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Signed: The Food of Southern Thailand (Austin Bush)

Signed: The Food of Southern Thailand (Austin Bush)


A beautiful, eye-opening guide to the culture and cuisine of Thailand’s south, featuring the region’s quintessential recipes: spicy noodles, coconut curries, and seafood dishes.

Austin Bush has spent decades traveling across Thailand, collecting recipes, observing cooking techniques, taking photographs, and recording stories. With his documentarian’s eye, he captures the rich culinary traditions of the country’s southern region, making this the first cookbook in English to focus on the cuisine.

The Food of Southern Thailand continues Austin’s ambitious project of illuminating Thailand’s foodways. Shared here are bold, spicy flavors of chile, turmeric, and black pepper that link countryside and island. Gathered, too, are cosmopolitan dishes from the cities that blend ingredients such as coconut milk and fish sauce. The food of southern Thailand is like nothing you’ve encountered before: vibrant, thanks to Thailand’s colorful larder; diverse, reflecting various waves of immigration to the region; and delicious beyond what you might find in most restaurants in the United States.

In lush photographs and helpful step-by-step illustrations, Austin explores, bite by bite, the mouthwatering offerings of roadside stalls and tiny island restaurants. His detailed recipes feature the region’s most beloved dishes, including a variation on a classic tart, spicy soup with vegetables and fish, Hat Yai–Style Fried Chicken with Sticky Rice (served with a tangy dipping sauce), and Minced Kingfish Stir-Fried in a Spicy Herb Paste. Sweets from the region are unique, often wrapped in banana leaves and filled or dusted with local palm sugar: fragrant cashew brittle, crispy fritters, warm coconut pancakes.

A dream book for armchair travelers, intrepid cooks, and those eager to explore the backroads of a beautiful country, The Food of Southern Thailand is a crucial record of a cuisine as it is lived now. Austin’s vivid writing and careful reporting will transport all with a powerful story of a place and its people and bring one-of-a-kind dishes to life in your home kitchen.