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A New Book

SheSimmers BookI was at my condo in Bangkok eating grilled giant prawns dipped in palm sugar-tamarind sauce with blanched neem buds when, suddenly and inexplicably, my mind went, “This is my next book.” And next thing I knew I was exuberantly jotting things down on a piece of paper—mid-meal. I still have that piece of paper; it looks really gross with caked-on prawn juices and sticky sauce.

My first book, Simple Thai Food, came out in the spring of 2014, and it was warmly received. What a humbling experience. The process of making the first book has taught me so much; feedback from journalists, critics, fellow writers, and my readers has taught me even more. I was proud of and grateful for what Ten Speed Press and I had created together, and I’m happy to announce that we are teaming up again to bring you another book. Continue Reading →

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A Thai Papaya Salad Street Vendor: A Mobile Kitchen

Thai Som Tam Street Vendor
Just the other day as I was on my way to one of my favorite noodle shops in a busy alley on Silom Road in Bangkok, I came across these hawker’s baskets. So I took out my phone and asked their owner for permission to take some photos. The vendor lady, who seemed shy, told me—giggling—that she didn’t want to be photographed but that I could take as many photos as I wanted of her baskets. So I did. Just one photo.

I just wanted to show you what’s in this mobile kitchen. Continue Reading →

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Northern Thailand and Northeastern Thailand (Isan) Are Two Different Regions

Northern and Northeastern Thailand
There’s the north of Thailand. Then there’s the northeast of Thailand.* The northeast is also known as isan, the term that never applies to the north. The two regions are separate and distinct in terms of food, dialect, culture, and geography. The Thai people don’t think of isan as part of “the north of Thailand.”

This is old news to most people. However, based on what I’ve seen in various publications, it appears quite a few are still confused. So I hope this brief post will be useful to those who write about Thai food and/or Thai restaurants who perhaps didn’t know this before.
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* Different organizations employ different divisional schemes. What you see here is based on the one proposed by the Royal Institute and approved by the Thai government in 1977.

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