Samui Wining & Dining
Mega Bytes !

August's recommended ‘Thai Cuisine Website of the Month’ is www.rasamalaysia.com

 

26Our spotlight this month falls upon one of Asia’s leading culinary literary lights. And Bee Yinn Low’s website/blog attracts more than 650,000 visitors each month. There’re in excess of 400 recipes, covering the cuisines of China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, India and Thailand. And her first cookbook, ‘Easy Chinese Recipes’, is the number one best selling Chinese cookbook on Amazon

    She grew up in a family of great cooks on Penang, an island just off the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, by the Strait of Malacca. Both the state and Penang itself are melting pots of culinary influences where Chinese food, Nyonya dishes, Indian curries, Malay sambal and Thai spices are all established favourites, and are often brought together in the specialities she creates today. The word ‘rasa’ means ‘taste’ in the Malay language, and many of her dishes are ones she ate and learned about whilst growing up.

      If you have the time, the site is worth exploring as there’s excellent information on Asian cuisines in general, and related articles about her and her food from dozens of international magazines and newspapers. On the homepage you’ll see several links across the top, and down the centre and sides are pages leading to the latest recipes which have been added, plus recent blogs, an archive section that you can search through, a link where you can search for recipes by ingredient, and competitions where you can win a whole range of culinary-related products.

       However, let’s get onto her Thai recipes and if you click on ‘browse recipes’ at the top, a list of different cuisines appear. And a new link on baby and toddler recipes has recently been added since she became a proud mum. Scroll down to ‘Thai recipes’ and there’re around 30 listed, although many of the other recipes also have a Thai influence. One of the delightful things I like about her recipes is that they all start with a little story about how she came to make the dish or what gave her the inspiration. One recipe is for ‘Mussels in Thai Red Curry Sauce’. Moules reminded her of her travels through France, and her time living in San Francisco where she often ate at a small French bistro. But instead of a traditional marinière sauce with white wine and parsley, she experimented with a sweet and spicy Thai curry sauce. And judging by the comments of her loyal followers, it’s a winner. The recipe is certainly straightforward and with a couple of chunks of crusty bread to mop up the sauce, it’s an innovative alternative to the French and Belgian staple dish.

       She does have some Thai blood running through her veins as she explains in her recipe for ‘Thai Green Papaya Salad’. Her great- grandmother was born and raised in Thailand and married a Malaysian man. And her grandmother could speak fluent Thai. On a family trip to the small Thai seaside town of Songkhla (just an hour or so across the border from Malaysia), she had her first authentic Thai green papaya salad, sold by an old lady with a mobile cart, and equipped only with her mortar and pestle plus the ingredients. And that early exposure to simple produce that was quickly turned into a wonderfully aromatic and taste-bud tingling sensation, helped inspire her exploration of Thai cuisine.

       All of the recipes have very clear instructions on how to make the dishes, have beautiful photographs to accompany them and a section for comments. Rasamalaysia.com is a very professional site; it has more than enough interesting recipes to keep you busy, the dishes are all easy to make for the enthusiastic home cook and the site is updated regularly. It’s definitely worthy of a firm recommendation to Thai and Asian food lovers.

 

 Johnny Paterson


 


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