always emphasised the importance of cooking and eating, specifically Thai and Chinese dishes.
When Yui moved to the UK in 2001, she began to merge the skills and techniques of Thai cooking, passed down through generations of her family, with her self-taught learnings of Western and British cuisine. The result? Yui’s passion for authentic Asian food led her to the quarter-finalist position of BBC’s Masterchef UK as well as an appearance on Channel 4’s Beat the Chef.
Now, she is a highly-revered cookery teacher, private chef, and recipe creator, who has transferred her knowledge, tips, and tasty dishes into an aesthetically pleasing, hardback cookbook. So, let’s take a look at what you can find inside.
To begin, you’ll uncover the secret of what Yui stores in her cupboards. In other words, the commonly-used larder ingredients of Thai cuisine. Unsure of where to find Chinese Chives or Coriander Roots? Fear not. Yui has provided alternatives to show you how easy it is to recreate beautiful Thai dishes with all kinds of easy-to-source ingredients, whether they’re grown locally or imported.
What’s more, Yui will help you to save your food (and money!) by sharing new uses for any ingredients that would otherwise be destined for the bin. Bread gone stale? Lucky you! You’ve bagged yourself the key ingredient to Khanom Pang Na Kuung, or in English, Prawn Toast. This is a tasty snack that Yui recalls from her childhood. It consists of succulent, minced prawns, a medley of soy sauce and seasonings and most importantly, stale bread transformed into crispy, golden toasts.
As the finishing touch, Yui has provided a meal plan to help you serve up an authentic sum rup. What is ‘sum rup’, you ask? On a typical Thai evening, a series of dishes are served that complement and contrast with each other. For example, one evening meal would be a spicy dish, soup, stir-fry and a sweet and sour dish, all served together. This traditional tasting menu is called sum rup. Offering an extensive, vibrant collection of more than 70 easy-to-follow recipes, there are plenty of ideas to choose from so you can host a true Thai evening from the comfort of your own home.
Within Thai Made Easy, you’ll discover the key to perfecting a chicken satay, the secret to a crisp, paper-thin batch of spring rolls as well as mastering iconic Thai curries like red, green, Panang, massaman and many more. With foolproof methods and accessible ingredients, this book teaches you how to share the Thai experience of authentic dining.
Granted, you may be serving up your Sum Rup in a shoebox flat on a rainy London day. However, the taste of the inescapable beauty of Thailand can brighten any dull evening. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to tuck into Thai food!