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Strawberry-Lychee Jam

Strawberry-Lychee Jam
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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Southern Thai Dry Curry (Khua Kling) from Khua Kling Pak Sod Restaurant

Khua Kling Pak Sod Restaurant - Southern Thai Dry Curry (Khua Kling)
Long-time readers of my website have probably noticed this: I love Southern Thai food. There are many reasons, and I’ll talk about them at a more appropriate time. Today is all about khua kling, the iconic Southern Thai dry curry which I love so much and—now that I think about it—counts as one of those reasons.

I recently had a chance to ask Varesara Smitasiri, owner of Khua Kling Pak Sod (literally ‘khua kling [and] fresh vegetables’), one of Bangkok’s hottest Southern restaurants, a few questions. One of her chefs had also done a demo of the dish for my readers. And this khua kling fanatic couldn’t have been giddier. Though this fine home-style restaurant isn’t the only place where you can get Southern Thai food in Bangkok, I’d be remiss to not include it on the list of great dining spots in the city. Really you should go. Continue Reading →

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Red Curry of Chicken and White Asparagus, Inspired by Pinto by Chak

Pinto by Chak - Red Curry of Chicken and White Asparagus
A familiar sight when I was a kid growing up in Bangkok was that of someone on a bike going around the neighborhood to deliver food packed in a container called “pinto.” And though our family never used this daily catering and food delivery service, we were familiar with how it worked. How could we not? Advertising pamphlets were put in our mailbox every week, tempting us with the prospect of having a home-style, multi-dish meal delivered fresh to our door every day. A full samrap on your dinner table without you having to lift a finger? I’m pretty sure that even though my mother never actually signed up for the service, she must have toyed with the idea from time to time, especially on days when work became too demanding. Continue Reading →

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