Gaaeng Ranjuaan is spicy, sour, sweet and salty beef curry seasoned with no more than fermented shrimp paste chili sauce. It should be served steaming hot, and must possess three distinct flavors, similar to fish Tom Yam soup. These modest ingredients and an intensely-flavored curry emerge from a story about love, things lost in translation and…leftovers.
Dtom Jeaw Pla is a rustic and spicy fish soup that is far from being unsophisticated. There is something humble, genuine, and unpretentious about it, which makes you fall in love with it.
Its humble countryside charm and surfeit of tastes quickly placed it high on my personal list of favorite dishes.
The fresh essence of fish cooked to perfection melds with the earthy tones of the grilled ingredients, the eggplants, shallots, chilies and garlic. It has a heavenly silky broth with a scent of lemongrass, which is generously lifted up by a handful of fresh herbs, lemon basil, saw coriander and spring onions.
This Laotian dish is popular in the mountainous region of Luang Prabang, the magical city in the northern part of Central Laos.
It is a complex and mildly spicy stew, multi layered with flavors and textures, creating a unique, nutritious and delicious dish. It possesses a subtle harmony within a charismatic orchestra of flavors and textures; the taste of meat coupled with the sweetness of vegetables, opposing the bitterness of the greens and willingly surrendering to the aroma of fresh dill and fragrant lemon basil... but it's not all yet....
Today I will show you a unique, virtually instant dish to prepare. It is also a remarkable example of how Thai traditional cuisine is using local and natural ingredient in simple yet sophisticated way.
Sa Noh - aka Sesbania Javanica Miq. or Sesbania Pea is a tropical shrub which grows widely in the swampy areas of Thailand. The beautiful clusters of flaming yellow flowers decorate the waterways and canals during the hot humid summers and wet rainy seasons.
It will not be an overstatement to say that banana trees accompany Thai people from their birth to the afterlife. Starting with the decorative objects made out of banana leaves newborns receive to invite protective spirits, and continues their entire life with the endless uses for banana leaves, trunks and fruits; finally ending with the female spirit ghost, maae praai taanee (แม่พรายตานี), who resides in banana trees and Thai beliefs.
Here is a rustic sour soup recipe that is very light on ingredients.
The broth is made by boiling dried smoked and lightly grilled freshwater fish. It is seasoned to the sour spectrum of the palate with the use of no more than tamarind. Semi ripe tamarind fruits were used in the early days as tamarind trees were grown in the backyard of almost every Thai home but tamarind water and leaves will just as well work a treat.
Forest dwellings communities and populations bordering forests relay on the forest as their main food source. They collect herbs and plants, fruits and vegetables, roots and nuts, and hunt for a wide range of game, such as wild boar, dear, small birds and frogs.
Jungle food is quick and simple to prepare and contain only few ingredients. Today we find it on restaurants’ menus and even cook it at home, far away from the jungles.