As it is the Vegetarian Festival in Thailand this week, I thought I would share with you pictures of our vegetarian meal today. We are all eating meals for ten days that don’t have any meat, fish or animal products. This first one looks like our old favourite “moo krapao” which is minced beef and basil. However, this version is cooked with tofu, shaped to look like minced pork. It is called “pad krapao jay rat khao”.
The second dish is another of our favourites. But, it isn’t “som tum tai” even though it may look like it. It is missing three main ingredients, fried shrimp, fish sauce and garlic. It tastes alright, but obviously not the same.
The next one is the famous “laab”. However, this one has no meat and is called spicy chopped mushroom and fried tofu.
The next dish is fried egg plant with sweet basil leaves.
This one is called “gra poh pla jay” though there is no fish in this one. Main ingredients, other than tofu, are mushrooms, bamboo shoots and carrots.
The final is our dessert. It is called “khanom pang na maprao jae” which is basically shredded coconut on bread. There will be another selection next week. All of these vegetarian dishes were bought at Racha Market in Paknam, Samut Prakan. The market opens fully at 4 p.m. I will be going back there soon to choose my meal for this evening. Another five days to go of vegan meals.
Steamed Crab – pu neung
It is sometimes amazing what kind of street food you can find for a cheap price. This is steamed crab, or “pu neung” in Thai. The crab itself is not cooked in any special way. However, as usual, it is the sauce that makes the dish. In this case, it is a mixture of chillies, garlic, lime juice and fish sauce that is pounded together with a mortar and pestle. This gives you a sour, salty and spicy hot taste. This dish was only 50 baht or $1.60.
Prawns on Charcoal – kung phao
This dish has the same sauce. Though a tamarind version is sometimes used. These prawns were cooked on a grill over a charcoal fire. These were 25 baht.
Boiled eggplant with fermented soybean sauce and pork
There are a few different recipes that use eggplants. This one comes with minced pork. The eggplant is boiled in some water first together with some sugar. Then fermented soybean sauce and minced pork is fried. It is seasoned with soy sauce and sugar. This was 25 baht.
Chilli Tamarind Sauce Dip – namprik ma kham sod
Many Thai families often have nam prik of some sort served with fresh vegetables. This version has tamarind. The main ingredients include shrimp paste, chillies, tamarind and dried shrimp. This is pounded with a mortar and pestle and then seasoned with sugar and fish sauce. I am not too keen on nam prik but many people like it. I guess it depends on what you grew up with. This was 25 baht.
Breadfruit in Syrup – sakay cheum
This is another one of those Thai desserts that uses a lot of sugar. Maybe too much. You need a sweet tooth to eat something like this. This was 25 baht.
This is the last of our series of food blogs about the meals we eat on Fridays in the Paknam Web offices. We have given you over 150 different Thai food dishes so far. We ned to take a break and maybe be back later. Meanwhile, by popular demand, we will switch to a different kind of food blog where we will show you how to cook a different Thai dish each week. Visit www.thai-blogs.com next week to see what we will be cooking first. Each week you can leave your suggestions of what you want to be seen cooked in the comments section.
Red Curry with Roasted Duck
The red curry with roasted duck (kaeng pet bet yang) is my favourite version of the red curry. I don’t often get a chance to eat it outside of restaurants. The downside of street food is that there is usually more bones than meat. But this dish was all duck and only cost 40 baht. Pretty good value for money. What you can see in the picture is the roasted duck, plum tomatoes, eggplant peas, basil leaves and kaffir lime leaves. It also has coconut milk and is seasoned with fish sauce and palm sugar. It is actually quite easy to make as long as someone else has prepared your curry paste. You can buy this down the market or even at supermarkets like Big C and Tesco Lotus. This curry paste has ground galangal, lemon grass, red shallots and garlic amongst other ingredients. Make sure you don’t miss this highlight. It is also nice with pineapple chunks.
Stems of Waterlily (tom kati sai bua)
Fish lovers might like this healthy dish. It consists of sai bua (the stems of the waterlily) cooked in coconut milk with shallots. The fish is usually a mackerel like pla tu that is seasoned with fish sauce, tamarind paste and sugar. I am afraid it is not a favourite of mine though it only cost 34 baht. A little over $1.
Stir fried chicken and chinese chives
This is a tasty dish that looks simple to cook. I might give it a go this weekend. The two main ingredients are the chicken pieces and Chinese chives. It is cooked in a seasoning of fish sauce, light soy sauce and oyster sauce. All good kitchens should have these ingredients. Add some water if it drys out during cooking. This was only 35 baht.
Red Glutinous Rice (khao niew daeng)
This is a popular dish popular during the Songkran festival. The main ingredients are sticky rice, palm sugar and sesame seeds. It is a bit tough to eat and is a bit like caramel. It reminds me of another Thai dessert called kalamae. This one was only 20 baht.
