Category Archives: Thailand

Thailand Cooking Tour 2014

Double choc sweet sticky rice

I have been talking about this for the whole time I was in Thailand and I have finally managed to make it ‘work’… Here is the deal:

I wanted a double choc shell with the out shell being a dark chocolate, then a mango purée surprise, another chocolate shell and then sweet coconut sticky rice. The problem was making the chocolate shells. I have managed to make it work using a silicone cup cake mould. I haven’t nailed it yet but check out the video of the first attempt. I used very sweet coconut milk as the surprise and coconut praline to top the chocolate. I need to sort out how to make the moulds reliably and how to seal the lot once it is full.

Here is the video of opening up the chocolate http://youtu.be/trOZ4HEWguA

Day 48 – Out and about – ‘JJ’ Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market (JJ Market)

I incorrectly described this market to someone recently as Bangkok’s ‘Vic Market’.  I couldn’t have been anymore wrong.  This market is a thriving amalgamation of cool, food, tourists and locals all looking for something special that, if you have a lot of time to look, you will probably find.

The market is tucked away at the end of the tube line but is easy to get to and has plenty of options as far as stations are concerned.  I exited at Kamphaeng Phet station because I knew over the road there was a local food only market that I wanted to investigate (Or Tor Kor market which is an extremely clean market across the road but that’s for another post).  The market appears to, at first glance (and due to most of the stalls out side) to be full of rubbish but spend a little more time and you find quite the opposite.  The market is broken up into 6 sections; Antiques, Handicrafts & Souvenirs ; Clothing & Accessories; Eating & Drinking; Housewares & Decor; Pets; and Plants & Gardening.  in each of these sections there’s something cool to check out.  It’s crammed into little corridors so nearly impossible to photograph but if you’re only in Bangkok for a short time I would recommend checking this out (and don’t miss the market across the road).

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Click on image to see the other images of this guy’s tricks

Then there is the cool clothing…..

Wink, Wink, nudge, nudge, say no more....
Wink, Wink, nudge, nudge, say no more….
Too cool for school. Designer flogging his wears.
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In contrast you have someone who has spent a fortune on their stall in what is still just a flee market but you go along the shops and then you come across this oasis for sight and smell

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I would love to spend a couple of weekends here going from stall to stall to stall and picking up little designer wears that are small runs made by people who care (not knockoff crap that they want to get rid of ASAP before the shape changes in the humidity).

Day 47 – Duck hair flower salad

Duck hair flower salad

Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version
1/2 Cup Chicken stock
3 Prawns, shelled, depooed and boiled to pink
50g Minced pork
100g Duck Hair Flower (Stamen [bit in the middle with the pollen] removed)
2 limes, juice
2 Red bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
1/4 Red onion, finely chopped
1 Spring onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tab Fish sauce
1 1/2 Tab Sugar syrup
1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
  1. Pound the bird chillies to a rough paste. Put to one side
  2. Boil pork in a pot with chicken stock until pork is cooked. Put to one side
  3. Prepare a bowl of ice water.
  4. Boil a pot of water and place duck hair flowers in the pot for 30 seconds.  Remove and put in ice water.  Allow to remain in ice water
  5. Put chillies, garlic, red onion, lime juice, and spring onion in a bowl and combine. Put to one side
  6. Put the duck hair flowers on a plate then the pork on top.  Pour over the chilli sauce, fish sauce and sugar syrup.  Place prawns on top and serve

Garlic

Then add:

Squeeze lime juice

Add chopped spring onion

Mix with the boiled pork over the flowers.

