Recent Articles - Page 6

  • posted on 7/18/2012

    Limewater

    limewater

    What is limewater or nam pboon sai (น้ำปูนใส)?

    Limewater is the secret ingredient in Thai cooking that firms up soft fruit for long cooking and makes crispy batter.

    Let's start with the raw ingredients in making limewater (Nam Pboon Sai). Slaked lime (lime + water = Ca(OH)2 ) or calcium hydroxide is traditionally made with burning shells at high heat and adding the burned shells to water. The water that you get is limewater. However, in Thailand the red lime paste is more common because the paste is used in making paan.

    To make red lime, powdered turmeric is added to the mixture. Instead of turning yellow like turmeric, this pasty mixture turns bright red. Nam Pboon Sai or limewater is made when more water is added to the mixture. When the lime settles, the clear, pinkish water above is used in cooking.

  • posted on 7/14/2012

    Roasted Chili Paste Recipe

    roasted chili paste recipe

    Nam Pig Pow is a type of chili paste that has many versions and names according to ingredients and colors. Nam Prig Pow's main ingredients are shallots, garlic, chili peppers and seasonings (salt, fish sauce and sugar). Common protein added to chili pastes are dried shrimp and dried fish. A more exotic addition to chili pastes can include waterbugs and various fish.

    This particular type of chili paste is also called 'nam prig dang' or red chili paste from the reddish color from chilies.

    My father often came back from a big banquet and ate his late night meal with of this chili paste. This is his recipe, simple and delicious.

  • posted on 7/14/2012

    Chili Paste Recipe

    chili paste  recipe

    There are so many types of Thai chili pastes. Most non-Thais are introduced to chili paste via tom yum goong. This type of chili paste is sweet with a dark thick body and red oil. For Thai people, chili paste is versatile. It can be eaten as a side dish as dipping sauce with fresh vegetables, as component in other recipes such as yum (salad) or tom yum, or as fusion food on a piece of bread.

    This type of chili paste should be accurately called nam prig pud but most people know it as nam prig pow. The term pow is referred to roasting method in an open flame until the outside is charred. Pud (or pad) is stir fry method ie. Pad Thai – sitr fried. This chili paste is made with ground spices, then stir fried with oil. The true 'nam prig pow' has roasted ingredients and is not stir fried with oil. However, the term 'nam prig pow' now includes 'nam prig pud', and often 'nam prig pud' refers exclusively to 'nam prig pow,' as evident in store-bought chili paste.

  • posted on 6/23/2012

    Wild Asparagus Berries

    wild asparagus berries

    Wild asparagus berries are often foraged and sold at markets in Thailand in small quantities. Many Thai people have never heard of these hard to find berries, let alone tasted them.

    The berries taste lightly bitter with an asparagus crunch texture. The green berries are edible but the ripe red berries with black hard seeds inside can send you to your dentist. The berries are about the size of a small pea. In fact, I saw these berries through a plastic bag in my mother's refrigerator and thought that they were peas. I forgot that most people in Thailand don't have green peas in their fridges.

    A common dish made with the berries is curry with fish or smoked fish. The bitter berries give the curry taste and texture. The smoked fish enhances the curry sauce.

  • posted on 6/6/2012

    TTM+ 2012 Booth

    A Booth at TTM+ 2012, a travel expo in Bangkok, Thailand

    This is a normal size booth at a convention.  I was walking around prior to the expo and saw this beautifully decorated booth. I couldn't help it taking this picture. The only real things are tables and chairs. The rest are wallpapers and wood panels.  The ocean view is so nice that it makes be want to go back tomorrow to find out which hotel they represent.  What a great job on making it look so inviting!

  • posted on 5/23/2012

    Sticky Rice with Banana

    Kow Tom Hua Ngawk ( ข้าวต้มหัวหงอก, ข้าวต้มจิ้ม )

    This sticky rice snack has an interesting literal translation: grey haired boiled rice. The term boiled rice is not unusual because the sticky rice with the whole banana filling is wrapped in a banana leaf and boiled until it's cooked. However, the grey hair part is an unlikely description, it must have come from how the sprinkled shredded coconut resembles grey hair.

