In love with all things Thai
Food is always a reason to celebrate in Thailand, be it life or a special occasion. My experience of the Thai people is that they are very warm, friendly and sociable and always hungry. That is why you will find little food stalls on every street selling delicious fresh street food.
What I love about eating the Thai way is that there is no such thing as a starter or main, nor is there one dish per person. The food is shared by everyone and that means more people equals more delicious dishes.
I am told that the Thai people believe that eating alone is bad luck, so the more, the merrier.
Remember to eat up all your dinner, unless you want to enrage the “Thai God of Rice”, who is a female deity who is said to watch over the people and make sure that they all have enough to eat. Your waste might bring on a famine or even bad luck. I like that way of thinking – we throw so much away.
I had the pleasure of a delicious Thai lunch at Wang Thai restaurant in Milnerton last week. It was real and very typically Thai – definitely not a watered down western version of the cuisine. It had all the elements of a perfect Thai meal: sweet, sour, salty and just spicy enough. If these elements are not part of the meal, one is left totally dissatisfied. I must say the guests at my table left happy and smiling.
If the thought of exotic Thai food and glorious Thai products makes your mouth water and your pupils dilate, then diarise Friday and Saturday June 22 and 23 to get to the Thailand Trade Show at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
There is a lot on offer, so go and take a look!
Beauty and Wellness: Thailand has a growing reputation as the “beauty and wellness capital” of Asia. It is a reputation that owes as much to the Thai’s natural affinity for this sector as it does to the country’s rich biodiversity and natural resources, which provide a sustainable source of quality ingredients for beauty, health and pharmaceutical products. In addition to beauty, health and spa products, African buyers will have the opportunity to explore prospects with manufacturers of sophisticated beauty and slimming equipment and accessories for beauty salons and spas.
Fashion & Décor: This thriving sector has long been a leader in setting global fashion and manufacturing trends. At the Thailand Trade Show, several of Thailand’s pre-eminent fashion accessories and home décor players will demonstrate the advanced construction of their products while introducing buyers to the latest styles and trends in this in-demand sector.
Food & Beverages: Quality, taste and sustainability are the watchwords in the competitive food and beverage industry and here again, Thailand’s exporters consistently rise to the challenge. Thailand, through its ‘Kitchen to the world’ campaign has become a world class producer of a wide variety of foodstuffs, both processed as well as ready to eat.
While Thai rice is in high demand for its quality and taste, it is by no means all that the country’s richly diverse food and beverage sector has to offer, as African buyers will soon discover at the trade show. Some products must be tasted to be fully appreciated, so Thai master chefs will give daily cooking demonstrations at the show, giving buyers the opportunity to learn about Thai ingredients and cooking and to sample the delectable results.
Household & Kitchenware Products: Household and kitchenware products are another flourishing sector for Thailand and one that will be abundantly represented at the show. Manufacturers of air conditioning units, glassware, plastic ware, stainless steel kitchen utensils and more, will display and discuss their products, manufacturing standards and trade opportunities with their African counterparts.
Let’s cook a popular Thai favourite!
Pad Thai Noodles with Prawns
- 250g Thai rice noodles
- 12 Large Prawns, shells removed
- 1 boneless chicken breast chopped up into small pieces
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 4 spring onions, sliced
- 3cloves crushed garlic
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 1-2 fresh red chillies finely sliced
- 1 egg
- 2cups mung bean sprouts
- Handful fresh coriander
- 1/3 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
- 2-3 Tbsp. peanut oil for stir-
- Fresh lime wedges for serving
The Pad Thai Sauce:
- 11/2 Tbsp. tamarind paste
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/2 to 1 tsp. chilli sauce
- 1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
- 3-4 Tbsp. palm sugar or brown sugar
Garnish 2 spring onions with tops slice. Now pre-soak the noodles in boiling water for 4 minutes, then drain. Place the sliced chicken in 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, give it a toss and then set aside.
Mix together all the Pad Thai sauce ingredients. If it is too thick add a little water and thin down. Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a wok, add the spring onion, garlic, ginger and stir fry for a minute. Stir in the chicken and cook stirring for a minute then stir in the prawns. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Push ingredients to the side of the wok and crack the egg into the centre of the wok, cook it quickly, stirring for about a minute. Add the noodles and the Pad Thai sauce, toss together add a little liquid if it dries out too much. Remove from the heat once the noodles are heated through and fold in the sprouts, taste and adjust the seasoning.
Sprinkle the top with the peanuts and coriander and the extra sliced spring onion and slurp away with a splash of fresh lime and extra chilli sauce if you wish.