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Yam Naem Khao Tod by Pa Yai (ยำแหนมข้าวทอดป้าใหญ่)

Thai street food

She broke up a relationship – this Pa Yai. Okay, fine, so that’s not exactly how things went down. But, yeah, this nocturnal Bangkok street food vendor with a huge cult following was indirectly involved in what eventually led to a fermented pork-related breakup.

I’m going to assume you want to know the story. Here it is. Continue Reading →

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Fried Salmon One-Bite Salad – Miang Pla Salmon (เมี่ยงปลาแซลมอน)

thai salmon salad

Though Miang Kham (เมี่ยงคำ), the so-called one-bite salad with sweet and sticky sauce (there’s a recipe for it in Simple Thai Food), has rightfully hogged all the limelight all these years, it should be noted that it is by no means the only dish in the family of miang (เมี่ยง) wherein various tiny little things are anointed with a sauce and wrapped up in a leaf to form one perfect bite. Just as anything can be turned into a yam (ยำ), a spicy salad with fish sauce and lime juice as the main seasoning, pretty much anything can be turned into a miang.

Let your imagination take flight. Think of what makes a good combination of flavors and textures and go for it. Your job as a miang maker is to create a place where the different ingredients not only bring out the best in one another but also, together with the sauce, form a unified whole that is so good you don’t want to remove any components or add more to the mix. When you’ve got that situation going on, you know you have a good miang — something to set in front of a group of friends, inviting them to put together with their hands one bite after another of a composed salad.

This is one of the miangs I like. I hope you do too. Continue Reading →

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Scallop-Orange-Cucumber Salad (ยำหอยเชลล์กับส้มและแตงกวา)


If you have made green mango salad with grilled shrimp and cashew or Chinese sausage (kun chiang) and cucumber salad, you already know how to make most Thai salads, including this one. In fact, I bet by this time you’re already a pro when it comes to seasoning your yam instinctively without having to rely on exact measurements. Some lime juice, some fish sauce, some sugar if desired. Want it hot, add chilies. Want it smoky and hot, add dried chilies. If you deal with ingredients that are intrinsically sweet, sour, or salty, then adjust your seasoning accordingly.

The secret of Thai cuisine is that there are no secrets. Bummer.

To make this — and let’s just pretend we’re making a portion big enough to serve 4 — simply sear up enough scallops for 4 people until you get a nice crust on the outside of them without overcooking the inside. Then you set the scallops aside while cutting up half an English cucumber into matchsticks, slicing up thinly 1/2 a medium red onion (or 2 medium shallots), and sectioning 2 oranges. Toss everything together in a bowl. Add some lime juice and fish sauce to taste. Throw in some chopped up chilies and cilantro or mint leaves. Done.

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