When the Tommy Atkins mangoes are all I can find, I make this jam. Continue Reading →
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Relish. Dip. Whatever you call it, Thai nam prik (น้ำพริก RTGS: nam phrik), in my opinion, has remained the most mysterious type of Thai food among foreigners. And I don’t blame them. Thai restaurants outside Thailand, except those that cater primarily to Thai expats, don’t have relishes on their menus, so those whose exposure to Thai food is solely through their local Thai restaurants can forget about this. Those who know Thai food through street or restaurant foods on their brief visits to Thailand usually don’t know about dishes in this category to even look for them.
I’ll even go as far as saying that even foreign expats who have lived in Thailand for years, except for the most adventurous few, barely scratch the surface when it comes to their knowledge and experience of Thai nam prik dishes. And those who live with Thai people? Well, I have periodically received emails from Thai readers asking for advice on what to do to get their non-Thai spouses to go anywhere near these relishes (like I have any clue how to do that …).
But it doesn’t matter. If you’re a Thai food enthusiast, it will benefit you greatly to be familiar with dishes in the nam prik category. Even if you try some of these and end up hating every single one of them (nothing wrong with that), at least just knowing about them and how they roll will increase your understanding of Thai cuisine exponentially.
Why are relishes so important? Let’s see if I can convince you with the following reasons: Continue Reading →
Not too long ago, as I was sitting all alone at table number 10 in the middle of one of my favorite places in all of Bangkok, Or Tor Kor Market, I thought of you.
Sure, I was eating alone, but, no, I wasn’t lonely. One cannot possibly feel lonely with a bag of mangosteens and a bag of durian nestling against one’s left hip — or right hip, for that matter. I was just thinking that you might be interested in how the Thai people eat their satay. I could be totally wrong about that, but I’m already four and a half sentences into this post and I’m not a quitter.
Disclaimer: there’s no canonized set of rules when it comes to eating satay in Thailand. Heck, there’s no canonized set of rules when it comes to eating anything anywhere. My role here is to report what’s usually done. Also, I’m a fan of personal freedom. Though I might avert my eyes when seeing someone eating Thai food with rice with a pair of chopsticks and firmly believe that it is a less than optimal way to enjoy Thai food, I will defend their right to eat that way.
So, anyway, in general this is how most Thai people eat their satay. Take it for what it’s worth. Continue Reading →