Boiled, Stewed, Braised, Sautéd and Poached

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.

Dtom Jeaw Pla is a rustic and spicy fish soup that is far from being unsophisticated. There is something humble, genuine, and unpretentious about it, which makes you fall in love with it.

Its humble countryside charm and surfeit of tastes quickly placed it high on my personal list of favorite dishes.

The fresh essence of fish cooked to perfection melds with the earthy tones of the grilled ingredients, the eggplants, shallots, chilies and garlic. It has a heavenly silky broth with a scent of lemongrass, which is generously lifted up by a handful of fresh herbs, lemon basil, saw coriander and spring onions.

This Laotian dish is popular in the mountainous region of Luang Prabang, the magical city in the northern part of Central Laos.

It is a complex and mildly spicy stew, multi layered with flavors and textures, creating a unique, nutritious and delicious dish. It possesses a subtle harmony within a charismatic orchestra of flavors and textures; the taste of meat coupled with the sweetness of vegetables, opposing the bitterness of the greens and willingly surrendering to the aroma of fresh dill and fragrant lemon basil… but it’s not all yet….

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.

Today’s tom yum goong soup recipe is a refreshing addition to the tom yum soup repertoire. The fried SaNoh Flower Cakes sensationally enhance the shrimp’s natural sweetness, while the flower’s bittersweet aftertaste is a superb tropical match to the citrusy and aromatic hot and sour tom yum goong soup.

Thai desserts are usually made from common ingredients and therefore very popular. However, it was only during the 17th century that desserts and sweets actually became part of everyday meals. In the old days, they were served only at auspicious occasions and ceremonies.

During wedding ceremonies, for example, four kinds of sweets are usually served, collectively known as “the four plates dessert” (ขนมสี่ถ้วย ; khanohm see thuay). The ancient Thai expression “To eat four cups of dessert” (กินสี่ถ้วย ; gin see thuay ) used in the central region of the kingdom as an idiom referring to a wedding banquet.

This old-fashioned Thai coconut curry dish is a simple expression made with ingredients commonly available to Thais, it features steamed mackerels – the fish that Thai people probably love the best and the stems of the lotus flowers – one of Buddhism’s most recognized motifs.

The fish together with peeled lotus stems are boiled in coconut milk, to which a simple yet very aromatic curry paste, made only of white pepper corns, shallots and fermented shrimp paste is added.

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