Maa ouan is a Thai appetizer with clear Chinese characteristics. It resembles the filling of khanohm jeep dumplings (ขนมจีบ), the crab and pork meat fillings of haawy jaaw (ฮ่อยจ๊อ), or the shrimp and pork meat mix of haae geun (แฮ่กึน). Minced pork and shrimp meat are seasoned with garlic, coriander roots, white peppercorns and salt, then mixed with duck egg and a bit of coconut cream, placed in small ceramic cups (thuay dta lai, ถ้วยตะไล), and steamed. It can be served either as a starter, an hors d’oeuvres, or even as a side dish to curries.
This dish can be found both in Thailand’s streets food stalls and in the menus of the high stars restaurants. The spicy stir fried is a perfect choice to the drunken man’s plate, it, with it’s kick, helps the whiskey run down the glass and offers a wicked sauce to accompany the sophisticated squid’s filling made of airy pork married with sweet shrimp. The mixture of pork and shrimp filling maintains moist and tender texture which is further enhanced by the surprise crunch from water chestnuts.
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.
Do you remember hearing the ocean through a large conch shell when you were a kid? This stylish yet simple dish is made from only a few ingredients and will dip your taste buds in flavorful, rich and creamy ocean’s essence, like that conch shell.
In the southern provinces of Thailand, those bordering the sunny beaches of the Andaman sea, one can find yet another type of fermented shrimp product, “liquid fermented shrimp” (gabpi naam ; กะปิน้ำ).