Pailin: When I wrote my first book, I wanted it to be like a textbook on Thai cuisine. Then I became a mom between then and now, and then suddenly, I have this time pressure that I had never experienced before. I had this whole new appreciation of quick and simple dishes.
Then I realized I didn’t really have that for my audience. You can go on my YouTube channel or my website, but it’s like, “How do you know which one is quick? How do you know which one is good for a weeknight, or not?” You have to do a lot of work on your part, so I wanted a resource that you can grab my book off the shelf and turn to any page, and anything that looks good to you is doable on a weeknight.
Why that’s an important leap is because I want Thai food to become more of a normal thing in people’s kitchen, rather than it being this special project that people have to do on the weekend because to break into the mainstream, it has to be easy and there has to be a low barrier to entry. I explain all of the ingredients, I talk through how to stock your pantry and which ingredients you need and which are nice to have, but not really necessary to help people develop a pantry. Then, you can turn to any of these recipes and it’s going to be straightforward.
How hard is it to balance something that feels easy and approachable, but also still authentic?
Pailin: I draw that line at an individual dish level, and I have a lot of information on substitutions in this book. Say, if you don’t eat fish or you don’t have fish sauce, soy sauce is a decent substitute. But there are things like, if you don’t have lemongrass… there is no substitute! You can substitute something else, but you’re going to be making something different, which is fine and I’m also very realistic about that.
Galangals are another example — you can look for dried, you can look for frozen, but if you want to put ginger instead, just know that you’re making something else now!
News Source: https://blog.youtube/creator-and-artist-stories/pailins-kitchen-thai-food-sabai-cookbook/