Yam Pla Muk and Larb Moo

Just feel like posting some old food photos that have been sitting patiently in a folde called “blog” on my desktop for a couple years.

This is Yam Pla Muk, or Thai Squid Salad. I don’t remember exactly where we ordered this one. “Yam” is a type of Thai salad that’s spicy, sour, and kick-ass: Thai salads… These are among my favorite foods here, and we eat them all regularly.

This one is larb, which is also one of the Thai Salads mentioned in the link above. Specifically, it’s larb moo, or pork larb. Larb is also known as a meat salad (which is obviously the best type of salad). This plate of larb is from a restaurant specializing in it and other meat dishes in Sangkha, Surin. We visited there last year when Mina’s great grandmother passed. It was the first time we’d been to this restaurant, even though we’d been going to Sangkha quite often to be with relatives for new years. I’m not sure if we’ll visit there again any time soon, although some of Nam’s aunt’s are moving into her grandmother’s house.

Thailand’s Happy Pizza

There is currently an explosion of CBD cafes and edible hemp products/companies all over Thailand. This is kind of the second wave of not-really-pot popularization. The first wave was semi-legal CBD oils and tinctures (although the most sought after ones were straight up black market products that claimed to cure cancer). Now we are to the point where the most popular pizza chain in Thailand, The Pizza Company (revenue over 7 billion baht in 2020 – half of the Thai pizza market), are using it in their ads… Mainstream popularization is a good thing.

My Dream Meal

A friend sent this to me. I don’t know who made it, took the photo, or ate it, but I want it.

I don’t know if I’d be more excited selling this or eating it – it’s damn near the perfect triple order of Thai Basil Stir Fry with Crispy Pork topped with Star Eggs. I spent a whole month perfecting this dish during lockdown, making the crispy pork from scratch with a different recipe each time. It was epic, and this is truly one of my top 10 favorite Thai dishes (of which basil stir fries occupy two or three spaces).

Mosquito eating banana toast

It seems I forgot to upload this but it was taken a bit more than a year ago, during the first lockdown, when fears were high, but there was only a single case of coronavirus in Maha Sarakham province, imported from Buri Ram. We are now on our third self-imposed lockdown and this third wave was the largest for our town (over a hundred infected), and Thailand as a whole. The kids were spreading it in between lockdowns at bars and outdoor pubs.

Things were all back to normal for maybe a month or so, then one superspreading student brought it back from Bangkok partying. I’ll be teaching classes online again next term, even if it’s not mandated, because less than 1% of the population of Thailand is vaccinated at this point. My fam is waiting for the Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J jab, because the free Chinese vaccine is only ~50% effective against the new strain in Brazil, it seems.

Mosquito eating banana toast, y’all.

Spicy Beef Noodle Soup

My first creation for our cloud kitchen project was spicy beef noodles in soup. We used premade noodles from a reputable brand and they turned out well. My pet peeve is imperfect egg noodles, to me, their texture is more important than even Italian pasta – it makes or breaks the dish. Feast your eyes on this, and please remember to give points for the authentic light blue melamine noodle bowl and 7.5 baht Chinese spoon (yes, thicker than the 5 baht ones and thinner than the 10 baht ones).

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In the Shadow of the Star Egg

Thai basil stir fry with crispy pork topped with a fried egg (AKA “star egg”)

A star egg makes everything better, especially when cooked to crispy bottom/gooey yolk perfection. Also, crispy pork is the way to go as far as Thai basil stir fry goes. I mean, to each their own, but some ingredients are clearly better than others for any given dish. More on this pad krapow hierarchy at a later date.

Lethocerus Indicus (Giant Water Bug)

“The Vietnamese call this insect cà cuống. It is a highly prized food and often boiled and fried whole.” LINK

Here in Thailand, it is called maeng da or malaeng da, and is mostly used ground up in chili paste called nam phrik or jaew bong. The pheromone that so famously attracts the females has a unique and powerful scent, unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. Not unpleasant in and of itself, but very strong. I can eat it, but have never tried it raw… I found the one above freshly dead, in my driveway. It did not smell. It’s the only one I’ve seen in the wild, although they sell them live at the fresh markets and deep-fried at edible insect stalls.

Incidentally, maengda is also slang for “pimp” in Thai.

Kewpie’s Frankeneggs – Snowman Kimipuchi

On the right, a normal egg yolk. On the left, a fake yolk AKA the Snowman Kimipuchi:

A user on Twitter performed this experiment in a frying pan with a fake egg found in a convenience store bento, and the Japanese are outraged!

The list of ingredients on the Kewpie page sounds a lot like the ingredients in their mayonnaise:

I understand the concern of Japanese bento eaters, but I’m also really curious about the taste…