Flower Shaped Candy (khanom dowk lamduan)
This is like a cross between a cookie and candy. It is very sweet so don’t eat too many at once. The dough is made from wheat flour, egg yolk, castor sugar and vegetable oil. You knead this mixture into small balls which you then shape into flowers. It is then baked in an oven for about 15 minutes. This cost us 35 baht.
Spicy Fried Egg (yam kai dao)
The first dish for our Friday Lunch was this fried egg salad. This is a seafood version. You can also do it with fried bacon. The egg is first cooked in boiling hot oil so that it is crispy. This is then put on a plate while the sauce is prepared. This consists of fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. This is stirred until the sugar dissolves and finely sliced chilis are added. This is then poured over the fried egg. A very unique taste and it only cost us 25 baht.
Prawn and Holy Basil with Coconut
This rice dish is called “khao rat grapao kung yod mapao”. The rice can either be plain or fried. The prawns are stir fried with chillies and garlic. The seasoning consists of sugar, soy sauce and fish sauce. The holy basil is added towards the end. This version also has coconut flesh. This dish was 30 baht.
Stuffed Vegetable Pudding (khanom kui chai)
This next Chinese dish is really a snack but goes well with a meal. They are usually steamed or sometimes fried. The filling today was vegetable, but you can also find dried shrimp and sliced taro. It is served with soy sauce. This was 20 baht.
Fried Fish with Chili (pla tod rat prik)
As I live in the seaside port of Paknam, there are plenty of seafood dishes to find. It is a shame I am not that keen on fish. But, I appreciate that some visitors to this food blog might be interested. However, be careful as this one is very spicy! Basically, garlic, pepper, chillies and salt are pounded together in a mortar and then poured over the fish. This was only 30 baht from a roadside vendor.
Unripe Mango with Fish Sauce(ma-muang nam pla waan)
We decided to have some fruit for dessert today to be a bit more healthy. A famous dessert that foreigners like is mango with sticky rice. This one is unripe mango with fish sauce! Not quite the same but still good. At school, the students like eating unripe mango with a dip that consists of sugar and ground chili. This one is sweetened fish sauce. In a large pot, sugar is mixed with water and fish sauce and is stirred constantly until it becomes a thick syrup. Chopped shallots are then added. When these are cooked, dried shrimp and sliced chillies are added. This snack is 30 baht.
Sour and Spicy Mackerel
This is a continuation of our Friday Food blog. We are back after the holidays last week. Every week we bring you photos of the food that we are eating in the Paknam Web offices. If you didn’t know, Paknam means “river mouth” in Thai and that is where we are located. Paknam in Samut Prakan is the point where the Chao Phraya River enters the Gulf of Thailand after meandering through Bangkok. The first on our menu today was a variation of our favourite “tom yum”. As you probably know, this is more commonly eaten with shrimp though I also like the chicken version. The main ingredients are lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and shallots. To be honest I didn’t eat this one as I am not keen on fish. The dish cost 30 baht which is just under US$1.
Northern Thai Noodle Curry Soup (khao soi)
This is one of my favourite dishes from Northern Thailand. I always eat when I go to Chiang Mai. There are some places here in Central Thailand where you can buy this noodle curry soup, but you might not find it to be as authentic. Whenever I go to book fairs at Queen Sirikit Convention Center I always buy khao soi in their fast food center. This one was bought on Srinakarin road about 15 minutes from my house. The noodles used are quite distinctive. They are a bit like egg noodles but more curly. They give you two versions – the soft boiled noodle inside the curry and the crispy fried one on top. This is a coconut curry mixed with a curry paste. This dish comes with pickled cabbage and shallots. This was 30 baht. Not the best I have had, but always welcome.
Spicy Roast Pork Slices (nam tok moo)
This is a popular dish from Isaan, the north-east of Thailand. The name “nam tok” means waterfall which refers to the juices that drip from the meat and is then used in the dish. You can either get beef or pork. The meat is mixed with chilies, lemon juice, red shallots and roasted rice powder. Some people might find it a little spicy but it is a good dish for 30 baht.
Steamed Egg (kai tun)
This is a basic side dish which goes well with anything too spicy. It is basically steamed egg topped with some minced pork. This was only 15 baht.
Pumpkin in Coconut Milk (fak tong kaeng buat)
This is enough good Thai dessert that uses pumpkin as the main ingredient. To make, you need to mix sugar, salt and coconut milk together and cook over a medium heat until the sugar has all dissolved. Then add the sliced pumpkins and cook until done. When nearly done, pour in some coconut cream. This can be served either hot or cold though I prefer if it is chilled. This is only 10 baht.
These Friday lunches are starting to get expensive for the four of us. This one was just under US$4. Street food is averaging about 30 baht a dish now. Desserts are usually cheaper.