Samui Wining & Dining
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March’s ‘Thai Culinary Website of The Month’ is www.asiarecipe.com

 

22This amazing website has had more than 160 million hits since its inception so there’s no doubting that it’s extremely popular. In all, it covers the cuisines of 22 countries and is packed full of interesting information about each region. However, we’ll focus closer to home today and once you click on Thailand on the map of Asia it will bring up two areas of links.


Down the left-hand side, there’re ten links related to Thai food and culture. And down the centre of the page there’re links to information and articles about all aspects of Thai life. Starting on the left, the first two links are ‘Country information’ and ‘Culture’. If you have the time, they really are worth scrolling through as they do give a reasonable snapshot of the history of the Kingdom, its traditions and customs and good information on Thai food in general including how to order and eat in Thai restaurants.


Moving down the left-hand side, ‘Cooking methods’ is next and there’re pages and pages of information about cooking styles, equipment, tips, preparation techniques, etiquette and even how to use chopsticks. You’ll find pictures, videos and diagrams that give a visual reference to the subject matter and you could spend several hours browsing this link alone. Next is ‘Ingredients’ and again it goes into great detail about Thai fruits, vegetables, herbs, sauces, meats and seafood. There’re plenty of interesting facts for budding chefs and it explains, for instance, the difference between holy basil and sweet basil and the impact each has on a particular recipe. It also gives the transliterated Thai name for hundreds of dishes, many of which will be familiar to you, such as tom yam goong (a hot, sour and spicy prawn soup). Near the top of this page there’s also a link to ‘Thai ingredient substitutes’ which is handy when you can’t get exactly what the recipe calls for. Typically, this might mean using the zest of a lemon instead of kaffir lime leaves or red onions in place of shallots.


The next pertinent link is ‘Recipes’ and you’ll find more than one hundred listed, each with comprehensive ingredients lists and methodologies. It might seem that many have just a few instructions on how to make the dish but, in Thai cuisine, more time is spent on preparation than on the actual cooking. Split into easy-to-navigate sections, all the usual favourites are there plus some more unusual dishes that you might not be familiar with. No doubt the more adventurous of you will be drawn to dishes such as the ‘Evil Jungle Prince’, the ‘Sai Grog Sausage’ and the ‘Three Grasshoppers Recipes’. Many also come with good tips, like substituting dried chilies for fresh ones for a more roasted, nutty flavour.


Ignore the rest of the links down the left unless you want to take part in forums or contribute your own recipes. Of greater interest are some of the articles in the links down the middle. There’s everything from regional Thai food to cooking classes, festivals, Thai ghosts, travel stories and even one about a ‘Samui UFO’. I’ve certainly seen some strange sights here and I’m sure there’s a food link to the latter story. Undoubtedly, partaking of locally grown fungi in an omelette will result in strange flashing lights so perhaps a pinch of salt may be in order.


Asiarecipe.com is an excellent website for those with a bit of time on their hands and an interest in more than just recipes from Thailand. You can go directly to the food parts but it’s well worth a browse around, especially if you’re here already.

 


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