Samui Wining & Dining
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This month’s recommended Thai food website is www.blazinghotwok.com.

 

Page26Feb

 Many of the popular Thai food websites focus on traditional favourites. And that’s absolutely fine, as green curries, spicy soups and stir-fries are easy enough to make and are familiar to most people. But it’s always nice to come across a site that has some more unusual dishes that you don’t often find in typical tourist restaurants. And www.blazinghotwok.com is one of those.

            It was created by a Thai-American lady called Darlene about five years ago. Reading between the lines in some of her blogs, it’s clear that her mum is Thai though whether Darlene actually ever lived in Thailand isn’t stated. She describes herself as a mother, a scientist turned science educator and a passionate family cook. And she started her website and blog so she could share with others the recipes of her childhood and new creations she’s made for her family. There’re around 100 recipes with about one third being Thai, another third are other Asian orientated dishes and the rest is a hotchpotch of world cuisines and home experiments. And over the years she’s built up a loyal following of fellow enthusiasts who post comments and share their ideas and thoughts on her recipes with her.

          When you open up on the homepage there’s a selection of her latest recipes and blogs, a link to her profile and four other links along the top of the page. Three of these are about her blogs and other sites that she enjoys and are worth browsing through. The last link, though, is for the recipes and they’re divided up into sections such as appetizers, noodles, soups, main courses and desserts. They’re not categorized by country but it’s easy to tell which ones are Thai.

 

         Click on any recipe and Darlene gives a nice introduction to the dish explaining what it is, why she likes it and often some pointers to what it should be like. For instance, a laab or larb dish is a north-eastern Thai spicy salad usually made with pork and herbs. It’s supposed to be a fairly dry dish eaten with sticky rice but she’s noticed that some Thai restaurants in the USA serve it wet. She tends to go with authentic recipes that she learned from her mother; or ‘mom’ as she calls her. Darlene produces very good quality pictures to go with each recipe, the instructions couldn’t be simpler and she also gives tips that are useful for the amateur cook and suggestions for alternative ingredients.

         She’s really into making her own bacon and sausages and several variations are cured and prepared with typical Thai ingredients like lemon-grass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves. Her recipe for Issan-style sausages is spot on and the one for Thai-style cured or smoked bacon is a revelation and not as difficult to produce as you might think. Another dish that is fantastic but you don’t see too often in Samui is for paelo, which is braised pork shank and she has a wonderful recipe for it.

         You could spend a while just reading the recipes on this site and it could be a difficult choice deciding what to make first. They’re all tried and tested, so opt for something outside of your culinary comfort zone and give your taste-buds a surprise. Bookmark this site if you want to experience more than just a simple pad Thai or green curry. I love this website for its simplicity, range of recipes and the passion Darlene clearly has for food, especially authentic Thai cuisine – just like her mom used to make!

 

 

 

Johnny Paterson      


        

 


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