Por dressingsand garnish with coriander and shallots sprinkle 1 t dry shrimp

Day 47 – Sweet dark noodles

Sweet dark noodles

Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version
15g Ginger
2 Spring onion
1 Garlic, clove, crushed
15g Pork fat (can substitute with fatty bacon)
2g Black peppercorn, roughly crushed
1 Tsp Chinese spice (pick khom)
4 Prawn, shelled and depooed
1 Coriander root
70g Glass noodle soaked in water and drained
1 Tab Soy Sauce
1 Tab Oyster Sauce
1/2 Tab Sesame oil
1/2 Tsp White sugar
1/2 Tsp Sweet dark soy sauce
1/2 Cup Chicken stock
  1. In a bowl combine the Stock, dark soy, soy, sugar, oyster and sesame oil. Mix to attempt to dissolve the sugar
  2. In a pot place the pork fat on the bottom and then place the (in order) ginger, coriander root, spring onion, garlic, pepper, Chinese spice, noodles and prawns
  3. Pour sauce from the bowl across the contents of the pot and put pot on low heat. Wait for the sauce to start to boil, wait 2 minutes, drain and pour over the ingredients once again. Repeat the boil/2 minute wait/drain/pour step until there is very little liquid remaining. Serve

Day 47 – Steamed Chinese squash soup with chicken

 Steamed Chinese squash soup with chicken

Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version
4 Cups Chicken stock
175g Chinese squash
43g Shitakee Mushroom
1 Garlic clove
1 Chicken thigh, free range, cut in half
1 Pickled lime
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tab Soy sauce
  1. In a pot with boiling water add chicken and boil until there is no ‘red’ showing (not completely cooked, just the outside).  Empty pot and put to one side
  2. In a bowl add  mushrooms, garlic and squash and pickled lime, chicken and chicken stock
  3. Put bowl in a steamer and steam for 2 hrs on medium heat
  4. Remove lime before serving

Day 48 – Out and about – The chai man

I broke my own rule with this one. This guy was amazing so I am including a few photos of the tricks he was doing to mix the tea with the sweetened condensed milk and sugar. I am linking this on into the JJ Market post because this is where it belongs.

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Just straight. one cup to the next with ever increasing distance to impress
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Twirling in a anticlockwise direction and not spilling a drop
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Twirling in a clockwise direction and not spilling a drop
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fairly much throwing the tea at the other cup and …. not spilling a drop
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OK two cups while twirling….. That’s just showing off!!

Day 46 – Menu

Click on image for a full size version. Victory Monument, Bangkok
Click on image for a full size version. Victory Monument, Bangkok

As the Thai cooking extravaganza draws to a close, I have 5 more recipes to prepare.  No longer to I have to ‘fix’ my curries, the chef just looks at me, I quiver and he says ‘OK’ and moves on.  I think I’ve done OK, I only hope that I can replicate what has become second nature back in Australia… Anyway enough sobbing in my beer, I still have to not chop off my fingers tomorrow.  As far as today’s recipes go I really like the soup, it needs the plums but don’t do what I did and eat them (they won’t kill you but I really didn’t like them).  The chicken is a great crowd pleaser without too much work and the pork curry was great.  By virtue that I have included today’s dessert must give you some indication of my feeling towards it, I will certainly be including it in my repertoire.  Enjoy today’s recipes, from tomorrow it’ll be lots of photos of people doing their stuff and probably a heap of occupational health and safety stuff.

Chicken in a padanus blanket
Sweet and sour fish soup with Chinese plum
Southern (not U.S.) style pork rib stir fry
‘Frost on the field’ (Thai dessert)

Day 46 – ‘Frost on the field’ (Thai dessert)

‘Frost on the field’ (Thai dessert)

Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version
500g Coconut cream
750g Coconut juice (water is not available)
250g White sugar
13g Agar agar or gelatine
50g Green water (can be made with padanus leaves as in previous recipes)
100g Coconut meat
1 Tsp Salt
  1. Mix together coconut juice, white sugar, agar agar and salt in a pot
  2. on a high heat bring the pot to the boil and add the green water, coconut meat and slowly add the coconut cream
  3. Put in the fridge for 1 hour to set. Serve upside down with the white at the top and the green jelly at the bottom

