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Travelogue: Back in the Big Mango


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Wow, I am really going to have to check out Kinnaree soon. (There's another Kinnaree near us on Soi 11, but it's just a straight coffee shop, hence my confusion when you mentioned it yesterday...)

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Wow, I am really going to have to check out Kinnaree soon.  (There's another Kinnaree near us on Soi 11, but it's just a straight coffee shop, hence my confusion when you mentioned it yesterday...)

If I could only make everyone a little more confused each day, then my mission here would be done. :biggrin:

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Peter - I actually burst out laughing when I saw the crispy fried duck heads/bills. I pictured you, with one in hand chewing at it with a mug of beer on the other. Somehow it made me LOL.

Oh, to answer your question market day is three days away :biggrin:.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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Peter - :laugh: "Can’t recall what I did with the other ear…it must have been a Van Gogh moment)"

What is the lovely purple thing on the side?  Some sort of flower?

If I may answer for Peter. That is a lotus flower that isn't fully bloomed. Thai people love lotuses and we fold down the leaves so that is looks open. I know because I used to have to do 9 (a lucky number in Thailand) and then put them in vases (there were five vases for the family alter so 5x9) for the family alter almost every week. The only place I know that does this is Thailand. You will see loads of unopend green looking lotus flowers all over for sale. We take them home cut off a bit of the stem and then fold the leaves down. THe one shown only has a few leaves folded. Hope this answer it. BTW if you ever want to do it and have unopened lotus flowers you fold the leaves vertical first and then fold the folded leaf in half tucking it in against the bud. Then you will have a crisp triangle looking leaf. IF you do it all the way then it will look like an open flower with triangle leaves and an inside. :smile:

Oh and if you ever are interested there are different flower arrangements that Thai people fold. I had to help the family fold a bunch for a egagement ceremony and they can get elaborate. There is also jasmine garland we do that are kind of like hawaiian leis. The are usually good luck so you would see them all over the place. Some people even put them on their rear view mirror.

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Peter - :laugh: "Can’t recall what I did with the other ear…it must have been a Van Gogh moment)"

What is the lovely purple thing on the side?  Some sort of flower?

If I may answer for Peter. That is a lotus flower that isn't fully bloomed. Thai people love lotuses and we fold down the leaves so that is looks open. I know because I used to have to do 9 (a lucky number in Thailand) and then put them in vases (there were five vases for the family alter so 5x9) for the family alter almost every week. The only place I know that does this is Thailand. You will see loads of unopend green looking lotus flowers all over for sale. We take them home cut off a bit of the stem and then fold the leaves down. THe one shown only has a few leaves folded. Hope this answer it. BTW if you ever want to do it and have unopened lotus flowers you fold the leaves vertical first and then fold the folded leaf in half tucking it in against the bud. Then you will have a crisp triangle looking leaf. IF you do it all the way then it will look like an open flower with triangle leaves and an inside. :smile:

Oh and if you ever are interested there are different flower arrangements that Thai people fold. I had to help the family fold a bunch for a egagement ceremony and they can get elaborate. There is also jasmine garland we do that are kind of like hawaiian leis. The are usually good luck so you would see them all over the place. Some people even put them on their rear view mirror.

Thanks, Onigiri! Now you've got me wanting to take more pictures of the decorations!

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Peter - :laugh: "Can’t recall what I did with the other ear…it must have been a Van Gogh moment)"

What is the lovely purple thing on the side?  Some sort of flower?

If I may answer for Peter. That is a lotus flower that isn't fully bloomed. Thai people love lotuses and we fold down the leaves so that is looks open. I know because I used to have to do 9 (a lucky number in Thailand) and then put them in vases (there were five vases for the family alter so 5x9) for the family alter almost every week. The only place I know that does this is Thailand. You will see loads of unopend green looking lotus flowers all over for sale. We take them home cut off a bit of the stem and then fold the leaves down. THe one shown only has a few leaves folded. Hope this answer it. BTW if you ever want to do it and have unopened lotus flowers you fold the leaves vertical first and then fold the folded leaf in half tucking it in against the bud. Then you will have a crisp triangle looking leaf. IF you do it all the way then it will look like an open flower with triangle leaves and an inside. :smile:

Oh and if you ever are interested there are different flower arrangements that Thai people fold. I had to help the family fold a bunch for a egagement ceremony and they can get elaborate. There is also jasmine garland we do that are kind of like hawaiian leis. The are usually good luck so you would see them all over the place. Some people even put them on their rear view mirror.

