Monday, May 30, 2011

9 Thai good luck dessert

3 Thai good luck dessert

            This blog actually continues from the Kho Kret blog that I wrote last time about all Thai dessert.  My mom told me all of the desserts I bought were called good luck dessert. Good luck desserts are desserts that Thai people believe will bring good luck for you, so when Thai folk have ceremonies they always use good luck desserts to celebrate.  Usually the  name of the good luck dessert means gold or wealthy.  Start with

1.“ Tong Yip” is made from egg yolk and flour then cooked in flower syrup ( flower syrup is made from water that sits in flowers over night and then makes syrup) by making  the shape like a little pan cake then using fingers to pick it up and put it into a small cup it makes it look like a flower( it’s hard to make).  Also it tastes really sweet. 
Tong Yod

2. “ Tong Yod” is  made from egg yolk and flour then cooked in flower syrup just like “Tong Yip” but they have a special technique to drop the batter to make it look like a drop of water and it tastes the same as “Tong Yip”.
Foy Tong

3. “Foy Tong” is made from egg yolk then poured into a banana leaf cone (or a can that has a small hole) and let it drip like a string into flower syrup.  It comes out like golden strings that taste so good.  The meaning is rich.
Kanom Chan

4. “ Kanom Chan” is made from rice flour, tropical flour, coconut milk, sugar, poured onto a mold and then steam until it is cooked.  This process is repeated 9 times forming 9 layers for good luck. (in Thai nine or “Kao” mean forward).   
Tong Ake

5. “Tong Ake” is made from flour egg yolk sugar and coconut milk.  This dessert takes a lot of time and experience to make it.  It tastes sweet and soft.
Mea Kha Noon

6. “Mea Kha Noon” is made from mung bean cooked with coconut milk and stir it to thicken into a ball, then dip into egg yolk and cook it in syrup.
Ja Mong Kud

7. “Ja Mong Kud” this dessert is very difficult to make because it has a shell part just like a tart shell and decorated with watermelon seed candy then put Tong Ake (dessert number 5.) into a shell and top with real gold.  That’s how they make it (don’t worry I’m not making it)
8. “Kanoom Touy Fu” This is a dessert almost like sponge cake but uses rice flour and is steamed instead of baked.   
Sa Nhae Chan

9. "Sa Nhae Chan"   This dessert almost is made like “Tong Ake” but put some of Thai palm( call Luk Chan) powder mix into it and make a shape like a Thai plum.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

100 years old market

100 years old market
       This trip I went to an Old fashion market called “Ta Lad Ban Mai” in the Chachangsol Province. This market had been a Market for over 100 years and the community has renovated it to look just like it was a 100 years ago to show the new generation of people how people in the past shopped for foods.  In this market have a lot of things that are hard to find in the present for sale like flower and old fashion toys.  But for me the most interesting is all of the kinds of food, drink and snack. 
Kha Nhom Kui Chai
       Starting with  “ Kha Nhom Kui Chai” or chive dumpling.  Actually this snack came from China (Just like I told you before Thai people have had a lot of influences from China).  It is made from the Chinese chive for the filling and skin or shell is made from rice flour, sticky rice flour and water then cooked until forming a ball and then made into a shell and put the filling inside.  Then stream it in a streamer until cooked.  Eat it is served with sweet soy sauce and chili vinegar.  Caution: this snack has a very strong smell and don’t eat it in a closed in area or dating!!! 
     Next I saw a tiny quail egg that was cooked in a special pan (it’s a big pan with a lot of little holes to cook things separately usually we use this pan to make another kind of snack called Ka-Nom-Krok ).  It’s called Ka Nom Krok-Kainokkata.  This dish actually is for the kids to play with cooking in the past (but we use a real fire and real food) so it is very easy just to coat the oil into the pan and crack egg into each hole, it will be cooked and come out tasting like a fried egg, but the tiny size of quail egg made it looked more appetitizing. 
Rice in lotus leave
       I still walked around and saw one vender selling rice steamed in a lotus leave. This dish actually came from the Chinese also, but for this vender the owner “Kru Rin” told me that she got the special recipe from her mother so she invited me to see how she made it.  For her recipe she used fried with dried shrimp, taro, pea, carrot then she had all kinds of difference toppings and it came with Egg yoke of salty egg, shitake mushroom, sweet Thai/Chinese style sausage, ginkgo. You can pick special meat for toppings like shrimp, BBQ pork, country style rib, pork with garlic sauce, est. It taste really good because one dish combine between salty sweet and Umami taste perfectly.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Koh Kret

            This time I’m going to talk about my Thailand trip. I went to one interesting place not too far from Bangkok… Koh Kret.  Koh Kret is a little island in Cho Phraya river 20 km north of Bangkok in Nonthaburi Province, Thailand.  How to get to Koh Kret is very easy just take a bus, van or taxi to Pak Kret then take a boat to Koh Kret.