Day 46 – Southern (not U.S.) style pork rib stir fry

Southern style pork rib stir fry

Click on image to see full size version
Click on image to see full size version
Paste
20g Lemon grass
4g Kaffir lime skin
20g Bird’s eye chillies
7g Tamarind
7g Galangal ginger
10g Garlic
10g Red onion
5g White pepper corns
Preparation
1 Cup Pork ribs, deboned
5g Galangal ginger
1 Tsp Young pepper corns
3 Kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
1/3 Cup Paste (above)
1 Tab Vegetable oil
1 Cup Chicken Stock
1/2 Tab Fish sauce
1 Tsp White sugar
  1. On a low heat heat the oil in a wok and add paste. Keep moving to prevent sticking. Cook until fragrant
  2. Add the pork to the wok and heat until cooked. If mix starts to stick add a little stock
  3. Add fish sauce, stock and sugar. Boil until the mix dries out
  4. Add pepper corns and kaffir lime leaves and serve

Day 46 – Sweet and sour fish soup with Chinese plum

Sweet and sour fish soup with Chinese plum

Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version
1 Tilapia fillet
3 Pickled Chinese plums
20g Red onion, finely chopped
10g Garlic, finely chopped
10g Ginger, peeled and finely chopped
40g Mushrooms, quartered
8g Red spur chilli, coursley chopped
8g Spring onion, cut into 3cm lengths
1/2 Tab Soy bean paste
4 Cups Chicken stock
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp White sugar
1 Tab Tamarind juice
  1. In a pot on a high heat add stock, plum, garlic, onion, mushrooms, ginger and salt.  Heat until boiling
  2. Turn heat down to medium and add fish and soy bean paste and heat for 3 minutes
  3. Add tamarind juice and chillies.  Taste and adjust. Heat for 3 minutes
  4. Add spring onion and turn off heat.  Serve

Day 46 – Chicken in a padanus blanket

Chicken in a padanus blanket

Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version
Chicken thighs, deboned, skin on and cut into thirds
Marinade
20g White sugar
10g Sesame oil
50g Evaporated milk
30g Oyster sauce
20g Sweet dark soy sauce
20g Thai seasoning sauce (Maggi sauce)
20g Chinese style sour sauce (cheap balsamic vinegar)
20g Thai chilli sauce
1 Tab Corn flour
1 1/2 Tab Garlic, finely chopped
1 Tsp White pepper corns
1 Tsp Coriander root, finely chopped
Dipping sauce
100g Palm sugar
30g Ginger, crushed but whole
40g Sweet dark soy sauce
20g Chinese style sour sauce (cheap balsamic vinegar)
30g Ketchup
30g Thai chilli sauce
30g Thai seasoning sauce (Maggi sauce)
40g White vinegar
30g Soy sauce
  1. For the marinade pound the garlic, pepper corns and coriander root in a mortar until it is a paste
  2. Add the paste to a bowl and combine the remaining marinade ingredients in the bowl.  Put chick in the bowl and put to one side (fridge) for 1 – 3 hours
  3. In a pot put all of the dipping sauce ingredients and heat on a low heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Put to one side
  4. Once marinaded put the chicken in a steamer with the marinade for 20 minutes
  5. Remove from the steamer and cool to allow handling
  6. Once cooled wrap in a padanus leaf and deep fry
  7. Remove from the fryer once the chicken is a dark brown and serve with the dipping sauce

