It is the simple, elegant dishes like this one that bring local flavors to your palate and your table. And, truly, it is almost impossible not to welcome the soothing silkiness of this warm and creamy coconut soup that focuses on the essentials – tastiness.
The northeast region of Thailand, bordered with Laos in the north and Cambodia in the east, is a rough land to work. Issan, as it known in Thai, suffers droughts and deficiencies, the land gets really dry and unforgiving making in some area the digging for mineral salt a better business than agriculture.
Issan food is made from bricks of simplicity. It reflects its people coarse life and is in general pungent and hot. Eaten with sticky rice, only very little is required to flavor the rice in the hands of the entire family. I love the rustic Issan food and I own a sincere admiration to their culinary ingenuity.
Here is a recipe that, according to the legend, shows the efforts of one young man to please his wife’s mother. Using only the very basic ingredients he could find in the pantry, he put together a plate that cannot fail. From the culinary aspect I mean. Because from the grammar point of view we ended up with a dish that is called…. oy vey…. yes, “The son in law’s balls”….
The dish captures the eye with its vivid color – It is beautiful! It is bright! It is happy! – and it fits well within the comfort zone of most westerners. It is not surprising that this dish has made its way to the top of the charts, consistently ranked among the top ten tastiest Thai dishes served abroad.
This salad is quick and easy to make. The dish enjoys carnival of colors and defined flavors that stand in line to tease your palate; Sour, Salty, Hot and a feathery touch of Sweet. They are all ready to play in this less than 10 minutes preparations.
The dressing is made with equal parts of lime juice and fish sauce, pinch of sugar and chilies as much as you dare. Mix just before serving. It goes well with a plate of hot white rice and crispy Thai omelette.
Bitter gourds have long been prized in Asia for a trait considered a defect in cucumbers: bitterness. We tend to believe that anything bitter is medicinal and, in this case, we could be correct. The bitter gourd is said to cure a wide range of ailments – from gastrointestinal conditions to cancers, and from diabetes to HIV.
Also known as bitter melons, bitter gourds are pale green, with an irregular, warty surface. Typically, they are eaten following an initial treatment to remove some of the bitterness; often they are stuffed, to complement their somewhat eccentric bite.
Blessed are the Thais for their unique attention for details. They do no spare efforts in creating intricate work of arts and their cuisine harmonizes flavors of robust ingredients in ingenious recipes.
However, there will be days that even the Thais would crave for an easy, simple, cheap and tasty meal – a laid back, quick and down-to-earth menu – The Omelette, Usually served over rice, with Chili & Lime Fish Sauce (phrik naam bplaa) or as a side dish for a multi course meal.
Great Thai omelette must have crisp borders and soft center. Endless tips and tricks were born in the search for a foolproof method of making the perfect Thai Omelette. Some will secretly add lime juice or baking powder, a drop of water or even frying the egg whites separately.