Daily Archives: February 29, 2008

Lunchtime Thai Menu 09

Spicy Stir-fried Chicken with Long Beans

Judging by the letters we are receiving, people are eager to visit thai-blogs.com on Fridays to see what we are eating for lunch. It is sometimes a challenge for us when producing the Friday Lunchtime Thai Menu. We are restricted to not only street food, but also to a budget of about US$3 for all of us. Plus, we cannot repeat any of our favourites. Every Friday we are eating something new. So, for me it is sometimes hit and miss. But, this first one is one of my favourites. It is called “pat prik khing gai“. It is basically pork fried in chili paste with long beans. A simple dish but tasty. The curry paste includes spur chillies, shallots, garlic, lemon grass, coriander root, kaffir lime, dried shrimp and shrimp paste. Strangely, no sign of ginger despite the name being in the title. To cook, marinate the sliced chicken (or pork) with a tea spoon of fish sauce. Blanch the yard long beans in boiling water until nearly cooked. Cut them into one inch lengths. In a hot pan, fry the chili paste until fragrant. Add the chicken and cook until done. Season with sugar and fish sauce and then stir in the beans. The version we had today is not as red looking as it should be. Maybe they watered it down a little. But, what can you expect for only 20 baht.

Hard Boiled Egg in Sweet and Sour Sauce

This is an interesting side-dish that I haven’t had before. It is also strangely named in Thai as “kai luk kery“. A literal translation is “son-in-law eggs”. Basically, some eggs are hard-boiled and then shelled. These are then fried in hot oil until they turn yellow. For the sauce, grind together cilantro root, garlic and pepper. Stir fry them for a short while. Then add palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind sauce. Add some water and then simmer until it becomes a thick sauce.

Clear Soup with Mixed Vegetables

This is a clear soup called “gaeng liang” in Thai. It is not really spicy so don’t be misled into thinking that “gaeng” always means hot and spicy. The soup stock is mixed with shrimp paste, pepper, red shallots and dried shrimp which has been grounded until well combined. It is really up to you about the vegetables. This one has shrimp, pumpkin, wax gourd, baby sweetcorn, and sweet basil leaves. This is alright as a side dish and cost us only 20 baht. I wasn’t thrilled about it.

Sticky Rice Grilled in Banana Leaves

The final one today is our dessert. It is called “khao niew ping“. It is basically sticky rice with a mystery contents grilled in banana leaves over a charcoal fire. You need to ask what it contains unless you like to be surprised. To ask, just say “sai a-rai”. The choices are: banana, taro, shredded coconut or mung beans. Not too bad if you are not expecting much. These cost 6 baht each.

Come back next Friday to see what we ate for lunch!

Old Patong: The Two Headed Fish

Early one morning, Patong Patty and I were enjoying another fine breakfast of papaya, pineapple and banana, with a big hot mug of Milo, when Mr Singh, the owner of Valentine Bungalow came over to the little restaurant his sister had recently set up just south of the bungalows[it would right next to the Holiday Inn now], on the beach road, facing the blue Andaman Sea.

He grinned as a pickup truck went by, raising the dust, a giant fish was tied from the roof and hanging off the tailgate on it’s way to market.

Mr Singh began yelling “Look! In Thailand we have fish with two heads!”

Talking a little later with Crazy Dave, Dave said “did you see that big Manta Ray hanging off the end of that pickup?” I smiled and told him the story of the fish with two heads.

But, a picture is worth a thousand words:

Fish and seafood in general has been around in southern Thailand forever, the best, freshest seafood could always be found at Number 4, a small open air cafe about 1/2 between Valentine Bungalow and Patong Beach Hotel, later Number 4 moved to Soi Bangla[Bar Road]and was the most popular seafood place in Old Patong.

Customers would write on the wall various greetings or names with a big black marker, Number 4 the best in seafood!

In Old Patong, a big stuffed Phuket lobster was about 100baht, complete with salad and Singha.

Old Patong, where every meal was a banquet!