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Duck Breast in Red Curry Sauce: Making Thai Food in Lyon Part Two

Croix-Rousse Market - Making Thai Food in Lyon by

If you’re curious about that one half-hearted vertical slash, please read on.

Here’s another day of cooking Thai food with everyday fresh market items in Lyon, France. I’m still cooking in a small poorly-equipped kitchen with not many tools to work with. I still have to cut things with a serrated butter knife. Yet, I’m still having lots of fun. Lyon is such a great city. I could have been stuck with a much smaller kitchen and a disposable plastic knife, and I still would be having a blast. (You can read the background story here.)

Enticed by all the beautiful, voluptuous côtes de canard at Croix-Rousse market in Lyon, I just had to bring home one. This gorgeous duck breast weighs in at 700 grams which is slightly over 1 1/2 pounds. I didn’t have any idea what to do with it when I was at the market. I had with me some red curry paste and boxed coconut milk which I had schlepped all the way from Geneva, Switzerland, when I was there last week. (By the way, did you know they have tom yam/tom kha herb kits at mainstream supermarkets in Geneva? Mind blown.) So I thought I would make duck breast in red curry sauce — chuchi-style, somewhat like this halibut in red curry sauce. Continue Reading →

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Stir-Fried Mixed Vegetables with Lardons: Making Thai Food in Lyon Part One

Croix-Rousse Market - Making Thai Food in Lyon
Bonjour de Lyon! I’m traveling through Europe at the moment, so I hope you don’t mind that I’ve put our grilled chicken series on hold for a short while. What I’m having fun with at the moment is to pretend I am a Thai food enthusiast living in different places in Western Europe trying to make good Thai food with everyday fresh market offerings.

You know what I’ve realized so far? There are A LOT of good Thai dishes one can make with what’s available at most supermarkets and outdoor fresh markets here. Some ingredients, of course, are not traditional. But that’s only because currently they have not yet become regular, everyday produce among the Thais in Thailand. But with the country’s ability to grow more and more cold-weather crops, it’s just a matter of time before you see ‘foreign’ fruits and vegetables popping up in Thai dishes — you know, the fruits and vegetables you don’t necessarily associate with Thai cooking.

By the way, I don’t believe for a second that Thai food is defined and confined by only the natural ingredients native to the area presently known as Thailand (see my post on “authentic” Thai cuisine from few months ago).

But hold that thought. For now, let me take you to the famous Croix-Rousse market in Lyon, France. Continue Reading →

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Krua Apsorn Restaurant, Bangkok, and Its Famous Crabmeat and Yellow Chili Stir-Fry (เนื้อปูผัดพริกเหลือง ร้านครัวอัปษร)

krua apsorn crabmeat yellow chili stir fry

My clone of Krua Apsorn’s famous dish

Sometime last year, you might have seen a woman sitting alone in front of a building on Samsen Road in central Bangkok, tranquilizing herself with fried sweet potato balls, rocking back and forth, and mumbling things. That was me giving myself a prep talk.

I didn’t take a selfie, but I think I must have looked like I could use some extra-strength Metamucil. Weird, because there were no good reasons for it.

First of all, I was in the neighborhood where my mother and her siblings were born and raised. Their childhood accounts were always fun and vivid that every time I’m in the area, I can see with my mind’s eye their joyful little footprints all over the sidewalks. This, as far as I’m concerned, is a happy place.

Also, after lunch, I knew I’d spend the whole afternoon in the dark archives of the National Library nearby — the activity which, to me, is akin to frolicking in a field of daisies on a sunny day with an ice cream cone in one hand and a stick of cotton candy in the other.

Most importantly, I was just moments away from having lunch at Krua Apsorn, one of my favorite traditional Thai restaurants in Bangkok after a fairly long period away from it. Not only that, I was planning on asking Krua Apsorn’s head chef to share with me some cooking tips. An opportunity to introduce yet another bright spot in my hometown to my readers should have filled me with joy like it always had. Continue Reading →

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