Goong Ten: the Dancing Shrimp of Thailand

In the Northeast Thailand region of Isaan along the Mekong River, local cooks often serve meat raw, doused in a spicy, salty, sour marinade of chili, fish sauce, and lime. People in this region have an affair with things that are prepared raw: beef, pork, shrimp, fish, and other meats that are cooked elsewhere in the world, here can be found in their naturally squirming or bloody form. However, street vendors sometimes take the uncooked element one step further, selling a dish known as Goong Ten ( กุ้งเต้น ), which…

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Thai funeral cookbooks: to preserve recipes and memories~

If recently you’ve been to a wedding, probably you’ve been handed a wedding program upon your arrival, featuring photographs of the happy couple, tidbits about how they met, details about their families or the story of their first date. Little books like these can frequently be found in Thailand as well, but not for weddings. For funerals. Yes. Really for funerals. In Thailand the custom to give out gifts to attendees at funerals it has been a long-held tradition. These small memorial books, locally called nang sue ngam sop, are…

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Son-in-Law Eggs: The curious story behind this Thai food delicacy

In Thai legend, a probably devious protective mother’s led to the creation of son-in-law eggs or, locally, kai look keuy. As story goes (and, like most stories, its origins and authenticity are often disputed, but fascinating nonetheless), upon learning that her daughter wasn’t being treated well by her son-in-law, the concerned parent fried up two hard-boiled eggs as a warning. So, she serves him the deep-fried eggs to let him know that if he’s not careful, his jewels will be next in line for the deep fryer! It’s curious: the…

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