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Saksith Saiyasombut and Baby Back Rib Satay, Peanut Sauce, and Cucumber-Onion-Sweet Pepper Salad

Saksith Saiyasombut and Pork Rib Satay
Ask Saksith Saiyasombut about Thai food in Germany and he’ll probably heave a sigh. I know that, because when I recently raised the subject to the Hamburg-based freelance journalist and political commentator, his immediate reaction was exactly that: a heaving of a sigh—soft and sustained. It didn’t strike me as one of displeasure; if anything, it was more of an acquiescent, faintly audible shrug. Then again, it was the only sigh Saksith heaved during our phone conversation, and perhaps I shouldn’t be making too much out of a hapax. Continue Reading →

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Akrapol Suetrong and Chicken ‘Mistake’ Stir-Fry

Chicken Stir-fry by Kong Akrapol Suetrong
A couple of years ago, I was planning on starting a new series in which I ask people what Thai dishes they like to eat or make. But that didn’t happen back then, because my life was pretty much taken over by my book project. But it looks like it’s going to happen—no, has happened—now. Back in February, I asked writer Mike Sula what he liked to eat, and he said turmeric egg rolls. Today, I’m chatting with Akrapol “Kong” Suetrong, a London-based Thai national who is a Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef, cooking show host, TV personality, theater enthusiast, avid home cook, and proud owner of a very cute French bulldog. As difficult as it is to pick just one, Kong has chosen an easy home-style dish that he makes at home all the time, the so-called “Mistake Stir-fry,” to share with you.

But, first, I asked Kong a few questions. Continue Reading →

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Mike Sula and Spicy Thai Lao Egg Rolls from Spicy Thai Lao Restaurant, Chicago

An Interview with Chicago Reader Restaurant Critic, Mike Sula, and an Egg Roll Recipe from Spicy Thai Lao Restaurant in Chicago
James Beard Award-winning journalist Mike Sula has been writing for the Chicago Reader for 20 years, covering various topics in various formats and styles from short blog posts to long-form features. One of the city’s most respected restaurant reviewers, Sula scours the nooks and crannies of Chicagoland in search of stories to tell you. Sure, he has a reputation for both being difficult to impress and being very capable of vividly articulating why certain things don’t impress him. But if you have followed his work for several years, you will know that Sula is actually impressed with a lot of things.

Sula is also a writer whom I deeply admire. He has always been generous with his help and advice whenever I, a relatively new writer, ask him for it. I have always felt grateful for that. And I would like to dedicate this post to him.

But, first, I asked Sula a few questions. Continue Reading →

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