Day 45 – Vietnam crepes

Vietnam crepes

Click on image for full size version
Click on image for full size version
Paste
1 Tsp Black pepper corns
15g Garlic, finely chopped
2 Coriander roots, finely chopped
Preparation
1 Tab Fish sauce
1/2 Tab Palm sugar
1 1/2 Tab White sugar
1 Tsp Salt
100g Prawns, finely chopped
20g Shredded coconut meat
6 Kaffir lime leaves, very finely chopped
1 Tab Shrimp oil
1 Tab Vegetable oil
70g Hard tofu
30g Sweet pickled radish
50g Bean sprouts
1 Spring onion, finely chopped
2 Coriander ‘branches’
1/2 Tab Ground roast peanuts
1/2 Cup Rice vinegar
1/2 Cup White sugar
1 Tsp Salt
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/4 Red spur chilli, roughly chopped
Crepe
 1 Cup Rice flour
1 Egg yolk
1/2 Cup Lime stone water
3/4 Cup Coconut cream
1/4 Cup Water
1 Tsp Palm sugar
1/2 Tsp Tumeric powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
  1. In a mortar pound black pepper corns to a powder
  2. Add garlic and coriander root and pound to a paste. Put to one side
  3. On a large chopping board place shredded coconut meal and prawns
  4. With a knife chop the prawns and coconut meat by shopping the mix and, as it spreads out folding the edges in to the centre.  Continue until the mix is very well mixed (image here)
  5. On a high heat put prawn/coconut meat in a wok with shrimp oil, fish sauce, palm sugar, white sugar, salt and white pepper.  Constantly keep moving until the mix is fragrant and brown.
  6. Add kaffir lime leaves and heat briefly. Turn off heat and put to one side
  7. In a wok on a high heat add vegetable oil and add tofu.  Cook until tofu is browned
  8. Add bean sprouts, radish and paste (above).  Quickly combine all ingredients and turn off heat.  Put to one side
  9. In a pot on a medium heat put rice vinegar, white sugar and 1 tsp salt.  Heat until sugar is dissolved and out to one side
  10. Once vinegar/salt/sugar is cool put in a small bowl with red onion and red spur chilli.  Put to one side
  11. To create the crepes; In a bowl whisk rice flour, egg yolk and slowly add lime stone water
  12. Combine coconut cream and water in a jug
  13. Slowly whisk in coconut cream/water into the crepe mix in the bowl
  14. Add palm sugar, tumeric powder and salt and whisk until palm sugar is dissolved.  Put to one side
  15. Heat a wok on a high heat.  Oil wok with 1 tab of vegetable, spread oil over the entire surface and remove any excess oil with kitchen paper
  16. Pour 1/2 cup of crepe mix into wok while turning wok to distribute mix over the surface making a thin coating across the surface without any gaps
  17. Once the edges start to display bubbles use a scrapper to separate them from the wok
  18. Pour a little vegetable oil into the edges Video here
  19. Cook until the crepe starts to brown, put tofu mix, and prawn mix across the centre of the crepe and serve

Day 45 – Whole fried fish with green mango sauce

Whole fried fish with green mango sauce

Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version
1 Whole tilapia fish
2 Tab White sugar
1 1/2 Tab Fish sauce
Salt
Dipping sauce
1/4 Cup Shredded green mango
4 Bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
1/4 Red onion, thinly sliced
2 Limes, juice
1 Spring onion, finely chopped
1 Tab Fish sauce
1 Tab White sugar
  1. Mix mango, bird’s eye chillies, onion, lime juice, spring onions, dipping fish sauce and dipping sugar in a bowl and put to one side
  2. In a pot stir the additional fish sauce and white sugar and heat on a low heat until the sugar is dissolved
  3. Prepare deep frying oil by adding salt to oil (prevents sticking on sides of pot etc) on a high heat
  4. Put fish in oil and cook until the fish is a rich brown. Pour fish/sugar mix over the fish on serving
  5. Serve with dipping sauce

Day 44 – Menu

Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version

I know I have said this before and, to be honest, I am a lover of Thai food but everything on today’s menu really didn’t let the side down.  The cucumber soup was a real surprise, it was great (seriously who would have thought?).  We didn’t completely clean the squid and left some soft stuff on the inside, personally I think I prefer it clean but there is some soft stuff there that takes the sauce well and helps to surround your mouth with the punch the sauce offers.

