Make it spicy

My British husband really likes spicy food. When we were dating, we went to Thailand for a holiday and met some of my friends for dinner. He told one of my friends that he wanted to order spicy shrimp salad and my friend said, “You know it is going to be pretty spicy.” He replied, “Oh, I love it spicy.” So my friend, with a smirk on his face, said to the waiter, “He likes it spicy so make it spicy.” When the salad came, it was very spicy, but my husband ate it and enjoyed it. I was eating it too and after 3 bites had tears streaming down my face prompting another friend, sitting at the other end of the table, to shout, “Hey! I know that you have missed us, but there is no need to get over emotional na ja!”

Back in England, there was a Thai restaurant that we used to frequent. There was a time when my husband and I were both suffering from colds and when we are ill, we love to eat tom yum soup. We would order tom yum at this restaurant and ask them to make it spicy. At the end of the meal, as we left the restaurant the manager always asked how it was and my husband always answered, “not spicy enough”. Each time we went, the chef made our tum yum a little spicier and each time, my husband said at the end “not spicy enough”. Finally, one time the waitress went to the kitchen to get our soup and I heard her say, “Are you sure…?” The chef replied “just bring it out to him”. As the waitress walked by the manager, he looked at the tray she was carrying and said “Oi, have a pitcher of water on hand for them!” The waitress brought the soup over and said, “Okay, this time it is spicy for sure”. I looked down at the bowls and the top of the soup was covered with a thick layer of red. I turned around and saw the chef standing, with his arms crossed, at the door of the kitchen watching us. My husband grinned. He loved the soup. When we left, he said, “Perfect!”

6 responses to “Make it spicy

  1. Nice story. I like mine spicy too which I don’t think is a big deal. But my Thai friends say I am “geng” for being so clever at eating hot food!

  2. There you go! A farang who knows his strength! 🙂 If you look at my old post, you’ll see one called “Silencing the criticis” – now THAT one farang who doesn’t know his strength.

    It’s amazing to go out into the world and see all these white folks eating as spicy of food as any of us Thais. I guess we figured Western food are all about bland, meat and potatoes/fish and chips and therefore they won’t know that wrath that is the chili.

    Boy are we wrong, huh? 🙂

  3. I can relate to the guy. Everytime I go to a Thai resturant I always ask the waiter/waitress “yaak gra pao(what I usually order) Thai phet, mai aow farang phet, khao jai?”

    Sigh. Everytime it’s always not hot enough and they have to bring me a ‘puen prik’ (see Richard’s blog on ‘The Four Flavours’) so I can make hot enough myself. I hate to send food back be a nuisance.

    At home I usually use about 10 chillies myself when I cook Thai food. Someday maybe I’ll find a place that makes it hot enough for me!


  4. Gary Fernandez

    Having just returned from Phuket (2 weeks now), all we did was have tom-yam twice a day and after each meal, my wife and I would say, “tomorrow – no tom yam”. With no success. I even got a good recipe from the web which is as authentic as the tom yam you get in Phuket – and now have tom yam (almost) “on tap”. Do you know where I might be able to find the recipe for “kung chae nam pla” which is the thai style sashimi prawns? The only web references are menus from Japanese web-sites with no instructions (on how to prepare). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  5. Gary,

    I think ithe Kung Chae Nam Pla is pretty much exactly what the name say: prawns (kung) marinated (chae) in fish sauce (nam pla)…with lots of chopped garlic and thai bird chili. Some people would put the roasted chili paste (nam prik pao) in there too I think.

    Hope that helps!

  6. When I was growing up in Thailand (I lived with my grandparents at that time since my parents were over in the US working), I could never eat hot stuff. Still, I would try to eat things such as Green Chicken Curry, Tom-yum, etc., just because I like them a lot. I would be eating and drinking lots of water at the same time.

    Then I came over to the US in the early 80’s and found that my mom is one heck of a spicy eater !!!

    Well, after eating her food for years and years, I now go back to Thailand and find that meals that people say are hot, are most of the time not too hot for me !!! I can now finish a bowlful of the Green Chicken Curry without having to drink a sip of water !!! Amazing what 20+ years of eating spicy food a bit at a time can do to you. 🙂

    Although I can eat hot or very hot, I am not the type who insist on having my food spicy. I don’t understand why many people keep insisting on their food being as spicy as possible. I would say that I can eat spicier food than most Thai people but when I eat, I only put in a bit of chilly. Just enough to taste the spicyness is plenty for me. 🙂