Samui Wining & Dining
Megabytes
December’s ‘Thai Culinary Website of The Month’ is www.tastefood.info.

 

MegabytesI’m a bit of a fan of browsing around the web with no specific agenda in mind. And I often come across sites just by following obscure links. That’s how I chanced upon this month’s site, www.tastefood.info. What started off as a search for flights to Amsterdam eventually led me to this recipe website. And, in general terms, it’s a whopper with thousands of recipes from dozens of countries. It’s a site that both needs and deserves some time spent on it, and foodies will find it fascinating.

 

Along the top of the homepage, and down the left-hand side, the cuisines of various countries are listed alphabetically. And ‘Thai recipes’, quite rightly, is one of them. There’re nearly 300 recipes listed, however, they aren’t in any discernable order or grouped together under sub-headings, such as curries or noodles. That said, there is an internal search engine in the top right-hand corner so if you wanted to see recipes for, say, a ‘Thai green curry’, you just need to type it in and you’ll get plenty of options to choose from.

 

This site is best for those who’re looking for a bit of inspiration and are perhaps tired of making the same old dishes every time. And most of them use everyday ingredients and herbs and spices that a regular Thai food lover will have in their cupboard. Take, for instance, the ‘Southern Thai-style braised chicken’. It needs turmeric, lime juice, fish sauce, coconut milk and red curry paste for the sauce. And whilst oven-baking isn’t usual for Thai dishes, an oven is something you’ll all have at home. Each recipe has a picture of the finished dish, a list of ingredients, a straight-forward methodology and links to similar dishes. And whilst all the old favourite recipes are there, several have been included that are adaptations or have substitute ingredients listed.

 

I get the impression that the site author/recipe contributor is either American or has spent a lot of time there. And they have included what I would call Thai-inspired recipes that can add a new dimension to more Western-orientated food. There’s a great recipe for a ‘grilled red curry steak’ that suggests marinating the meat in a red curry paste, brown sugar, soy sauce and ginger mixture for an hour or two. And it can also be used as a dipping sauce. It’s quick to make and can help tenderize tougher cuts of beef.

 

Back on the homepage you’ll see a section on recent posts that fans of the site have made. And whilst they could be about any world cuisine, there’re some nice tips. The one that caught my eye was for fried fish Malaysian-style. A common preparation Malays use before frying fish is simply to soak it in diluted tamarind juice and then rub it with turmeric, salt and garlic. It adds a whole new flavour dimension to the fish rather than the batter or breadcrumbs and keeps the fish moist whilst cooking. And along the top there’s also a link to Vietnamese cuisine which has many of the same ingredients and cooking techniques that are used in Thai cuisine and could also spark a few ideas in your mind.

 

If you want a specific recipe then use the internal search engine; this site is sure to have it. However, if you have some time, it’s well worth browsing around and making some notes. It will give both your brain and your taste-buds a good work out.

 

Johnny Paterson

 


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