12.2.08

i object.

















Andy just returned from two weeks in Bangkok, where he (among other things like playing some gigs, hitting the beach, rubbing up on well-oiled ladyboys, etc.) took a Thai cooking class for something like 4 euro. Exploiter. His hotel room cost 4 euro per night as well. Actually it sounded like everything cost 4 euro. Tonight he just about vaporized us with his fancy new "authentic" Thai techniques. Turns out that in order to make "authentic" Thai food, you need to utilize a badass ninja-like technique they call Song Of The Transparent Cleaver:

















Yes, thank you, ninjas aren't from Thailand, got it. Andy is a good reminder that it's possible to have a very rich and powerful food life and not blog about it. Who else do I (or you) know that has a jar of homemade berbere sitting around?






















Tonight he made tom yum, and the soup was almost literally dynamite, spicy as seven well-oiled ladyboys and just generally the best homemade version I've had of it. Ancient Chinese Secrets? Yeah: not cooking the soup for very long at all, 10 minutes tops. Using a few more aromatics (kaffir leaves, Thai basil) than a real Thai recipe calls for because the versions we get of these things are so barely aromatic by the time we get them. Mostly, it turns out that the secret ingredient to authentic tom yum soup, in addition to ruthless wielding of the Transparent Cleaver, is this:






















It's a chili paste that smells exactly and alarmingly like shrimp shells. I say alarmingly because there's no shrimp or fish product in the ingredient list.






















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2 comments:

Abra said...

That paste is called nam prik pow. Honest. It's the secret to life as we know it (ought to be).

MEM said...

Oops, somehow missed your comment Abra...

It's one of those condiments that could probably "fix" just about anything you made...maybe I should add some to my Zarela Martinez recipes in the future....