Introduction To Thai Fun Food
If you have ever been to Thailand you would not failed to have notice the constant smell of food coming from the endless restaurants, stalls and food vendors as you go on your travels. As you pass by with the delicious smelling aromas still nestling in your nostrils, you will not have to walk very far before more food is encountered.
The Thai will ask you ”Gin khao reu yang” basically meaning (”eaten rice yet”). It is probably more popular as a form of hello than the Sawatdii greeting itself. The Thai will probably not really want to know if you have had any rice yet as such, but if not you could then continue the conversation over a bite to eat. All good conversations in Thailand go far better with a bite to eat.
Thai people absolutely love their snack foods and these are essentially good when you are too short on time to sit in a restaurant, just a little bit hungry or just simply that your favourite vendor is displaying your favourite delicious treat that you cannot resist. The Thais call this sort of food ” khoong gin len” loosely translated as play eating or fun food. Fun food is available day and night from markets to side road (soi’s) vendors. The beauty of snack food is that the majority of it can be lanced with a skewer or a stick, also termed as ”dinner on a stick and you are instantly vanishing those hunger pains.
To be honest you can walk out of your humbled abode in Thailand and be in touch with food within minutes and more often than not less than a minute and the array of snack foods on offer are amazing. I was thinking to myself that if I was in England I would first have to take the car out to find a near snack stop and the only thing mounted on a stick is likely to be a fire work. You may however spot those small sausages on sticks and the pineapple and cheese on a stick at parties, which is more like ”sad food” than fun food as it looks so darn dreary. You can of course cover your face in candy floss when at the fair as I recall as that comes mounted on a stick, but more often than not I give things in England a wide berth that are mounted on sticks.
One of the king pieces of food on a stick in Thailand is Chicken more commonly known as ”Chicken Satay” which is now immensely popular all over the world. Succulent pieces of grilled marinated Chicken complete with a peanut sauce dip or a cucumber dip depending on preference is to be quite frank absolutely delicious.
Delicious Chicken Satay
When Is A Good Time To Cook Chicken Satay?
- Can be used as a starter or one of the starters for a Thai dinner party.
- Can be used as a finger food in a drinks evening or party.
- No problem for children as not hot and spicy.
- Children absolutely love chicken satay.
- Fantastic for a children’s birthday party or sleep over.
- Of course finally kept in the freezer and introduced as a snack when ever you want.
Chicken Satay Recipe (For 2 people)
- A quality chicken breast
- Sprinkle of Pepper
- half a teaspoon of Sugar
- 4-5 shakes of Dark soy sauce
- Half a teaspoon of Turmeric Powder
- 1 teaspoon of Oyster sauce
- 2 Tablespoons of Coconut milk
- Bamboo sticks
- Slice the chicken into long strips and place in a mixing bowl.
- Mix all ingredients which include dark soy sauce, sugar, turmeric powder, oyster sauce and pepper.
- Marinate for half an hour.
- Put the sliced chicken portions through the sticks.
- Cook under a grill or over charcoal.
- Brush over with coconut milk occasionally whilst cooking.
- Turn over to the other side until it is cooked.
For The Peanut Sauce Dip
- 1 teaspoon Massaman curry paste
- 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
- 1 Tablespoon of Peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon of Sugar
- 4 Tablespoons of Coconut Milk
- Fry the massaman paste with the sunflower oil for 1-2 minutes
- Then on medium heat not high heat add the coconut milk
- the peanut butter
- and the sugar
- whilst continuing to stir evenly until a smooth consistency is reached, but not too thick
- From putting in the coconut milk the task should take 1-2 minutes
All Khun Lek’s own recipes
Recent Thai Gourmet Events
Recent events out and about with Thai Gourmet took us to Somerton the home of Liz Laker and family for a marvellous family birthday party with a superb menu based around the Thai yellow chicken curry (Gang Gari) and accompanied with fresh stir fried vegetables, prawns and delicious noodles. The usual array of tasty starters and mango slices and sticky rice finished everything off nicely. Liz remarked ”how the food was as good as ever” and this is now the third time that Thai Gourmet have visited Liz and family.
Liz: Top photo on the right with the family
Thai Gourmet were even seen in Yeovil at the home of Jane Donnelly and family for a lovely get together with friends over a full Thai menu and a drop of fine wine. The meal was based around the two curries of Thai Green curry and Thai Massaman curry which incidentally the recipes for these are in my recent posts. Jane’s husband said ”it was smashing and went really well”, they had heard about Thai Gourmet from friends and decided to hold an evening of their own.
