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Baked Chicken and Leek in Turmeric-Coconut Sauce

Baked Chicken and Leek in Turmeric-Coconut Sauce
The house I grew up in was only a short distance away from Kasetsart University, one of Thailand’s premier colleges known for forestry, agriculture, and food science. And we never missed the school’s annual fair, a large outdoor exhibition/farmers’ market/food fair where you’d get to see a wide range of produce and plants and sample delicious things.

My dad, who grew orchids as a hobby, would look forward to finding new types of orchid to add to his greenhouse; my mom, who was deeply fascinated by cold-climate crops (especially beetroots), would look forward to buying and figuring out a way to cook unfamiliar “Western” produce; I, who loved food on sticks, would look forward to walking around the fairground with grilled meatballs or grilled pork on bamboo skewers in my little hands.

Kaset Fair, as the event is called, was a big deal. At least to us. Continue Reading →

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Baked Ham with Sweet Chili Glaze

Baked Ham with Sweet Chili Glaze
I wish you all happy holidays and bid you farewell for this year with this baked bone-in ham, glazed with Thai sweet chili sauce. It’s something I often bring to a potluck during or outside of the holiday season, because it’s so easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser.

You only need two things: a bone-in ham and some Thai sweet chili sauce, store-bought or homemade. This recipe—if you can even call it that—is pretty easy; the only thing that could be regarded as a hassle is the soaking which I will tell you about below. But that part is optional. Continue Reading →

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Northern Thai Steamed Rice with Pork Blood (ข้าวกั๊นจิ๊น) – Happy Songkran!

Northern Thai Steamed Pork-Blood Rice - Kaho Kan Jin
I’ve been away from the blog for a few weeks due to some travels and other things. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t come back in time to at least wish you all a happy Thai New Year—Happy Songkran, everyone!

Songkran won’t officially arrive until April 14th this year. But as I’m typing this on Sunday afternoon, the traditionalists in Thailand had already been visiting and paying respect to older relatives. The religious had already gone to their local temple for all sorts of Buddhist ceremonies. Many had already been enjoying khao chae, a full-on New Year feast of rice in scented iced water and all the elaborate accoutrements. And the fun-loving non-traditionalists had already started the water battle.

Maybe I shouldn’t tell you this, but Songkran isn’t one of my favorite holidays at all. I can get behind the true spirit of it which is to get together with your friends and family and celebrate another year together. The water fight? Not my thing. If I was in Bangkok during Songkran this year, I would most likely get away somewhere with the people I love, and that somewhere must be a place where the water splashing thing cannot reach.

[Warning: if you’re squeamish or absolutely can’t stand to look at blood, don’t read further. You may not like the photos you’ll see after the jump. Or perhaps you can focus on the text and gloss over the photos.] Continue Reading →

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