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How to Prepare Rice Vermicelli (Khanom Jin) from Dried Noodles

how to prepare rice vermicelli khanom jin from dried noodles
Years ago when I first came to the US, one of the products that I missed the most was the type of rice vermicelli that the Thai people call khanom jin (ขนมจีน). The noodles weren’t available fresh anywhere, which is understandable considering how difficult it is to make them at all let alone on a large scale commercially. The dried noodles labeled as khanom jin (RTGS: khanom chin; also informally romanized kanom/khanom jeen) on the market were also of subpar quality. Some people used the Japanese dried somen noodles instead, but I found them to perform so poorly as a substitute for khanom jin that I didn’t bother with them. My only choice was to make peace with the fact that if I wanted to eat khanom jin without being disappointed, I would have to wait until my next trip to Thailand.

Then things started looking up when the local Asian markets in Chicago began carrying a product labelled “Guilin Vermicelli” which is extruded rice noodles in dried form. Once cooked, this product yields rice noodles that are as close to fresh khanom jin as I have found to date. Continue Reading →

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How to Prepare Pomelos for Thai Pomelo Salad


Pomelo Salad Bites, Page 46, Bangkok cookbook

About seven years ago, I published on YouTube a video that showed how to prepare a pomelo. I took it down at one point, as I was planning on replacing it with one that is of better quality. Regardless, when it first went up, a few emails came in wondering why I had to complicate something that was supposed to be so easy and if I even knew how to prepare a pomelo. I was more surprised than offended. ‘Is there another way to do it?‘ I remember thinking to myself. One of the people who emailed me said there was a better way to prepare pomelos that even her legally blind grandmother could do in much less time, so I asked her to please enlighten me. Her reply came with nothing but a URL—you could see an eye roll and hear an annoyed sigh—to a website that showed you how it was done, and I went, ‘Ah.’ Continue Reading →

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Coconut Sticky Rice with Jackfruit

Sticky Rice Jackfruit
With jackfruits popping up everywhere these days, I thought I’d tell you about this dessert/snack: coconut sticky rice with jackfruit.

Khao niao khanun isn’t nearly as popular or ubiquitous as the iconic khao niao mamuang (sticky rice with mango), but it’s by no means uncommon. And if you already know how to make the latter, you already know enough.

Start off with a fresh batch of sweet coconut sticky rice. Page 161 of Simple Thai Food explains in detail the process of making it. Then you pinch off a small bit of the rice and fill a fresh jackfruit half (you already know how to get the flesh out of a whole jackfruit) with it. The salted coconut cream goes on top. If you’re in Thailand, fried hulled mung beans would be the standard topping; elsewhere, sesame seeds would work just fine.

Once assembled, these stuffed jackfruit halves should be consumed as soon as you can. Certain things don’t taste great after having sat at room temperature for a long time (or reheated after having been refrigerated). This is one of those things.

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