Sawasdee Ka! I'm Joy, the owner of Joy's Thai Food Recipe & Cooking blog. I have been cooking since I was little with my mom and aunts in northeast Thailand. I want to share my childhood Thai recipes with you. Please help me make this the best site I can by completing my survey! :) Joy
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Seventeen Supernatural Tales to Make Your Skin Crawl
Fans of Ray Bradbury and the Twilight Zone have reason to rejoice!
Here are 17 tales with a twist—many of them award-winning: a traveling sideshow, a shadowy something waiting in a deep Oregon forest, an ancient fishing village where there’s a price to pay for magic, a strange parcel dragged for miles over ice and snow, a Florida boarding house full of residents who would VERY much like to meet you…
The Uncanny waits to make your acquaintance.
Protection: Probably best not to earn a Gypsy’s curse…but maybe you can bargain your way out?
Tap: Maybe Grandmother hears better than we think she does.
Stir: Young hot-shot lawyer takes his stage 4 cancer down to Florida, to live out his days fishing in peace. But someone else sees the opportunity of a lifetime…
Small Onya: Two children in a sideshow weigh their options.
Churn: A mushroom-picking young girl holds a secret that will change a man’s destiny.
Remission: Young Aggie finds a mostly-dead body washed up on her island’s shore…but there is something unsettling about the visitor.
Island Tale: This witch hunt might not be over…
Festival: Villagers burn a man while a woman hides a parcel beneath ice and snow far, far away.
Moving On: A couple is pursued by a shadowy movement in the forests of Oregon.
Barking Town: An almost-ghost town’s elderly resident knows something. If only she could remember it long enough to tell someone…
Shoelace: Beware the little old ladies.
A Fisherman’s Tale: In an ancient Scandinavian fishing village, a couple seeks magic to save their family from starving. But there is and always shall be a price to pay for your magic…
Thailand’s Best Pad Thai (Stir-fried noodles) Recipe!
Prepare Pad Thai sauce: For 2 servings
2 Big tbsp. of palm sugar
3 tbsp. concentrated tamarind juice
3 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
Prepare ingredients to cook the noodle:
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. minced shallot
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. cut yellow tofu
1 tbsp. sweet radish (minced)
2 handful thin noodle if you can’t find the specific one, just use any noodle, mung bean noodle is also good. (Soak the noodle in regular water for 2 hours)
1 handful of a garlic-like vegetable -> garlic Chives/ Chinese Chives.
10 big shrimp (peeled, De-veined and cooked)
1 handful bean sprouts
1 tsp. dried red chili powder
2 tbsp. roasted peanut (crushed)
1 tsp. sugar
4-5 branches of Uuicnri leaves/ garlic Chives/ Chinese Chives.
1 piece of sliced lime
1. Heat the pan and add palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind juice, oyster sauce and a little bit of water. Now used medium or low heat to let the sauce boil and thicken. Keep stirring. Make sure you don’t burn the sauce. Golden pad Thai is good pad Thai. Be careful, it will be bitter if you put max heat and burn it.
2. Taste the sauce and make it the way you like. Some people really love it to be sweeter and some just love it a little more salty but the trick of Pad Thai sauce is the proper balance of 3 tastes: sweetness, sourness, and saltiness. So change it the way you like. If you like it sweet, keep the taste the way it is will be right taste for you. However, my trick is to add some Maggi brand soy sauce to make it saltier as my husband loves it that way.
3. When the sauce gets thick enough, remove from the stove.
Next, we will cook the pad Thai noodles.
1. In a different pan, heat the pan and add vegetable oil. When the pan is hot, add garlic and shallot Fry until it has a nice aromatic smell.
2. Next, add tofu and sweet radish.
3. Now, add noodles and 4 tbsp of the sauce we made earlier. (that’s for 1 serving). You can keep adding the sauce of the amount of the noodles is more than one handful. Make sure you don’t add too much because the noodle will be too wet and overcooked. (add it little by little) Then, make a quick stir.
You may want to pick the noodles out and taste them to see if the noodles are cooked properly.
