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October's ‘Thai Culinary Website of the Month’ is www.bbcgoodfood.com

p20This month’s recommended Thai food website may well be familiar to some of you. It’s produced by the good old BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and, as you might expect, it’s very professional, packed full of information, topical and easy to navigate. And you’ll love this site if you consider cooking as something more than utilizing a tin-opener and transferring the results to a microwave.

Open up the homepage (www.bbcgoodfood.com) and you’ll see a line of links along the top ranging from recipes to seasonal food, tips on how to cook, blogs, wines and competitions. They’re all worth a look and you could while away an afternoon generating ideas for a whole year’s worth of dinners. But click on the ‘recipes’ link and this page has more than 5,000 recipes from all around the world. You can click on sub-headings, like the editor’s choice, members’ favourites, special occasions, vegetarian, diet foods and a whole host of country-specific recipes. And you can search for recipes alphabetically if you know the name of the dish or just click on a letter of the alphabet and see what appears.

However, to get straight to their Thai dishes, the best way is to simply type the word ‘Thai’ into their internal search engine and it produces around 150 results. If this is too many, you can refine or filter your search by choosing: the quickest cooking times, by course, by calorie range or by contributing chef. Each recipe is well presented, has an excellent picture of the finished dish, tells you if it’s easy to make, who contributed the recipe, how long it takes to make and gives a star rating out of five voted on by those who’ve made it. The recipe also includes a nutritional valuation per serving, has good tips, links to ingredients if you want to find out more about them and there’re dozens of comments by others who’ve tried the recipe. This latter part can be quite useful as a number of people who’ve made a certain dish may have substituted some ingredients or reduced the amount of a particular vegetable. Pretty handy if you want to know what happens if you use, say, coconut milk instead of coconut cream in a Thai curry.

All of the recipes come from good, verifiable sources, like Good Food and Olive magazines, as well as from some of the BBC’s regular contributing chefs, like James Martin, Jo Pratt, Sarah Randell, Mary Cadogan and Barney Desmasey. They’ve all appeared on numerous television cooking programmes and regularly write for various food magazines. James Martin will be familiar to fans of the BBC 2 show ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ and he holds the world record for carrot chopping when he peeled and chopped 515 grams of carrots in one minute during a charity ‘Children in Need’ special. He also writes a Saturday column for the Daily Mail newspaper but you really shouldn’t hold that against him!

Purists might criticize the recipes as many of them use store-bought sauces and pastes but these recipes are aimed at those with a short amount of time and basic culinary skills. Which I’m guessing is most folks. There’re hundreds if not thousands of sites that tell you how to make your own Thai sauces, pastes and dips though they can take a bit of time and shopping around for the correct ingredients.

Overall, this is a wonderful site for creating good Thai meals with the minimum amount of fuss and time. Well worth bookmarking and referring to regularly.

 


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