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Khao Man Gai Encore ข้าวมันไก่ (มาอีกแล้ว)

Khao Man Gai - Thai Adaptation of Hainanese Chicken Rice
Remember khao man gai (RTGS: khao man kai)? If it’s been a while since you last made it, or if you’ve never made it at all, maybe I can encourage you to visit that old post? (Oh my word, the post is five and a half years old now…)

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Roasted Turkey with Thai Aromatic Paste

Roasted Turkey with Thai Aromatic Paste
From time to time, I get emails asking if I’ve ever tried to incorporate Thai flavors into my Thanksgiving turkey. I have indeed — though, I must say, only reluctantly and mostly to satisfy people’s curiosity. I guess the lack of enthusiasm on my part is due to this: while I eat Thai food all year round, only once a year do I get to enjoy plain, buttery roasted turkey along with sausage stuffing, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn pudding, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes with apple cider-beer glaze, cranberry sauce, and soft dinner rolls with whipped butter. I love these side dishes with my turkey; each year I look forward to them more than I do the turkey itself. So I don’t feel I need to try thinking outside the box with the turkey and to risk having it clash with those classic sides.

Do “Thai flavors” clash with the traditional side dishes? Several years ago, some friends forced me to suggested that I make green curry-flavored turkey, and, against my better judgment, I caved. Well, let’s just say that we all are still scarred by the experience. We agreed we loved Thai green curry and we loved the usual Thanksgiving side dishes. We just didn’t love them together. Continue Reading →

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Mon Dipping Sauce (น้ำปลามอญ) by Ong Bunjoon

Mon Dipping Sauce
I recently fell in love with a book. I’m still head over heels as I’m typing this sentence.

Long story short, I popped into a Kinokuniya during a quick layover in Bangkok early this summer in hopes of finding something tiny but texty and thrilling* to read on the 4-hour plane ride I’d catch later that evening. No more than 5 minutes later, I walked out with a copy of Khang Samrap Mon (ข้างสำรับมอญ)**, a pocketbook — still shrink-wrapped — with nothing that appealed to me on a quick glance other than the author’s vaguely familiar name.

Not only was the book devoured in one sitting as planned, it was also constantly by my side as I was hopping from place to place in East and Southeast Asia in the following 3 months. All sorts of brutal acts like double- and triple-underlining, highlighting, dog-earing, excessive exclamation pointing, and ranty, monologic marginal-notating had been committed by me against the poor book. But in the process, I had learned so much about the culture and food of the ethnic Mon in Thailand. Continue Reading →

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