Monday, January 31, 2011

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THAI WORK PERMIT : LIVING AND WORKING IN THAILAND ON A LONGER TERM BASIS

Thailand is a beautiful and scenic country.  The people are charming, the food is extraordinary and the life style and the good transportation links in this strategically well located country to do business in the region have attracted many expatriates.  Thailand for its part welcomes foreigners both as tourists and on a more long term basis. (Recently the Thai Government Board of Investment (BOI) has instituted incentives in order to encourage companies to establish their regional headquarters in the country.  Additionally, Thailand is now promoting the country as a retirement location and has instituted long term visa provisions for retirees in order to encourage foreigners to retire in the country.)  Thailand, however, like most countries requires that those wanting to reside in the country follow the laws on immigration and work and that they respect the country’s other laws on tax, outlawed activities, etc.

Although our company does not involve itself in facilitating immigration, work permits or re-entry permits, we do work with law firms and others in Thailand that specializes in this service.  Please note that in mid July 2003, the Government of Thailand announced large fee increases for immigration services and that the process is now more expensive than previously.  Below is a general explanation of the process that may be helpful.  We note, however, that the discussion below is only general and that we would recommend you further consult with the many specialists that offer services in facilitating visa, work permits, tax cards and other necessary paper issuance for foreigners.

PROCESS FOR WORKING IN THAILAND

Step One:  Getting a non-immigrant visa
If you want to work in Thailand, you need a work permit.  However, before you can apply or be issued  a work permit you must have a non-immigrant visa.  This is required to apply for a work permit. It can be acquired prior to your arrival.  It also often can be arranged in Thailand after your arrival or if you are in Thailand already and must depart for various reasons can be arranged at a Thai Consular Office in a neighboring country.  Here are the steps you must follow:

Requirements for getting a non-immigrant visa outside the country
To get a non-immigrant visa at a Thai Embassy you need a letter on company letterhead that states the following:

•    the applicant has been offered a job
•    the company requests that the applicant be given a non-immigrant visa so the company may apply for a work permit for them
•    The company knows the person to be dependable, upstanding and law abiding and that they will respect the laws and customs of the Kingdom of Thailand.

Generally you should apply for this visa several days before you plan to leave the country outside of Thailand that you are visiting. The Consulate or the Consular Officer may also ask for copies of the registration documents from the company you are going to work for. Prior to applying for the visa, you may want to ask that a Thai employee at the company you plan to work for calls the Foreign Ministry in Bangkok to find out exactly what documents are required in this case and that these are provided to you. Recently, consulates have been warning people who have non-immigrant visas that they must present their work permits to get another visa next time (they even stamp this message next to the visa).  Also since 9-11, Thailand’s laws on visas, re-entry permits, etc. have changed and it is best to try to get the latest information from the Royal Thai Foreign Ministry so that you have all the documents you will need.

Consulates
Typically, most foreigners who have previously been in Thailand seek their non-immigrant visa at one of the Thai Consulates in a neighboring country.  These are either Penang, Kota Baru, Phnom Penh, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi or Manila.  The Royal Thai Embassies and Consulates in the U.S., Australia and Britain can also issue the necessary visa.  All of these Consular operations can issue the necessary visa and all are well experienced in the process.  The one current exception to this prompt processing is Hong Kong.  We have heard several complaints about the Consulate in Hong Kong which has always had a reputation for being difficult.  The Consulate there has a very high rejection rate.

In any case CHECK AHEAD!  Conditions change frequently.  If you are in Bangkok, call the Foreign Ministry or have your company do so.  Also, oftentimes you can check on the web or with friends as to their recent experiences. 

In applying for a non immigrant visa at a Thai Consulate in a neighboring country, beware that some overzealous Consulate staff may ask you things like "how do you like working in Thailand or how has you company treated you so far?" This is often a way to trick you into disclosing information that might indicate you are working without a permit. Be careful in how you reply and only answer questions asked. 

Multiple-entry visas
Remember, it is always best to get a multiple-entry visa so you will not have to waste time and expense on visiting a consulate for a new visa every three months (in the event there is some problem with your work permit paperwork or you cannot get a long visa).  Oftentimes, the Consulate will try to encourage you to get a single-entry and may even tell you that they do not issue multiple-entry visas.  They do, however, and often a patient and friendly approach will get you what you seek.  Current cost of a Non Immigrant Visa, Single entry is 2,000 Baht. Cost of a multiple entry non-immigrant visa for use within one year is 5,000 Baht.

Extending Your Visa in Country
Until about a year ago, extending a non-immigrant visa was a laborious process that required you to take similar paperwork required by the Labor Department for your work permit.  Now, all that has changed and you can get a one-year extension in country in most cases.
A few days before your visa expires bring the following documents to the Immigration Department:
•    your passport
•    your work permit
•    copies of your passport showing the picture page, entry stamp and other stamps that relate to your stay in Thailand
•    copy of your work permit
•    copy of your employment contract or a letter from the company on their letterhead stating you have been accepted for employment and indicating your starting gross monthly salary and duration of employment)
•    one passport photo
•    copy of forms showing the company has applied for a taxpayer ID number for you or the actual tax ID card
•    copies of your last six months Palmador One forms.   Palmador 1 is a form that lists the salaries and tax paid for every member of a company. The company must pay the total taxes each month and they get a little yellow receipt to show they have paid. For each month you must copy the first page, the page your name appears on, and the receipt showing that the company paid.
•    Possibly your bank book.  This has been required recently.
•    Immigration specifically asks that a Thai staff member from the company accompany the foreigner down to Immigration to help translate, answer questions and help resolve any issues. This is a good idea and should be followed. 
•    Application fee for a visa extention is 1,900 Baht.  The above provisions change from time to time, so please have a Thai staff member of your company check before you go.

Step Two:  Getting a Work PermitRequired papers for a work permit
After you have your non-immigrant visa, you can now apply for a work permit.  Here are the papers generally required from the prospective employee to start a work permit:
•    copy of the picture page/identification page of your passport (the one with your photo and passport number)
•    your non-immigrant visa
•    copy of the passport page with your current entrance stamp
•    copy of your entry card
•    Copy of your degree or resume or transcript - sometimes they require it be certified by your country's embassy (this requires bringing your degree or resume to your embassy, declaring it is a true and original document and then paying an authentication fee.
•    a doctor's certificate stating you are in good health (this can be arranged quickly in Thailand and generally costs less than 100 baht and usually does not required any actual exam
•    2 color, 4 by 5 centimeter photos (this is the photo size used by most photo shops in Thailand for Visas.  This is not a Passport photo size which is different.
•    Three to Five Thousand baht (depending on the length of your work permit.
•    Additionally, your employer will be required to submit tax and legal documents concerning the nature of their business and employees.
Getting the Work Permit Approved
A job description is often the determining factor in the approval or denial of a work permit. Unless the written job description requires skills that a Thai is not likely to possess, the applications will not be approved. One option to save time is to ask a Labor Department employee to suggest a job description that will fall under a classification that can be accepted. Most Labor Department staff will not volunteer this information, but if you ask, they will generally suggest some possible job titles.