Stir fry seafood with fresh curry
Deep fried chicken thigh with sweet chilli dipping sauce
Soft juicy squid with chilli topping
Cucumber soup with pork stuffing

Day 44 – Cucumber soup with pork stuffing

Cucumber soup with pork stuffing

Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version
Paste
2 Spur chillies, (bright colours)
3 Bird’s eye chillies
4 Garlic, cloves
1 Tsp White pepper corns
Preparation
300g Pork Mince
1 Glass noodles, packet.  Rehydrated
1 Tab Paste (above)
10 White radish pieces, course chopped pieces
4 Shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated, coursley chopped
1 Baby cucumber, quarters and seeds removed
1 Tab Soy sauce
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp White pepper powder
10 Cup Chicken stock
  1. Make the paste by putting white pepper corns in a mortar and pounding to dust
  2. Add garlic, and chillies and pound to a paste. Put to one side
  3. In a bowl mix together the pork, glass noodles and paste.  Massage the ingredients together and put to one side to marinade (30 minutes is plenty)
  4. Fill cucumber with pork mix and put to one side
  5. In a pot on high heat put the stock and bring to the boil
  6. Put in radish, filled cucumber, carrot, mushrooms in pot and reduce heat to low
  7. Skim the scum off the top of the top as the soup simmers
  8. After a few minutes add soy sauce, salt and white pepper
  9. Simmer for 15 minutes and serve

Day 44 – Soft juicy squid with chilli topping

Soft juicy squid with chilli topping

Click on image for full size version
Click on image for full size version
2 Limes, juice
6 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 Bird’s eye chillies
1 Coriander root
1/2 Cup Chicken stock
1/2 Tab Sugar
1 Tab Fish sauce
1 Tab Galangal ginger, slices
1 Squid
  1. Slice the squid without cutting all the way through diagonally every 1cm
  2. Place 1/2 ginger on a plate and place quid on top. Place remaining ginger on top of squid. Steam for 15 minutes
  3. Combine lime juice, garlic, chillies, coriander root, stock, sugar and fish sauce in a pot on low heat and heat until sugar is dissolved. Put to one side
  4. Once squid is steamed remove ginger and place on a plate. Pour sauce over and serve

Day 44 – Deep fried chicken thigh with sweet chilli dipping sauce

Deep fried chicken thigh with sweet chilli dipping sauce

Click on picture for full size image
Click on picture for full size image
1 Chicken thigh
Marinade
1 Tsp White pepper powder
7 Garlic cloves, finely cut
3 Coriander root, finely chopped
2 Tab Soy sauce
1 Tab Thai sauce (Maggi sauce)
1/2 Tab White sugar
2 Tab Pink noodle sauce
Chicken Coating
3 1/2 Heaped Tab Plain flour
2 Tab Limestone water to create thick paste
Dipping sauce
75g Bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
75g Garlic, finely chopped
1/2 Cup White Vinegar
1/2 Cup White sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
  1. In a mortar roughly pound chillies and dipping garlic
  2. Heat a pot on low heat with vinegar, sugar and salt until the sugar is dissolved
  3. Take off the heat and combine the garlic/chilli mix from the mortar and put to one side
  4. In a bowl combine all the marinade ingredients and put chicken in the bowl. Coat chick well and leave to stand in the fridge for at 1 hour (not over night)
  5. In a bowl whisk together the flour and lime water until it creates a thick paste. If the paste is too runny, add more flour. If too thick add more water. Put to one side
  6. Before adding chicken heat oil for deep frying on a medium heat. Coat chicken in the flour water mix and then carefully place in the oil. Allow to cook until golder brown. Turn heat up when just golden brown to high and fry until rich brown and crispy. Take out and serve with the dipping sauce

Day 44 – Stir fry seafood with fresh curry

Stir fry seafood with fresh curry

Click on picture for full size image
Click on picture for full size image
Paste
2 Spur chillies, (bright colours), finely chopped
3 Bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
4 Garlic, cloves, finely chopped
1 Tsp White pepper corns
Preparation
2 Half coloured spur chillies, cut 4mm slices
2 Tab Paste (above)
2 Long bean, cut 2cm lengths
6 Kaffir lime leaves
1 Cup Sweet basil
2 Fresh pepper branches, cut into 1cm lengths
3 Finger gingers, thinly sliced
100g Chicken breast, thinly sliced
6 Prawns, shelled and depooed
1/4 Red onion, thinly sliced
1 Tab Fish sauce
1/2 Tab Sugar
1/2 Tab Oyster sauce
1/2 Cup Chicken stock
3 Tab Vegetable oil
  1. Make the paste by putting white pepper corns in a mortar and pounding to dust
  2. Add garlic, and chillies and pound to a paste. Put to one side
  3. Heat the oil in a wok on a high heat.  Add the paste and cook until fragrant.  Reduce heat to low
  4. Add chicken, prawns, and red onion.  If the mix starts to stick add 2 table spoons of stock (more if required).  Cook until the prawns and chicken are cooked
  5. Change to a high heat and add beans, kaffir limes leaves, chillies, fresh pepper, and stock (if required).  Cook until the beans are cooked
  6. Add sweet basil, turn off and serve

