How To Host A Thai Dinner

There is possibly nothing worse than turning up to an invited dinner and finding Thai food being made creatively and, possibly, fused with other international cuisines. Let’s be clear, Thai food is best made in a casual manner to garner an effortless attraction because it truly is all about the taste as well as the atmosphere. Nonetheless, aesthetics will always play a contributing role in presentation of a dish and thereby offering a scope for first impression judgements by the guest; so yes, organisation of food, cutleries, plates, and table decorations are also at the forefront of expectations. Arriving hungry means that there simply needs to be food, and enough of it for that matter. Thai food speaks beauty from its colourful image, and aiming for the perfect dinner will hardly suffice a better occasion than simplicity. Thai food is good the way it is. Hosting a Thai dinner is about letting people eat enjoyably; not too full, not bored and definitely not pressured.

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Thai Smile Column Issue 151





Editor: Bank Inngern

Thailand, a popular destination for backpackers and adventurers with high optimism in discovering the ancient, the change and of course the new. As much as there are a plethora of activities and invaluable experiences that come by, most often than anything else is the remembrance of Southeast Asian’s food scene that seems to have been profoundly captivated within the memories of traveller’s and alike. This very notion invites the question of how and why Thai cuisine has become a popularised food option and what exactly distinguishes their cuisine from that of others. Thai food partners well with our tastebuds, but even more exciting is understanding the driving force behind its charisma. Let’s dive into the realms and charms behind the sheer brightness radiated from Thai culinary.

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Congee (Jork) with Egg & Spinach

Jork is a rice porridge that is commonly enjoyed for breakfast, consisting of blended rice topped with whole vegetables and meat ingredients. So popular over in East Asia, it roots from cuisines deep within the Chinese golden age era and has seeped into Thailand during the immigration of Chinese civilians. Although originating from China, congee has become a Thai national symbol of “slow life” living, not in the sense of eating but the feeling of comfort and renewal abound from each spoonful. It is usually an ailment for those that feel poorly. As the sun rises across the beautiful land of Thailand-along bustling streets, people can be seen enjoying a small bowlful of hot Jork whilst catching up with friends. Jork is considered a light meal, almost as a top up to get us going, which naturally makes it worthy of a choice for breakfast. Use chicken stock instead of water for a richer congee. Add more water to congee for a runnier mixture.

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Lemongrass-Got It Good

Lemongrass is a herb used in Thai cookery in addition to other asian cuisines. The plant presents itself as a long branch of turquoise-green hue at the and elicits a bolder colour towards the top. It is sturdy, tough and fibrous. Particular in Thai cuisine, lemongrass is used to to add a bout of citrus fragrant in dishes such as Tom Yum Soup and a diverse range of Curry Pastes. Its sour jazz is obtained either through slicing thinly or by being pounded in a pestle and mortar to extract fruitful flavours buried deep within the skeleton of the herb. Aside from providing a gentle kick to dishes, Lemongrass is potent in a variety of health properties and here are just a few to name.

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Kanom Babin (Coconut Cake) ขนมบ้าบิ่น

Kanom Babin is a chewy Thai coconut cake. These delightful bites are one of the only few baked Thai desserts in traditional millennia. Most households in Thailand didn’t own an oven, and so baking was practised at specialist stores or in privileged households, which paved way for desserts to be made using other techniques. Our freedom of access to all kinds of kitchen utensils gives us a chance in bringing the Thai past into our very kitchen. They are topped with a shady light brown colour and secure a very firm structure with a natural edgy finish; tasting as graceful as it looks. Ground almonds are used here to create a wholesome finish to this tropical cake. Kanom babin isn’t widely available in Thailand, nor is it well known internationally. It is a mysterious locally loved treat. Better, all there is to do is combining, pouring and waiting. It cannot get any more simple. An addition of vanilla ice cream would be the perfect finishing touch.

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Massaman Curry

Beneath the vibrant green and red Thai curry that we are often confronted with, lies another dish that has drawn cultural values from all areas of Asia and provides a visual record of spices that have travelled along the silk road. Probably the most well-respected curry amongst its allies, enriched with a flair for well round spices, soothing touch of sweetness and hints of nuttiness crunch. Massaman Curry aspires to devour earthy ingredients rooting from spectacles across Asia, utilising cinnamon, cardamom and star anise. With its wonderful collection of earthy aroma, this dish has sprout to be a unique, traditional curry choice of Thailand. This recipe calls for crispy chicken thighs in order to marry a fantastic richness between the meat and sauce, allowing episodes of diligent tenderness in every bite. Cardamoms, Star Anise and Bay Leaves are not to be eaten here, but infused and left on the plate when serving to display a bowlful of natural beauties. The minute you begin combining ingredients together, an uplifting aroma of Thai forestry swirls pleasantly around.

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