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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, giggly, 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. And even though isan is, geographically speaking, considered the northeastern part of the country, the Thai people don’t refer to it as part of “the north of Thailand”—the term that immediate takes their minds to the northern region.

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.

* 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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Drunkard’s Noodles (Pad Kee Mao) – What to Expect from Simple Thai Food

Pad Kee Mao from Simple Thai Food Book by Leela Punyaratabandhu
I’ll tell you about this noodle dish and how to make it (my way) in just a few moments. For now, please let me announce that Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes from the Thai Home Kitchen is here!

The book has become available online since last Tuesday, May 13th, and is now starting to pop up at the major brick & mortar bookstores both in the United States and internationally (Bangkokians, check out Kinokuniya, Asia Books, and The Booksmith).

If you’re familiar with, I think you have come to know what to expect of me. And you’re probably wondering whether the book will be just like the blog.

Well, it is and it’s not. Continue Reading →

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