Jane Donnelly and Friends
A delightful visit to Ham Bottom in Wellisford near Wellington, Somerset one of the properties of the fantastic sleeps12 to provide catering for a very charming Essex family headed by Mark and Rebecca Greayer. The family was having a well-earned break in the South-West of England and were quite knowledgable about their Thai food and knew what they wanted. I promised them the chicken satay recipe and here it is, the Phat Thai noodle recipe is in the older posts. Their son had great food knowledge of the far east having taken cooking courses and travelling all over the region. The menu here had a cashew nut salad, (yam met mamuang him,maphan) a red beef curry, (gang pet nua) Phat sii iow noodles and chicken with honey and lemon amongst other dishes. They said ”they were really full up, but absolutely delighted with the food”
Mark & Rebecca Greayer and Family
Incidentally anyone looking for a break and looking for a place to stay would be very wise to check out the West country of England and the properties of sleeps 12. For more information, please visit http://www.sleeps12.com/
More events in the next food post as have more to catch up with for the month of August including visits to Tim Scull and family, Sarah Bird, Roger & Mandy Wharton and Philippa Vickery.
Lost In Translation
A long time ago now in about 1987/88 I was staying in a Bangkok hotel and had been given the responsibility to look after our 10 month old daughter Jennifer whilst my wife went back to Nakhon Sawan on family business. My wife caught the bus about 5am and intended to be back in Bangkok by about 8pm that evening.
Fantastic it is now party time, I would take our daughter out and we will see the sights of Bangkok. It was like around Bangkok in 6-7 hours with tuk-tuk after tuk-tuk stopping off in China town, Khaosan road commonly known as backpackers paradise, The Wat Phra Kaew Grand Palace, Silom road where you will find a branch of Jim Thompson’s legendary high quality Thai silk. In between times I managed to find time for a noodle stop and a couple of beers….. very important.
Now doing all this carrying a baby and loaded with baby drinks, nappies whilst trying to take out money to pay tuk-tuk drivers in the April Bangkok heat is not recommended. The nappy bit is especially not recommended. I returned to the hotel absolutely shattered and even Jennifer went straight to sleep. However a couple of hours kip, we were ready for a new adventure and feeling rather hungry.
In those days I merely dabbled with the odd words in Thai, but was at least really keen to learn, but unfortunately do you ever get those times where you think you are better at something than you actually are. I was about to have one of those times.
I picked up the hotel menu thinking me and young Jennifer after all our travels deserved a nice treat and began to read through the dishes. I ignored the 4-5 dishes like club sandwich, pancakes and the like, which were written in English and thought we would go Thai. The Thai dishes were in Thai script which back then I certainly did not understand, but hey ho I had a fine dictionary which I could translate with.
The hotel was very Thai with limited English which I much prefer anyway as on one account it feels so much more traditional and on the second account always far kinder on the wallet. I personally hate going some where to stay in a hotel with masses of other westerners ”might as well be in bloody Blackpool”
I began to translate some dishes, but this was very painful and at least an hour before I had any idea of what 3 – 4 of the dishes might be. I also had to take care on what I might be choosing for a 10 month old, who was still at this point contented in spite of my long absence with the menu and dictionary.
Finally enough was enough and I picked up the phone and in my best Thai began ordering from the menu a couple of chicken dishes with vegetables, a fish dish, a tom yum soup and some rice, yes very balanced. Feeling rather pleased with myself I was surprised to receive complete silence at the other end. Again I said hello and he said hello, so I knew he was there, that was a start.
I said in Thai order food ”sang ahaan” and he said yes, so I gave him the list again in my best Thai of course and this time at the end he just said yes sir, ok sir. It left a very smug me thinking no problem this language speaking business.
After a wait of about 30 minutes the smugness had died down about my language ability (as I was thinking he probably thought a nutter was on the phone to him and did not understand a word, so just said yes sir and put the phone down) and I was contemplating going out to get something before we both died of starvation, when a knock at the door occurred.
I shall never forget the shock I received on opening the door. There were two trolleys full up with food as the service team of which there were 3 of began bringing in the dishes one by one and placing them on the table. I remonstrated that they had the wrong room, but they showed me the list they had with my room number on it.
There was various chicken dishes, rice, green curry and a massive soup that was still attached to a hot plate with fish jumping about in, a mound of stir fried vegetables, beef and pork dishes and it just kept coming. I just looked on open-mouthed as it was a banquet with just myself and a 10 month old baby attending.