4. If you like the bean sprouts and the sliced garlic Chives/ Chinese Chives to be cooked, add it in this step.
5. Push the noodles aside. Add the egg and cook it until it is halfway done then mix it with the noodles. Now add shrimp and mix.
6. Turn off the fire. Arrange the noodles on a plate. Put dried chili pepper, sugar, roasted peanut, fresh bean sprouts, one piece of lemon and the garlic Chives/ Chinese Chives on the side.
Another option for Pad Thai is to make an omelet from duck’s eggs. Make it as thin and as big as possible. Put the noodles in the middle of the omelet. Fold four sides then put another plate on top. Turn it upside down. Decorate it with bean sprouts, the genus Allium or scallion, dried chili powder, sugar, peanut, and one piece of lemon.
We call this Pad Thai with an omelet in the Thai language, “Pad Thai Kai Ho.” Pad Thai is a classic Thai Food dish and one that we eat a lot – a couple times per month at least. Tourists, when they come to Thailand know “Pad Thai” from the Thai food restaurants in their home country. They always seem to know to order this dish! My husband when he first came from America only knew pad thai and a couple of other dishes like yum woon sen and tom yum soup.
Oops, BONUS – Below is a video of me making Pad Thai another time – this was the best Pad Thai my husband said he ever ate!
Though most people believe in the uniqueness of traditional Thai cooking, and in the idea of an authentic Thai cuisine, in reality, Thai food is the product of the interaction between nations for centuries. What is widely regarded as Thai food is a combination of foods and influences of German, Chinese, Laos, Cambodian, and Burmese culinary traditions.
In the 15th century, Khmer (Cambodian) cooks gave curries and boiled red and white sweets which originated in India to the King’s court in Ayuddhya, then the capital of Thailand.
My field research reveals that Thai restaurants in a North American city highlight the authenticity of the Thai taste while at the same time adapting to local food customs.
Fish sauce, an ingredient in nearly every Thai food dish originated in China. Believe it or not, Chilies which also play a major role in Thai cuisine were introduced not by the Indians or Chinese, but by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The combination of chilis, fish sauce, galangal (an aromatic root), and lime gives Thai dishes their distinctive flavor today. These are the major ingredients for adding flavor to Thai foods.
The Rising Popularity of Thai Food Globally
Before the 1960s Thai food was not widely made outside Thailand’s borders. The change occurred when a large number of foreigners came to Thailand during the Vietnam war and were first exposed to Thai food and culture.
Small Thai restaurants began opening up in London, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles to accommodate the local Thai immigrants that needed their daily dose of heavenly Thai food.
In the decade of the 1970s, there were just four Thai restaurants open in London, England. By 2005 London hosts over 300 Thai restaurants!
Likewise, in the USA the Thai food restaurant industry exploded over a very short period of time. By the early 1990s, there were more than 200 Thai restaurants just in just Los Angeles, California alone!
Taking into account that Thai food has only recently expanded across the globe it has enjoyed a very high popularity trans-nationally. The Kellogg School of Management and Sasin Institute developed a survey to test the popularity of international foods across nations. Thai food ranked #6.
International Food Popularity
Question: What is your favorite cuisine?
In the year 2003, there were 6,875 Thai restaurants outside of Thailand. About half were in the USA and Canada. Thai food attracts a western audience in part because it is perceived as a healthy, low-fat alternative to the indigenous foods of that nation.
Though most Thai food restaurants internationally may have started to accommodate Thais missing their home country’s meals, it appears now that most customers are non-Thai. the westerners of Europe and North American have embraced Thai food and consume it on a regular basis
Thai Cuisine Changes to Accommodate Foreign Tastes, Preferences
Thai food changes as it goes into transnational space. Most cities in the USA have a 0-1% Thai populace. Many Thais in America eat at home in the interest of saving money and just because they know how to make Thai food themselves. Spending large amounts of money to eat at the usually more expensive Thai restaurants is something that isn’t done often in most Thai households in the USA unless of course, they own a Thai restaurant.
Although Thai restaurants in the USA emphasize authentic Thai tastes, for the most part, they adapt to the dining customs. For instance, in higher-end Thai restaurants, you might see the staff following western style in that they serve the meal in courses.
