Archive | She Fries RSS feed for this section

Caramel-Glazed Pork Cracklings and Peanuts (กากหมูถั่วหวาน) from Baan Varnakovida (บ้านวรรณโกวิท)

บ้านวรรณโกวิท
Choosing where to eat in Bangkok is never easy; we’re talking about a big and diverse city, teeming with choices. But if forced to identify only one segment where I think the city’s best food is found, I would point to the homes—specifically the homes of old families who cook from recipes passed down for generations. A close second would be restaurants that serve traditional Thai dishes based on family heirloom recipes.

I never understand—or like—the whole unless-it’s-found-on-the-streets-it’s-not-good-or-authentic sentiment, which I’ve noticed from time to time in travel writing or travelers’ comments about Thailand, especially Bangkok. It doesn’t reflect the reality of how Bangkokians actually eat or the way they see their own food. It’s objectively wrong. It minimizes the importance and contribution of the restaurants in the city many of which seek to preserve local traditions and support responsible farming as well as small-scale artisans. It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. And I find it just as irritating as the assertion that royal Thai cuisine is the only authentic Thai cuisine.

There’s nothing wrong with being excited about street food or even loving it to the exclusion of others. I, too, love street food. It’s fun; it’s convenient. The streets are where you’ll find lots of things that even the most able and dedicated home cook won’t/can’t make at home. But when that excitement turns into blind, broad-stroke deification of cheap street food and disparagement of more refined establishments, it becomes problematic. Continue Reading →

Comments are closed

Fried Rice with Cured Pork (ข้าวผัดแหนม)

Fried Rice with Cured Pork
Five years ago, I brought naem to your attention. Since then I’ve shown you how to make a pork rib version and a beef short rib version of it. I’ve sneaked into the kitchen of a restaurant in Chicago that serves a crispy rice salad featuring this cured meat. I’ve dragged my rear end to a street stall in Bangkok in the middle of the night to bring you another version of said rice salad with naem. Most recently, I’ve also shown you how you can add naem to a Thai-style omelet. So I’ll assume you’re familiar with this type of cured pork* that’s heavily consumed in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. If not, please read this post. Continue Reading →

Comments are closed

Simple Thai Food: Sweet Dry Curry of Pork and Green Beans (ผัดพริกขิง)

Sweet Dry Curry with Pork and Green Beans - Phat Phrik Khing - Simple Thai Food Book - Leela Punyaratabandhu
This is one of the recipes from Simple Thai Food that I’d like you to try especially, if you haven’t already. There’s no photo for it in the book, so I thought I’d add this recipe to the Simple Thai Food Recipe Photos category.

Instead of long beans which are traditionally used in Thailand, I’ve used French green beans here—just because they were there (I could have used green beans which would work just as well). And since haricots verts are more slender and tender than either long beans or green beans, I left them whole. They were lightly steamed and presented on one side of the platter instead of mixed into the dry curry as I’ve told you to do in the book. Some restaurants and rice-curry shops in Bangkok present the dish this way as well; some even add the yolks of salted duck eggs on the side just to provide something salty to balance out the sweetness of this dry curry.

The recipe can be found on page 98, in the chapter on Rice Accompaniments. If you choose to use dried shrimp flakes—and I highly recommend that you do—please be sure to add it along with the oil and the curry paste right at the beginning. To form a simple samrap (explained in the introduction of the same chapter), I suggest you make a pot of clear soup with silken tofu and chicken dumplings on page 83 and serve both with rice.

Comments are closed