basic Thai cooking techniques

I know it is easy to reach to the supermarket shelves and grab a pack of Thai curry paste. I hope that you will consider making your own and I think you should. Things often get lost in translation, and even worse if they are commercially pre-packed for five years of use. Thai cooking is based on freshness and if you are serious about Thai cooking, you will be amazed how with just a bit of an effort your food rises into new levels.

Blessed are the Thais for their unique attention for details. They do no spare efforts in creating intricate work of arts and their cuisine harmonizes flavors of robust ingredients in ingenious recipes.

However, there will be days that even the Thais would crave for an easy, simple, cheap and tasty meal – a laid back, quick and down-to-earth menu – The Omelette, Usually served over rice, with Chili & Lime Fish Sauce (phrik naam bplaa) or as a side dish for a multi course meal.

Great Thai omelette must have crisp borders and soft center. Endless tips and tricks were born in the search for a foolproof method of making the perfect Thai Omelette. Some will secretly add lime juice or baking powder, a drop of water or even frying the egg whites separately.

Naem is a fermented sausage made with pork, pork skins, cooked sticky rice (glutinous), fresh garlic, salt, sugar and bird’s eye chilies. The sausage is wrapped in banana leaves or synthetic casings, and fermented for 3-5 days at about 30 degrees (C) and 50% humidity. The fermentation process enables the growth of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts, mostly lactobacilli, which accounts for the sourness of the sausage. The salt acts as an inhibitor – preventing the meat from going rotten, allowing the lactic acid bacteria and yeasts to feed on the rice and sugar, and fermenting the meat to perfection.

Mixing finely chopped fresh chilies including their seeds with fish sauce and a splash of lime juice makes the staple sauce accompanying almost every Thai dish. Restaurants reserve it an honor place on the table, next to the tissue paper and the tooth picks. The debate is on. Some call it “phrik naam bplaa” other will insist on “naam bplaa phrik“. Whatever it’s called, every Thai will admit that some foods just do not taste right without it. It is unimaginable having hot and crispy Thai omelette over rice without it. So, make a batch of it. It will keep for a few weeks in the fridge and will bring you closer to Thailand as it does to the millions of Thais abroad every day.

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