July 4th Celebration, Tropical Fruit (and Edible Flower) Edition


July 4th Tropical Fruit Edition
I’m writing this from a jungle somewhere in western Thailand, and there are lots and lots of butterfly pea flowers, langsat, and rambutans around. I hope you like this tropical fruit (and edible flower) edition of July 4th celebration. I sure did (guess who ate the props).

Happy July 4th to those who celebrate it. Hope you’re enjoying the long holiday and having fun with your loved ones. My current location and situation don’t allow me to cook very often, so there won’t be many recipes on the blog for the rest of the summer, but I’m pretty active on Instagram, so if you’re interested in seeing what I’ve been doing and eating in Thailand, please feel free to follow me.

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Simple Thai Food: Sweet Dry Curry of Pork and Green Beans (ผัดพริกขิง)


Sweet Dry Curry with Pork and Green Beans - Phat Phrik Khing - Simple Thai Food Book - Leela Punyaratabandhu
This is one of the recipes from Simple Thai Food that I’d like you to try especially, if you haven’t already. There’s no photo for it in the book, so I thought I’d add this recipe to the Simple Thai Food Recipe Photos category.

Instead of long beans which are traditionally used in Thailand, I’ve used French green beans here—just because they were there (I could have used green beans which would work just as well). And since haricots verts are more slender and tender than either long beans or green beans, I left them whole. They were lightly steamed and presented on one side of the platter instead of mixed into the dry curry as I’ve told you to do in the book. Some restaurants and rice-curry shops in Bangkok present the dish this way as well; some even add the yolks of salted duck eggs on the side just to provide something salty to balance out the sweetness of this dry curry.

The recipe can be found on page 98, in the chapter on Rice Accompaniments. If you choose to use dried shrimp flakes—and I highly recommend that you do—please be sure to add it along with the oil and the curry paste right at the beginning. To form a simple samrap (explained in the introduction of the same chapter), I suggest you make a pot of clear soup with silken tofu and chicken dumplings on page 83 and serve both with rice.

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Bison Salad with Mountain Mint, Isan-Style


Bison Salad with Mountain Mint Isan-Style
It’s a kind of mint,” a vendor at the market said to me as I inquired about the herb on the table between us—the herb I’d never seen before. He seemed unsure about its identity but said he believed it was a type of mountain mint that had just been foraged. He didn’t seem confident about how to use it either. “You can use it in, you know, whatever you usually make that has mint in it, I guess.” He then shrugged and distorted his face. “Ice cream?.”

Rational, cautious people would have walked away. Not me. Curiosity—the kind that historically must have killed several cats—made me hand him the money and bring this herb home. I had no idea what would happen to me, but I knew lap* would be happening in my kitchen that afternoon. Continue Reading →

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