Quick and Easy

Sweet and sour fruit slices are served with a nutty, sweet-savory peanut sauce condiment that balances the fruits’ natural tartness, and decorated with coriander leaves and julienned fresh long red pepper for a sophisticated finish. The paste-like condiment is typically made from the Three Kings of Thai cuisine (coriander root, garlic and ground white pepper) fried together with chopped shallots, minced pork belly and shrimp meat, along with crushed roasted peanuts, and seasoned with fish sauce [or salt], and palm sugar.

Chef Thapakorn Lertviriyavit (Gorn) brings us a rare perfumed and colorful starter [salad] dish that was rediscovered in a cookbook written by a former governor of Nakhon Ratchasima (พระยานครราชเสนี – สหัด สิงหเสนี), which contained a recipe that called for rose petals, called ‘Yum Gularb’ or ‘Rose Petal Salad’. But I’d prefer to rename it, ‘Yum Gleep Kuppatchka’. You will soon understand why….

This ball-shaped dessert has a sweet coconut filling (gracheek), surrounded by a thin crust of pounded unripe rice crumbs, along with a tempting fragrance enriched with a Thai dessert candle or fresh flowers.

Demonstrating brilliant creativity and attention to detail, this classical Thai dessert uses only three basic ingredients. In this article, we have elected to follow the traditional recipe published in 1908 by Thanpuying Plean Passakornrawong.

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.

Gai dtai naam, which means “under water chicken” in Thai, consists of braised chicken in a coarse, aromatic paste made from lemongrass, galangal, garlic, chilies, kaffir lime leaves, holy basil, coriander and spring onions. In the home-cooked dish popular among the Thai working class, the entire chicken – including the bones – is chopped into bite-size pieces, and served with a bottle of rice wine accompanied by local country-style music (luktung) at high volume.

One of the charms of street food is that it finds you rather than you finding it. Therefore you are usually in the perfect mood to embrace it.

This treat along with other sweets are traditionally presented on tricycle drawn trays that are protected from insects and pollution by a transparent nylon tent and light up by a single light bulb.

Lemongrass chili relish – The citrus aromatics of the lemongrass are preserved almost intact and go very well with the peppery aroma of pungent fresh chilies. It is served with a range of blanched vegetables, steamed or fried fish, sweet pork and of course, a bowl of rice – a balanced meal, full of nutrients and health.

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