This recipe would probably change your perception about the term “salad”, maybe because its dressing has a multi layered, curry-like personality, rather than the common sour vinaigrette-like dressing, or maybe because it takes some good few hours to prepare, somewhat longer than simply opening a bag of hydroponic greens. This salad is the fruit of the dedication of court ladies from aristocratic households, that for centuries perfected and elaborated on the art of cooking through detailed and calculated process, to create sophisticated dishes that are not only delicious but also very healthy and visually pleasing. These ladies made a very large commitment for small things, and they attended all their time and efforts to make minor things better and getting the small things just right.
It is believed that this dish was introduced to the Siamese royal cuisine in the middle of the seventeenth century by Portuguese traders. Later, along with other egg yolk-based golden sweets like the golden drops (thong yot ทองหยอด), golden flowers (thong yip ทองหยิบ) and golden threads (foi thong ฝอยทอง), these royal desserts were passed to commoners outside the court. For the marzipan filling I am using, beside the mung beans, both the flesh and the water of fragrant young coconuts. It gives a rich, sweet and almost nutty flavor which works perfectly with the silky texture of the mung beans and the creamy golden egg yolks coating.
I love my food very spicy and I’m very generous with all things chili. People like me who also enjoy spicy food, in part, love it because It’s a truly a food & mood issue. Chilies are known to boost endorphin levels in the body and that makes us feel better. Maybe that’s the reason why marketers get my immediate attention simply with red packaging and the naughty smile of the devil holding to the brand name logo of their products.
สูตรการทำข้าวคลุกกะปิของ หม่อมเจ้าจงจิตรถนอม ดิศกุล ซึ่งในสมัยนี้หาทานได้ค่อนข้างยาก โดยความเค็มเราจะได้จากกะปิ ความเปรี้ยวได้จากมะม่วงดิบ หรือ มะดัน ความมันจากปลาดุกย่างทอด และ กุ้งแห้ง ความหวานได้จากหมูหวาน สูตรนี้ มหาเสวกเอก พระยาบุรุษรัตนราชพัลลภ ได้เขียนลงในบันทึกชื่อ “บุรุษรัตน” ว่า ในครั้งสมัยรัชกาลที่ 5 เสด็จประพาสยุโรปครั้งที่สองในปี พ.ศ. ๒๔๕๐ ได้ทรงนำกะปิไปด้วย และรับสั่งกับพระยาบุรุษรัตนราชพัลลภว่า…
Sweet pork is served alongside other dishes as condiment; In the following recipe I marinate the pork for couple of days in light soy sauce before I steam it in one piece to preserve the meat moist and tender texture. Only then, when cooked, I cut the meat into thin bite size pieces and simmer them in thick fragrant palm sugar caramel. Even though it looks simple, the opposite flavors offer a world of depth and turn to be a great match, as a side dish or with an handful of warm sticky rice.
This dish brings yet another angle to celebrate the essence of Thai cuisine. The Thais dare pairing ingredients, which at first seem to be unmatchable, strong players with opposite characteristics, white turmeric and salted prawns, and guess what? It works beautifully!
The pairing actually has the intention to enhance the differences in flavor and texture, creating a playful dish, both in taste and in presentation. The delicate thin cut white turmeric juliennes with its crunchy-apple like texture matched well with the just made salted prawns chunks which still maintain some of their intrinsic sweetness.
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.