Of the many good reasons we had for visiting Thailand, the food was pretty high on our list. So far we’ve happily enjoyed Pad Thai, Massaman Curry, Panang Curry, a variety of Spring Rolls, and several delicious fruit shakes (my favorite so far being pineapple and milk. Mmmmm.)
Our first dinner was not really Thai at all, but rather a hybrid Mongolian/Chinese (?) delicacy: Hot Pot. This was pretty simple, really, just a big, long buffet of raw meat and vegetables from which to choose. While you’re hunting and gathering, a server brings a bucket of red-hot coals and places it in the table’s red-hot coal receptacle. Then your chosen meats and veggies are cooked in another metal pan, in and around hot broth. Here’s a few pictures for your culinary enjoyment:
Did I mention they don’t call it “hot pot” for nothing? The coals are right next to your knees, actually, and it’s already 100 degrees (F) outside. Surpisingly, the heat is not as oppressive as I had thought it would be; and it’s definitely not keeping us away from the spicy foods!
Other well-known Thai dishes we’ve enjoyed are pictured below. My new favorite condiment is the chili oil that sits, temptingly, on nearly every table we’ve seen. My brother explained it’s some combination of sesame oil and garlic, with chopped red and/or green hot chilies.
Spring rolls have been a favorite of Michael’s, and I confessed today that they might even be tastier when fried. Saturated fat, be damned. I hear it’s not so bad after all.
Hot tea and Tom Yam have topped the favorites list, too. We’re planning to take a cooking class, after which you can expect a Thai-food tell-all. The many variations on themes in Thai cooking has already been noted… But I have yet to have been served a dish I didn’t like.