Dinner starts with an appetizer like a soup or salad. Dinner is followed by the main dishes which might be brought out at different times. In Thailand, the usual way is that all food is brought out at once. The entire table is covered with food and you eat as you wish, in any order. Soup and salad might be eaten with rice and considered as a main dish. A typical Thai meal might consist of two or three dishes of soup or curry and some stir-fried dishes with rice.
Thai restaurants in the USA need to be careful in serving spicy food. The American diet does not usually have anything spicy in the meal. A piece of red bell pepper or a strong red onion might be all the spice Americans are accustomed to! Thai restaurants usually serve their food according to a spicy scale, and they knock that down a couple levels to make sure they are not serving it too spicy. If you order your Thai food pedt-pedt, very spicy, in Thailand in Bangkok you might be able to eat it. However, if you order it pedt-pedt in Isaan (Northeast Thailand) you will likely stop before finishing your meal because the number of chilies they use in the meal is staggering! I have eaten som tam with a big handful of large chilies in Isaan and thought I would pass out from the heat!
Thai restaurants serve the most popular Thai foods as a rule. It just makes sense to serve those Thai foods that customers are going to order and enjoy the most.
Top 10 most popular Thai foods among foreigners are:
1. Pad Thai
2. Roast Duck Curry
3. Tom Kha Gai
4. Moo Satay – Barbeque pork with curry.
5. Tom Yum Goong (Tom Yam Kung) – Spicy and sour shrimp & vegetable soup.
14. Som Tam – Spicy & sour unripened papaya salad.
These Thai food dishes are on almost every overseas menu, so if you are wondering what to order – just become familiar with these dishes and you will have fourteen of the best Thai foods that most people like to eat.
Some Thai restaurants have invented new variations on the original Thai foods seen above. Sometimes you’ll see Tom Yum Pak (vegetable tom yum). This is unheard of in Thailand as all tom yum soup there has the main staple like squid, shrimp, chicken or pork. There is no such thing as spicy soup with just vegetables. Americans like it though, as many are vegetarian customers.
Similarly, some restaurants serve vegetarian spring rolls. In Thailand spring rolls always contain ground pork. Some restaurants even go so far as to suggest that all meat dishes can be substituted with Tofu or vegetables. Substitutions are common and sometimes necessary due to the availability of authentic Thai ingredients like Kra Pao Â which is Thai Basil, the North American basil is substituted, but not authentic.
Something people should realize that is eating food at Thai restaurants outside of Thailand is that many things may have been substituted during the creation of their Thai food dish. Thai owned restaurants come closest to authentic Thai cuisine, but they too have to Americanize the food a bit to get Americans to eat it. Same in Europe and Australia. The authentic Thai dish of labp, originating in Isaan has pork skin pieces all through it. Rarely will you find that in restaurants overseas because it is not something Americans would find to be a pleasant texture? There may be a substitution of ingredients for the pork skin or it may be left out completely.
One of the biggest challenges to the national image Thailand has overseas in Thai food restaurants is non-Thai owned restaurants that proclaim to be authentic Thai food. When visitors to these restaurants eat at a true Thai food restaurant they don’t understand why the food is so different. They are disappointed because the dishes they enjoyed at the restaurants taste quite different.
Standardization of Thai food spellings and ingredients is something aspired to, but something that, of course, can never come about as a whole. The Thai government encourages Thai restaurant owners overseas to use standard spellings to make it easier for foreigners to understand what they are eating and enable them to order the same thing at different Thai restaurants, but I have yet to see two menus that looked anything alike. Here in Thailand, there are attempts at English menus which are all unique and sometimes impossible to decipher. If one doesn’t speak Thai here, getting the right meal can be difficult, to say the least!
We’ve been considering a drop in the price of our Joy’s Thai Food eBook for a while and decided that we’d offer a price break to those that have joined our Joy’s Thai Food Newsletter.
Join now if you’d like to keep up to date with Thai food dishes we’re finding and eating here in Southern Thailand. We are going to really pick up the pace for the second half of 2017 – and hope you follow along!
Our Thai Food Newsletter has information that you won’t see on the website or in our YouTube videos.