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Adventures in Thai Cooking and Travelhttp://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/index.html
Review by Debbie Mazo
When you think of Thai food, unique ingredients like curry, coconut, and chile paste come to mind. To create mouth-watering meals, every chef takes an innovative approach to combining these exotic flavors. For an introduction to the nuances of Thai cooking, check out the delicacies offered at the Adventures in Thai Cooking and Travel.
Hosted by Kasma Loha-unchit, an award-winning Thai cookbook author and teacher of Thai cooking, the resources at Adventures in Thai Cooking and Travel offer an inside look at Thailand's food and culture heaped in the country's history and traditions. Stop by the site and you'll also get a taste of Kasma's cuisine philosophy. According to Kasma's article, the Art and Joy of Thai Cooking, cooking Thai requires relying on your instincts as much as your knowledge of techniques. Like combining colors to create art, learning to bring together various ingredients is mostly a matter of personal taste.
Exploring Thai cuisine means discovering the herbs that add to the aroma and texture of various dishes. Click on Featured Herb to find out about key ingredients like peppercorns, also called the Thai Pepper. White, black, and green peppercorns all come from the same tropical vine, differing only in stages of ripeness how they are processed after harvesting. Peppercorns are used in curries, added to hot stir-fried dishes, and mixed into spicy dipping sauces. To see how peppercorns can impact Thai dishes, sample the Garlic Peppered Shrimp (Gkoong Tawd Gkratiem Prikthai) served on a platter lined with lettuce and tomato slices.
When cooking Thai food, it's important to remember that ingredients interact with one another rather than work in isolation. Explore the variety of recipes at the site and you'll witness the results. Recipes range from soups to curries and noodle dishes, and are well written with helpful notes and pointers. For starters, stir up the Golden Pumpkin Coconut Soup (Gkaeng Liang Fak Tong). Or, savor the essence of Thai cooking by creating main dishes like Spicy Chicken and Basil Fried Rice (Kao Pad Gkai Gkaprao).
If you live in the Bay area, sign up for one of Kasma's cooking classes. Among other topics, you'll learn that the best way to cook Thai is to familiarize yourself with the main ingredients, understand how to balance flavors, and then jump right in and get cooking!
Debbie Mazo is a writer and editor based in Vancouver, Canada. She's been writing the NetFood Digest column for FoodWine since 1997. You can contact her at djmbc@[email-address-removed].
Copyright © 2000, Debbie Mazo. All rights reserved.
This page created September 2000