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It Rains Fishes: Legends, Traditions and the Joys of Thai Cooking

by Kasma Loha-unchit

Kasma's second cookbook was Dancing Shrimp: Favorite Thai Recipes for Seafood.

Book Cover It Rains Fishes won the 1996 Julia Child Cookbook Award as the Best International Cookbook of 1995. More than just a recipe book, it is a book about Thai cooking that shows how food and cooking are a direct means for understanding Thai culture, legends and traditions. Personal and traditional stories interweave with information on all major Thai ingredients. The focus extends beyond blindly following recipes to learning how to use the major flavors to create true "Thai" dishes whether one is following a recipe or not. Kasma's second cookbook is Dancing Shrimp: Favorite Thai Recipes for Seafood published in 2000.

It Rains Fishes: Legends, Traditions and the Joys of Thai Cooking by: Kasma Loha-unchit, Pomegranate Artbooks, May 1995 (224 pages, $29.95), Softcover, ISBN: 0876543565.

Although now out of print you should be able to find a second-hand copy from one of the available vendors.

"I think It Rains Fishes is one of the best cookbooks of all time. I think everyone should read this book!" (Christine Keff of Flying Fish Restaurant in Seattle)

See also  Reviews of It Rains Fishes.

Table of Contents

It Rains Fishes

Blessed by the Rice Mother
     Thanking the Rice Goddess
     "Grandma Six Fingers" and Heart Values
     Traditions and Ceremonies Around the Rice Mother
     Thanking the Water Spirits
     A Rice Goddess Folk Tale

Rice Bucket Ways
     Dining Thai-Style
     Monkey Business
     "The Best Rice in the World": Jasmine Rice
     "Perfect Rice" Every Time
     Sticky Rice – A Special Chewy White Rice
     Black Sticky Rice: A Nutty Whole-Grain
         Coconut-Flavored Sticky Rice with Mangoes
         Sticky Rice and Corn Pudding
         Black Sticky Rice Pudding

A Story of Alchemy: A Folktale

The Art and Joys of Thai Cooking

"When in Doubt, Add Fish Sauce"
     Creating Harmonies with Primary Flavors
     The Hot Flavor and Its Sources
     The Magic Elixir of Thai Cuisine: Fish Sauce
     Other Sources of Saltiness – includes Shrimp Paste
     The Sour Flavor and Its Sources
     The Sweet Flavor and Its Sources – includes Palm Sugar
     Balancing Flavors: An Exercise
         Broccoli with Thai Oyster Sauce
         String Beans with Roasted Chillie Sauce

Of Chillies, Spices and "Mice"
     Of Chillies and "Mice"
     Which Is Hot and Which Is Hotter
     What To Do When You Are On Fire
     The Life-Enhancing Qualities of Chillies
     Peppercorns: The "Thai Pepper"
         Garlic-Peppered Shrimps

Fresh Herbal Flavors Distinguish Thai Cuisine
     The Foundation
     Mints and Basils, Holy and Not
     The Supporting Roles
         Hot-and-Sour Prawn Soup
         Spicy Basil Chicken

Things Your Mother Never Told You About Coconut
     Monkey Business
     Coconut – A Natural Food-and-Refreshment Package
     "Cream of the Crop" – Coconut Milk (Gkati)
     To Crack a Coconut
     Preparing a Coconut for Pressing Milk
     Coconut Milk – Canned and Frozen
     Coconut Milk: High in Cholesterol? NO!
     Coconut: A Fruit, a Nut, or a Seed?
         Coconut Seafood Soup with Galanga
         Grilled Coconut Cake
         Coconut Egg Custard
         Bananas in Coconut Milk

Curry – A Way of Cooking, Not a Yellow Powder
     The Many Faces of Thai Curries
     Curries Simplified
     Assembling A Curry
     Paste-Making: A Gratifying Experience
         Easy Green Curry with Pork
         Green Curry with Fish/Shrimp Dumplings
         Easy Massaman Curry with Chicken
         Massaman Curry with Goat or Lamb
         Crispy Fried Catfish Coated with Red Curry Sauce

"Sea Breezes" Cool Hot Summer Days
     Creating a Breezy Harmony: Blending Flavors and Ingredients
     Calling Up the Sea Breeze: Assembling the Salad
     A Southern Sea Breeze
         Hot And Sour Squid Salad
         Spicy Mussel Salad
         Spicy Cashew Salad}

Squid Tales and Cleaning Tips
     "Solar" Squid
     More Squid Tales
     Other Thoughts on Squid and Cleaning Squid
     Cleaning Squid: A Quick and Easy Method
         Garlic-Peppered Squid

Fish and More Fish
     A Most Unforgettable Fishing Trip!
     A Few Favorite Ways to Fix Fish
         Spicy Seafood Noodles – "Drunken" Noodles
         Steamed Striped Bass with Chillie-Lime Sauce
         Roasted Fish in Banana Leaf
         Crispy Fried Red Snapper or Grouper with Chillie-Tamarind Sauce
         Southern Fried Turmeric Catfish

Back CoverThe Flying Morning Glory
     Wokking Over Red Hot Flames
     Flying into the Night
         "Red-Flamed" Morning Glory

Thai Fast Food: Crowded Sidewalks and Waterways
     A Sampling of Street Cuisine
        Savory Grilled Coconut-Rice Pancakes
         Fried Bananas
         Miang Kam
         Pad Thai Noodles
         Hot and Sour Dry Rice Noodles

Heart Culture, "Soul Food"
     Some Important Heart Values
     Food for Soul and Spirit

Order Information:

It Rains Fishes is currently out of print. It originally was published in 1996 by Pomegranate Artbooks. The cover price was $29.95 (softcover) plus state sales tax, where applicable. You should still be able to find a second-hand copy at many places where used books are sold.

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