Bison Salad with Mountain Mint, Isan-Style


Bison Salad with Mountain Mint Isan-Style
It’s a kind of mint,” a vendor at the market said to me as I inquired about the herb on the table between us—the herb I’d never seen before. He seemed unsure about its identity but said he believed it was a type of mountain mint that had just been foraged. He didn’t seem confident about how to use it either. “You can use it in, you know, whatever you usually make that has mint in it, I guess.” He then shrugged and distorted his face. “Ice cream?.”

Rational, cautious people would have walked away. Not me. Curiosity—the kind that historically must have killed several cats—made me hand him the money and bring this herb home. I had no idea what would happen to me, but I knew lap* would be happening in my kitchen that afternoon. Continue Reading →

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Saksith Saiyasombut and Baby Back Rib Satay, Peanut Sauce, and Cucumber-Onion-Sweet Pepper Salad

Saksith Saiyasombut and Pork Rib Satay
Ask Saksith Saiyasombut about Thai food in Germany and he’ll probably heave a sigh. I know that, because when I recently raised the subject to the Hamburg-based freelance journalist and political commentator, his immediate reaction was exactly that: a heaving of a sigh—soft and sustained. It didn’t strike me as one of displeasure; if anything, it was more of an acquiescent, faintly audible shrug. Then again, it was the only sigh Saksith heaved during our phone conversation, and perhaps I shouldn’t be making too much out of a hapax. Continue Reading →

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Stir-Fried Garland Chrysanthemum with Ground Pork (ผัดตั้งโอ๋หมูสับ)


Stir-fried Garland Chrysanthemum with Ground Pork
Have you had garland chrysanthemum? If you haven’t, you may want to give this inexpensive—though a bit hard to find—vegetable a try. If you live near an Asian grocery store with a lush and bountiful produce section, surely you have seen garland chrysanthemum (Glebionis coronaria) before. It’s also referred to as chrysanthemum greens, crown daisy, shungiku (Japanese), tangho (Chinese), sukgat (Korean), and tang-o (Thai). Continue Reading →

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