Recent Articles - Page 8

  • 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, shallots and shrimp paste while Red Curry Paste, takes the Basic Red Curry Paste and adds cilantro roots, 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 the aroma of Thai herbs and spices.

    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, pineapple 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.

  • posted on 4/5/2012

    Khao Cooking School Review

    Khaosan Road has made its name as the refuge for foreign backpackers and travellers on a budget. When I learned Khao Cooking School was in the middle of the road, I was skeptical because it is difficult to relate Khaosan Road with ‘authentic Thai’ anything. What I found though was a culinarily deep, personally connecting and very Thai experience.

    Khao Cooking School is run by a mother and daughter team, Ajarn Kobkaew and Khun Ning. Ajarn Kobkaew was a professor at the Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, a school known for its hospitality and culinary departments. Khun Ning started out in hotel management but lured into Thai cooking. Now she runs the school with her mother.

    Restaurateurs and Cooks as Students

    Several of Khao Cooking School students went on to open restaurants. While we’re there, one of the students was planning to open a restaurant with his family. Bo of Bo.lan Restaurant took classes with Professor Kobkaew prior to open Bo.lan.

  • posted on 4/4/2012

    Fried Chicken Wings Recipe

    fried chicken wings recipe

    These wings have crispy skin that is full of Thai curry flavor. Yet, they are not spicy hot like some Thai dishes. The crunchy kaffir lime leaves add texture and fragrant, making the wings distinctly Thai.

    Fried chicken wings is a perfect dish to do in a pinch. You can serve them as appetizer, with sticky rice or as a main course.

  • posted on 3/27/2012

    Beef Massaman Curry Recipe

    beef massaman curry recipe

    A very traditional Massaman Curry calls for Seville orange or som sah which is becoming more difficult to find in Thailand. I always have made massaman curry without the orange. Seville orange or som sah has lost its popularity, but is making a come back in the Thai culinary world. I was curious how the orange would add to this already delicious curry. I was not disappointed; the orange added a whole other dimension.

    Massaman curry has many accompaniments. Some palaces serve massaman curry with mee grob, fried salted egg, beef jerky or crispy fried anchovies. Klong Bangluang residents (a large Muslim community 200 years ago) ate massaman curry with crunchy fried fish, watermelon and pickled mustard.

  • posted on 3/26/2012

    Nutmeg

    nutmeg

    Nutmeg and mace are related. Nutmeg is the seed inside a fruit. Mace is the tissue that covers the nutmeg seed.

    In Thai cooking, nutmeg is used for making savory dishes and well as dessert. Furthermore, it's also used as medicine. An ingredient in a popular Thai curry, Massaman Curry Paste is made with nutmeg.

    Nutmeg is available ground and whole at supermarkets. However, I prefer to get mine at an Indian/Pakistani markets because they have a higher turnover rate on spices and they are less expensive. I'd recommend getting whole nutmegs. Once ground, nutmeg loses its fragrance over time.

  • posted on 3/15/2012

    Massaman Curry Paste Recipe

    massaman curry paste  recipe

    While red and green curry pastes require hard to find ingredients like kaffir lime zest and cilantro roots, Massaman curry paste's ingredients are easy to find. Most ingredients are available at most grocery stores, especially at Indian markets.

    Compared to other Thai curries, the distinct characteristic of massaman curry paste is that all ingredients are roasted prior to pounding/grinding. When all the spices are roasted and the aroma fills your kitchen, the real work begins: pounding. When you finally grind everything in your mortar, I promise you the wonderful fragrance from all the spices will fill your kitchen!

    A word of caution for making this Massaman Curry Paste, you will not be satisfied with a store-bought massaman curry paste again.