Thanks, Onigiri! Now you've got me wanting to take more pictures of the decorations!

Hahahaha! Tell you me you at least NOTICED the purple flower? At least enough to know it's not edible? Ya check out some of the neat flower jasmine garlands? They should be everywhere. For the more elaborate stuff you need to see a engagement ceremony, marriage, or the like. It's something taught in the royal courts so it's kind of dying out last I knew. Hopefully not, sometimes things have a way of coming back into style. THe floats for Loy Kratong show something of what the more elaborate stuff looks like.

Ok Mr. Where's the .... and puppy dog tails? :raz:

Edited by OnigiriFB (log)
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Ok Mr. Where's the .... and puppy dog tails?  :raz:

Patience, patience. I just got back from an excellent trip to the market with Tim and khun Pete, and have been cooling down with a a junmaidaiginshu from Niigata that I found at Fuji yesterday. (I thought it was a junmai, but I checked the fine print). I've been missing good sake these last couple of months, and finding one from Niigata makes me think of Hiroyuki's excellent posts, along with bringing back fond memories of the Kitagawas.

The painful liquor laws here are causing me endless stress. You can only buy booze during a short window around noon, and then from 5 p.m. to around 11 p.m. I'm either up early and can't buy anything, or else in during early afternoon to get something to cool down for later.

:angry:

gallery_22892_4853_49593.jpg

But, I finally got my timing right, and so I can have something pleasant to go with my snacks. :smile:

gallery_22892_4853_1932.jpg

For snacks I've got some sai krob that I brought back. A brief hit in the microwave and they're good to go.

gallery_22892_4853_18378.jpg

And for dessert I'm enjoying something Tim put me onto - soft dinner roll-like buns filled with flavoured custard. The first one is pandan (I think).

Okay, now I can write about three days ago......I'm falling behind again, aren't I?

Edited by Peter Green (log)
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June 23 – Bo bpen nyang

Why does it take me so long to return to good restaurants?

gallery_22892_4853_28174.jpg

And, with the availability of Beer Lao these last couple of years, I should’ve been back to Vientiane Ktichen a lot earlier.

It’s a beaten up old open barn of a building, and as soon as you enter you can’t help but like it. A scraggly tangle of Christmas lights decorates the stage, and there’s plenty of Happy New Year signs still up (it’s going to be New Year’s again soon, why take them down?).

gallery_22892_4853_43582.jpg

The band was in full swing, with the singer slinking about in proper Jintara style. I freely admit that I’m a sucker for morlam and lukthung, so I could happily sit there with a bottle of Beer Lao dark and wait for my friends.

Okay, I’d be happy with just a bottle of Beer Lao, but this was even better.

This place is the juxtapose of the lunch today in terms of style, but it has just as much appeal to me. It’s loud, it’s rough, and it’s a lot of fun. We were sitting on the tables, but the were raised platforms on the sides where you could kick off your shoes and get comfy.

Plus, how can you not love a place where the first 6 pages of the menu consists of booze, and then desserts come next. After that you can worry about

There were two specific items I was looking for on the menu. The first I found right away. Red ant eggs. They were available in salads, soups, and in an interesting dish with fermented fish. I went for the fermented fish.

gallery_22892_4853_54691.jpg

They’ve steamed the ant eggs, which has removed most of the poison, but you can still feel the little pringing sometimes as you eat, as the miniscule amounts of toxin pop open in your throat.

Hmm……you might want to check on your allergic reactions before eating this.

The second item took a little bit more looking, but I found it…..okay, the waitress found it after I drew a picture.

gallery_22892_4853_12118.jpg

Fresh water snails in red curry. Lots of peppercorns, and a good bit. These are just like the Korean diseulgi we had at the airport when we were leaving Seoul. Hard, chewy little guys that you have to spoon around to locate.

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...dpost&p=1495781

Unfortunately, they’re out of the shells here, so it’s tough to appreciate the shape and look, little black twisted gnarls of flavour.

But, because somebody has been waiting for this, let’s do another shot.

gallery_22892_4853_12979.jpg

They also do this in a bean curry, so maybe I’ll come back for that one.

