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Spicy Grilled Beef-Grape Salad – A Mini Thai Cooking Class with Chef Vichit Mukura, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

Grilled Beef-Grape Salad from Sala Rim Naam Restaurant The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
You have no idea how excited I was to be able to get Vichit Mukura, Executive Thai Chef of the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, to grace this site with his Thai cooking knowledge and skills. For a long time this is what I’ve been wanting to share with you all. Those who have experienced his cooking at Sala Rim Naam restaurant can understand my excitement.

Chef Vichit is one of a few people the government of Thailand turns to whenever it plans a dining event of national scale. Remember when I told you about the menu of the state dinner in honor of President Obama back in November 2012? It was Chef Vichit who executed that menu (according to the mandate of Prime Minister Shinawatra who came up with the menu herself) and oversaw the kitchen operations.

There are many interesting things about the chef one of which is his passion in organic rice farming. I hope to tell you more about him and what he does in future posts. For now, please enjoy this video demo wherein Chef Vichit shows you how to make a spicy salad of grilled beef, grapes, and fresh herbs; it’s an easy dish that lays a firm foundation for not only your Thai salad-making skill but also your understanding of what Thai salads are all about. Continue Reading →

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Spicy Duck Salad (ลาบเป็ดอีสาน) Isan-style by Bangkok Royal Restaurant in Lyon, France

Thai spicy duck salad by Bangkok Royal Restaurant in Lyon, France
Three of my colleagues who were in Lyon, France, last week, decided to try out Bangkok Royal, said to be one of the best Thai restaurants in the city. They were so impressed with the dinner that they went back the next day to interview the owner and the chef. Here’s the scoop, composed by me according to their account. ~ Leela

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Apricots in Iced Syrup (แอปริคอตลอยแก้ว): Making Thai Food in Lyon Part Three

Apricots in Iced Syrup
I’m still making Thai food in Lyon just for fun (I’m eating French food every day too, so don’t worry about me). After a simple mixed vegetable stir-fry and a duck curry, I’m turning France’s delicious fruits into a loy kaew (ลอยแก้ว RTGS: loi kaeo), a Thai iced dessert that I make all the time even in sub-zero weather.

What is great about loy kaew is the freedom it gives you in terms of your fruit of choice. In general, most fruits that are non-starchy, hold their shape well and don’t turn the syrup cloudy are good loy knew candidates. If they’re also sour or sweet and sour, that’s even better. The process is also easy: it’s just a matter of preparing the fruit (i.e. peel and pit/deseed it, if applicable, then cut it into bite-sized pieces) and cooking it very gently in a syrup infused with whatever strikes your fancy — most commonly jasmine or ylang-ylang flowers. Continue Reading →

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