Thursday, January 20, 2011

43 Thailand #4: First Cooking Lesson

On our first morning in Chiang Mai, my friend A. and I made fried rice and tom yum goong (sour lemongrass soup with shrimp). In her sunny kitchen we fried the aromatics for the soup and chopped ingredients for the fried rice. A. cooks like me, by feel, so it was a lot of fun to cook with her. She had lots of tips to offer. For one, she showed me how to cut a lime so that each piece is easily squeezable. Basically, you cut around the center so that all of the hard pith gets extracted. Dad used to cut his limes the same way and I never understood why, because they weren't in perfect wedges, but now I finally get it.

The fried rice was a bit mushy but very flavorful. My favorite part was the slices of naem, garlicky pink sausages that are cured somehow so that they're safe to eat "raw" but I feel better cooking them. Growing up I used to see Dad eating them like string cheese out of their plastic wrappers.

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