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Thai herbs and spices

When we hear the word herb and medicine, we have hard time associate it with food that we eat. Many people who love Thai food might not realize that Thai food is known for using Thai herb as part of their main ingredients. Eastern medicine believes that our body consists of five elements, which are air, earth, water, wind, and fire, and these elements associated with the flavor in food. It is important for individual to maintain the flavor balance in his or her food diet. Organic food is current growing trend in United States and Thai food is known for its medicinal properties.

Follow the link for a list of popular Thai herbs….

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Inside the Thai kitchen

Kachorn is a traditional bamboo strainer, and Kratai is a coconut grater. Kratai resemble its shape as a rabbit. Kratai means Rabbit in Thai language. Kachorn and bamboo are still widely use today in modern Thai kitchen despite the fact that we can get coconut milk from a can that widely available in the market.

Katha Thong Leaung or Brass pan is used for traditional Thai dessert cooking. Brass pan is inert and will not react to acid from fruit. It is also provide heat evenly throughout the pan, which is critical for cooking Thai desserts.

Kata and Ta-liew (spatula) are very important tool for Thai cooking. Both are used together and phrase together similar to how we call bread and butter. Tup phee (Ladle) is important for Thai food. It used to get rice or soup from the pot or bowl.

I was a late bloomer on this dish even though I was born and raised in Thailand. I am not a big fan of seafood let alone mussels, until one day my friend took me to one of the local shop that famous for fried mussels’ dish. Since that time, it is one of my favorite Thai dishes. There are not many restaurants here in United States that serves this dish. I have to cook it myself from time to time to stop my craving.

Walking in and around street of Thailand usually get you thirsty.  There are always tropical fruit stands that you can get fresh tropical fruits or smoothies.  There are varieties of smoothies such as banana, watermelon, orange, or lychi.   The shop will put the fresh fruit of your choice in the blender adding sugar syrup and crushed ice.

With these varieties of food and desserts, there is no wonder that average Thai person eats 4-5 meals a day. Street vendors are convenient and ready at anytime – especially in Bangkok “the city that never sleeps.”

Thai Boat Noodle (Kway-teow-reau)

Thai Boat Noodle is one of the common dishes you can find along the street of Thailand.  Thai Boat noodle vendors used to serve their customers along many canals around Bangkok.  Automobile has changed all of that, and Thai Boat Noodle is now moving in land as well.  This dish can be either pork or beef.  Most Thai people general have this dish with deep fried pork skins.  Personally, Thai boat noodle will never taste the same without deep fried pork skins.  There are also options for type of noodle to choose from including egg noodle (sen-ba-mee), rice vermicelli (sen-lek), and flat rice stick noodle (sen-yai).   Since there are so many vendors that offered this dish, one might asked how to differentiate a good one from so-so one.  The soup is what separate good tasty noodle from average one.  Tasty noodle soup usually makes you dip pork skins into the bowl over and over again even after all the noodle is gone.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLjmd5RtpQA]

You cannot say you have been to Thailand without trying food from street vendors. These vendors can be found anywhere at any time of the day.

One thing I miss the most living away from Thailand is street vendor.   It does not matter where my destination is whether it is post office, shopping mall, school, or anywhere; I always see these street vendors and can have my favorite dishes at my convenience.  I can easily wake up in the middle of the night and find something to eat on the main street.  Here in United States, there are only few places that open past midnight let alone at 1o P.M.  You can find varieties of food ranging from chicken satay, papaya salad, Pad Thai, crispy fried mussels, and Thai boat noodle.