by Kasma Loha-unchit
Dancing Shrimp: Favorite Thai Recipes For Seafood by: Kasma Loha-unchit, Simon & Schuster, October 2000 (304 pages, $30.00 ), Hardcover, ISBN: 0-684-86272-7. Now out of print. (Try Amazon for a used copy.)
See also more information on Dancing Shrimp.
Kasma Loha-unchit's Magical Book
Makes Fish Dance to Thai Rythym
Reading Kasma Loha-unchit's cookbook, Dancing Shrimp, is like watching an exotic tropical flower slowly open on a warm summer day. Carefully, fragrantly, the fish and shellfish cookery of her native Thailand emerges like a blossom from prose that sings with the grace of a master poet, wisdom of a philosopher, and passion of an evangelist.
From its evocative title, through its vivid introductory essays, to recipes so clear that one can almost taste them, this book weaves a magic spell with fish and shellfish, a spell that envelopes mind, soul, and palate. If you are not already in love with Thai food, Kasma Loha-unchit will make you fall for it – and her – hook, line, and sinker.
– Damon Lee Fowler, Savannah Morning News, 30 May 2001 (Complete Review)
Thai Cookbook Expands Possibilities
of Seafood and Seasonings
In this new book, Loha-unchit explores the cuisine of her homeland through a variety of the seafood so plentiful in Thailand. . . .
The recipes are clearly written with good detail, . . . It's important to trust Loha-unchit, who clearly knows her stuff. . . .
Thai food enthusiasts will have great fun exploring the ideas here. This book is a treasure."
– Kristin Eddy, Chicago Tribune, 17 January 2001
"Dancing Shrimp" More Than Just Recipes
It is no understatement to say that for me, this book was a revelation. . .
The results will make your taste buds sing and reawaken your enthusiasm for cooking Thai cuisine at home. . .
If you are looking for a reason to de-rust your wok, I can think of none better than this cookbook. Though it may mean investing in a better wok, or chasing down hard-to-find materials, the results are impressive and satisfying.
– David A. Steinberg, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 November 2000. (Complete Review)
Thai food at its best
For lovers of Thai food, particularly seafood, a new cookbook titled Dancing Shrimp has just arrived at the bookshelves of Asia Books and other leading bookstores in major cities of the world.
. . .
For the uninitiated she describes the various Thai cooking methods and the cooking paraphernalia that the Thai cook finds indispensable. The easy-to-follow recipes are divided into three sections: fish (33 recipes), crustaceans (30), and mollusks (26).
Each section is preceded by tips on how to determine freshness, how to clean and prepare, how to store, and other invaluable cooking tips. For example, did you know that you could freshen shrimp and prawns by placing them in a bowl and adding sea salt and water?"Soaking the shrimp in their own element-sea-salted water-helps perk them up, giving them a fresher smell and, when cooked, a crisp, succulent texture. Some that really have been dehydrated by prolonged freezing may even grow in size," writes Kasma.
Each recipe is followed by notes and pointers which includes delightful snippets of her childhood, travels around Thailand, special delicacies she has found, and the traditional way of life of the Thai people-making the readers feel that they know the writer, and the country, personally.
Dancing Shrimp, which comes in hard cover, is perfect in every way, and will make a wonderful cooking guide in every kitchen-and as Christmas gift, too.
– Normita Thongtham, Bangkok Post, 2 December 2000
From the Mamster Site
Thai food is wonderfully suited for the American kitchen, and no one conveys this delicious truth better than Kasma Loha-unchit, author of It Rains Fishes and now Dancing Shrimp. . . .
Dancing Shrimp is all seafood recipes, but there's no reason not to use it as your general guide to Thai cooking; nearly all the recipes are amenable to substitution, and she discusses at length the special ingredients and techniques that make Thai food one of the world's greatest cuisines.
– Matthew Amster-Burton Cooking The Books, The Mamster Awards 2000 (Complete Review – you'll need to scroll down the page.)
On the Book Jacket
Michele Anna Jordan
Kasma Loha-Unchit is an extraordinarily vivid writer; her narrative infused with an engaging warmth and a profound yet accessible wisdom. Her love of food, knowledge of traditional techniques and ingredients, and passion for true Thai flavors offer beginning and experienced cooks-and even non-cooks-a rare glimpse into one of the world's most exciting cuisines. Dancing Shrimp is utterly delightful.
– Michele Anna Jordan, author of Salt and Pepper: 135 Perfectly Seasoned Recipes
Seafood lovers like me are going to find Kasma Loha Unchit's Dancing Shrimp: Favorite Thai Recipes for Seafood irresistible and indispensable. Packed with practical information, anecdotes and such mouthwatering recipes as Lime-Cooked Halibut Dressed with Roasted Chilli Sauce, Toasted Coconut & Peanuts, this book is sure to become a kitchen treasure!
– Julie Sahni, author of Classic Indian Cooking
Kasma Loha-unchit shines through in this informative, innovative and authoritative Thai seafood book. Her food is simply delicious!
– Nicole Routhier, author of The Foods of Vietnam
I have been a fan of Kasma Loha-unchit's since first reading her award-winning It Rains Fishes. In Dancing Shrimp, she once again gives us a jewel with enchanting prose, extensive information, and delightful recipes.
– Nina Simonds, author of A Spoonful of Ginger
Reviews by Other Readers
A Professional Chef (on Amazon.com)
Finally! A true Thai cook and exceptional author in one! At last, a book that truly offers extraordinary recipes combined with someone who can really write very well. I spent over a year in the Kingdom of Thailand and have rarely been able to find any culinary author that could actually bring me back to the sights, sounds and overall sensory assault Thailand delivers on a daily basis. As a working chef myself, I can truly tell you this is one of the finest books you will find on Thailand, no other author goes into the detail of ingredients, cooking processes and traditions that make this cuisine so exquisite. I especially enjoyed the essays on how the staple ingredients are made, fish sauce, oyster sauce, dried fish and seafood, etc.. Can't go wrong here, I'm afraid Im sounding a bit biased, but this book does reign as king among my shelf of Thai cookbooks, looking forward to many more by this author.
– Douglas C Turbush, Atlanta, GA. For the complete Amazon Review, click on the reviews link and scroll down the page.
A Former Student (on Amazon.com)
Let the True Taste of Thailand enter Your Kitchen. I have been so impressed with the success I have had with Kasma's recipes that I will boldly attest that her recipes consistently produce more interesting dishes and flavor then I have found in most Thai restaurants and, dare I say, even with dishes tasted at some of the best restaurants through my travels in Thailand. I would certainly highly recommend these cookbooks for those who are serious about Thai cuisine and even for the amateur cook who just wants to experiment with a few dishes. Her recipes are easy to follow, directions are clear, there is a wealth of information and success is certainly guaranteed, allowing the true tastes of Thailand to enter your kitchen.
– Curt Chamberlain, San Francisco, CA. For the complete Amazon Review click on the reviews link and scroll down the page.
A Reader in Boston, MAI recently purchased Dancing Shrimp and have been very happy with the recipes I have made so far. Plus the information is your book is far better and more detailed than the two other Thai cookbooks I already have. After reading your introductory paragraphs I got the confidence to venture into a Chinatown supermarket and buy things with confidence! (including many of your "favorite brand" items, as well as an assortment of strange looking dried fish and shrimps.)
– Neil, Boston, MA
See also more information on Dancing Shrimp.