The Labor Department often seems to want to reduce the number of permits actually issued to help demonstrate that they are protecting Thai jobs. Therefore if your company applies for three permits, they may approve only one or possibly two. It is unlikely that all three will be approved

Once the papers are submitted for a Work Permit
Once you submit the documents for a work permit, you must not let your visa expire. The Labor Department’s system links the non immigrant visa you listed on your application to the work permit paperwork. Even if you have a double- or triple-entry visa, you cannot go out again without invalidating your work permit papers. If you do have to go out of country and return on the same visa, you must get a reentry permit from Immigration. The reentry permit, like a work permit, is valid until your visa expires. (Please see the section later in this article on reentry permits.)

If you cannot get your work permit approved before your visa expires, you may have to get your visa extended. You can always get an extension of two weeks (it is a stamp that says your application is ``under consideration'') and then a further extension of one week (this stamp usually says your extension of stay is rejected and you must leave in one week).

In terms of time expectations, processing of your work permit can require several weeks or even months. 

Signing for your new work permit
Generally to receive your work permit, you must go to the Labor Department in the Huay Kwang area with your passport and sign a document acknowledging receipt. The Labor Department puts a stamp in the back of your passport at the time of receipt.

Don’t let your work permit expire
If your work permit expires before you submit the papers for renewal, the work permit is invalidated and you will have to start from scratch and apply for a new one.  Renewing a work permit is always much; much easier and less costly than trying to remedy an expired work permit.   To save you aggravation, always return from your visa renewal trip before your work permit expires. If you cannot leave before the permit expires, you have to fill out the work permit form and leave it, along with the work permit and 500 baht fee, at the Labor Department. You MUST do this to prevent the work permit from expiring. When you return from outside of Thailand your work permit will be extended according to your new visa.

In several recent news articles and in speeches to various groups the Labor Department has noted that although many aspects of work permits are vague and accommodations can be made that the Department is very strict concerning the expiration of work permits.  If the permit expires, you will have to start from the beginning and apply for a new one

Restrictions on Your Work Permit
The work permit once approved allows you only to work at the noted company and location.  If your change employers or place of work, you must get a new work permit.  Also if you resign or are terminated or laid off, according to the law within 10 days of this, you must return you work permit to the Labor Department. Don't count on your company doing this as you are the person liable if they don’t.  Also please note that to get another work permit at any other company that generally a written recommendation is required from the last company where you held a work permit.   Keep this in mind as oftentimes it can save you additional work.

Step Three:  The Tax ID Card

Once your work permit has been arranged, the next step is for your company to apply for a Thai taxpayer identification card.  This ID card has a tax ID number which will be needed to be listed often in the future on documents.

Step Four:  Getting a Re-entry Permit
Visa vs. a Re-entry Permits
A lot of people misunderstand the difference between a visa and a re-entry permit much to there own disadvantage. Here is the key point: your visa is the controlling document.   Everything is dependent on the dates there.  Your reentry permit or work permit is only good till the date stamped in your passport to leave the country.  Any reentry permit you get will expire when your visa expires.  If you depart the country without a re-entry permit, your visa is invalidated as will be your work permit.  This is a key distinction so after going through the process of getting a longer term visa and a work permit; please ensure you have a re-entry permit before departing the country.  Also, for your initial trips after getting the visa and work permit, you may have someone knowledgeable look over your documents prior to leaving on the trip.

How to get a reentry permit

- Go in the morning (before noon), in person, to Immigration. The reentry window is on the ground floor on the left side. If you truly require your reentry permit the same day or you've submitted it after noon, the officers will accept "an expedited service fee" to get the job done.
- Here is the process:
•    Submit a Re-entry request form
•    Three passport-sized photos
•    One thousand baht for one reentry or 3,800 Baht for a multiple reentry. Keep in mind that the reentry permit expires when your visa expires or if you get any visa extension stamp in your passport.
When you present the above, you will receive a receipt and be told to return in the afternoon (or the next day if you submit it late) to pick up your passport.  If this is inconvenient, you can send someone else to pick it up.  All that is required to pickup the re-entry permit is the receipt.  You can send someone else to pick it up and all they need is the receipt. 

Step Five:  Renewing your visa and work permit
Your work permit expires when your visa does. 
Therefore you will have to renew your visa before you can renew your work permit. This can either be done in-country or in some cases you must leave the country. If you cannot get your visa extended in country, you will have to get a new non-immigrant visa from a Thai consulate abroad as explained above.  If you have an unexpired multiple-entry visa, all you have to do is go over the border and then return. If required to go overseas, you will need to provide the consulate copies of your work permit and a new visa recommendation letter from your company on company letterhead. Some consulates have required the actual work permit (not a copy) be presented to them. Again, this is why it is good to check with the Foreign Ministry and with others with recent experience with the Consulate you will be utilizing to get updated information. Again, all of this must be done before your work permit expires.

Helping Your Chances
The more complete and official-looking documents you submit (i.e. Thai tax returns, Thai taxpayer identification card, etc.), generally the better. Usually you are wise to carry them with you in case you need them.  However, only show them if asked or if it seems that your request will be refused. Once you return with your new visa, your work permit can be extended.

Making Things Easier for All
A few suggestions about surviving the process:
•    First, be patient.  This is a foreign country, you are a guest and the norms of bureaucracy may be different.
•    Presence of a Thai to help expedite things usually is helpful as Thais generally understand how to deal with their own government officials better and usually can defuse potentially awkward moments without hard feelings.
•    Keep in mind that you probably will need to return to Immigration more than once.  It is therefore good if the Thai company person accompanying you can establish a personal relationship with someone at Immigration.
•    It is important that the company person accompanying you is polite but it is also important that they be a good problem solver and a person who when confronted with refusal will not take “no” for an answer just because your request requires some work or possibly the need to search out someone at Immigration who is willing to be more helpful.
Various notes
1.    Keep track of the expiry dates of your visa, work permit, re-entry permit, etc. yourself. If you’re overly dependent on the Thai staff to do this you may be disappointed.
2.    Reporting every three months - All foreigners are required to register their address with immigration if they stay in the country over 90 days. Please note that this report must be made before the 90 days (that is 90 actual days, NOT three months) takes place.  Reporting is free, but if you do not report in time there is a several-thousand baht fine. As long as the report is made before the 90 days are up, you can send someone else to Immigration to fill out this form for you.
3.    Overstays - Overstays (staying in the country beyond the date your visa expires) is illegal and will probably result in a fine.  Usually the best way to handle this is to depart the country immediately and try to explain to the immigration officer the reason for your error.  If your overstay is not long, generally you will just get a short lecture although you should be prepared to pay the fine if required.  Don’t argue and keep in mind that the Immigration lockup is not a desirable place to be.

Safari World in Bangkok





Located in Min Buri, just north of Bangkok, Safari World is an 800,000 square metre complex comprising a Safari Park and a Marine Park. The drive-though Safari Park is inhabited by a range of African and Asian animals living in a natural habitat on show to visitors. The Marine Park offers visitors regular dolphin and seal performances that are extremely entertaining for children. This is an all day event it out of Bangkok so however you decide to get there, it going to take you a while. There also a lot for children to see and do so don expect to get off lightly the kids will drag you round this place all day!

