Category Archives: Thai Cooking

Wit’s Catering….

Sawasdee Krab!

Fall is coming on strong which means the holidays are just around the corner and that means office parties, social get togethers and lots of eating. For me that means firing up the kitchen at Wit’s End for more Thai cooking like today. Instead of meeting at a restaurant or coffee shop like usual my Thai Meetup group had a potluck meeting. Everyone had to fix a dish or bring something.

For this weeks blog I thought I’d share my culinary potluck adventure. This month things also means more cooking because in two more weeks it’s Halloween and I volunteered to make Pad Grapao Neua and Grapao Gai for our office Halloween potluck.

That’s the curse of being know as-

a. someone that can cook
b. can cook something exotic like Thai food and
c. is actually pretty dang good at it!

At least that’s what other people say about my cooking not me I swear! I haven’t had a customer dissatisfied yet, well, except for that time I had two friends over and one could not eat beef or anything spicy. So what did I serve, fiery Pad Grapoa Beef and Basil. I forgot I swear! But I still haven’t lived that down….

At work my department has meetings twice a month. These meetings aren’t the most exciting event in my day but they are pretty informative. Sometimes the boss has lunch catered but maybe that’s a bribe to make sure everyone shows up! So what do I do? As a glutton for punishment I offer to make Thai food for lunch at one of our meetings in December. Let’s see about 20 people, and knowing me I’ll fix at least five different dishes plus I have to get all this stuff from my house in Washington to my job in Maryland and I don’t own a car. Just like me to let my mouth write a check I have to figure out how I’m going to cash!

Today’s menu is way easier but I was running late getting started cooking this morning and be at the pot luck on time but you know I work best when I’m under pressure and some chaos going on. My secret is have everything I need to chop, pick, pluck or cut prepared ahead of time. This is how I managed to make two seperate dishes at the same time with a two hour late start and still be only an hour late. I also keep everything within an arms reach then I can stand in one spot and just pivot all day long.

Satay? Ok!

You can never go wrong with Satay Gai or curry flavored chicken skewers. You can also never make too many ‘cuz trust me they’ll go fast! I like these because they are fairly easy to make just take a day or so to make them my way.

The recipe is simple, actually I cheat a little, buy the Satay mix and Satay peanut butter sauce in the package as you see here. Any decent Thai or Asian market will sell this since it’s a popular brand. You can follow the instructions or make it the way I do which is a little different but worth it. I learned this from an ex-faen who could make Satay beef that would melt in your mouth like butter! Oh man!

The Satay mix has two parts. Part A is the mix for the chicken and Part B is for making Peanut Sauce. I only use the mix for the Satay and buy the Peanut sauce in the jar. That’s UN-official Thai cooking to get it out of the bottle but I remember when I tried making it the authentic way and I don’t want my fire insurance to go up again. But enough yapping, let’s cook!

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How to make Thai Iced Tea

Sawasdee Krab! Welcome back everyone to this weeks blog, whew what a week! I have been so busy with work I couldn’t get enough time with a capital ‘T’! 😉

Just too much stuff going on but time for a (hopefully) short blog near and dear to this Thai fanatics heart. Since my recent blog on making Pad Gra Pao worked out well I planned to write this blog with more pics and less words. Like the Miller Light beer commercial with less filling (my yap, yap, yapping) but still have that same great taste (for all things Thai!)

There are few things that I will not turn down without question such as my quailty time (again with a capital ‘T’), listening to my favorite Thai music, a good cup of coffee and last but by no means least a glass of that cool and sweet treat-Thai Ice Tea. Whenever I go out to eat at a Thai resturant here in DC I may not always order a plate of super-human spicy Pad Gra Pao (Thai beef and basil for blog ‘newbies’) but I always have to have a glass of Thai Iced Tea, or Cha Yen in Thai.

It’s the first thing I will order but I am sometimes careful about ordering it in Thai since depending on the tone you use to say it ‘Cha’ could mean ‘Tea’ or ‘Slowly’. ‘Yen’ in Thai means ‘cool’ so said correctly you will say ‘Tea Cool’ universally understood to mean ‘Thai Tea.’ If you say it with the wrong tone however you might say something weird like ‘slowly cool’ in which case your Thai waiter or waitress will just look at you strangely like your some beatnik poet with a thing for adjectives, trust me I know!

Fortunately for me however I have the answer to not only saving myself this embarrassment but also the secret to having Thai Tea anytime I want without annoying my neighborhood Thai resturant hanging around outside their door waiting for them to open just so I can get my Thai Tea fix. Since it is really simple to make I just learned to make Thai Tea myself at home, hence the topic of this weeks blog. This is the brand of Thai Tea that I use which I buy from the Thai market in Maryland I told you about before.

Most asian grocery stores would have Thai Tea leaves you can buy but if not then you can check out www.importfoods.com where you can order anything and everything online to make Thai food at home and have it shipped directly to you. I know this bends the guidelines a little to post a link to a commercial website but in this case I don’t think our webmaster Richard would mind too much, I hope!

Once you have some Thai Tea leaves you only need sugar and water everything is simple just a bit time consuming. Once you get the hang of it you can have Thai Tea made in just about 20 minutes. Recipes and methods may vary but I’m gonna give you the low down on what works for me. Ready?

