วันเสาร์ที่ 27 มีนาคม พ.ศ. 2553

gai takrai

Thailand. By 10:30 each morning in offices throughout the Kingdom, colleagues begin to confer over the most anticipated matter of the day: where to go for lunch. An important consideration in this decision is the proximity to various snack vendors, as the meal itself is seldom enough to tide over the average Thai stomach, and any public-spirited
person will return to the office bearing a generous selection of finger foods to share.
Set off for a road trip with a Thai family and discover that, in addition to ample supplies of crisps and nibbles brought along, the itinerary will involve frequent stops at acclaimed restaurants and fresh markets to sample the local treats. Even a late night out will often wind up with a Thai-style culinary nightcap, perhaps a plate of Hainanese chicken rice from street-side stalls that remain brightly lit and bustling with customers till the wee hours of the morning.The penchant for snacking is so deeply ingrained that, in the cosmos of Thai cuisine, there is a category of dishes that are classified simply as ahaan waang. Composed of a variety of savoury dishes, ahaan waang are served between proper meals, often to accompany moments of relaxed socialising. As family members and friends sit down on front verandahs to enjoy a companionable snack together, most of the repertoire is presented in con­venient bite sizes. Delicacies such as chaw muang (lavender-tinted, flower-shaped dumplings) hark back to more gracious times and centuries of influence from the royal kitchens, for the preparation of the dainty servings required not only nimble fingers but also many hours spent mincing and moulding. Less refined, but equally tasty, isthe wide range of street fare that offers a low-fuss snack packaged for a quick treat to go.The eye-popping combination of spices and herbs liberally employed in the concentrated morsels of ahaan waang dishes reflect thevaried influences on Thai cuisine from Chinese, Indian. European and Middle Eastern quarters over centuries of trade and diplomatic exchange. With ever more cosmopolitan fare atfallable in Bangkok in the past decade,

the palates of local diners have become accustomed to a new culinary renaissance, which has challenged restaurateurs to reconsider even favourite Thai dishes. At Taling Piing on Pan Street off of Silom Road in Bangkok, proprietor-chef Thipmani Chanyavongse recasts ahaan waangthrough her French Cordon Bleu training, resulting in a range of beautifully presented modern renditions of local classics.
GA! T4KRAI (grilled lemongrass chicken) Every major street corner in Bangkok plays host to an alfresco barbeque stand, advertising satay or Northeastern-style grilled chicken with savoury plumes of charcoal-laced smoke wafting down the soi. Paired with steamed sticky rice, either option makes for a handy snack to be relished on the spot by famished school children and construction workers alike.
Gal takrai brings together the delectable moistness and presentation of satay with the distinctive flavour of the grilled chicken, whose secret lies in a pounded paste of coriander roots, garlic, peppercorns and lemongrass. The traditional marinade is given an added depth and an ochre tone with the cumin, tumeric and galangal that is satay's flavour base, derived from Arab cuisine by way of Malaysia. Basted liberally in the marinade and threaded on bamboo skewers, gal takrai comes with the Northeastern favourites of som tam (spicy green papaya salad) and sticky rice cleverly packaged as mini spring rolls.
ROT! GAENG NUEA (green beef curry with Indian-style flatbread)
In the early hours of the day, Indian roti vendors pushing carts topped with flat griddles set up shop to catch the breakfast crowd. With practiced flips of the wrist, coiled-up balls of dough are flattened, then pan-fried to golden brown. The layered flatbread can be enjoyed plain or with sweetened condensed milk. Each roti is rolled up into a sheet of brown paper to allow for easy handling.
Served with curry, the light street snack becomes a substantial meal. Green curry and roti is particularly popular. Beef is stewed until tender in a broth seasoned with fiery chillies, before being added to thick coconut milk curry, ready to be absorbed into the folds of the flatbread.

cuisine with the influx of Chinese migrants into the country, especially during the Qing Dynasty. Older Bangkokians will still remember this favourite being hawked on the streets of the city Lna until the post-war days. Preceded by the cry of "ji cheong fan", Chinese hawkers bearing bamboo baskets plied the narrow alleys, offering the freshly steamed rice-noodle rolls filled with ground pork, bean spouts and dried shrimp bathed in soy sauce. Clients would hunker down on small chairs with bowls of hot congee accompanied by bites of the noodle rolls — a quick breakfast on the run for a mere 50 satang.
Over the years, the simple Cantonese noodle roll has migrated first into the hands of Chaochow chefs, then into the kitchens of the spice-obsessed Thais, sparking some flavourful twists in the evolved version of kuaytiaw lod. A plump noodle parcel filled to capacity with ground pork and beansprouts is topped with a garnish of dried shrimp, tofu and shiitake mushrooms in a rich Chaochow-style stewed palo gravy. A sprinkling of deep-fried garlicand an accompanying sauce of crushed yellow chillies provide the essential Thai fillip to the dish.