How to get there : Given the distance involved, and that fact that you are probably taking a child, a taxi is recommended. Although expensive, the savings in convenience entirely outweigh the cost.
However, if you are adamant, a number 26 bus from Victory Monument will take you to Kilometre 9 of Ram Indra Road. From there you can take a mini-bus service to Safari World.

Details : Safari World is open daily from 09:00 to 17:00. Admission for an adult is 700 Baht and 450 Baht for a child.
How to get there : Given the distance involved, and that fact that you are probably taking a child, a taxi is recommended. Although expensive, the savings in convenience entirely outweigh the cost.�
However, if you are adamant, a number 26 bus from Victory Monument will take you to Kilometre 9 of Ram Indra Road. From there you can take a mini-bus service to Safari World.

Contact:
Safari World
99 Ram Inthra 1 Road
Kilometer 9, Minburi District
Bangkok, 10510 Thailand
Tel: 0-2914-4100-19; 0-2518-1000-19
Safari World boasts both Asia's largest open-air zoo and whale-and-dolphin show. Children will find the Safari World to be a fun and exciting place as it offers many animal shows. Orangutans, birds, sea lions, and elephants also perform tricks. Central to Safari World is a slow car cruise through Savanna populated by lions, tigers, giraffes, rhinoceros, zebras, cheetahs, and ostriches. Safari World is located on Ramintra Road, Km.9, Min Buri, Bangkok For more info please call 0-2518-1000

Bangkok Soi Nana



หมูย่างน้ำตก

น้ำตก ตามความหมายของพจนานุกรม ฉบับราชบัณฑิตยสถานของไทยแล้วจะมีอยู่ 2 ความหมาย   น้ำตกความหมายแรก  หมายถึง นํ้าที่ขังอยู่บนเขาตกลงมาที่หน้าผา   หรือจะใช้เรียกนํ้าที่ทําให้ตกลงมาในลักษณะคล้ายคลึงกันเช่นนั้นว่า น้ำตก
ความหมายที่สอง หมายถึง  อาหารอย่างหนึ่งที่ใช้เนื้อสัตว์  เช่น เนื้อหมู หรือเนื้อวัว มาย่างพอให้สุกเล็กน้อย   หั่นเป็นชิ้นบาง ๆ  แล้วปรุงรสด้วยพริกป่น  หอมแดงซอย  ข้าวคั่ว น้ำมะนาว  น้ำปลา  เป็นต้น หรือ ใช้เรียกก๋วยเตี๋ยวเนื้อสดที่ใส่เลือดวัวสดว่า น้ำตก     แต่วันนี้เราจะมาพูดกันถึงเรื่องของน้ำตกที่เป็นอาหาร และที่ใช้เนื้อหมูมาเป็นส่วนประกอบหลัก
หมูย่างน้ำตก ถือเป็นอาหารพื้นเมืองอย่างหนึ่งของทางภาคอีสาน นิยมทานคู่กับข้าวเหนียว ไก่ย่าง  มีวิธีทำและส่วนผสมดังต่อไปนี้

 ส่วนผสม
  • เนื้อหมู (ให้เลือกเอาเนื้อที่มีส่วนที่ติดมันเล็กน้อย) 450 กรัม
  • หอมแดงขนาดกลาง 3 หัว (ปอกเปลือกออก  ล้างและซอยบางๆ)
  • ต้นหอมซอย  และผักชีซอยรวมกัน  3 ช้อนโต๊ะ
  • ใบสะระแหน่  เด็ดเป็นใบ 1 ถ้วยตวง
  • น้ำปลา  2 ช้อนโต๊ะ  (หรือปรุงแล้วแต่ชอบ)
  • น้ำมะนาว  2 ช้อนโต๊ะ  (หรือปรุงแล้วแต่ชอบ)
  • น้ำตาลทราย 1ช้อนโต๊ะ (หรือปรุงแล้วแต่ชอบ)
  • ซีอิ๊วขาว 1 ช้อนโต๊ะ
  • น้ำมันหอย  1/2 ช้อนโต๊ะ
  • พริกขี้หนูแห้งป่น  1 ช้อนโต๊ะ
  • ข้าวคั่วป่น  1 ช้อนโต๊ะ
  • น้ำเปล่า
  • ผักสด เช่น แตงกวา กะหล่ำปลี ฯลฯ

 วิธีทำ

1. นำเนื้อหมูมาล้างน้ำให้สะอาด   เสร็จแล้วซับน้ำให้แห้ง   หมักเนื้อหมูที่ได้ด้วยน้ำตาล  ½ ช้อนโต๊ะ,น้ำมันหอยและซีอิ๊วขาว  ประมาณ 30 นาทีหรือนานกว่านั้นก็ได้
2. ตั้งกระทะบนเตาที่ความร้อนปานกลาง  นำหมูที่หมักไว้ลงไปย่าง  ประมาณ 20 นาทีทั้งสองด้าน เอาส้อมจิ้มดู  โดยให้ได้เนื้อหมูที่สุกพอประมาณ   ตักใส่จานทิ้งไว้สักพักแล้วค่อยหั่นเป็นชิ้นบางๆ  โดยให้น้ำข้างในหมูอยู่ตัวก่อนแล้วจึงหั่น  ไม่เช่นนั้นหมูที่ได้จะไม่ชุ่มฉ่ำ
3. นำหมูที่หั่นแล้วใส่ลงไปในหม้อและตั้งบนไฟกลางๆ  เติมน้ำเล็กน้อยพอขลุกขลิก  คนให้เข้ากันรอจนร้อนจัดประมาณ 2-3 นาที  จึงปิดแก๊ส
4. ปรุงรสด้วยเครื่องปรุงต่างๆ  เช่น น้ำปลา น้ำมะนาว  น้ำตาลทราย(ที่เหลือ) พริกป่น ข้าวคั่ว  คนให้เข้ากัน แล้วชิมรส  (ปรุงรสให้ถูกใจ  ขาดเหลืออะไรก็เพิ่มเติมตามความชอบ)  จากนั้นตามด้วยหอมแดง ต้นหอม  ผักชีที่ซอยไว้  และครึ่งหนึ่งของใบสะระแหน่ที่เด็ดไว้ (อีกครึ่งหนึ่งเหลือไว้โรยหน้า) คลุกเคล้าให้เข้ากันอีกครั้ง
5. ตักใส่จาน โรยหน้าด้วยใบสะระแหน่ที่เหลือ  เสริ์ฟพร้อมกับผักสด เช่น แตงกวา  กะหล่ำปลี เป็นต้น

Grilled Pork Spicy Salad – Moo Yang Nam Tok

“Nam Tok” in the meaning from the Royal Institute of Thailand dictionary have 2 different meanings.  First, means the water that trapped in the mountain has fallen to the cliff.  Or we called the falling down water in a similar way that “Nam Tok – waterfall”.
The second meaning refers to one kind of food makes from meat like pork or beef. Then grill them until done, cut into thin pieces and season with grounded chili powder, chopped shallots, grounded roasted rice, lime juice, fish sauce, etc. Or using Nam Tok to call the noodles dish with fresh meat and fresh cow blood.  But today we will talk about Nam Tok as food, and use pork to be main ingredient.
Grilled Pork Spicy Salad – Moo Yang Nam Tok is one of the local food from the northeast(Isaan) of Thailand. People like to have this dish with sticky rice and grilled chicken. It has the ingredients and how to do as the following.


