It was nice to take an easy week to cook the more familiar as I revisited the tastes of my most recent travels. However, I’m headed back out east for the foreseeable future. Tally ho, onward.
It occurred to me a few weeks ago as I charted my culinary path that somehow along the way I strayed from my original plan of cooking regions to cooking countries. Oops…I guess I got carried away or confused. Not sure which. In any case, I’m going back to the original plan and will be doing more country combining in the weeks to come. Realizing this a few months ago would have saved me from eating so much coconut as I country hopped through the South Pacific…
Moving on, this week I’m cooking the delicacies of Singapore and Thailand.
Singapore’s cuisine is much like that of Malaysia ,where Indian, Muslim and, most prominently, Chinese influences can be seen in many of the dishes there. This means lots of spices such as cardamom, cloves, cumin, coriander and hot chilies. One of the fascinating things, I thought, about Singapore’s food culture is that most prepared food is eaten outside at hawker centers or food courts rather than at restaurants.
As for Thailand, in my own previous tasting experience, I’ve noticed that Thai food seems to balance the sweet and spicy, almost perfectly in my opinion, to create dishes that are unique to that country. Unlike Singapore, early culinary influences in Thailand were more western oriented in the way of Portuguese, Dutch and French. Therefore, the overpowering spices prevalent in the past few weeks will be toned down, making way for flavors derived from fresh herbs such as basil, ginger and lemon grass.
Here we go:
Char kway teow (chicken noodle stirfry)
Thai fried bananas
Red Vegetable Curry