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Making Pad Baigapoa ..a love affair!

For those of you who have become regular readers of my weekly blogging welcome back to another pulse pounding episode! Not to infer by ‘pulse pounding’ I mean this time out Wit is writing about the Thai bar girl scene in Thailand since for sure that’s something I know nothing about 😉

However with any luck, as the title of this weeks missive implies, it’s my plan to serve up a hot and spicy helping of blog! Those of you who read my stuff regualrly may have noticed a particular reference or two pop up on occasion, namely my addictions to American coffee, listening to my huge collection of pleing Thai เพลงไทย and most notably my culinary favorite that fiery hot stir fried beef and basil Thai creation otherwise known as pad baigapoa neua ผัดใบกะเพราเนึ้อ

It’s my Holy Grail in DC to find a Thai resturant that serves pad baigapoa hot enough with the suicidual spicy kick I like where I don’t have to ask the waiter to bring me a puen prik พวงพริก to heap on enough chillies. Sure I could always send it back to the kitchen but really to be honest I feel enough kreeng jai เกรงใจ that I don’t want to bother the cook with my farang death wishes haha.

However recently I think I may have finally found my match! A few weeks ago I stopped in to check out a fairly new Thai resturant in my neighborhood only about 5 minutes walk from home. I was looking to treat myself to some nice Thai cooking after a frustrating day shopping at the local monster mall dealing with mass human insanity, which I can’t stand, then to top it all having to walk away without buying what I went there to get in the first place! So I decided to seek some solace in some good Thai grub and stopped into this new place I had seen to check it out as it is literally on my way home.

For the middle of the afternoon it was slow with hardly any customers but the service was quick and friendly. After settling in at my table I managed to stumble through my usual request of pom yaak pad grapao neua phet mahk, pom chawp Thai phet, mai chawp farang phet, ok? ผมอยากผัดใบกะเพราเนึ้อเผ็ดมาก ผมชอบไทยเผ็ด ไม่ชอบฝรั่งเผ็ดใหม? which I hope serves two purposes, one I get to practice my Thai and two if I said it correctly then they know I meant business and I’m wanting the real deal and not pussyfooting around with ‘watered down’ spicy Thai just because I was born on the wrong side of the planet from Thailand. 😉

My genuinely friendly waiter (unfortunately something rare in most resturants I’ve been to) after bringing me a nice cool glass of Thai tea smiled and left with my order probably quite bemused at my poor mans Thai. But before I even had a chance to dig into my homework which I always carry with me he was coming back with my order! The pad baigapoa looked so good and smelled delicious I could only hope he understood my request to make it hot enough to stunt growth but I was impressed with the service and everything so far. I asked him how come it was so fast and he said with that famous Thai smile “No problem sir, we have microwave!” Ye Gods! A Thai resturant with great (looking) food, service and a Thai waiter with my same cheeky sense of humor? That’s right up my alley! If the food was as hot as I like it I knew I would be in love. :)

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Red, White and …Thai?

Sawasdee Krab!

Has anyone missed me? It has been a few weeks since my last literary opus (ha!) it seems there was always something getting in the way, including my own procrastination sometimes I admit, to sitting down and hammering out a new blog for the cyber masses. We’ve got so many new and excellent writers on here now for compettition, don’t think that since I haven’t been writing I’ve not been reading I need to hustle and get back in the swing of blogging or I could lose my place!

This time I want to share with you some of this past weekends adventures with my friends in the North Virginia Thai Langauge Group. Our core members are me, Vut, Oop, Dew, Tiffany and Tim and we had a great couple of get togethers this weekend in Virginia at the Lao temple there on Sunday Wat Lao Buddhavong and then back in DC to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday on Monday. At Wat Lao we went to see a true national icon of Thailand in concert, Carabao! I’m going to write more on them tomorrow when I get all the pics we took from the concert ready.

Instead today I want to talk about our other get together the next day to celebrate the Fourth and also one of my favorite subjects…thai food! As our dear Oakmonster would say you don’t entertain guests without offering food (it’s a Thai thing) and the same is true for many Americans you don’t celebrate our nations Independence day without eating but at least you don’t have to dress up like for Thanksgiving unless you decide to wear all red, white and blue for America or the same great colors for Thailand! :p

What would our countries birthday celebration be without hotdogs, hamburgers and BBQ on the grill? Well actually I wouldn’t know since, yep, we went all out and did things Thai Style! I don’t cook unless it’s Thai food (it’s a Wit thing 😉 ) as you can tell in my pic here แกงคั่วสับปะรด anyone?

We had planned to have a potluck get together for awhile now as a group probably at my place since I wanted to cook for the everyone but I have this strange phobia about cooking in someone elses kitchen (lol) I like to know where everything is otherwise I am even more of a wreck when trying to put on a big meal for folks.

Since the Fourth of July was this month I had the brillant idea to combine the two and we could have an outdoor potluck. I would fix everything at home and then finally get to use my nifty Tiffin that I bought at the Thai market last year. Everyone would bring something and we’d have a nice eat out until time for the fireworks to start at least that was the intention.

However what is that expression? The road to hell is paved with good intentions? Well it certainly wasn’t that bad but we did have a few misfires that almost sunk everything! It started Sunday ….