Ingredients
  • 450 grams pork (select the area that has small part of fat in it)
  • 3 medium sized shallots (peeled, washed and thinly sliced)
  • 3 Tbsp chopped green onion and coriander together
  • 1 cup mint leaves (use the leaves only)
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce (or as your preference)
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice (or as your preference)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (or as your preference)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 / 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp grounded dried chilli powder
  • 1 Tbsp grounded roasted rice
  • Water
  • Fresh vegetables such as cucumbers, cabbage, etc..


How to do…

1. Rinse the pork  thoroughly and dry with paper towel. Marinate the pork with ½ Tbsp sugar, oyster sauce and soy sauce for about  30 minutes or longer.
2. Place the grill on stove over medium heat. Grill the marinated pork for about 20 minutes on both sides totally. Prick the pork with a fork to see if the pork was medium rare cooked, then take it out and let it sit on the plate for a few minutes before start to slice into the thin pieces. That will allow the water from the pork not running out and the pork will get more juicy.
3. Put the sliced pork into the pot and set it on the stove over medium heat. Add a little of water just enough so it won’t get to dry. Stir well for about 2-3 minutes, then turn off the heat.
4. Season with seasoning ingredients such as fish sauce, lime juice, sugar (left), chilli powder, grounded roasted rice. Stir well and taste (add more as you like).  Then follow with shallots, green onion, coriander, and half of mint leaves (leave another half for garnishing).  Mix well again.
5. Put into the plate and garnish with the remaining mint leaves. Serve with fresh vegetables such as cucumbers, cabbage, etc. Enjoy your Moo Yang Nam Tok!

Fried rice with shrimp paste

Fried rice with shrimp paste is a traditional Thai food.  How to make it may be a little bit difficult because it has a lot of ingredients.  It has quite a few side dishes which will mean it takes a while to make everything, but it is so worth it.  Luckily, all the ingredients are easy to find anywhere.
The characteristic of fried rice with shrimp paste is light in color, has the taste of shrimp paste and very fragrant. The shrimp paste that we use has to be the good shrimp paste, it should be not very salty and not too dark in color. For the rice, you have to use old Jasmine rice (as opposed to new crop rice) and less water to cook because when the rice is cooked it should not come out too wet and it stays in the whole beautiful grain after cooking.
In the past Thai people liked to wrap shrimp paste with banana leaves. Then grill the shrimp paste wrap to make it more fragrant before mixing it with the cooked rice. Currently this is changing, instead people will put the shrimp paste into the pan that already has golden brown garlic in it, mixing the two ingredients together and then add the rice to mix.
The important sides of fried rice with shrimp paste that we can’t miss are fried dried shrimps, sweet pork, shredded omelet, thinly sliced shallots, thinly sliced chili, young mango, coriander, lime juice and cucumber. It’s totally your option which sides you add and you can certainly leave some out if they are not to your taste. Below are the details for making fried rice with shrimp paste on your own at home.


Fried rice with shrimp paste ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1 Tbsp good shrimp paste
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ tsp water
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped




How to make fried rice with shrimp paste

1. Melt shrimp paste with water.
2. Heat the oil in the pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot then add the chopped garlic. Fry garlic until yellow brown and fragrant.
3. Add the melted shrimp paste to mix with fried garlic. Add the rice (divided into 2 parts, it will make it easier to mix the rice with the shrimp paste).
4. Stir rice and shrimp paste well, turn off the stove and set aside.

Side dishes ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1-2 pieces Thai sausage (can find this at Thai, Vietnamese or Chinese grocery)
  • 1/4 cup small dried shrimp
  • Vegetable oil to fry shrimp and sausage
  • 2 shallots
  • 10 Thai fresh chili (phrik khee nuu)
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 Cucumber (optional)
  • 3 long yard beans (in this case I will be using green bean instead because they taste the same and easier to find).
  • 2 tbsp chopped raw mango or 1 small green apple (in Thailand, we will use raw mango, once again I can’t purchase raw mangoes in the U.S. so I decided to use green apple that have the similar flavor instead).
How to prepare the side dishes





Eggs

1. Break the eggs, and beat well (do not beat until it is full) add soy sauce and beat well together again.
2. Put the pan over high heat. Add 1/2 Tbsp oil into the pan. Roll the pan around for the oil to coat the pan. When the pan is hot, pour eggs into the pan. Quickly tilt the pan around until the egg coats over the oily pan.
2. Leave it until the edge of the egg starts to peel off the pan easily. Then start to roll the egg out of the pan and put the rolled egg on the dish.
3. Cut the rolled eggs into the shreds (julienne style) and set it aside.





Fried sausage

Cut sausage on the oblique into 1 inch long pieces.  Put the pan over medium heat. Heat 2 Tbsp oil, and when it’s hot then fry the prepared sausages until they start to turn dark brown. Put it on the paper towel to absorb the extra oil.






Fried shrimp

Set the pan over medium heat. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil until it is hot then start to fry the dried shrimp. When the shrimp turns brown take it out and put it on the paper towel to absorb the extra oil.

Vegetables

1. Peel the shallots, take the stem off the chili, and wash them with water thoroughly.  Slice the shallots into thin pieces and chop the chili into the small pieces. Slice the lime into quarters and set them aside.
2. Wash apple and green beans thoroughly. Peel off the green apple skin and slice thinly. Then soak them in cold water mixed with ½ tsp of salt for about 5 minutes. Rinse them with water again and drain the water out (this will help to prevent the apple from turning black).
3. Cucumber, washed, peeled, and cut into oblique pieces. Green beans, washed and cut the edge of both sides off.  Then chop into small pieces. Put vegetables on the plate with the other side dishes. Prepare for serving.

Sweet pork ingredients
  • 5 ounces fresh pork side (also known as Chunk Side of Pork, Fresh Belly, Streak of Lean)
  • 3 Tbsp palm sugar
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp black soy sauce
  • 1 tsp seasoning sauce
  • 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
How to make the sweet pork





1. Wash the fresh pork side thoroughly. Try to select the meat part over the fat part. Cut into a small and thin pieces.
2. Heat the oil in the wok over medium heat. Fry shallots until they turn yellow brown and take them out from the wok. Save the remaining oil from frying in the wok.
3. Add the sliced fresh pork side into the wok (that already has oil in it).  Cook the pork for a few minutes. Add water into the wok and wait until it boils.  When the water starts to boil then season with black soy sauce, soy sauce and the seasoning sauce.
4. When the pork starts to get soft and the liquid is reduced by half, then add palm sugar. Mix and stir until the palm sugar dissolves and becomes dry, brown and sticky for another 15 minutes.  Then add fried shallots, stir and put them into a bowl. Hold for serving.

Tip: Palm sugar should be put it later from the other ingredients. If you add the palm sugar too early it will tighten up the pork and make the pork get so solid.

