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Durian in Bangkok

Like other fruits, Durian comes in a number of varieties. The three most commonly seen varieties in Bangkok are Mon Thong (หมอนทอง) which means 'Golden Pillow,' Chanii (ชะนี) which means 'Gibbon' and Kan Yaaw (ก้านยาว) which means 'Long Stem.' So if you find one that you particularly like ask the vendor which variety is is so you can look for it again later.

Dec 15, 2010
ThaiNut in China & Southeast Asia

Durian in Bangkok

Lots of the larger department stores, like Central, have food stores usually in the basement. Most of these will have sections of durian that have been cut out of the fruit and cleaned and placed on plastic trays and wrapped in plastic. It might be smartest to take it outside and find a pubic bench when you are ready to try it. A caution: never, never, never consume any alcoholic beverage prior to or for a few hours after eating durian. You can get sick or lose orientation and feel like you're on a narcotic high.

Dec 14, 2010
ThaiNut in China & Southeast Asia

Can you identify this Thai dish?

I'd agree if the dish looked cripsy. But to me it looks very wet.

Dec 13, 2010
ThaiNut in General Topics

Can you identify this Thai dish?

I was a Thai linguist once upon a time and lived in Bangkok for 12 years. My wife is Thai. NP2 is correct in his translation of the name for the dish as given in the menu. But the dish does not look like it was made with any sort of flour and we cannot see any reason to add flour. All we can see in the dish are the clams, some chopped spring onion and the oil. Most often this type of clam is stir-fried with basil but that is not the case here as the basil leaves would be visible and the menu name does not mention basil. So, it is kind of mystery to us too.

Dec 12, 2010
ThaiNut in General Topics

Thai in Charlotte?

My (Thai) wife and I were in Charlotte for the weekend for the USATF 10K championships so we ate at the Thai Taste branch in Matthew's. Absolutely superb! We got the laab mentioned on the special board, the beef salad (Yam Nua) and the Pad Thai. All were excellent and my wife thought that the laab was the best she'd ever had. Portions were large and service was excellent. The cook on duty was Lao not Thai, and he obviously had not modified the dishes as so many Thai restaurants think is necessary to accommodate the western palate. The food was great and authentic.

Dec 12, 2010
ThaiNut in Southeast

The first Penzey's store in North Carolina (Raleigh)

Are prices pretty much the same as in the catalog?

Dec 08, 2010
ThaiNut in Southeast

HUA HIN places to eat

On the main highway coming into Hua Hin from the north (Rt-4), and about 10-15 km before Hua Hin, you'll find the entrance to the Thai Army's Fort Naresuan on the left (sea side). On the right side of the road and directly opposite this entrance is a restaurant called "Sap Eelee," but it may be that there is no English-language signboard. "Sap Eelee is a northeast Thai phrase meaning 'delicious' and this place serves the absolute nest NE Thai food I ever found outside of the actual northeast. Go here with as many people as you can and order a large variety of dishes. The Kai Yang (barbecued chicken) in
particular is to die for!

Also on the left side of the highway in that area, and as I recall located between kilometer markers 216-217, is a place called Marukhathaiwan Palace (there is definitely an English language sign) which is a beautifully restored palace of one of the early Thai kings of the current dynasty. Definitely worth a stop.

Nov 29, 2010
ThaiNut in China & Southeast Asia

Best place for Khao Soi in Bangkok?

That restaurant name is really strange. The Thai is เก็ดถะหวา which
transiterates to 'Gaed ThaWaa' not 'Gaed HaWaa' as they transliterated it. And the Thai words make no sense in central Thai language so my guess is that it is something from northern Thai dialect. Perhaps it is a flower as Koknia suggests.

Nov 25, 2010
ThaiNut in China & Southeast Asia

Lime Leaf - Hendersonville, NC

Scirocco,

Yes, we tried it a couple of weeks ago. As you know, I expected it to be not very good and not at all authentic but we were pleasantly surprised. The food was excellent and authentic. The waitress we had was Cambodian/American and she reported that they did indeed have a Thai chef in the kitchen.

My favorite for Thai in H'ville is still Ling's Bistro but that is partially because the owners are friends of ours. However, based on the one visit, I can't say a bad thing about Lime Leaf.

Nov 20, 2010
ThaiNut in Southeast

Pad Thai

Sapolsky's dried tamarind is certainly not the same as you get in Thailand. There it also comes in bricks but it tastes sweet and actually pretty good, and it's not salty whatsoever. I once brought a brick of it home from Bangkok in my check baggage and when clearing U.S. Customs the inspector found it. Now the stuff is a very deep brown color and it is sticky. It looks quite a lot like a brick of raw opium, which I know what looks like as I was once in the counter-narc business. So the Customs guys got together and opened and poked and prodded and smelled it and even called in a sniffer dog who reacted not at all so after I tore of a small piece and ate it in front of them they relented and let me and my tamarind go. I probably ruined their whole day.

Oct 23, 2010
ThaiNut in Home Cooking

What hounds should know- International Edition

The last two paragraphs are also absolutely true in Thailand.

