Thailand has long enjoyed its own special style of fried chicken, made with their very own blend of 'secret' herbs and spices. Fried or grilled chicken is found throughout the kingdom with regional variations. For me, fried chicken always makes me think of the beach. Just about any stretch of beach in Thailand that is well visited will have a string of shacks selling fried or barbecued chicken, along with som tam and sticky rice. It's the perfect beach food, since you can eat it all with your hands and not care about how sticky your fingers get.
Here is the full list of all recipes published on Traveling Chili. Click on the Ingredients list at left to see a list of articles and recipes for each major food item.
Most of the busy morning markets all around the north seem to have at least one stall selling deep fried twists of dough that would best be described as fritters, which in Thai are called patong-go. The dish and its name are apparently both of Chinese origin. Fritters are a popular snack throughout Thailand, although the specific style and accompaniments vary between the different regions. In Bangkok, these bits of deep fried dough are mostly eaten in the morning with a soya milk dip, while in the south they prefer a sweet syrup.
These little wrapped meatballs are quite a popular afternoon snack. They would make quite a good appetizer, or finger food for a party. Stalls will specialize in this and nothing else. As with noodle stalls that get a reputation, people will drive a long distance just to get to a good dumpling stall.
Freshly steamed dumplings still in the steamer
Sausages are a common form of preparing and curing meats throughout Thailand. Each region has its own variations and specialities. In addition to a raw cured sausage called naem, the north, and specifically Chiang Mai, is also famous for a cooked sausage called sai ooa made with lemongrass and kaffir lime.
Chiang Mai's sai ooa sausages hot from the oven.
Shredded carrot most closely matches the texture, if not the colour or flavour, of green papaya. This recipe is similar to one that has proved successful at the restaurant chain in Thailand where I used to work, and also utilizes ingredients easily found outside of the country. You can of course substitute fresh string beans for the long beans.
Don't let the relative simplicity of the ingredients fool you, with the full compliment of fresh ingredients, this curry can be surprisingly complex. That said, finding fresh kaffir lime leaves and sprigs of green peppercorns is probably the biggest challenge you'll face in making this dish, and it really won't taste the same without them.
Pork Red Curry
Grilled meats with lemongrass are rather less common on the street than a similar looking dish using only garlic and pepper. Still, the lemongrass adds a special flavour that makes this recipe a bit more interesting than what you will normally find. This recipe works well with pork or chicken, and could also be used with beef.
Just in case you were thinking that every meal at my place is a gourmet feast, I thought I would post a recipe that represents a more typical lunch or dinner for me. Instant noodles have become something of a staple in modern Thailand, since they're quick and easy to make. During the big Bangkok floods of late 2011, it was instant noodles that supermarkets couldn't keep on the shelves, not rice.
This meal was the result of having a lot of leftover ingredients from other recipes that I made for posting here. The main things I had filling up my 'fridge was a large chicken breast, a big packet of kaffir lime leaves and a half can of mushrooms. I decided to challenge myself to see what I could make.
I often think chicken and galangal soup (tom ka gai) is perhaps the best example of Thai cuisine. Unlike its more famous cousin tom yum the taste of this thick soup is more varied and sublime. The undercurrents given by the galangal, lime juice, lemongrass and pepper make this dish quite remarkable.
Chicken and Galangal Soup