Articles on Thai Food and Culture

Unripe rice snack – “Khao Mao Mee” (ข้าวเม่าหมี่ ) also known as “Khao Mao Song Kreuang” (ข้าวเม่าทรงเครื่อง) or by it’s royal name “Khanom Khao Mao Rang” (ขนมข้าวเม่าราง) is a delicious snack. It makes an unusual use of the unripe rice grains, which are normally used for desserts making. The following recipe describes an ancient and hard to find version of it. These days, there is a tendency to add other ingredients like peanuts or to deep fry the unripe rice grains until fluffy and crispy.

Khanohm jeen (ขนมจีน) are noodles made from rice starch. Their strands are long, round, thin and elastic, with a beautiful white sheen and a pleasant chewy texture.

It is unclear exactly when khanohm jeen production arrived in Thailand; however, it is likely that production was already active during the Ayutthaya period (1351-1767), in communities along the Khanohm Jeen canal, a main water artery in Ayutthaya’s Senna district (คลองขนมจีน อ.เสนา จ.พระนครศรีอยุธยา).

Generally speaking, laap is made from minced meat, raw or cooked, to which – depending on the type of laap and the region in which it is being created – different ingredients and seasonings are added. Laap is prepared much like a salad, by mixing together all the ingredients, including minced meat, internal organs, other meat cuts, spice blends, seasonings and herbs. It is served accompanied by a diverse assortment of vegetables, young leaves and herbs. There are two main styles of laap – laap from Lanna, and laap from Isan. The Lanna version, known as laap muang (ลาบเมือง), features a rich blend of dry spices, resulting in a mildly spicy, pungent, salty and aromatic dish. Neither lime juice or ground roasted rice is used in laap muang. The seasoning blend for laap muang is called naam phrik laap (น้ำพริกลาบ), and contains sought-after spices that were originally imported to the region by trade caravans from India and China.

In 1833 Prince Mongkut, who later became King Rama IV, found a square stone inscription, known today as “The Ramkhamheang’s Inscription”, believed to be written 541 years earlier, in 1292, by King Ramkhamheang – the third king of The Sukhothai Dynasty (1279-1298).

In this inscription King Ramkhamheang tells the story of the Sukhothai regime; He includes details of the systems of law and describes how he ruled the people wisely, in a kind and personal, like father and son manner. King Ramkhamheang – (who was an outstanding warrior, statesman, scholar and diplomat who expanded his control from the Khmer kingdom of Angkor in the east, through much of what is today central and southern Thailand, to northern parts of Laos and Burma) – gives a picture of his kingdom as idyllic and free of constrains.

สูตรทำข้าวคลุกกะปิของ หม่อมเจ้าจงจิตรถนอม ดิศกุล – Rice Seasoned with Shrimp Paste Recipe – Each of the dish’s components is separately prepared and set aside, and mixed individually for each serving. A pleasant harmony of several flavors is created – complex and profound in taste, the dish is a stunning display of confidence. There are many variations of this dish: I have chosen to publish the version described by Prince Johngjit thanaawm Disagoon. This is the very same version prepared for King Chulalongkorn the Great during his unforgettable trip to Italy.

White turmeric is the underground stem (rhizome) of the tropical plant Curcuma zedoaria in the ginger family. About 80 species of Curcuma have been identified, including the better-known culinary member of the family, the turmeric, with its deep yellow pigment.

Quite rare in the west, white turmeric is used in Thai, Indonesian and Indian cuisines. It possess quite a long list of herbal remedies; maybe because its high levels of antioxidants.

Sand Ginger (Kaempferia galanga), commonly known as kencur, aromatic ginger, cutcherry or resurrection lily, is known in Thai as praw haawm (เปราะหอม) or waan haawm (ว่านหอม)

Sand ginger has a peppery camphory taste. It is one of four plants known as galangal, and is differentiated from the others by the absence of stem and dark brown rounded rhizomes, while the other varieties all have stems and pale rose-brown rhizomes.

It is belongs to the ginger family and can be found primarily in open areas in southern China, Taiwan, Cambodia and India, but is also widely cultivated throughout Southeast Asia.

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