Recent Articles - Page 11

  • posted on 11/1/2011

    Southern Sour Curry Paste Recipe

    southern sour curry paste recipe

    Among the curry pastes, sour curry paste is one of the easiest one to make: the ingredients are relatively easy to source and then, since there is no fiberous lemongrass, easy to pound in the mortar. It takes no more than 10 minutes to make. I usually make it on the fly.

    This recipe is for a wimpy southern sour curry lover like me. Southerners eat very hot food. If you feel like being a southerner for a day, quadruple the amount of fresh and dried chili peppers!

  • posted on 10/31/2011

    Koon

    koon

    Koon is a type of elephant ear plant, a tropical plant with big, narrowed heart shaped leaves. Koon grows near water. It is a popular plant among tropical and water gardeners.

    The light green stems are peeled and eaten. Inside the stem, you can see white spongy texture. When added to dishes, this texture absorbs spices and flavors like a sponge. I especially like it in a southern sour curry.

    While some types of elephant ear plants are edible, and others are poisonous, you rarely find the poisonous ones for sale at markets. There seems to be a big confusion over matching the scientific names and local names. At farmers markets, koon is often labeled ‘taro stem’. Koon, though related to taro, is not taro. Koon is also related to 'bon', a similar edible plant that tastes great, but can cause itchy irritation when eaten.

  • posted on 10/28/2011

    Grilled Sardines Recipe

    grilled sardines recipe

    Grilled sardines are simple and simply Thai. Dishes like curries and noodles are influenced by foreign cuisines; grilled fish is core and basic. We live along canals, rivers and oceans. Fish is caught and turned into meals for today or dried and preserved for days to come.

    The role of fish is so traditional that when Thais receive guests at home, we always ask the guest if they have eaten by asking if you, "Gin kow, gin pla?" or "did you eat rice and eat fish?".

    I made grilled fish when we got the fresh sardines and preserved the rest in the form of fish sauce. The grilled sardines can be served with chili fish sauce (nampla prig) or chili sauce and fresh vegetables.

  • posted on 10/28/2011

    Sardines

    sardines

    Ever check where the canned sardines in tomato sauce come from?  A good number come all the way from Thailand.  However, you won't see the fish at markets in Thailand.  A majority of the catch goes straight into the cannery.  A few leftover and other fish go to fish sauce factories. We're in our second month of the yearlong process of making fish sauce.

    Sardines are a great fish to eat because they are not currently overfished.

  • posted on 10/28/2011

    Pickled Red Scallions Recipe

    pickled red scallions recipe

    Upon spotting the red scallions at my local farmers’ market, I immediately thought of my grandmother's pickled scallions.

    The pickled red scallions are sour with a hint of salt. Rich curries like masaman curry, gang gari and panang taste better when the richness of the curry is juxtaposed with sour pickled red scallions. Hot spicy chili sauce like mackerel with chili sauce, is more homey with pickled red scallions.

  • posted on 10/28/2011

    Red Scallions

    red scallions

    The red scallion is similar to green onion that it has green top.  The bulb is different: red scallions have a pink bulbous bottom instead of a white skinny bottom. They are available at farmers' markets all summer long.

    A few years ago, when I first saw red scallions at farmers' markets, I was happy because I could now make a Thai condiment I love.  I make pickled red scallions to go with curries and mackerel with chili sauce.

  • posted on 10/27/2011

    Pickled Young Ginger Recipe

    pickled young ginger recipe

    Pickled young ginger is easy to make and pleasing to look at. This pickled ginger is the same ginger that you see accompanying sushi. In Thai cuisine, pickled ginger accompanies many dishes from appetizer to main course.

    Young ladies at the royal court showed their prowess by carving the ginger prior to pickling. They would make beautiful animals, flowers, leaves, bouquet and boats.  I'm just happy to cut it super thin without cutting myself.

  • posted on 10/20/2011

    Bael Fruit Tea Recipe

    bael fruit tea recipe

    It's not Thai tea that reminds me of home, but hot bael fruit tea. The distinct, smokey aroma and a tiny hint of sourness makes this tea my comfort drink.

    Toasting bael fruit brings out the flavor packed in the dry fruit. Once, I thought I needed a short cut and eliminated the toasting step, but my tea was dull. You can make this tea in a big pot and have it throughout the day.

  • posted on 10/20/2011

    Bael Fruit

    bael fruit

    Bael fruit looks like a leftover from the dinosaur age; it has a hard shell, greenish, yellowish russet skin. On the inside, the flesh is bright orange when dried. The cross-sectional cut reveals the beautiful, uniform seed pockets.

    Dried bael fruit is toasted for tea, hot and cold.  Fresh bael fruit can be preseved in the form of candied fruit.

  • posted on 10/17/2011

    Thai Puppet Dance

    artists houseSoon to be on a well worn path or a lost art?

    Bann Silapin, Klong Bang Luang (aka Artists' House -บ้านศิลปิน) is not yet on the tourist map, but their Thai puppet dance can very well pin this little sleepy community as a 'must visit'. In the middle of cosmopolitan Bangkok, the old way of life and art are finding its place in the community. The Thai puppet dance deserves more than just a new life but a center stage. Without support and recoginition, this dance team can disappear like another before them.

    Hoon Lakorn Lek or Thai puppet dance is a combination of Khone (Thai masked dance) and puppet show. Three puppeteers are on full scale stage control a 3-foot tall puppet. The front puppeteer controls the head movement and puppet’s left hand.  The person in the middle controls the feet. The back puppeteer controls the right arm. The puppeteers perform right along with the puppets. They dance and jump gracefully in unison with the character. Wearing black outfits and black masks, the puppeteers disappear into the background, only the characters float around playing an episode of Ramaya, a popular Indian epic. At The Artists’ House, this classic good-against-evil story glued me and the rest of the audience to their seats.

    Artists' House

    Along the original narrow Chao Praya River, which is currently called Klong Bang Luang (คลองบางหลวง), a 100-year-old house sits at the end of a narrow walkway along the water.  The house serves as a refuge to artists, especially the Thai puppet dance performers.  The Thai puppet dance was popularized by a well-known, international award recipient puppet company, Joe Louis.