Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cooking and Eating in Saraburi

A trip to Saraburi to visit friends included almost exclusively cooking and eating. Here are the results.

We started with a trip to the market. We attacked the squid after I put in a request for a squid heavy meal.

Squids were inspected, placed in a basket, poured back into the tubs, and scrutinized again. Finally we had enough squid to feed many hungry people. 50 baht was spent.

Next we went to go get some pork. What meal isn't complete without our cute little snouted friends?

A bag of pork puts you back 50 baht as well. The coffers certainly don't get emptied in Thai markets.

On to the beef and curry stand.


There was gaeng som

and there was gaeng phet, which is what we bought along with a bag of beef. 75 baht.

We bought tofu

and some mangosteens. Couldn't resist! We also bought a bag of fresh coconut. I should also mention that right after this I bought a four kilo durian. That's big. More on that in a minute.

After we got back to the house the first order of business was to make fresh coconut milk. Labor intensive yes, but very fun. Here's what you do: You place your coconut in a bowl and pour in hot water and begin to "milk" the coconut. You use a special basket to strain the milk.

You can milk the coconut three or four times.

I want to be honest with you here: because of my sex (male), I was mostly banished from the kitchen or ignored enough to the point that I didn't get to help cook as much as I would have liked. While the women went to the wholesale market to get vegetables (no space on the motorbike for me), I sat at home with the aforementioned bag of durian like an opiate in his den. It was maybe the best durian I have ever eaten. Good durian is like a drug. once I start, I cannot stop, and it always wreaks havoc on my day. I lay around either too full to move or eating more durian. Long story short: I didn't help much with the cooking except the occasional picture.

I was helpful once or twice though. At one point it was suggested I go and get some bua loy. I waddled off the couch for a quick ride into town and was met by a cauldron of bua loy.

Bua loy is little dough balls in a bath of coconut milk. More on this in a later post! This one was popular with egg in it.

everyone else was going it so...

If this wasn't enough, my friend Ace decided it would be a good idea to get some soda.

Since I’d never tried this concoction before, it seemed like a really good idea. Ace and I got a root beer like beverage, while E had sour plumb. Not bad at all.

The tailpipe on this spaceship is what adds the carbonation. Blast off!

Dinner was late this particular evening due to a doggie abortion in the veterinary clinic at the house we were staying at. That was one long surgery! Maybe you didn't want to hear about that. Anyhow, on to the food!

There was pat krapao pla-meuk or squid with basil.

There was tofu with three ingredients. This is usually made with pork although I've had it with squid before. up to you I suppose.

There was gaeng nua, a lovely red curry with beef

There was phad buat, which is a cucumber like vegetable (I don't know the name in English) with egg and pork

Last but not least there was pla salit; dried and fried fish

There's nothing more to say about this spread. The food was good as was the company. Stay tuned for part two where we'll look at a couple of delicious desserts.


Su-Lin said...

Look at those fabulous mangosteens! I can't believe I visited Thailand just a month before the season started!

mon ange said...

The cucumber like vegetable looks like luffa to me. Very long dark green object with deep ridges and very tough skin which once removed with a peeler will reveal a sponge like texture. Many chinese family will cook it with sliced or diced pork and egg too! Yummy.

a said...

My god, I'm truly sorry you missed out on one of the world's finest fruits. Next time perhaps?

mon ange
You're right! Thank you!