Sunday, December 18, 2011

Thai food, Thai flood

Meet Poo:

Poo lives in the Klong Toey slum in Bangkok. Her mum taught her how to cook. After having a small restaurant in the slum for some years Australian NGO helping hands supported her to start up her own cooking school. It's obviously called cooking with Poo.
We met up in the centre of Bangkok and drove to Klong Toey market to do the shopping for the class and learn about the ingredients of the Thai cuisine. Loaded with bags of food we moved on to the kitchen in the slum and put our aprons on. What I liked particularly about this class is that everyone is doing their own dish and not a part of everyone's. This way you get to do all the steps to the final dish yourself, can adopt the spicyness to your likings and vegetarians can do a veggie version of the dish. What started as a small project supports now about 200 people living in the slum with food and a small income. Shopkeepers, women sewing little bags that you get to keep your recipes in, a driver etc.

fishmonger at Klong Toey market

Batman and the other superheroes from Klong Toey slum

starter: spicy green papaya salad

soup: Tom Yum Goong

main: Pad Thai Gai

dessert: sticky rice with mango

Krua Apsorn is a restaurant in Bangkok that according to this list published in the guardian serves the best Thai curry. It's not easy to find and I had to walk the streets close to the national library up and down a few times and ask the locals about its whereabouts. It was worth it. Plastic table cloths, no frills atmosphere, and the best Thai curry I had in my life. Ever. Whenever I am in Bangkok I will go back. Well balanced spicy and sour tastes that stayed on for more than an hour after I finished my dishes. I can die happy now.

Lotus root yellow curry with river prawns

Stir fried crab meat with yellow chili

'nuff foodporn.

I left Thao Khao San, the capital of Backpackeristan, for Ayutthaya, the former capital of Thailand about 2 hours north of Bangkok. This region was hit severely by the recent floods in the country and is still recovering from it. The Baan Lotus guesthouse I stayed in had just reopened about a week ago, the water levels have been so high that they reached the first floor of the buildings. Trees have been knocked over by the floods. The region is slowly recovering and in many places the high watermarks are visible up to where the flood levels rose. The probably most photographed Buddha head in the roots below was completely submerged. The temples have just been opened for visitors again.

aftermath of the flood in Ayutthaya

Fallen tree, Baan Lotus guest house, a victim of the flood, Ayutthaya

Buddha head in tree roots, Ayutthaya

Ceremony at Wat Phanang Choeng, Ayutthaya

1 comment:

Jana said...

fantastic report! thanks for all those delicious pics...