How to Serve the Fried rice with shrimp paste

Place the fried rice with shrimp paste on the plate. Place the side dishes including eggs, fried sausage, fried dried shrimp, shredded apple, sliced shallot, chopped green bean. For the sweet pork can serve separate in a small bowl or put on top of the rice depends on your preference. Then serve.

สาคูไส้หมู

อาหารว่างประเภทหนึ่งที่มักจะวางขายคู่กับข้าวเกรียบปากหม้อ นั่นก็คือ สาคูไส้หมู สาคูไส้หมูนั้นมีรสชาติที่หวานเล็กน้อยปนเค็มนิดๆ โดยจะนิยมรับประทานคู่กันกับผักชี ผักสลัด และพริกขี้หนูเพื่อแก้เลี่ยน นอกจากจะเป็นอาหารประเภทที่รับประทานง่ายแล้ว วิธีการก็ไม่ยุ่งยาก ไม่ต้องใช้เวลาและความชำนาญในการทำมากมายเหมือนของว่างประเภทอื่นๆ


ส่วนผสม
  • สาคูเม็ดเล็ก 500 กรัม
  • เนื้อหมูสับ 250 กรัม
  • หัวไชโป๊เค็มสับละเอียด 100 กรัม (ล้างแล้วใส่กระชอนให้สะเด็ดน้ำ)
  • หอมใหญ่หั่นชิ้นเล็ก ๆ ¼ ถ้วยตวง
  • ถั่วลิสงคั่วป่นหยาบ 1 ถ้วยตวง
  • รากผักชีหั่นละเอียด 1 ช้อนโต๊ะ
  • กระเที่ยมปอกเปลือกสับหยาบ 4 ช้อนโต๊ะ
  • พริกไทยเม็ด 1 ช้อนชา
  • น้ำตาลปี๊บ ½ ถ้วยตวง
  • น้ำปลา ½ ช้อนโต๊ะ
  • ซีอิ๊วขาว ½ ช้อนโต๊ะ
  • ซอสปรุงรส ½ ช้อนโต๊ะ
  • ซีอิ๊วดำ ½-1 ช้อนชา
  • น้ำมันพืช ¼ ถ้วยตวง
  • น้ำร้อน 1/3 ถ้วยตวง
  • ผักสดสำหรับใช้เป็นเครื่องเคียง เช่น ผักกาดหอม, ผักชี, พริกขี้หนูสด เป็นต้น
  • ผ้าขาวบางสำหรับรองในลังถึงก่อนนึ่ง
วิธีทำ
1.นำสาคูไปล้างน้ำให้สะอาด เทใส่กระชอนพักไว้ให้สะเด็ดน้ำ จากนั้นนำไปใส่ในอ่างผสม ค่อยๆ ใส่น้ำร้อนลงไปทีละนิด คนให้เข้ากัน จากนั้นใช้ผ้าขาวบางชุบน้ำบิดให้หมาดๆ คลุมไว้ประมาณ 1 ชั่วโมง หลังจากนั้นนำมานวดให้เหนียวเป็นเนื้อเดียวกัน ปั้นเป็นก้อนกลม ๆ ขนาดเส้นผ่าศูนย์กลางประมาณ ½ -1 นิ้ว เสร็จแล้วพักไว้


วิธีทำ

1.นำสาคูไปล้างน้ำให้สะอาด เทใส่กระชอนพักไว้ให้สะเด็ดน้ำ จากนั้นนำไปใส่ในอ่างผสม ค่อยๆ ใส่น้ำร้อนลงไปทีละนิด คนให้เข้ากัน จากนั้นใช้ผ้าขาวบางชุบน้ำบิดให้หมาดๆ คลุมไว้ประมาณ 1 ชั่วโมง หลังจากนั้นนำมานวดให้เหนียวเป็นเนื้อเดียวกัน ปั้นเป็นก้อนกลม ๆ ขนาดเส้นผ่าศูนย์กลางประมาณ ½ -1 นิ้ว เสร็จแล้วพักไว้2. ใส่น้ำมันพืชลงในกระทะ นำไปตั้งไฟกลางให้ร้อน ใส่กระเทียมสับ 3 ช้อนโต๊ะลงไป เจียวให้เหลือง (ระวังอย่าให้ไหม้) จากนั้นตักขึ้นพักไว้
3. นำรากผักชี, กระเทียมที่เหลือ และพริกไทยเม็ดมาโขลกรวมกันให้ละเอียด
4. ตั้งกระทะบนไฟกลาง ใส่น้ำมันที่เหลือจากการเจียวกระเทียมลงไป2 ช้อนโต๊ะ เมื่อน้ำมันร้อนได้ที่จึงใส่เครื่องที่โขลกลงไปผัดให้หอม ใส่หอมใหญ่และหมูสับลงไป ผัดยีให้หมูกระจาย ตามด้วยหัวไชโป๊สับ จากนั้นปรุงรสด้วยน้ำตาลปี๊บ, น้ำปลา, ซีอิ๊วขาว, ซอสปรุงรส และซีอิ๊วดำ ผัดให้เข้ากัน ชิมให้ออกรสเค็มและหวาน ใส่ถั่วลิสงลงไป ผัดให้เข้ากันจนเหนียว ปิดไฟ ยกลงแล้วทิ้งไว้ให้เย็น
5. แผ่สาคูที่ปั้นไว้ออกให้เป็นแผ่นบาง ๆ ตักไส้ใส่ตรงกลาง แล้วห่อด้วยแผ่นแป้งให้มิด จากนั้นนำไปวางเรียงบนถาด
6. นำผ้าขาวบางมาปูบนลังถึง  เรียงสาคูลงบนผ้าขาวบาง โดยให้เว้นระยะห่างจากกันประมาณ 1 เซนติเมตร (เผื่อสาคูขยายตัวเวลานึ่ง) จากนั้นยกขึ้นนึ่งในน้ำเดือดไฟแรง นานประมาณ 10 – 15 นาที หรือจนสุกจึงยกลง
7. ตักใส่จาน พรมด้วยกระเทียมเจียว เสิร์ฟพร้อมผักกาดหอม, ผักชี และพริกขี้หนูสด