Most of the people in this island have Mon tribes that are still very strict in their traditional and culture. The famous thing in Koh kret is pottery and the traditional loyal Thai desserts.  In the past around Rama V visited this island.  The royal chef needed people to help in the kitchen, so they trained people on this island how to cook like the royal chef.  That’s how the people on Koh Kret know traditional Thai royal culinary and they have past it down generation to generation which still continue it until now.
Fried Flower

           I have to say I have always loved this place because I can try different Thai foods and desserts not far from my home.  So lets get started on my food trip with fried flower this is one of the most famous snacks of Kho Kret. They use all kinds of flower and vegetables that you can eat and dip it in batter and then have it deep fried and served with sweet chili sauce costing around 40 Thai baht(around $1.5)  The next vender/restaurant is a coffee shop that mixes between new style decoration and the use of old fashion techniques making Thai tea and Thai coffee.  It’s one interesting coffee shop.  After that coffee shop I needed to get back to the pier and take a tour boat.
"Bann Kun Ael" Thai Dessert House

For this boat tour it cost me 60 Thai baht (2 dollars) for 1.30-2 hour trip with 3 stops.  First stop at 1St Thai dessert house called “ Bann Som Chai” and The second stop is 2nd  Thai dessert house called “Bann Kun Ael”. Both  places are famous home made Thai dessert places in Kho Kret, but the difference is “ Bann Som Chai” is a little bit cheaper because they make food in mass product.  For“ Bann Kun Ael” they have a demo show how to make Thai good luck dessert(I will talk about that next blog).

Another thing that “Bann Khon Ael” have is the restaurant that has old fashioned food which is hard to find.  One food I tried this time was called “ Khao Chae” : Khao Chae is one set of royal Thai food that has been served for royalty in the past.  They have this food just in the summer time only.  Main item of the set is rice in the ice cold flower water ( Flower water : the water that has pedals placed in it to absorb the perfume of the flower) served with all kinds of side dishes (today tried some of them) they have stuffing pepper, shredded sweet pork, crunchy noodle, sweet dried radish, fried shrimp paste.  I know they all don’t sound good together but believe me this restaurant makes it very good.  It helps cooling down on a hot summer day…costing me about 100 Thai baht (3.5 dollars) for the last stop is a temple called “Wad Yai Sa Nam Pa”. Unfortunately when I went there all of the water market was already gone, so I didn’t see anything. After the boat tour we got back on to the island and most of the venders had already closed.  By that time me and my family were so tired from walking in the hot weather( about 98-100 degree) so we decided to cross the river and go back home with a hand full of Thai desserts for the next day….

Monday, May 23, 2011

My first teaching Thai cooking class

For the first time I taught a formal Thai cooking class.  This event was at Bradford's On Bishop west midtown Atlanta GA.  This place is a multidimensional facility for culinary education, meetings and banquets.  Chef Richard Bradford the owner gives me an opportunity to teach my Thai cooking here and this is what happened ……

            We started the class at 7.00 pm on May 17th (for me I need to get there early around 2.45 pm to get everything set up ready to teach.)  The name of this class is modern Thai Food1.  This class is about food that is easy to make for people who are starting to cook Thai food.  I have 13 students in my class and also have my sweetie co-chef Hilary to help me in the class.  The menu of this class was Coconut Chicken soup, Thai Basil stir fried and Thai Tea. This was a very easy menu, but you have to know the techniques and tips to make this dish authentic.  The class started with a cocktail and an appetizer.  It was Thai tea with rum and Thai spicy beef salad.
  Then we discussed tips and techniques to make our first dish “coconut chicken soup” and drink “ Thai tea” then everyone began to make their food.  When the soup was cooking we gathered again to get to know the techniques of the next dish “Thai basil stir fried”, then we went back to work cutting, chopping, stirring, cooking, tasting, sneezing and laughing. 
 When the food was finished the students got back to the dinner table ready to eat.  The chef (I mean me and Hilary) served the food that they cooked. The result was all of the students had fun, full tummy’s and Thai cooking knowledge to go back home with.

