The following are the most frequently asked questions. Please read them first before submitting your question(s). This way, you will get your answer(s) right away without having to wait for me.
Please send it via the contact form.
I’m going to Bangkok and would like to take a cooking lesson. Can you recommend some Thai cooking classes or schools?
I have never taken a Thai cooking class in Thailand (or anywhere else, for that matter), so I don’t feel I’m the right person to give recommendations considering I have zero personal experience. I’m planning on writing a blog post that lists some of the cooking schools with great reputation. Sign up for post updates via email or RSS, and you’ll be the first to know when the post is published.
I’m going to Bangkok. What dishes/restaurants should I not miss?
The first thing to do is get my second book, Bangkok, and make a list of the many places—all personal favorites—that I’ve mentioned in the essays and recipe headnotes. Also, if you search the blog for posts filed under She Explores and She Eats in Bangkok, you’ll find that I have written about many places in the city.
I also post about places I like on Instagram, so you can follow along too.
Do you offer a cooking class/workshop/private food tour?
Not at this time. I’ll announce it when/if that happens.
I live in a country where I can’t find your books. How can I purchase them?
Look for Bangkok (2017) and Simple Thai Food (2014) on BookDepository.com. They ship worldwide for free.
Can I send my product(s) to you to review?
I don’t receive free stuff in exchange for a review. You’re welcome to send your products to me (I will test your product(s), but Emma and Ryan, my coordinators, will take care of the correspondence on my behalf). By sending me your product(s), you acknowledge that I am under no obligation whatsoever to write about it on this website or anywhere else, and that if I do, I reserve the right to be truthful about how I feel about your product(s).
For perishables, please make sure your products are at least 6 months away from expiration. In the past, some food products that had expired or were only days away from expiration were sent to me for review. I had no choice but to dispose of them.
Do you accept guest posts?
Yes. But they need to demonstrate a deep understanding of Thai food, Thai culture, Thai language, or something that has to do with the food of Thailand.
Can I invite you to stay at our resort/hotel or eat at our restaurant gratis in exchange for a review?
Nothing personal, but I don’t do that. Please feel free, however, to send me information about your resort/hotel or restaurant. Please keep in mind that I write about Thai food, so it’s highly unlikely that I will ever write about anything unrelated to the subject.
Can I invite you to a food-related event?
It depends. I travel a lot and split my time between two countries; my schedule gets full real fast. If you give me enough time to plan (at least a month for a local event and at least 3 months for an overseas event), it’s more likely I can and will attend, if it’s related to Thai food.
Where do you find Thai ingredients in Chicago?
Tai Nam and Hoa Nam on Argyle are where you can find many Thai ingredients, including fresh fruits. H Mart in Niles and Naperville is also great.
Where can I buy a good granite mortar in Bangkok?
If you’re planning on hauling it back to your home country, it’s probably a good idea to just buy one where you live (or online if there isn’t a well-stocked Thai grocery store in your area). Invariably, it will be more expensive, but a granite mortar is very heavy and you may spend more in overweight baggage fee. Read this post on what you should look for when buying a granite mortar.
What’s your favorite brand of curry paste?
One brand can be good at making certain types of curry paste while not so good at making the others. So I don’t really have a favorite brand. In general, brands from Thailand such as Mae Ploy, Maesri, Por Kwan, Pantai are all good. I have mixed feelings about Lobo, though.
What’s your favorite brand of coconut milk?
Years ago, I used to recommend Chaokoh exclusively. These days, though I still think this brand is good, I no longer feel it stands out from the rest. Coconut milk products have also become more complex than they were when I first started this blog. There’s a long answer which I’ll share in a post someday. But the short answer is I’ve found brands imported directly from Thailand (not including brands manufactured or processed in the US) to be the best in the current US market. Read the ingredients. A preservative, like Sodium Benzoate, may not be desirable, but at least it doesn’t much affect the taste or texture of your dish. Avoid coconut milk with emulsifiers, gums, and thickeners.
I used a good brand of coconut milk, but my coconut cream still doesn’t “split” when fried. What gives?
Even in the absence of emulsifiers, some brands of coconut milk doesn’t break down. I’ve explained about this and offered a solution in my book, Simple Thai Food.
How do I make my own curry pastes?
You can find the recipes for homemade curry pastes for all of the well-known Thai curries in Simple Thai Food as well.