  • posted on 5/9/2012

    Suan Pak Nam Restaurant Review

    My sister said, ‘it’s noon, let’s get something to eat at a hydroponic place’. Just the word hydroponic garden got me going. Growing food without soil, just water and without pesticide sounds ideal. The gardener inside of me wanted to see and taste the hydroponic greens.

    Suan Pak Nam Restaurant’s seating is indoors as well as outdoors, in the midst of a garden of trees and plants. The indoor seating is in an open space, cooled by hanging plants and potted plants. Towards the back of the property are rows and rows of lettuces in hydroponic tubes. There are 4 types of lettuces, green oak leaf, red oak leaf, butter and iceberg. The greens were grown in solution without soil. They take 6 weeks to harvest. The produce is sold at the restaurant or directly to other restaurants and buyers, no shelf space in supermarkets. They also have a larger hydroponic farm in Kanjanaburi Province.

    As I was flipping the menu, I thought to myself, ‘I can’t believe I’m sitting here in Thailand and about to order a western meal.” I avoid western food in Thailand, not that I don’t believe that you can get great western dishes in Thailand, but that I have to satiate my desire for Thai food before going back to the US.

  • posted on 5/1/2012

    The tale of 2 red curry pastes

    Red Curry Paste: how well do you really know your red curry paste?

    The name “Red Curry Paste” has actually been put, by different food suppliers, on two very different pastes, Basic Red Curry Paste (prig gang kua) and Red Curry Paste (prig gang ped). Basic Red Curry Paste is made of dried chili peppers, salt, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime zest, garlic, cilantro roots, shallots and shrimp paste while Red Curry Paste, takes the Basic Red Curry Paste and adds toasted peppercorns, cumin and coriander.

    How are the pastes used?

    The Basic Red Curry Paste is used in making Basic Red Curries or Gang Kua.  Gang kua is a type of curry that often has added grilled fish or dried shrimp. Gang kua can be sweet and sour from sweet ingredients like sugar and pineapple and sour ingredients like kaffir lime juice and tamarind.  The Basic Red Curry paste can be used in a wide variety of dishes like panang, haw mok and tod mun (fish patties) as well.

    Red Curry Paste is specifically for making red curry dishes, like chicken curry.

  • posted on 5/1/2012

    Basic Red Curry Paste Recipe

    basic red curry paste recipe

    Basic Red Curry Paste or Prig Gang Kua is the curry paste from which nearly all the other curry pastes must have evolved; red curry paste, panang curry paste, namya curry paste, choo chee curry paste, green curry paste and prig king curry paste are all riffs on or add additional ingredients to Prig Gang Kua. The ingredients in the basic curry paste are common in kitchens throughout Thailand. The paste is bright orange with prominent aroma of lemongrass and kaffir lime zest.

    Basic Red Curry Paste makes 'gang kua' or curries which is often has added grilled fish, dried smoked fish or dried shrimp. Some gang kua add sour agents like kaffir lime juice or tamarind. Another characteristic of gang kua is that it can have a hint of sweetness from sugar. The southern gang kua has added fresh turmeric and not as watery as other regions.

    See how Basic Red Curry Paste differs from Red Curry Paste.

  • posted on 5/1/2012

    Red Curry Paste Recipe

    red curry paste recipe

    Red Curry Paste is an English term that encompassed 2 types of Thai red curry paste, Prig Gang Ped (Red Curry Paste) and Prig Gang Kua (Basic Red Curry Paste). Red Curry Paste is Basic Red Curry Paste with toasted peppercorns, cumin and coriander.

    Red curry paste is darker in color compared to Basic Red Curry Paste because of the added dry spices. The aroma of red curry paste is a blend of lemongrass, kaffir lime zest and the dried spices. You use this curry paste to red curries that are generally creamy and salty.

    See how Red Curry Paste differs from Basic Red Curry Paste.