            After the class a lot of students asked me about if I could teach Pad Thai, Thai Basil Roll, Fried Rice.  I told them they can check it out in my blog and maybe in the future class(If the owner let me).  After the class finished Chef Richard told me the students liked how I teach.  It was fun and they learned a lot of techniques that they never knew before.  He also told me the good news that I will have more Thai cooking classes on the 3rd week of every month.  Oh my god!!!  My dream has come true to teach people how to cook Thai food.  So if you want to see me or know any techniques or tips of Thai cooking just leave me a comment and e-mail and I will have a discount for the next class to give to you….

Monday, May 9, 2011

My first trip in Thailand Wad-So-Ton


Hloung Por  So ton

            I’m back… after 4 weeks, I have been traveling in Thailand and have a lot of stories to tell you.  Unfortunately my internet in Thailand was not that good, that is the reason I couldn’t post the blog, but don’t worry I wrote and kept a very well diary of my events, so let us start with my first trip in Thailand…  This trip my parents brought me to one of our temples that my family respects.  It is “Wad-So-Ton”.  They have a story about the image of Buddha in this holy temple called “Hloung Por  So ton”.  A long time ago people saw three images of Buddha float against the tide, all of the people tried to take it out from the river, but no one can do it until the image of Buddha stopped and set on shore of three temples 1st  is Bann Ham in Samutsongkram Province, The 2nd is Bang PreYai Temple in Samutprakan Province, and the 3rd in this So-Ton Temple Chachangsol, so the monk in the temple invited people with respect into the temple for worship with offerings until now.
            In the present people, still are respectful in this temple.  They still pray, wish and make a vow promising a thank-offering if one’s request is granted.  You can see all of the people bringing boiled eggs, head of a pig, flowers and hiring people to do a Thai style dance after their request is granted.

Thai style dance

After I finish I pray and make a wish.  I went to a market by the temples that have all of the local foods, snack, drink and dessert for sale by venders everywhere.  I started with “Ka-Nom-Jak” which is a snack/dessert made from black sticky flour, sugar, coconut milk and shredded coconuts put it in a palm leave and grilled to make it firm and taste sweet, coconutty and toasty.  The price is about 50 cents per bunch (about 4 pieces per bunch). 

Grilling Ka-Nom-Jak
Ka-Nom-Jak Vender

Dried seafood
 Next the vender had all of the preserves like seafood Ex. Fermented crab “ Poo dong”, fermented shrimp “Kung Jom”, fermented fish “ Pa Rha”, dried shrimp “Kung Hang” the price is determined by kilogram around 10-15 dollars per kilogram. 

The next vender I found had palm flower juice, it’s called “Num Tan Sod” one of my favorite all time drinks.  It’s very hard to find the real one.  My dad told me how to make Num Tan Sod (it’s not easy).  They have to cut the flower of a palm then use bamboo can and put “Pa-Yom wood chip”(Pa-Yom is one kind of tree) to protect the juice from going bad and collect the drip of the juice from a flower a little bit by taking about 3-5 hours to collect the juice, so the color of the juice will become almost black from wood chips.  Then they will boil about 20-30 minutes to make it more concentrated and stay fresher longer.   The taste of this drink is sweet and has a fragrance of it’s own (sooo good) it is a nutty and sweet smell. If you like coconut juice this drink is 10 times better. The real Num Tan Sod has just 1 day life time, because after 1 day the taste will change, so farmers will use that juice to make palm sugar. (We use that often in Thai cuisine). That’s the reason why they make the fake one to have a longer expiration time.  For the technique to find the real Num Tan Sod beside taste it( But you have to be professional like me ha…ha…) or you can see from the color, it will be dark almost black not clear (in the picture) and taste sweet, but not too sweet and have a nutty smell.  After touring the market we got a lot to eat…Fermented crab that my mom will make spicy crab salad for us the next day,  Ka Nom Jak that I finished in the car that day same as Num Tan Sod my favorite drink……. ammm.. yummy yummy in my tommy!!!!

Palm fruit

Num Tan Sod