เคล็ดลับความอร่อย

สาคูไส้หมูจะอร่อยหรือไม่นั้นขึ้นอยู่กับ “ตัวไส้” ที่จะต้องมีรสชาติกลมกล่อม ออกเค็มนำแล้วหวานตาม และสาคูนั้นจะต้องจับตัวกันเหนียวพอดี ไม่ใช่เหนียวหนึบหนับเสียจนติดเหงือกติดฟันเวลาเคี้ยว นอกจากไส้หมูแล้ว ตัวไส้สามารถปรับเปลี่ยนไปใช้อย่างอื่นแทนได้ เช่น ไก่ กุ้ง ปลา หรือผัก ฯลฯ
ขณะผัดไส้ต้องใจเย็นๆ ค่อย ๆ ผัดไปเรื่อย ๆ จนไส้จับตัวกันเหนียวดี หัวไชโป๊ที่นำมาใช้ ถ้าเค็มมากควรล้างน้ำก่อน เพื่อลดความเค็มแล้วจึงค่อยสับ ถั่วลิสงที่นำมาใช้จะต้องคั่วให้สุกหอมก่อนโขลก และจะต้องโขลกไม่ให้ละเอียดหรือหยาบเกินไป ถ้าโขลกถั่วละเอียดเกินไป เวลารับประทานจะไม่รู้สึกว่ามีถั่วผสมอยู่ นอกจากนี้สาคูควรจะต้องมีสัดส่วนของแป้งและไส้ที่สัมพันธ์กัน ไม่ใช่แป้งมากไส้น้อย หรือแป้งน้อยแต่ใส่ไส้มากจนแป้งทะลุ
การปั้นสาคูนั้นควรจุ่มมือในน้ำทุกครั้งที่แผ่แป้ง เพื่อกันไม่ไห้แป้งติดมือ ถ้าปั้นไส้เตรียมไว้ก่อน ก็จะช่วยให้เราปั้นสาคูได้เร็วขึ้น และพยายามอย่าปั้นให้ลูกโตมากนัก เพราะเวลานึ่งสุกแล้วสาคูจะขยายตัวขึ้นมาอีก
สาคูไส้หมูที่ดีเมื่อนึ่งสุกแล้วสาคูจะต้องใส ถ้ามีจุดขาวขุ่น ๆ อยู่ในตัวแป้งแสดงว่าแป้งยังดิบอยู่ ในการนึ่งสาคูนั้นจะต้องนึ่งด้วยน้ำเดือดไฟแรง โดยใช้เวลาประมาณ 10 – 15 นาทีก็จะสุก (ทั้งนี้ขึ้นอยู่กับขนาดของสาคูด้วย)

Sah-koo Sai Moo (Steamed Tapioca filled with Sweet Pork)

One of the Thai snacks that is often sold as a pair with Kow Gree-ap Pahk Mau (thin, flat steamed sweetmeat of glutinous rice flour) is Sah-koo Sai Moo (steamed tapioca filled with sweet pork). Sah-koo Sai Moo has a slightly sweet flavor mixed with a little salty. It is popular to have it with coriander, cabbage, and fresh Thai chili (Phrik Khee Nuu) to cleanse the oily taste. In addition it is the kind of food that is easy to eat, it is also simple to make, it does not require as much time and expertise to make as many other types of snacks.


Ingredients
  • 500 gram (4 ½ cups) tapioca granules
  • 250 gram (8 ½ ounces) minced pork
  • 100 gram (3 ounces) salted radish, finely chopped (washed and drained)
  • ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely pounded
  • 1 Tbsp coriander root, finely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp pepper seed
  • ½ cup palm sugar
  • ½ Tbsp fish sauce
  • ½ Tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ Tbsp seasoning sauce
  • ½ -1 tsp black soy sauce
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • Fresh vegetables for side dish such as cabbage, coriander, fresh Thai chili (Phrik Khee Nuu), etc.
  • Cheesecloth to place on the Chinese utensil steamer before steaming


How to do…

1. Rinse Tapioca granules with water thoroughly. Drain the water out with a strainer. Then add into a mixing bowl. Gradually add hot water into it, stir well, then cover with damp cheesecloth for about an hour. Later, thresh the tapioca until it becomes sticky and homogeneous. Then mold the tapioca into small ball shapes about ½ -1 inch in diameter. Set them aside.
2. Add the oil into the pan. Place the pan over medium heat until hot. Add 3 Tbsp chopped garlic to fry until yellow (careful not to burn), then scoop them out and set aside.
3. Pound coriander root, the remaining garlic, and pepper seed together util thoroughly fine.
4. Place the pan over medium heat. Add the remaining oil from frying the garlic 2 Tbsp into the pan. Wait until the oil is hot then add the pounded ingredients to fry until fragrant. Add chopped onions and minced pork to it. Stir fry the pork to be dispersed. Follow with chopped salted radish. Then season with palm sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, seasoning sauce, and black soy sauce. Stir well. Taste to ensure it is salty and sweet. Add the peanuts. Stir fry together until becomes sticky. Turn off the heat. Lift it down and let it cool.
5. Start to wrap by spreading out the tapioca ball into a thin sheet. Put the filling in the middle. Then wrap it up completely with tapioca sheet. Then lay them down on the tray.
6. Place the cheesecloth down in the steamer. Lay the tapioca filling on the cheesecloth with a space approximately 1 cm on each side of each ball (provide for the steamed tapioca will expand). Then lift the steamer to boil in the boiling water and high heat about 10-15 minutes or until done then lift it down.
7. Place steamed tapioca filled with sweet pork (Sah-koo Sai Moo) onto the plate. Sprinkle with fried garlic. Serve with cabbage, coriander, and fresh Thai chili.


Tips

Whether Sah-koo Sai Moo will be delicious or not depends on “the filling” having a mellow flavor, salty to lead and sweet to follow. And the tapioca must have the right consistency and stick together well, not too gummy so that it sticks on teeth or gums when chewing. In addition to pork, the filling can be changed to something else instead, such as chicken, shrimp, fish or vegetables, etc.
While stir frying the filling please be calm and cool, gradually continue to stir until the filling grips and sticks together well. The salted radish that you use, if it is very salty then it needs to be washed with water before chopping to reduce the saltiness. The peanuts that you use, they need to be roasted to be fragrant before pounding. And you must not pound too fine or too coarse. If pounded too fine, when you eat will not feel like you are eating the peanuts that are mixed in. In addition, the proportion of Sah-koo (tapioca) and the filling should about equal. Not like more tapioca and less filling. Or less tapioca and more filling and make the tapioca pierced.
You should dip your hands into the water every time you spread the tapioca and mold it into the ball to prevent the stickiness of tapioca on your hands. If you prepare by molding the filling beforehand, that will help you to mold Sah-koo Sai Moo faster. Avoid molding it too big. Because when you steam them the cooked Sah-koo Sai Moo will expand more.
Good Sah-koo Sai Moo when it is cooked, the tapioca must clear. If there is any white spots in the starch it shows that the Sah-koo is still raw yet. To steam Sah-koo Sai Moo is need to steam with boiling water in high heat. It takes approximately 10-15 minutes to be done (depends on the size of the tapioca (Sah-koo) too).