Something that also took my eye was fried pork pancreas.

gallery_22892_4853_46152.jpg

An interesting texture on this one. Not livery, but with a thickness to it, and a slight strangeness to the flavour.

gallery_22892_4853_14985.jpg

This shot is poor, but if you sort of blur your vision accordingly you can imagine that it’s steamed fresh water fish. They’ve packed in a number of aromatics and herbs, and wrapped it all up in the banana leaf for steaming.

gallery_22892_4853_5355.jpg

I’ve made it pretty clear, I believe, that sausages should be a key part of a meal. These are the ever popular sai krob, glistening with fat. If I have a complaint regarding this dish, they should have given us more peanuts (we asked for more, though, and they brought them happily).

gallery_22892_4853_13318.jpg

And we finished with a soup of hot and spicy beef tail soup. A good broth to this, as you’d expect from the tail, and a solid bite.

gallery_22892_4853_1728.jpg

That pretty much settled us. I was full, my friends were full, and the restaurant was full. That’s a good time to clear space for others.

I really should get back here soon.

Next – Joking around in the kitchen

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:shock: Oh, I'd never thought that this trhead would require my attention until I saw this photo. Kakurei from Aoki Shuzo, located in my area (20-minute walk from my house, actually). It's really a small world!

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:shock: Oh, I'd never thought that this trhead would require my attention until I saw this photo.  Kakurei from Aoki Shuzo, located in my area (20-minute walk from my house, actually).  It's really a small world!

Oh Hiroyuki...you're attention is required anytime, any topic! I love reading your comments whenever you pop up.

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Peter - :laugh: "Can’t recall what I did with the other ear…it must have been a Van Gogh moment)"

What is the lovely purple thing on the side?  Some sort of flower?

If I may answer for Peter. That is a lotus flower that isn't fully bloomed. Thai people love lotuses and we fold down the leaves so that is looks open. I know because I used to have to do 9 (a lucky number in Thailand) and then put them in vases (there were five vases for the family alter so 5x9) for the family alter almost every week. The only place I know that does this is Thailand. You will see loads of unopend green looking lotus flowers all over for sale. We take them home cut off a bit of the stem and then fold the leaves down. THe one shown only has a few leaves folded. Hope this answer it. BTW if you ever want to do it and have unopened lotus flowers you fold the leaves vertical first and then fold the folded leaf in half tucking it in against the bud. Then you will have a crisp triangle looking leaf. IF you do it all the way then it will look like an open flower with triangle leaves and an inside. :smile:

Oh and if you ever are interested there are different flower arrangements that Thai people fold. I had to help the family fold a bunch for a egagement ceremony and they can get elaborate. There is also jasmine garland we do that are kind of like hawaiian leis. The are usually good luck so you would see them all over the place. Some people even put them on their rear view mirror.

I love jasmine--just the thought of it relaxes me. Thanks so much for your explanation! I have never seen a lotus flower before. I bet your alter looked so beautiful.

I used to be able to fold a cloth napkin to look like a crib with a baby in it. That's the extent of my talents :laugh:

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Ok Mr. Where's the .... and puppy dog tails?  :raz:

Patience, patience. I just got back from an excellent trip to the market with Tim and khun Pete, and have been cooling down with a a junmaidaiginshu from Niigata that I found at Fuji yesterday. (I thought it was a junmai, but I checked the fine print). I've been missing good sake these last couple of months, and finding one from Niigata makes me think of Hiroyuki's excellent posts, along with bringing back fond memories of the Kitagawas.

gallery_22892_4853_18378.jpg

And for dessert I'm enjoying something Tim put me onto - soft dinner roll-like buns filled with flavoured custard. The first one is pandan (I think).

Okay, now I can write about three days ago......I'm falling behind again, aren't I?

Patience is a virtue, seldom found in men. In woman... NEVER! :raz:

I used to love the buns filled with pandan coconut jam. That is my all time favorite snack when I want bread and jam. I still try to get that every once in awhile from the Asian market. I can't get it too often though as its VERY fattening! But yum. Thanks for that lovely picture. *drool*

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June 23 – Bo bpen nyang

Why does it take me so long to return to good restaurants?

gallery_22892_4853_54691.jpg

They’ve steamed the ant eggs, which has removed most of the poison, but you can still feel the little pringing sometimes as you eat, as the miniscule amounts of toxin pop open in your throat. 