Day 43 – Stir fry pork with crispy pork belly

Stir fry pork with crispy pork belly

Click on picture for full size image
Click on picture for full size image
Pork 1Kg Pork belly
Paste
20g Rehydrated dried chillies, finely chopped
10g Garlic, finely chopped
15g Red onion, finely chopped
10g Galangal ginger, finely chopped
15g Lemongrass, finely chopped
1/2 Tsp White pepper corns
3g Kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Coriander root, finely chopped
1 Tsp Shrimp paste
Preparation  
3 Large green beans, cut into 2cm lengths and blanched
2 Tab Paste
 6 Kaffir lime leaves
1 Tab Dried shrimp, pounded
2 Tab Vegetable oil
4 Tab Chicken Stock
  1. To make the crispy pork you do the following……
  2. ‘Shave’ the pork skin by running a sharp knife over the skin and removing any extra hair/skin etc. Video here: http://youtu.be/qwwoQb2e0Lo
  3. Cut it into large manageable chunks. Put salt on the skin and out in the fridge uncovered over night to dry out
  4. Take the pork out of the fridge and put sale and vinegar on the skin. Prick with a fork all over to encourage the vinegar to ‘sink in’. Put to one side for 1 hour
  5. Dry the skin out and put in deep fryer on a medium heat.  Dropping the pork in here: http://youtu.be/FudrIlsGPls
  6. Fry for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from oil and allow to dry
  7. Turn heat up to high and wait for oil to come to a high temperature. Put pork in the oil. Cook until the skin is blistered and remove from heat and put to one side to dry
  8. Once dried out add to the oil once more. Cook until the skin is crispy. Cut into dipping slices and serve with sauce
  9. On a medium heat heat the oil and add the paste. Fry the paste until it starts to stick to the pan
  10. Add 2 tab of stock to the pan and scrape off any paste sticking to the sides. Add more stock if required
  11. Add fish sauce and kaffir lime leaves
  12. Cut pork into cubes, take beans and add to wok. Heat a little and serve
Blistered pork before first frying
Blistered pork before first frying

Day 43 – Crispy pork belly with a sweet and smoky dipping sauce

Crispy pork belly with a sweet and smoky dipping sauce

Click on picture for full size image
Click on picture for full size image
Pork
1Kg Pork belly
Dipping sauce
4 Bird’s eye chillies
4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Tab Soy sauce
2 Tab Sweet dark soy sauce
1 Tab Vinegar
1 Tab White sugar
  1. Smash the bird’s eye chillies in a mortar and put in a small bowl
  2. Add the garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. Mix until the sugar is dissolved
  3. To make the crispy pork you do the following……
  4. ‘Shave’ the pork skin by running a sharp knife over the skin and removing any extra hair/skin etc. Video here: http://youtu.be/qwwoQb2e0Lo
  5. Cut it into large manageable chunks. Put salt on the skin and out in the fridge uncovered over night to dry out
  6. Take the pork out of the fridge and put sale and vinegar on the skin. Prick with a fork all over to encourage the vinegar to ‘sink in’. Put to one side for 1 hour
  7. Dry the skin out and put in deep fryer on a medium heat.  Dropping the pork in here: http://youtu.be/FudrIlsGPls
  8. Fry for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from oil and allow to dry
  9. turn heat up to high and wait for oil to come to a high temperature. Put pork in the oil. Cook until the skin is blistered and remove from heat and put to one side to dry
  10. Once dried out add to the oil once more. Cook until the skin is crispy. Cut into dipping slices and serve with sauce
Blistered pork before first frying
Blistered pork before first frying