กล้วยแขก หรือกล้วยทอด

กล้วยแขก เป็นขนมไทยชนิดหนึ่งซึ่งปรุงโดยการนำกล้วยมาตัดเป็นแผ่นหรือหั่นคริ่ง แล้วมาชุบน้ำแป้งซึ่งมีส่วนผสมของแป้งข้าวเจ้า, มะพร้าวขูด, งา (นิยมนำมาคั่วก่อนเพื่อเพิ่มความหอม), น้ำตาล และกระทิ เป็นต้น แล้วจึงนำไปทอดในกระทะที่มีน้ำมันร้อน


คนไทยนิยมรับประทานกล้วยแขกเป็นอาหารว่าง กล้วยแขกนั้นมีให้เห็นตั้งขายอยู่ตามฟุตบาท หรือริมถนนในแหล่งชุมชนทั่วไป


ส่วนผสม
  • กล้วยน้ำว้าห่าม 1 หวี, หรือประมาณ10-12 ผล
  • แป้งข้าวเจ้า 1 ถ้วยตวง
  • แป้งสาลี 1/4 ถ้วยตวง
  • เกลือ 1/2 ช้อนชา
  • ผงฟู 1 ช้อนชา
  • งาขาวคั่ว 2 ช้อนโต๊ะ (หรืออาจเพิ่มได้ตามความชอบ)
  • มะพร้าวขูดขาว 1/2 ถ้วยตวง
  • น้ำตาลปี๊บ 1/2 ถ้วยตวง
  • น้ำปูนใส 1/4 ถ้วยตวง
  • หัวกะทิ 1/2 ถ้วยตวง
  • ใบเตย 3-5 ใบ, ล้างให้สะอาดแล้วหั่นครึ่ง
  • น้ำมันพืชสำหรับทอด 3 ถ้วยตวง

วิธีทำ

1. นำกล้วยน้ำว้ามาปอกเปลือกและฝานตามยาวเป็นชิ้นบางๆ โดยหนึ่งลูกควรหั่นให้ได้อย่างน้อย 3 หรือ 4 ชิ้น2. นำแป้งข้าวเจ้า, แป้งสาลี, เกลือ, ผงฟู, น้ำตาลปี๊บ, งาขาวคั่ว, มะพร้าวขูด, น้ำปูนใสและหัวกะทิ ผสมเข้าด้วยกันในชามขนาดใหญ่ คนจนแป้งและน้ำตาลปี๊บละลายดี และจนส่วนผสมทั้งหมดเข้าเป็นเนื้อเดียวกัน
3. ใส่น้ำมันพืชลงในกระทะ และนำไปตั้งบนไฟค่อนข้างแรง รอจนน้ำมันเดือด จึงใส่ใบเตยลงไปทอดก่อนให้น้ำมันหอม จากนั้นตักออก
4. นำกล้วยที่หั่นเตรียมไว้ในขั้นตอนที่หนึ่งลงชุบแป้งที่ผสมเตรียมไว้ หยิบชิ้นกล้วยที่ชุบแป้งติดทั่วทั้งชิ้นใส่ลงทอดในกระทะ ทอดจนเหลืองสุกและกรอบ (กล้วยที่สุกดีแล้วจะลอยขึ้น) ให้กลับชิ้นกล้วยระหว่างที่ทอดด้วย จากนั้นจึงตักกล้วยออกมาสะเด็ดน้ำมัน
5. นำกล้วยที่ทอดแล้วมาจัดใส่จาน และเสริ์ฟเป็นของว่างทานเล่น

เคล็ดลับ : กล้วยแขกที่มีรสชาติอร่อยนั้นนิยมใช้กล้วยน้ำว้าที่ไม่ดิบ หรือสุกจนเกินไปมาทำ และเวลาทอดให้ทอดในน้ำมันร้อน ๆ เมื่อกล้วยทอดสุกจะเป็นสีเหลืองทองน่ารับประทาน รสชาติของกล้วยแขกที่ได้จะมีความหวานมันหอม มีความกรอบของแป้งที่หุ้มอยู่ภายนอก ส่วนภายในก็จะนุ่มไปด้วยเนื้อกล้วย
หมายเหตุ : กล้วยที่ทำกล้วยแขกอร่อยกว่ากล้วยน้ำว้า คือ กล้วยนางญา (หรือกล้วยนางพญา) ของภาคใต้ ถ้าไม่มีอาจใช้กล้วยชนิดอื่น เช่น กล้วยไข่, กล้วยหอม หรือกล้วยน้ำว้ามาแทนได้ หรืออาจจะใช้ เผือก และมันเทศมาทอดแทนกล้วยก็ได้ แต่สำหรับเผือกและมันเทศนั้นหลังจากที่ปอกเปลือกเสร็จ ให้แช่น้ำเอายางออกเสียก่อน แล้วจึงหั่นเป็นชิ้นหนาประมาณ 0.5-1เซนติเมตร

Deep Fried Banana (Gluay Khek or Gluay Tod)

Gluay Khek (Deep fried banana) is one of the Thai desserts, which is prepared by slicing bananas and then dipping them in flour and frying until golden brown. The ingredients are rice flour, scraped coconut, sesame seeds (need to be roasted before using to make them more fragrant), sugar and coconut milk, etc. Then deep fry it in a pan with hot oil.


Thai people like to have Gluay Khek (Deep fried banana) as a snack. Gluay Khek usually can be seen for sale on the footpath or vendor street in any community generally.


Ingredients
  • A handful of half-ripe Musa Sapientum banana (Gluay Nam Wa), or approximately 10-12 fruits (these are the small Thai banana)
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • ¼ cup wheat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp roasted white sesame seeds (or more according to your preference)
  • ½ cup scraped coconut (white part)
  • ½ cup palm sugar
  • ¼ cup lime water
  • ½ cup concentrated coconut cream
  • 3-5 pandanus amaryllifolius leaves (Bai Toie), wash thoroughly and cut in half
  • 3 cups vegetable oil for frying
How to do…

1. Peel the Musa Sapientum banana and slice it lengthwise into thin pieces, each fruit should be cut into at least three or four pieces.
2. Mix rice flour, wheat flour, salt, baking powder, palm sugar, roasted white sesame seeds, scraped coconut, lime water, and concentrated coconut cream together in a large bowl. Stir until flour and palm sugar dissolve well and until all ingredients are mixed well.
3. Pour the vegetable oil into the frying pan and set it on high heat. Wait until the oil is hot. Put the cut pandanus amaryllifolius leaves to fry in the pan for the fragrance. Then scoop them out.
4. Dip the prepared banana from step one into the mixing flour. Take the pieces of banana that have the mixing flour covering the entire pieces to fry in the pan. Fry until cooked, golden and crisp (the cooked bananas will be rise). Turn the bananas while frying too. Then scoop the cooked bananas out to drain the oil.
5. Put and organize the deep fried bananas on the plate. Serve them as a snack or an appetizer.

Tip : A delicious deep fried banana will usually use the Musa Sapientum banana (Gluay Nam Wa) that is not completely too green or too ripe to cook. And when frying them you must fry in the hot oil so when the bananas are cooked then they will turn golden brown and delicious. The taste of deep fried bananas that you get will be sweet, fatty and have a sweet smell. It will have the crispness from the flour that covered outside and inside will be soft with banana meat.
Note : The banana that is used to make more delicious deep fried banana than Musa Sapientum banana is Musa (ABB group) banana (Gluay Nang Ya or Gluay Nang Phaya) from the South of Thailand. If cannot find these then may be use the other types of bananas such as Musa (AA group) bananas (Gluay Kai), Musa (AAA group) bananas (Gluay Hom) or Musa Sapientum banana (Gluay Nam Wa) to cook instead. Or you can even use taro and sweet potatoes to cook instead of banana. But for taro and sweet potatoes, flour and fry them after peeling the skin off. They also need to be washed first. Then cut them into pieces about 0.5-1 cm thick.

