Samui Wining & Dining

May’s ‘Thai Cuisine Website of the Month’ is – and it’s a cracker!

26What do you look for in a website? Is it easily accessible information, good quality pictures and perhaps a little of the unexpected to titillate and get the neurons firing? That works for most people and they’re features that are certainly applicable to food websites and to in particular. But there’s a whole lot more to this site and you could comfortably spend several hours on it and still only have skimmed the surface.

    When you open up on the homepage, there’s a very apt graphic of the Earth as viewed from outer space with a hand holding a set of chopsticks over Asia. And below that is a list of some Asian ingredients under the title ‘What is …’. Just hover your cursor over each heading and a picture and description comes up on the screen. Do you know what asafateda, galangal or yor leaves are? Well they’re used in Asian cuisine and I’d bet most people would be lucky to identify just one of those. There’re plenty that you will already know about but the level of detail in this opening feature alone tells you that there’s much more to delve into on this site and that the authors have put a huge amount of effort into it.

    Along the top of the page are the links and they’re all worth exploring. However, click on ‘recipe-list’ first of all and you’ll find that the page is in two sections. Down the left-hand side there’re more than 800 recipes listed alphabetically. And on the other side you can select a cuisine. There’re 27 to choose from, ranging from Bengali, Bhutani and Burmese through to Hawker (street food), Hmong (hill-tribe), Khmer, Korean, Shan, Vietnamese and Thai. Do take some time to explore around them because there’re some real insights and culinary surprises. But we’ll focus on the Thai food for the moment.

     Click on the Thai food link and there’s a very informative introduction to Thai food in general. And below that there’re more than 150 recipes listed. Take the first one as an example. It’s for ‘banana blossom and pork curry’ (gaeng muu sai piliy kway), not something you see on menus too often. But the picture is inviting, the list of ingredients and methodology are straightforward and there’s a section below to leave comments and swap cooking experiences with other fans of the site. They even have a handy weight conversion calculator for those of you who still work in ounces rather than grams. Scroll down the recipes and all the old favourites are there. As are quite a number that will probably be new to you.


They even have a handy – and it’s a cracker!
weight conversion
calculator for those of you
who still work in ounces
rather than grams.


      Ever had jim jum? It’s possible you have as there’re a couple of restaurants on Samui that serve it or dishes similar to it. Best described as a Thai hotpot, the name actually refers to the earthenware pot the broth or stew is cooked in, often on top of a brazier on your table. And then there’s ‘pork chocolate paradise truffles’ (khanom muu chocolat suan). Pork and chocolate? Together? Surely not, I hear you say. But check out the recipe and the chemical combinations start to make sense. And the picture of the finished dish is definitely drool-worthy. If you do make it past the recipes, the other links are excellent. Their section on Asian kitchen equipment is essential reading for the serious Thai food cook. And the extensive information on how to grow your own Asian herbs and spices is packed full of great tips for the amateur gardener.

      Overall this is a very professional website that has been painstakingly researched and written. It has more recipes than you could ever want, plenty of unusual creations to get you thinking and first class information. Bookmark it and refer to it often; your culinary skills and knowledge will improve exponentially without a shadow of a doubt. And it might spice up more than just your evening meal!




Johnny Paterson


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