Oct 20, 2010
ThaiNut in General Topics

Ling's Thai Cuisine in Laurel Park, NC

The names of the owners of this new 'Lime Leaf' are NOT Thai. Also, if you look at the web site of their Spartanburg operation you will see that Thai food is listed as the third Asian cuisine that they make there. Neither of these are very good signs if you are looking for authentic Thai food. I will certainly give it a try when they open but my current suspicion is that it is apt to turn out to be like 'Champa Sushi & Thai', also on Main Street, where the Thai food is Thai only in name. The staff there are 100% Chinese.

Aug 22, 2010
ThaiNut in Southeast

"One Love" Jamaican in Hendersonville, NC has Closed

Total bummer. Kinda makes me want to boycott the forthcoming BBQ place and besides we have enough BBQ joints in the area anyway.

Aug 01, 2010
ThaiNut in Southeast

"One Love" Jamaican in Hendersonville, NC has Closed

There was a lengthy article about One Love closing at the bottom of page C1 of Friday's Hendersonville paper. 'Fire Chief BBQ & Grill' is planning to open there by Labor Day. The owners are Dennis & Lisa Pressley. Dennis is chief of the Skyland Fire Dept. hence the BBQ name. Apparently they have experience having run a catering business called 'Pressley's BBQ and Catering.' Lisa's mother is owner of the building where One Love was located so I guess they booted them out, though the article also says that One Love was struggling.

One Love also had a branch at 42 S. Market St. (828-251-8272) in Asheville so, Jeff C, you might not have to contemplate suicide due to collards withdrawal as long as you can make the trip north.

Aug 01, 2010
ThaiNut in Southeast

The Basics: How to Make Hummus

I use blackeyed peas instead of chickpeas and the result is a slightly sweeter and much smoother hummus.

Jun 27, 2010
ThaiNut in Features

Ling's Thai Cuisine in Laurel Park, NC

A few days ago my wife and I went back to Ling's for dinner and had an excellent meal. We had the Pad Thai, which was again superb, an Indian lamb curry dish which was excellent, and Ms. Ling suggested a squid salad which was off-menu and came out really good. Service was excellent and the few growing pains we noted on our first visit seem to have all been ironed out. They've added some art work, mostly acrylics and which are for sale, which really brighten the place up. We were given a tour of the party room and outside deck which I had not previously known about. A few days later my wife and one of her Thai girlfriends went back for an excellent lunch which they had out on the well-shaded and quiet deck. We will definitely be going back often.

Jun 17, 2010
ThaiNut in Southeast

Satay sauce??

'2-3 red onions' is a HUGE quantity. I suspect they are actually using shallots, which are used in Asian cooking a lot and are much smaller than actual red onions.

May 17, 2010
ThaiNut in China & Southeast Asia

Ling's Thai Cuisine in Laurel Park, NC

Scirocco/Kjen

Having been to Ling's only once I can't give a bottom-line assessment of the place yet but I think it has real potential. My wife and I did the usual thing when we went there which was to send a note into the kitchen, written in Thai, asking for authentic stuff. We'd noted that the menu said that the pad thai had a 'sweet and sour' sauce so we also asked them to cut back on the sweet for that dish. That part of the note worked as the pad thai was really faultless. But we agreed that the other two dishes, though good and quite ample, were not 100% authentic. I am hoping that this is just a growing pain that always comes with a new place. Certainly the atmosphere in the place, the pricing and the driving distance from home were all fine.

We had the mango/sticky rice too but our mango was not fully ripe and so was a tad sour. But that happens often around here.

Ms. Ling has wanted to open a Thai restaurant for many years so her heart is definitely in this.

We have not been back to Thai Spice in a couple of years now. We had thought the food there quite adequate but just a tad too pricey. To us, Tamarind has improved in the last year but we still send that Thai-language note into the kitchen each time we go. Champa is just plain a joke as far as their 'Thai' food goes. Lovely place though. Little Bee is absolutely super but, yeah, being in a gas station and not having real seating is a detractor. 'Pad Thai' in Brevard is not bad though and I will definitely go out of my way to have lunch there.

May 11, 2010
ThaiNut in Southeast

Ling's Thai Cuisine in Laurel Park, NC

It's called 'Ling's Bistro' and they are open Mon-Sat 1100-8:30 and Sunday 1100-8:00. 828-693-7779. It's where the old Blackwater Grill was located. We thought the pad thai was really excellent but two other dishes we had (a duck and a beef) had been just a tad to 'fusionized' (if there is such a word) for our liking. But we will be going back.

May 10, 2010
ThaiNut in Southeast

Bat Cave, NC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not far from Bat Cave is the Caro-Mi Restaurant in Tryon on Rt-176. Very nice family run place. Below is a link to a review of it.

http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/230/11052...

May 02, 2010
ThaiNut in Southeast

Lost in Bangkok . . and Hungry!

