When I was a kid growing up in Bangkok, fresh strawberries were few and far between. Imported strawberries could be found in some high-end supermarkets, but more often than not, they looked like they were about to join the choir invisible. The freshest strawberries we could find would come from farmers who grew them in the colder northern region. If our family timed our trip to Chiang Mai right, we would see these farmers on both sides of the road with shoe boxes full of just-picked strawberries—a joyous sight indeed. And though we knew from experience that as fresh as those strawberries looked, they would always be more tart than sweet, we loaded up the trunk with as many of them as we possibly could anyway. Buy first, figure out what to do with them later was our family’s motto when it comes to rare food items. Even now when the lack of fresh, sweet strawberries is no longer an issue in my life, I still have the tendency to overbuy them. Continue Reading →
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I’m writing this from a jungle somewhere in western Thailand, and there are lots and lots of butterfly pea flowers, langsat, and rambutans around. I hope you like this tropical fruit (and edible flower) edition of July 4th celebration. I sure did (guess who ate the props).
Happy July 4th to those who celebrate it. Hope you’re enjoying the long holiday and having fun with your loved ones. My current location and situation don’t allow me to cook very often, so there won’t be many recipes on the blog for the rest of the summer, but I’m pretty active on Instagram, so if you’re interested in seeing what I’ve been doing and eating in Thailand, please feel free to follow me.
Busy cooks know this: life is better and easier when you have a pantry full of things that keep for a long time without refrigeration and can be used in multiple ways at a moment’s notice. That is why this fragrant and fiery chili oil (not to be confused with nam prik pao) is always found in my pantry as well as the pantries* of my loved ones who are often gifted with a jar of it every now and then. We love it so.
Let’s be clear on one thing first, though: you’ll hardly ever see this condiment used in traditional Thai stir-fries, curries, soups, or salads. Even noodle shops in Thailand don’t usually have this available for you on the table as part of their seasoning caddy (on the other hand, you’ll see plain dried chili powder which is the norm). Chili oil is something you’ll most likely see at a Chinese restaurant. Continue Reading →
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