The ThaiTable Blog
10/9/2011 9:30:59 PM
Figuring out what to cook seems to always be the hardest part of meal. Now, the thai ingredients list page helps you plan shopping and dinner by proposing what you can make with the ingredients you have on-hand. As you click on the white check box next to each ingredient's name, a list on the right grows, telling you what you can make. It also tells you what you can make if you pick up one or 2 or more things next time you're at the store. This is particularly helpful when you're trying to figure out what you can do with that old bottle of something in the back of the fridge. What you click stays in a cookie, so that as you go around the rest of the site and come back to that page, you don't have to re-enter it every time.
Also our popularity sent us over the limit for Google custom search so you might have gotten an error when doing a search before today. Now we've released that limit and you can search all you want.
9/18/2011 11:41:31 AM
How did I end up with 10 pounds of fresh sardines? On our way back from Half Moon Bay, we stopped at a fish market. They had beautiful local fresh sardines. Hmmm... The fish looked so fresh: they could be delicious.
It was the end of the day. The fish monger was trying to get Peter to take the 20 pounds that he had. “You’ve got a freezer?”, the guy said. “Yes, but it’s full.”, I told him. “They look really good.”, Peter said. "What would I do with them? Fish sauce?”, I was just joking. My memory was blurred from that point on. Somehow I reluctantly agreed with Peter and took 10 pounds of fresh sardines home.
When we got home, the reality hit. I had to do something with the fish! We ate some for dinner and decided to turn the rest into fish sauce.
We didn't have big enough containers to hold them. Commercial fish sauce is made in a 4 cubic meter cement containers. Traditionally, home made fish sauce is made in an earthenware. My mother makes hers in an earthenware that is big enough to hold an adult. It sits outside, sunny or rainy. I scrounged 3 jars; two hold 1 ½ pounds of fish and the other holds 3 pounds of fish. It will take at least 12 months for the fish sauce to finish the first stage of the process. Then you continue to ferment it for a few more months to get better fish sauce. With my mother’s recipe, we’ll be adding pineapple to help breaking down the fish, too.
I'll take pictures along the way. Come back and check out how the fish sauce turns out.
9/14/2011 11:34:57 AM
The Moon Festival
In middle of the 8th month on the Chinese lunar calendar (approximately September), the Chinese celebrate the moon goddess. Mooncakes are given to family members, friends and clients during this period. We got some for our family and friends to taste.
There are 3 parts to mooncakes, the outside skin, up to two egg yolks and the filling. Good skin is quite thin, no more than ⅛ of an inch thick. It is brown outside from baking.
There are several types of filling, traditional, regional and what I call "ultra-modern". The traditional mooncake fillings are 5-seeds and lotus seeds. The 5-seeds filling, my grandfather's favorite, can include watermelon seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin, lotus seeds and peanuts. The special regional mooncake in Thailand has a durian filling and is my favorite mooncake. The flesh of ripe durian is churned over a stove into a paste. The paste is easy to work with because durian has high fat and sugar content, and is easy to shape into a thin skin. The flavor of the sweet durian is a perfect compliment to salty egg yolk. Recently, there are a few ultra-modern fillings like cream custard filling, jackfruit, coconut, pumpkin, seaweed and bird nest. One other new twist is “snow skin”.
We tasted durian filled mooncakes from Shangri-La Hotel, S&P and Hong Kong Fisherman side-by-side. The mooncakes from Shangri-La Hotel and S&P are large while the Hong Kong Fisherman’s are half their diameter.
The results are that the thin crust/skin winner is the Shangri-La Hotel. But their durian filling was too sweet for our tasters. While the Hong Kong Fisherman’s durian filling was the least sweet and the skin was the thickest of all three, our tasters like their flavor the best. I've had many S&P durian mooncakes on past trips to Thailand and I do like them very much. When asked about the other fillings, our tasters said ‘They were ok. Durian is the best.
If you are on the fence about eating durian, here is a safe chance to get your feet wet. The durian paste has mild durian aroma with rich and sweet flavors. Take the plunge!
Please share your opinion on other mooncakes that you like and let us know what we should check out.
Hong Kong Fisherman’s Mooncakes: 4 flavors are available, durian paste, lotus seeds, custard cream and green tea. They come in a box of 4, 6, 8, 12 with or without salty yolk. Price per piece: Lotus Seeds 48 baht, Custard Cream 25 baht, Golden Pillow-Durian 35 baht and Green tea 25 baht.
9/7/2011 11:25:34 PM by Peter
I know we're now all green and eco-friendly with being only on the web and not chopping down trees, but I finally fixed printing.
When we released the major rewrite of the site in June, I hadn't had the opportunity to make printing out recipes and articles work very well. Now it should. I hope you like how recipes, for example, now looks when printed. Please add a comment below or send me an email if you have suggestions.
Also, I know that some printer and browser combinations cause weird issues, so if you encounter something that doesn't look or work right, please let me know.
8/1/2011 9:27:58 PM
We've been in Thailand all summer. And you may have noticed, we do love Thailand's food! The variety of food and restaurants is mindblowing. So that you can partake too, we're putting together a series on eateries/restaurants in and around Bangkok.
We thought this could be interesting for you because:
-- Bangkok restaurants are so varied compared to what you see in Western Thai restaurants. You can see how you to think about your local Thai eateries relative to what you find at the source.
-- It's food porn. mmmm
-- If you’re going to Bangkok, you might want to eat at some of the great secret spots that locals know.
We did our first article a couple weeks ago, our second today. And there are a bunch more coming out in the future. These are some of the first articles in the Travel section that we'll be launching soon.
If you subscribe to the RSS feed or click on the FaceBook Like button or the Twitter feed, you can get announcements of them. Please share your own stories with us, too.
5/29/2011 12:34:37 PM
This is so exciting!
For the first time in 13 years we’ve made a complete rebuild of the website -- all the original content and more, but with a completely new back end serving it. We hope you love it.
The site looks better, loads faster and has and will have far more posts, articles, recipes and pictures. We can now add new content, participate in the blogging and cooking community, participate in social networks, reach international audiences and expand for the future.
- Recipes: We have added a few more recipes. Many recipes have been revised to reflect the current, wider availability of actual Thai ingredients in western markets. Many more recipes are in the pipeline. The recipes page now has better filters and searching.
- Ingredients: We now have ingredient pictures large and small for all ingredients. Back 13 years ago, we all had dial-up and had to count every bit and byte, we couldn’t show many pictures. Now that’s all changed so we can show you everything. We’ll keep on adding more ingredients in the future. The ingredients page now helps you figure out what to eat by showing you what you can make with what you have or are buying.
- Restaurants and Market Listing: We have updated restaurants and markets. If your favorite restaurants or markets are not listed, please let us know.
- Travel to Thailand: We will soon be building out the Travel section with a travel home page, more content and great stories. Tell us what you’d like to know about travelling to Thailand.
- The Tech: Finally, we're up to date with RSS, social networks, caching, global content distribution networks and globally distributed servers. We now have a strong underlying platform so that we can help even more people around the world using different types of devices enjoy Thai food.
With this rebuild, we hope to better be able to help you to love Thai food and travel for the next 13 years. We want to hear what you think, so please let us know.
If you find anything that needs fixing or doesn't work, please tell us so we can fix it right away.