There is plenty of good Thai food within walking distance of Soi 20. Walk out of Soi 20, cross Sukhumwit to the odd-numbered soi side and walk up to Soi 11. A short ways down the soi on the left you will find the 'Rosabieng Restaurant' (which means 'railroad dining car'). Fine food and you can eat outside in a garden or inside in a/c.

Or go to the other side of Sukhumwit and walk up Soi 12 a quarter mile or so and on the right is the famous 'Cabbages and Condoms' restaurant that has excellent Thai food and only slightly expensive. Their gift shop is a riot.

Also, right on the corner of Sukhumwit and Soi 12 is a building on the ground floor of which are about a dozen different Korean restaurants if you're in the mood for that.

Or, my favorite, walk up to Soi 14 (first soi after you cross the Asoke intersection). About 100' down this soi is the Suda restaurant which has no a/c and the service can be hit or miss but the food is great, super authentic, and quite cheap. And do not be concerned about eating solo in any of these places.

Apr 24, 2010
ThaiNut in China & Southeast Asia

steamed buns in Greenville, SC

I don't know about Greenville but if you get over to Spartanburg go to 'Asian Grocery Store' at 1272 Asheville Highway (tel: 864-598-0890). This is very large Asian food store and they undoubtedly have frozen steamed buns. Also attached to the store is the 'Seven Moons Asian Restaurant' which serves Thai, Japanese, Cambodian, Vietnamese and Chinese dishes at excellent prices. They might have fresh steamed buns.

Mar 06, 2010
ThaiNut in Southeast

Kang nor mai recipe " lao bamboo shoot soup "

Here's an xlation of that recipe:

Bamboo Curry

meat of 1 chicken breast, chopped
2 Tbspn red curry paste
1 cup sliced bamboo shoots, washed
2 cups coconut milk
1 Tbspn tamarind juice
1 Tbspn fish sauce
1 1/2 Tbspn sugar
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 Tbspn vegetable oil

In a saucepan over medium heat, stir fry the curry paste in the oil until fragrant. Add the chicken and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add the bamboo slices, tamarind juice, fish sauce, sugar and kaffir lime leaves. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Feb 26, 2010
ThaiNut in Home Cooking

Kang nor mai recipe " lao bamboo shoot soup "

They are shallots. Thais often refer to shallots as being 'red onions' in their recipes. Also, Thai shallots tend to be smaller than those found in stateside markets so you should cut back even further and use perhaps just 3 shallots.

Feb 26, 2010
ThaiNut in Home Cooking

Kang nor mai recipe " lao bamboo shoot soup "

Can you read Thai? If so, I have a recipe for 'Kaeng Nor Mai Dong' in a Thai-language cookbook that I could send you. Or would you need an English translation?

Feb 25, 2010
ThaiNut in Home Cooking

Pita Express in Flat Rock, NC

Right now they are open only Mon-Fri 0600-1400 but they may open for dinner later. Phone is 828-696-9818. They are doing quite well, a couple of days ago the line for the lunch time crowd went out the door.

Jan 30, 2010
ThaiNut in Southeast

2 nights only in Bangkok

You could have picked a better hotel. Your's is not at all near the downtown area where most of the good eating is. If you have time, I'd suggest moving to a Sukhumvit Road or Silom Road hotel.

Sep 30, 2009
ThaiNut in China & Southeast Asia

Taste of Thai - Charleston, SC

In Thailand, Phad Thai is usually served with the sugar and ground red pepper in little piles on the side of the dish, with the bean sprouts in a pile on the top of the noodles and a lime wedge on the side. This way the eater can mix in as much of these things as they wish. Its a custom that I wish stateside Thai restaurants would adopt.

Sep 16, 2009
ThaiNut in Southeast

Fish Sauce - do you make your own or have a favorite?

Alkapal,

'Prik Thai' doesn't really mean spicy. It just means 'black pepper' and does not give any indication as to the quantity. Besides, Thais usually use their ground red chili peppers or a chili sauce to spice up a dish and black/white pepper is used more for flavor.

Trying to say 'rather spicy Phad Khii Maw using ground chicken and with charred edges on the noodles' would likely be too much for a non-Thai speaker to have any hope of getting the word pronunciations and tones right. Also, if you were dealing with a non-Thai waitress the Thai wording would probably be useless. So... below is written 'Phad Khii Maw using ground chicken and made rather spicy. And please cook the noodles well done.'

ผัดขี้เมาที่ใช้ไก่บด รสเผ็ด
ขอให้เส้นก๋วยเตียวสุกๆ

Below is the same thing but I changed 'rather spicy' to 'very hot'.

ผัดขี้เมาที่ใช้ไก่บด รสเผ็ดม้าก
ขอให้เส้นก๋วยเตียวสุกๆ

Good luck with it...

Aug 31, 2009
ThaiNut in General Topics

Fish Sauce - do you make your own or have a favorite?

'Krapow' does not mean minced or chopped. 'Krapow' is the name for the type of basil commonly called 'holy basil.'

Aug 30, 2009
ThaiNut in General Topics