On trying to tell them that this could not be mine I did happen to identify a couple of dishes that I tried to order and the soup, but the rest remain a mystery. As it happens the bill was not actually that bad as I was worried I might be washing up over the next week to pay it off. The worst thing was the look on the faces of the staff. They never said anything, but you knew they were thinking ” you and a baby are going to eat all that”
Reflecting on my conversation with the gentleman on the phone I was left with the Basil Fawlty line in my head off of Fawlty Towers. When Manuel did not understand the Spanish from Fawlty, Fawlty suggests that Manuel must have picked up some strange dialect as Fawlty himself had learnt classical Spanish. I too put it down to the strange dialect the gentleman had picked up.
The real reason of course was that I should have ordered two club sandwiches in English, it would have saved a couple of hours as well.
On paying and bidding the nice service team goodbye we sat ready to eat and thinking ” how the hell are we going to eat all this”. I informed Jennifer that a healthy appetite was in order, but she just played with a bit of rice and smiled like normal.
Ten minutes into the banquet and my wife returns with the question of why all this food. I tell her the long story which she finds highly amusing ” ha ha I say”. I am full I can eat no more and still there is lots of food left. My wife has her turn and after a while can eat no more either, but there is still so much food left. Like a normal woman and on seeing that the situation is hopeless my wife now gives me an ear bashing for ordering so much. Like it was intended I think to myself, but cannot be bothered to blurt it out.
My wife walks in to the corridor and starts talking to two of the cleaning ladies relaying to them the story, within minutes the ladies are in our room sat down to dinner with still an array of dishes at their disposure. After a good feast the two ladies leave giving respectful wai’s, but it is not long before a further 3 cleaning or hotel ladies come in and continue with the banquet.
Finally after 7 adults and one 10 month old baby had finished feasting the food was very nearly gone. Talk about over ordering. I am pleased to say my Thai is better now, but at least it gave all the staff that came into contact with me during that process great laughter and amusement unlike the normal mundane and hard shift of an evening, plus a meal was included.
The thing I really would have liked is for the people who served the dishes to come back and collect everything with nothing left, but one man and a 10 month old baby sat there with very full stomachs. That would have been superb to see their faces.
In the UK you can be sure of your Thai – English or English – Thai translations and interpretations being just right with the superb and highly skilled professional services offered by Athais. To find out more about Athais, please visit http://www.justwords.demon.co.uk/
Thai Gourmet Special Offer For September And October 2010 Only
Good Grief ! Thai Gourmet premier Thai caterers from the South – West of England are Offering a Thai banquet from 1st September to 31st October 2010 with an absolute array of delicious dishes usually at the value of £30-00 per head.
However for these two months the banquet is being offered at the ridiculous price of £20-00 per head for 10 people or more. Obviously the offer applies only to those clients in the South – West of England area.
Pre Starter With Drinks: Thai savoury prawn crackers
- Chicken Satay: (Grilled chicken with a delicious peanut sauce dip)
- Papaya Salad: (Thai salad with peanuts, lime, fresh chilli, garlic and tomato)
- Spring Rolls: (Home made spring rolls: Fresh vegetables wrapped and cooked in thin pastry with a sweet chilli dip)
- Kanom Pang Na Moo: (Fresh spicy pork with garlic and coriander on toasted bread with a delicious cucumber dip)
Tom Kha Gai: ( A soup with succulent pieces of chicken, lovely scented lemon grass, coriander, lemon juice with coconut milk)
- Gang Khiaw Wan Gai: (Green curry chicken with Thai seasonal vegetables)
- Gang Masaman Nua: (Beef cooked in a rich curry sauce with sweet potatoes and coconut milk)
- Thoot Man Khao Phot: (Corn cakes with garlic and pepper)
- Phat Priaw Wan Pla: ( Tasty pieces of fish with vegetables in a sweet and sour sauce)
- Phat Thay: (Noodles with prawns, peanuts and bean sprouts)
- Khao: (Plain boiled Jasmine rice)
Khao Niaw Gap Mamuang: Sticky rice with Mango slices.
A real Thai Banquet consisting of a pre-starter, the most popular starters, a tasty soup, the Mother of all main courses and a delightful dessert to finish the evening off with. To the value of £30-00 per head, but being offered throughout September and October 2010 for the incredible price of £20-00 per head for 10 people or more.
You owe it to yourself to catch up with some friends that you have not seen for a while, so invite them over for fine conversation, fine memories, fine wine, fine song if you like (we have Thai music) and mighty fine Thai food.
For more information on the premier Thai caterers of the South – West of England or to book an event, whether dinner party, informal buffet evening or a superb and now legendary ”Walk and Talk” Thai finger food menu please visit www.thaigourmetfoodcaterers.co.uk