Day 43 – Smoked sour and spicy fish soup

Smoked sour and spicy fish soup

Click to see full size image
Click to see full size image
1/4 Red onion, roughly cut
1 Smoked Fish
1 Lemongrass (smashed), pulled into large chunks
1 Coriander root, clean and whole
3 Saw coriander, leaves, roughly chopped
4g Galangal Ginger, thinly sliced
6 Kaffir lime leaves
2 Tomatoes, small roma
6 Bird’s eye chillies, red and green
3 Dried chillies, deep fried
5 Cups Chicken stock
1 Cup Tamarind juice
  1. Coursley smash together dried and fresh chillies and put to one side
  2. In a pot on a medium heat add chicken stock, tamarind, lemongrass, ginger and coriander root. Bring to the boil
  3. Add most of the fish to the soup keeping a little meat to add at the end. Add fish sauce. Taste and adjust
  4. Turn heat to low and add tomatoes and kaffir lime leaves and simmer for 1 minute
  5. Turn off the heat and add chillies to your taste.  Add remaining fish.  Remove lemongrass and coriander root and serve

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The smoked fish….  Personally eating the fish was annoying.  The soup had a great smokey flavour added by the fish.  I was happy to have the soup without the fish but keep the smokey flavour.

Day 41 – Out and about – Mudskippers

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I’m one for getting off the beaten track.  I saw this hut over a swamp and wanted a ‘mum can we go swimming’ sort of shot (with the shoes at the deck) but then we saw something in the mud…

There are these little fish called ‘Mudskippers’..  They get around in the mud (it looks like) scooping mud into their mouths.  they then decided to have a little fight after flipping around for a while.  Photos below.

Click on image for full size version
Click on image for full size version
Click on image for full size version
Click on image for full size version
Click on image for full size version
Click on image for full size version
Click on image for full size version
Click on image for full size version
Click on image for full size version
Click on image for full size version
Click on image for full size version
Click on image for full size version
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Click on image for full size version

Day 41 – Out and about – Maeklong Railway Market

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http://youtu.be/XjF9pA0xJ9o..  Train coming through and hitting my camera.

There are several sides to this story… First things first…  If you are coming here expecting to find out how to get to Maeklong Railway Market…  Here you go:

  1. Bangkok Victory monument station.  Exit 2 (before 7 then the minibus terminal is ‘closed’ but go down the drive way).
  2. On this day (no idea if it changes) at location 4 we got on a minibus.  You apparently need to buy a ticket first but I have no idea how this happens and it all turns out OK, the driver will get money from you (70b one way)…. note… If you are over 160cm…  don’t do what I did…  I ended up at the back of the bus under the AC bent over (the back of the bus has AC vents that make the roof lower) in traffic for 2 hours.  Very uncomfortable for me and OMG I feel sorry for the very small Thai lady on the window side who was squished in to the window by my ever increasing arse…. Another note…. Might be worth while not taking 20Kgs of camera equipment too….  Thank god no one knew English, I’m sure if they knew how to ‘tut’ in English there would have been plenty of that going on too (tripod never wins friends).
  3. Theoretically 1.5 hours later you are dropped off at Maeklong.  Behind the bus, over the road is where you get picked up to go back (Victory Monument written in English) and in front of you is the main street.  Head to the main street and look left.  The boom gates are there, the station on the right on and the market on the left. If you go to the station there is a sign that tells you when the next train is.

