Thai food is certainly world famous these days. It has been estimated that there are now Thai restaurants in 13,000 locations around the world. These range from fast-food take-aways to up-market restaurants. Many of them have been set up by Thai expatriates living abroad. But there are also many restaurants run by foreigners who have fallen in love with Thai food while on holiday in Thailand. In 2007, tourists in Thailand spent an average of 4,120 baht per day, out of which 17% was spent on food and drink. In order to promote Thai cuisine to foreign tourists, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) are helping to run the “Amazing Taste of Thailand Festival”. This will be held from 24th to 28th of September 2009 at Central World in Bangkok.
In order to help promote Thai food around the world, the TAT have also organized “Thailand Brand”. They have invited chefs, restaurant owners and media from all around the world to come to Thailand to introduce them to the rich diversity of food in the five regions. Today, the TAT invited us at Paknam Web to a popular restaurant in Suphanburi called Kungpen, where we caught up with one of the foreign tour groups. Apart from a very delicious meal of famous food from this region, we were also given demonstrations on Thai cooking and Thai desserts. In this picture, a chef from France is being given instruction on how to cook three popular dishes.
This first dish is called Spicy Minced Fish Salad or “laab pla ma” in Thai. Pla Ma is a famous fish in Suphanburi which literally translates as “Horse Fish”. I am told that the face looks a bit like a horse! The main ingredients of this dish include minced fish, lemon juice, fish sauce, ground chilli, roasted rice, sliced red onion and mint leaves.
The second dish that we were given a demonstration cooking of was Snake-Head Fish with Herbs, or “Pla Chon Samun Prai”. The herbs include sliced lemon grass, citrone leaves, ginger, galingale and white sesame seed.
The final dish was Shrimp Stew or “kung lon” in Thai. The main ingredients include chopped prawns, lemon grass, citrone leaves, sliced onion, sliced red and green chillies, crushed bird chillies and coconut milk. All of these dishes were very delicious.
This is a picture of our table. I think I enjoyed eating everything that was presented to us. It was a really delicious meal. I know it is a hard job writing travel and food blogs, but someone has to do it. And I am glad it is me! It is one of the best jobs you could ask for.
Before I finish, I just want to show you two final pictures of the food that we ate and that I really enjoyed. This first one is Fried Salty fish or “kung tod gluea” in Thai. The second dish below, is Fried Coccinia grandis with Shrimp or “tam leung” in Thai. This is a kind of ivy that is fried with batter. It was actually really nice.
I will be posting pictures of other demonstrations at this event tomorrow. On Friday, I will be reporting from the Amazing Taste of Thailand Festival in Bangkok. I would like to thank the TAT for inviting us on this trip and also the owners of Kung Pen Restaurant in Samchuk District for being such kind hosts. If you want to go to this restaurant, you will find it on Highway 340, about 30 kms north of Suphanburi town. It is very close to the 100 Year Old Market at Samchuk which we also visited. I will write about that soon.