Busaba presents modern Bangkok dining, with a dozen or so restaurants around Greater London. Having opened its first restaurant on London’s Wardour Street in 1999, the chain has gone from strength to strength – and now we can replicate a few of their dishes at home.
Bangkok Thai: The Busaba Cookbook tempts with 100 recipes ranging from salads and soups to stir-fries, wok noodles, Thai curries and chargrills, as well as Asian-inspired cocktails and desserts. There is nothing too cheffy here and the ingredients will be found in your local supermarket, particularly if it’s an Asian one.
Curry pastes are key to many of the dishes in this book. One can buy them but here we have the recipes for all the favourites, and they keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge. There are sauces and dips, too, along with staples such as coconut rice.
There is a good selection of cocktails with hints of Thailand, but perhaps the most iconic taste is coffee. Thai iced coffee with cardamom is made with condensed milk. That might sound a strange inclusion in a refreshing drink, but it does work very well. It’s almost a make-ahead drink, as the spices infuse in coffee overnight.
Lots of warming impact
Songkhla Beef curry is full-flavoured. Plenty of chilli heat in this dish but also lots of warming impact from peppercorns,which are used to great advantage. It’s a spice we take for granted, but used in quantity, and there is a full 30g here, it is striking.
Sweet Chilli Aubergine with Coconut Rice makes a wonderful side dish or a vegetarian meal. Thai Sweet and Sour Chicken is a popular dish all over the country, although the sauce could also be used with pork and even over some vegetables.
My favourite recipe in this book is that for Slow-cooked Spiced Pork Belly. This is an economic cut of meat, but it is rising in price as both chefs and home cooks are learning about its melting fat-dripping qualities. Here it is soft and full of flavour, and really needs nothing more than some plain Jasmine Rice and perhaps a glass of chilled Thai beer.
Bangkok Thai: The Busaba Cookbook is one of the best of the latest Thai cookbook releases. The recipes are based on the style of dishes found in the restaurants.
Bangkok Thai: The Busaba Cookbook
Published by: Sphere