Chinese Chive Flowers with Shrimp - Pud Dok Gui Chai






1            teaspoon                  sugar
1lbshrimp
1clovegarlic, chopped
1 1/2tablespoonsfish sauce
3/4lbChinese chive flowers, cut

Chop garlic. Cut the Chinese chive flowers into 1 1/2 inch long. Peel and devain shrimp. For a presentation, you can use whole shrimp (with head) and peel.
Heat a wok or a pan on high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and chopped garlic and stir. Add shrimp when the garlic starts to brown. Stir to get the shrimp somewhat cooked. The shrimp shoud start to get pinky but not all pink or cooked. Add the chive flowers and stir to cook them. Add fish sauce and sugar. The flowers shouldn't take long to cook. You want the flowers to just cook, but not overcook and still retain their crunchiness. When the color turns bright green, it indicates that they are cooked. Turn off the heat and pour on a plate immediately.
Serve with hot with rice.

Introducing Thai Food




Thai food is widely known for being hot and spicy since almost all Thai food is cooked with basic ingredients such as garlic, chillies, limejuice, lemon grass and fresh coriander leaf and fermented fish sauce (nam pia) or shrimp paste (kapi) to make it salty.
Since rice is the staple food in Thailand, it is usually eaten at every meal with soups, curries, fried vegetables and nam phrik. Nam phrik is a hot sauce, prepared in a variety of ways and differs from region t oregion: nam phrik pla pon is a ground dried fish and chilli sauce, nam phrik pla raa is a fermented fish and chilli sauce, nam phrik kapi is a shrimp paste and chilli sauce, nam phrik oong is a minced pork, tomato and chilli sauce. In general, the basic ingredients of nam phrik include shrimp paste, garlic, chilli, fermented fish sauce and iemon juice.
Other common seasoning in Thai food include galingale (khaa), blackpapper, ground peanut, tamarind juice, ginger and coconut milk. As a result, it takes hours to prepare a proper Thai meal in the traditional way as it involves so much peeling and chopping and pounding so it needs time to prepare in advance.
In fact, Thai food varies from region to region, for example, glutinous or sticky rice is more popular in the North and Northeast than steamed rice. Moreover, in some rural areas, certain insects are also eaten e.g. crickets, silk worm larvae, red ant larvae. At the same time, Thai desserts are often made from sticky rice or coconut milk, flour, egg and coconut sugar while a variety of fruit is available all the year round.
Meanwhile, the basic characteristic taste of Thai food in different parts of the country can be described in different ways: in the central region, food is hot, salty, sweet and sour. Rice is served with different types of nam phrik and soups e.g. tom yam kung (prawn soup with lemon grass. Dishes usually contain a lot of condiments and spices. In the North, food is mild or hot, salty and sour, but never sweet. Sticky rice is served with boiled vegetables, nam phrik oong and soups or curries. The North is also well-known for its sausage called "naem" which consists of fermented minced pork. It has a sour flavour and is sold wrapped in cellophane and banana leaf.
Food in the Northeast is hot, salty and sour. Their favourite foods include papaya salad (som tam), sour chopped meat salad "koi", sour minced meat salad (lard) . People use a lot of condiments but not many spices. Their meals generally consists of sticky rice and nam phrik pla raa accompanid by a lot of vegetableas including those found growing wild. On the other hand, food in the South is renowned for being very hot, salty and sour-tasting. Curries are popular and made with a lot of spices and condiments. Khao yam (a mixture of rice) raw vegetables and fermented fish sauce or boo doo is also a common dish. Generally southern people eat little meat and other varieties of nam phrik are not so popular, the most common one is nam phrik kapi.
Though the major portion of Thai food is described as being spiced and chilli hot, it currently enjoys worldwide popularity especially the exotic Tom Yam Kung, a uniquely piquant prawn soup that is renowned for it simplicity, creativity, artistic flair and delicious taste. Above all, the tastes of Thai cuisines can be amended to suit individual desire, for example, by reducing the amount of chillies in certain dishes to lower the heat or increasing amount of lime juice to increase sourness. Visitors who have tried the exotic Thai food will never forget to order them again whenever their favourite dishes are available.
This story comes from "Essays on Thailand" by Thanapol Chadchaidee. It is used here with his permission. The book contains 60 essays about Thailand written in Thai and English.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thailand National Park - South




Detail Nation Park
1Than Bokkharani National ParkKrabi
2Khao Phanom Bencha National ParkKrabi
19Mu Ko Phi Phi National ParkKrabi
3Khao Luang National ParkNakhonsithammarat
21Hat Khanom Mu Ko Thale Tai N.P.Nakhonsithammarat
22Khao Nan National ParkNakhonsithammarat
20Nam Tok Yong National ParkNakhonsithammarat
4Sai Khao Waterfall National ParkSongkhla
5Khao Lak-Lamru National ParkPhang Nga
6ao Phang Nga National ParkPhang Nga
16Khao Lamphi National ParkPhang Nga
25Mu Ko Similan National ParkPhang Nga
24Mu Ko Surin National ParkPhang Nga
23Sri Phang-Nga National ParkPhang Nga
7Khao Pu Khao Ya National ParkPhatthalung
8Sirinat National ParkPhuket
9Laem Son National ParkRanong
10Phe Tra Islands National ParkSatun / Trang
11Tarutao National ParkSatun
12Thale Ban National ParkSatun
13Khao Sok National ParkSuratthani
14Tai Rom Yen National ParkSuratthani
15ang Thong National Marine ParkSuratthani
17Tarnto Waterfall Natural ParkYala
18Hat Chao Mai National ParkTrang
28Southern Thailand Botanical Garden Trang
26Khao Chong Nature & Wild Life CenterTrang
27Rajamangkala aquariumTrang
4Sai Khao Waterfall National ParkPattani
29Kapoh Waterfall ParkChumphon

Thailand National Park - North East




Detail Nation Park
1Phu Kao-Phu Phan Kham National ParkNongbualamphu
2Phu Wiang National ParkKhon Kaen
3 Phu Pha Man National ParkKhon Kaen
4 Tat Ton National ParkChaiyaphum
5 Pa Hin Ngam National ParkChaiyaphum
6 Khao Yai National ParkNakhon Ratchasima
24 Phimai Historical ParkNakhon Ratchasima
7 Phu Mu Reserved ForestMukdahan
8Phu Sra Dok Bua National Parkamnat Charoen
9Phu Rua National ParkLoei
10Phu Kradung National ParkLoei
11Phu Luang National ParkLoei
12Phu Phan National ParkSakhon Nakhon
13H uai Huat National ParkSakhon Nakhon
14Phu Pra Bath National ParkUdon Thani
15That Ngam National ParkUdon Thani
30Na Yoong Nam Som Forest ParkUdon Thani
16Phataem National ParkUbon Ratchathani
17Kaeng Tana National ParkUbon Ratchathani
18Phu Chong National ParkUbon Ratchathani
19Khao Kradong National ParkBuriram
20Huai Talat Reservoir and Birds ParkBuriram
21Phanom Rung Historical ParkBuriram
22Phu Phra Forest ParkKalasin
23Lam Pao Wild Life ParkKalasin
25Phu Wua Wild Life Reserve areaNong Khai
26Pha Nam Yoi aboretumRoi-Et
27Literature Botanical GardenRoi-Et
28Somdet Phra Si Nakarin ParkSi Sa Ket
29Phanom Sawai Forest ParkSurin