So the market…. It was amazing.  I have been to a heap of markets all over the world from chickens getting killed and plucked in front of you in Egypt to English fish markets that make you sign a waver before you can take any photos (highly recommended by the way).  This was something else.  Even in Bangkok standards this was a little out there.  Very little ice to be seen, a lot of flies to be seen and even the occasional animal (excluding the tourists), mainly cats.  It has live fish, killed and prepared in front of you, frogs on their backs and the market’s signature dish, mackerel in a bamboo steamer (you don’t get to take the steamer home). The big attraction is the fact a train runs through the middle of the market.  A bell goes off, the stalls finish their transaction and then they start pulling back the fruit, veggies and various animal products from around the tracks.  Second bell goes off and the activity becomes fierce as the slow ones now they have seconds.  The rich stalls move their trollies back along little tracks that move them back just enough to be out of the way of the train.  Tourists get yelled at by the stall holders to get back (constantly) and the train rattles through centimetres from your chest.  Once the train is past everything is put back and everyone goes on with their day.  Photo of the back of the train is here.

Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version

For those of you who are concerned (or just want to see my kit destroyed here is the damage to the camera.

IMAG0465
There’s a reason why it’s called tough

…Damage is beside the lens…

Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version

The market has stuff all over the place beside the tracks and, as you can see, heaps to move out of the way in a short period of time (watch the video for real time understanding).

Step outside the market and there’s even more going on.  Dried fish, locals looking at Buddha amulets, crepes with savory fillings cooked over charcoal stoves (all photos below) and more but I will put other entries for those..  There is about 4 hours you can kill here and, if you want to stop and talk to anyone (they are all happy to talk) then more.

The one thing I did want to get from the market was a track’s eye view of the train.  I hadn’t seen anyone use the perspective of the tracks in their videos so I dumped my camera in the middle of the track and left it there.  This disturbed everyone, the market holders (on the right of the shot) and the Japanese tourists next to me.  Check it out here: http://youtu.be/XjF9pA0xJ9o

The photos are here:

Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version

The market’s traditional fair.. mackerel in bamboo steamers…

 

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Click on image for a full size version

There wasn’t any active selling.  This lady was just sitting there hoping this lanky Australia would buy something… Sorry

MaeKlong railway market

I love the fact this guy’s next ‘customer’ is in the bucket next to him.  They are all alive and get chopped up to ‘order’.

Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version

And the poor little frogs.. 80b/kg… They come in a lot less than the quail.  Probably the same amount of meat:-)

Outside the market there’s still a heap going on.  This guy was making savory crepes on a charcoal fire.  They are really hard work to make.  You create a dough with sticky rice flour, water and egg.  Make a flat cake and boil the cake.  Takes the cakes and mix them in a mixer to a paste.  Spread that paste out in to the crepe shape and thickness and put in the sun to dry.  Once dry you stack them, take them to market and so the final step here.  They are sweet in flavour but not a sweet (if that makes sense) .  Brilliant!!

Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version

Dried squid run through a ‘mangle’ to flatten them out for (I can only assume) eating… Enjoy.

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Click on image for a full size version

 

Day 40 – Gift from chef

Chef saw this and bought it for us as a gift.

In Thailand there is a short period of time you can buy palm sugar like this (once a year).  This palm sugar is a really bold flavour and is really punchy eaten on its own.  I have to try it in cooking but it looks great.

Job_6247

Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version

Day 40 – Thai banquet…

Today’s menu involved preparing 3 dipping sauces and serving them with some very fresh vegetables.  I am running out of power on my phone so I don’t think I’ll get the recipes up tonight but here are the photos as a teaser:

Job_6222
Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version
Click on image for a full size version

Day 39 – Menu

Click on image for a full size verson
Click on image for a full size verson

Today’s menu included a lot of very fresh flavours. All of the dishes today included texture and taste to delight the sensors. Those of keen eye might notice on the Chicken salad we have banana blossom. I REALLY didn’t like it so I have excluded it from the recipe (it tasted like very very (yes, two ‘verys’) green banana). The fish was light, healthy and tasty, the soup (even with the banana blossom) was delicious and the black sticky rice was a pleasant end to a day of eating. 2 hours in the gym where the spinning instructor did most of the session in English and I guess I may have burned off 50% of the day’s calories.

Chicken soup with banana blossom (Tom Kaa Gai Si Wha Pre)
Chicken salad with tom yum dressing
Thai Summer fish
Black sticky rice pudding