In the interim
Occasional readers of this blog might be surprised to see me writing about something other than potato chips. Or seaweed.
Regular readers of this blog,1 friends, family, and traveling companions may be expecting to see some pad kee mao.
I’m taking a break from those dishes in this post, and showing instead a bit of the food I ate on a recent stay in Thailand.2 I haven’t spent much time in Thailand this year. In the past three months I made two trips to the USA, took a separate one to Canada, and visited Japan three times.
Long and hard experience3 has taught me to enjoy Thai food when in Thailand. So when I landed in Bangkok after a long flight from Vancouver, I went straight to the morning market and bought an assortment.
It was a little too much food. However, it was a long flight, departing on a Friday and landing in Bangkok at sunrise on Sunday morning. I also have a general policy of declining inflight meals. So I was a bit hungry when I went out to the market, which is not a recommended practice.
I then flew to southern Thailand.
One can eat khanom chin all over Thailand, I understand, but I have eaten it mostly in southern Thailand. The first time I remember having this was at Ko Samui.
The curries and especially the condiments served with the noodles vary, depending on what part of the country one is at. I ate these in Trang, and I was told that in Phuket Town khanom chin is sometimes garnished with fresh pineapple, so we had some fruit with it this time. I especially like the tree and herb leaves that are customarily served with this curry in Trang, and I presume these same leaves are served with the dish in other parts of southern Thailand. Cashew tree leaves are one, and the others I only know by taste.
After that successful meal, I wondered if there were any good Isan shops in our little town.
There used to be an Isan restaurant just across the street, with benches and tables of bamboo, sitting right up against a grove of banana trees. That shop closed a few years ago, as did the other one 200 meters behind our house and across the park. Fortunately, a friend knew a place. I was surprised at how much food arrived. It seems we ordered one of everything. It was quite good. This well-balanced meal (eaten at lunch Saturday—the race was Sunday morning) was an important part of my preparation for that grueling 31 km race.
After the Isan food, we kept with the regional food theme, having a nice khao soi.
This light meal, I’d like to think, helped me recover from that long trail race.
Then I was on a plane again, to Bangkok for a one night stopover, and I again made the mistake of going to the market with an empty stomach.
I don’t actually eat many potato chips, much seaweed, or a lot of pad kee mao. My consumption and photos of those foods are largely a writing project, which then feature disproportionately on this blog. ↩︎
Those who have joined me on my pad kee mao and other Thai food tastings outside of Thailand will empathize, I’m sure. ↩︎