Nov 21, 2010

A Taste of Thailand - We Miss You!

A whole month of blogging is a lot for a person.  I'm getting incredibly sick of the sound of my own thoughts, so I can only imagine it's much worse for you people!  Therefore, I'd like to welcome a guest blogger today: my husband, personal chef, and travel coordinator Douglas.  
I'll turn the time over to you now, Sweet Cheeks!
Today we had the wonderful wife of one of our deployed branch members over after church.  Gina is Thai and a great cook. I asked and she graciously offered to teach us some Thai cooking.  When she arrived she had a basket of ingredients to make my favorite Thai dish: Tom Yum Goong. This is a fabulous soup.
(I was always too nervous to order anything other than Pad Thai and Curry at Thai restaurants until Thailand when our interpreters ordered for us. Now this is my fave, so go try it.)

This has a couple of lime leaves, a ginger like root called Galangal, some lemon grass, a Japanese sized garlic clove (about twice the size of U.S garlic cloves), and some onion.
 Skinny Japanese mushrooms: these are sold in big bunches. Nice since you don't have to slice them up.
 Goong or shrimp.
This is the tricky part.  You need these two sauces and I'm not sure where to find them, though in the US it can't be that hard. This first one is Chili Paste. Gina bought it from Phada Thai here in Misawa.
 This is a shrimp paste she bought here at Sanwado, the Japanese equivalent to Walmart.
 Cilantro and green onions.
 You read the label, I'm getting tired. (Okay, for you Kris: Fish sauce)
 Yep, chicken broth.
She took about 1 cup of broth and added the first group, lemon grass, ginger stuff, etc. and brought to a boil. Then she added about a heaping Tablespoon of both pastes in and stirred until the onions were cooked. (I tried to hand her an actual Tablespoon but she declined for a regular spoon of course). About 2-3 minutes after adding the pastes, we added the mushrooms and the onions/cilantro and shrimp and a splash of fish sauce. That cooked about 1-2 minutes.
 Now eat!!! Boy it was soo good. There are so many flavors that hit you. It was just like I had in Kanchanaburi. It had the perfect spice level for me, but was a bit (lot) too spicy for Em. 

 And she did it all one-handed while holding this cute little flea.
It was easy to make too, if you can find all that stuff.  Thanks for the lesson Gina!


It's been about 10 months since we visited Thailand. I miss it. Plus, to heighten my Thai awareness, it seems half the branch is/are going there for Christmas vacation. (And another family just got back.) I was just on the phone with my friend/supervisor/district presidency member/orthodontist telling him how to get the "Bangkok Dolls." (I got a lot of weird looks from people on my trip as I tried to find said place. But rest assured, it is a wholesome doll company where we bought our Thai Nativity.)

The cooking lesson and phone conversation brought back lots of fun memories.  If you ever get the chance to visit Thailand, I highly recommend it!

Thank you Douggie!!!
If you're interested, you can read my Thailand trip report starting here, and Doug's (with lot's of excellent pictures) starting here!


acte gratuit said...

That soup was soooo good! I want more!!!

Lyana said...

I will have to make it. Whenever I asked Thai people what they recommend at their restaurant, they'd say this soup. I tried some sort of soup the first couple days we were there and I didn't like it. So after that I was too chicken to order this one:)