Elements of Life Thai Cookbook

Elements of Life, a contemporary cookbook with Thai recipes and traditions for healthier living, brings you Thai dishes from Su-Mei Yu. Here she teaches you about home elements of Earth, Water, Wind, and Fire and how it relates to your health and wellness, and how you can prepare Thai recipes that benefit from that element. This is a special and unique cookbook. 


Format: Hardcover with dust jacket, 324 pages 

Copyright: 2009 

Publisher: Hungry Minds, Inc. 

Author: Su-Mei Yu 

ISBN: 9780471757078

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Additional Details

Description: In Thailand, food is about nourishment, enjoyment, and the interplay of flavors, but it's also about healing and wellness. The Thai philosophy is based on the notion that each of us is born under a "home element" -- Earth, Water, Wind, or Fire -- which is also present in our physical bodies. By eating to satisfy your home element, in combination with the time of day and the weather, you create your own optimal health, beauty, and spiritual well-being. 

Su-Mei Yu, born in Thailand to Chinese parents, grew up amid these ancient beliefs, though her own family's approach was slightly different. She moved to America as a teenager and eventually opened San Diego's first Thai restaurant. On one of her annual trips back to Thailand, Yu encountered a folk doctor who determined her home element as Water. With uncanny accuracy, he announced that she thrived in warm, dry climates, and that she preferred sour, bland, and bitter flavors. Intrigued, Yu researched the philosophy behind the home elements, and in The Elements of Life, she brings it to Western home cooks for the first time. 

In the first chapter, Yu helps you determine your own home element, using a special wheel affixed to the inside back cover of the book. Then she guides you to a basic understanding of how to plan meals around your home element in conjunction with the weather and the time of day. From there, she moves into the recipes -- glorious, richly flavorful recipes that fuse Western influences and Thai traditions. 

The Basics chapter offers foundations you'll use across all the elements, including recipes for breakfast (Applesauce Pancakes), lunch (Tom Ka, a coconut cream soup), and dinner (Panang Curry). Here you'll find drinks, salad dressings, stir-fries, soups, curries, and much more. 

Next, Yu devotes a chapter to each element. She identifies the personal characteristics related to that home element and the tastes, flavors, and aromas best suited to it, with a chart of natural ingredients that possess those qualities. Then come the recipes, meant to balance the element, time of day, and type of weather. Cold Soba Noodles, Grilled Shrimp and Mango Salad, Persian-Thai Fried Rice, and Stir-Fried Chicken or Pork with Watermelon Rind -- each offers benefits for one or more elements. Every chapter ends with recipes for natural beauty treatments, massage oils, and healing balms. 

With a wealth of simple, inspiring recipes and straightforward, easy-to-follow advice, The Elements of Life will help you follow a traditional, natural, and remarkably effective path to health, beauty, longevity, and inner peace. 


Condition: Good condition. Jacket worn at top edge and book has a patch of worn material on the blank inside back cover. 

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