Hmm……you might want to check on your allergic reactions before eating this.

The second item took a little bit more looking, but I found it…..okay, the waitress found it after I drew a picture.

gallery_22892_4853_12118.jpg

Fresh water snails in red curry.  Lots of peppercorns, and a good bit.  These are just like the Korean diseulgi we had at the airport when we were leaving Seoul.  Hard, chewy little guys that you have to spoon around to locate.

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...dpost&p=1495781

Unfortunately, they’re out of the shells here, so it’s tough to appreciate the shape and look, little black twisted gnarls of flavour.

But, because somebody has been waiting for this, let’s do another shot.

gallery_22892_4853_12979.jpg

They also do this in a bean curry, so maybe I’ll come back for that one.

Next – Joking around in the kitchen

*sigh* Thank you. Even though you had it out of the shell. :sad: That's too bad. I think the snails are less tough when they are done in the shell. Still black but much more tasty and tender. Hrm... maybe try that other restaurant that was really expensive and served old style Thai food? They might do it right. I hope you still enjoyed it after I talked about it so much. I think when they take it out of the shell it makes it less interactive. It was always fun poking a toothpick into the shell to dislodge the inner shell and then sucking out the flesh with some deliciously spicy curry sauce. Still drool-worthy picture but not the same.... *sighs again*

The red ant look... um interesting. I actually wouldn't mind trying that one. Would be among the wierdest stuff I've eaten. Like the cobra and stuff. Trust the Laotians to eat the wierder stuff. Ben yang aroi? I don't know my isaan is rusty. :shock:

THe pancreas was really an eye opener. I've never even heard of eating that. Would you eat it again? Looked good.

Thanks for the lovely pictures as always. Hopefully the next time you try snail curry it will be IN the shell. Trust me. Much better! :smile:

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I did have sweetbread a while ago however I'm not sure, and didn't ask, if it was thymus or pancreas, but it was prepared the same way and I'm guessing it must have been pancreas because of the size....I can only get the smaller thymus in England unfortunately...

ps. loved the gung share nam pla'ish dish you had as a snack Peter, my favourite, alas no fresh raw prawns here either, must wait until Oz...

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All,

I'll be back with comments soon, but the wireless in the apartment is down, and I can only tie up this lobby machine for so long.

Perhaps I can find a bar with wireless and Beer Lao?

:biggrin:

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Peter, those ant eggs are huge.  If I ran across those on the ground in Kansas, I'd faint  :blink:  Do they have a taste or do they take on the taste of what they're cooked with?

Are you sick of my questions yet?  :unsure:

In this serving I couldn't say that they had a taste that stood up anywhere near to the strength of the fermented fish. They did have a texture. Likewise, I've had them in salads a long time ago, and then it was more the effect of the texture and the slight tingling in your throat as the poisons reacted.

I wonder how they'd do on a pizza?

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THe pancreas was really an eye opener. I've never even heard of eating that. Would you eat it again? Looked good.

The pancreas was okay, but it wasn't what I was expecting. I guess I'm just more used to veal sweatbreads, and those may not even be the pancreas, but rather the thyroid? A little thick, almost "pasty" in eating it.

All in all, I probably would've been happier with the pig intestine salad they had on offer (we ordered too much anyways).

:smile:

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Peter, loving your report so far!  Especially Vientane Kitchen, where I almost stopped while in Bangkok (didn't have the energy for a second dinner after My Choice).  Keep up the good work, my friend.

It's hard doing the multi-meal thing here in the evening, I admit. The heat just beats you down and you end up with your appetite taking a dive at some point. I always have great plans to get in some more snacking, but by 10 or 11 p.m. I'm hitting that wall.

Dinner at Le Normandie tonight. They've got the folks from La Tour D'Argent in for the end of the French Fest. This should be good.

Cheers,

peter

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It's a shame you missed the UN's insect eating conference that was held in Chiang Mai.  :sad: 

:wacko:

Dosa King open, yet?

(edited--oops)

Now it's your turn! Patience, patience.

I'll have some duck coming up for you, too (in a posting, that is).

Where'd I put that sake bottle?

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