Thai Spicy

24 Aug

I love Thai food. Really, I LOVE THAI FOOD. Most of my NYC people know my obsession with a certain venue called Ozen Thai Fusion. Ozen deliciousness was the answer to everything. In a bad mood? Let’s order Ozen. Grad school annoying? Let’s order Ozen. If I walked in the door tired or in a funk, Orestes would quickly ask, “Ozen??” Ozen was comfort food as far as I was concerned. So, as you can imagine, moving to Bangkok and getting to eat Thai food 24/7 is pretty much the best thing ever. With that in mind, I will now share my thoughts on the food here in Thailand/our eating adventures thus far.

1. Thai food can be spicy. Really spicy. These chili peppers are a big part of the reason why.Image

One of these chilies makes a dish tasty. Several of these chilies makes a dish ‘Thai spicy’. Thai spicy is mouth on fire, breaking out in a sweat, reaching for the water, tip of the tongue numb spicy. I can’t handle it. Recently, I ordered a dish called spicy glass noodle salad, which I’d had before and enjoyed. Not at this particular restaurant. Two bites in, everything was burning. I managed to eat about a third of the dish, an effort which involved two 16oz bottles of water hastily consumed, several applications of chapstick to sooth the scorched lips, and much gasping. Orestes calmly finished the rest of my meal, sweating happily. Meh. He likes Thai spicy. At our local go-to place (inappropriately named Mr.V’s Steakhouse) the proprietor has quickly realized how we like our food: me foreigner spicy, and Orestes Thai spicy. Gotta love it.

2. Trying to cook Thai food is an adventure. Just getting through the supermarket is an adventure. Our first trip to the grocery store took hours, since the store is filled with mystery foods labeled in a language we can’t read. A month in, we’ve managed several successful shopping trips, as well as a trip to the local street market for veggies. Once the food is home, cooking is an adventure too. This is the stove in our house:

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The gas tank is like a grill tank that needs to be turned on and off every time you cook, and the burners are rather unpredictable. My first time using it, I was convinced I would somehow blow up the kitchen, but so far so good. The stove is also in a separate little room off the main kitchen, which seems weird but helps keep the heat from cooking out of the house. Thus far, I have cooked several dinners successfully, all of which involved this amazing product we discovered in the store. Image

Amazing Thai sauces in a box, just add meat, veggies, and rice. They come in many tasty flavors. Here is some of my cooking in action.

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And the completed dinner set at our dining room table: Image

3. Twigs and branches. Thai food is full of leaves, sticks, and mysterious bundles that you’re not meant to eat. A colleague has taken to calling these items twigs and branches. Lemongrass, kafir lime leaves, Thai basil – all of these things make the meal taste amazing, but have a decidedly unpleasant texture in your mouth. In my first cooking attempt, I made the mistake of chopping the asparagus and the lemongrass stalks the same length, rendering us unable to tell which was which until it was too late and we were gnawing on a fibrous stalk. However, I have fully embraced the use of twigs and branches as they add tons of flavor.

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So to sum up, I love Thai food and am one happy camper! (Thai street food and markets are another whole story that will have to occupy their own post)

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5 Responses to “Thai Spicy”

  1. Laura-Ann Robb August 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Love reading about your Thai adventures. Amazing. Love the food stories. Keep ’em coming!

  2. Colleen August 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    So fun! I loved reading about your shopping and cooking adventures thus far. That’s quite the interesting looking stove! 🙂

  3. Heidi August 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    foreigner spicy… very amusing. Also, nice touch with the candles for the dining room table – was that just a blog perk or are you always so classy?

  4. thejacksonstakethailand August 30, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    I am not always this classy, but I was that night. The classiness inspired the photo, not the other way around : )

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