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The Best Pumpkins to Use in Thai Cooking

Best Pumpkins to Use in Thai Cooking Plus Beef Massaman with Potimarron
I’ve long touted kabocha squash, a pumpkin/squash heavily used in Japanese and Korean cooking, as one of the best among the various types (commonly found in the United States) to use in Thai cooking. This is because its texture and flavor are very close to those of the type of pumpkin commonly used in Thailand. I still stand by my opinion.

However, as I was rereading my post on stir-fried pumpkin with eggs in which I describe kabocha as having chestnut-like qualities, it suddenly occurred to me that I had entirely forgotten about another type of pumpkin/squash that I like but, for some reason, had only used in ‘Western’ dishes: potimarron*.

With the ‘marron’ part (French for ‘chestnut’) staring at me in the face all these years, I don’t understand how I’d never made the connection until now. [See this post by David Lebovitz on Roasted Potimarron]. Continue Reading →

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Rabbit Massaman Curry (แกงมัสมั่นกระต่าย): Making Thai Food in Lyon Part Four

Croix Rousse Market - Making Thai Food in Lyon
Another trip to Croix Rousse Market in Lyon, France, resulted in an impromptu dinner of rabbit massaman curry aka something I had never thought I would get to write about let alone make. That’s what happen when you send multiple people to the market and end up with different miscellaneous ingredients for you to put together in an almost Stone Soup style.

With some coconut milk, massaman curry paste, and fish sauce in the cupboard, I was able to turn the cuisses de lapin, some tiny potatoes smaller than the tip of my thumb, and some fresh spring onions from the market into a simple and hearty dinner for 4 in about an hour — plenty of time left for us to go get a good spot around Le Jardin des Plantes where you can get a good view of the Bastille Day fireworks in Lyon. Continue Reading →

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Slow Cooker Beef Curry Noodles


The fact that I’ve been happily making this beef curry noodle dish the same way for years would lead one to think that it would have been one of the first recipes to be published here. I’m sorry I’d hidden this from you for three years, but it’s only because I was afraid you cool kids would make fun of me. First of all, it’s made in a slow cooker, not a much more sophisticated pressure cooker or a Thomas Keller-approved sous vide machine. Then we also have the issue of namelessness: this dish doesn’t have a name. Even Holly Golightly’s cat has a name. This thing? Nope. Not even “Noodles.”

The truth is that this dish started out as a failure. Initially, it was supposed to be a streamlined version of Khao Soi (northern Thai curry noodles), but failed to deliver (too many ingredients short). Then, in an attempt to save the cook’s face, it was quickly re-purposed as a streamlined version of Kuai Tiao Kaeng (aka Kuai Tiao Khaek), but, still being too many ingredients short, that didn’t go so well either despite the addition of soft- or medium-boiled eggs to increase the visual resemblance. [In case you’re wondering about the ingredient issue, I guess I should tell you also that this dish was born in an era of students’ poverty. My first slow cooker was purchased from a garage sale in a very dingy residential area. I went there, paid $2 for it, grabbed the thing, and ran like heck.] Continue Reading →

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