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Baked Chicken and Leek in Turmeric-Coconut Sauce

Baked Chicken and Leek in Turmeric-Coconut Sauce
The house I grew up in was only a short distance away from Kasetsart University, one of Thailand’s premier colleges known for forestry, agriculture, and food science. And we never missed the school’s annual fair, a large outdoor exhibition/farmers’ market/food fair where you’d get to see a wide range of produce and plants and sample delicious things.

My dad, who grew orchids as a hobby, would look forward to finding new types of orchid to add to his greenhouse; my mom, who was deeply fascinated by cold-climate crops (especially beetroots), would look forward to buying and figuring out a way to cook unfamiliar “Western” produce; I, who loved food on sticks, would look forward to walking around the fairground with grilled meatballs or grilled pork on bamboo skewers in my little hands.

Kaset Fair, as the event is called, was a big deal. At least to us. Continue Reading →

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Peel-and-Eat Shrimp with Roasted Tomato-Dried Chili Dipping Sauce

Roasted Tomato-Dried Chili Dipping Sauce and Boiled Shrimp
I made this for 4 people.

First, I made the roasted tomato-dried chili dipping sauce on pages 112-113 of Simple Thai Food. I doubled the recipe, and added more fish sauce and lime juice to make the sauce thinner. I also stirred in about 2 teaspoons of toasted rice powder (page 182) at the end.

Then I half-filled a 4-quart saucepan with water and brought it to a boil. I stirred in 1 tablespoon sea salt to the water and added 3 pounds of jumbo shrimp. Keeping the water simmering, I cooked the shrimp until opaque, about 3 minutes. I drained them and served them with the dipping sauce. Everyone then gathered around the table and got messy.

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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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