Roaches and Crabs: Drugs and Disease or Unusual Ingredients?

One of the most exciting things about traveling is discovering new flavors- exotic fruits, gnarly veg, savory juices, and fried insects to name a few. In Thailand, though I’ve been there dozens of times, I’m always learning about new ingredients and how they’re used. Two unique ingredients that might be a bit strange/disconcerting for Westerners…

Holy Basil!

Basil, it’s that gorgeous herb that’s heady and fragrant, that announces it’s appearance before a dish has even been set upon the table. It turns pasta vibrant green and adds a hint of freshness to a tomato soup. But in Thailand, Basil is often flash cooked, wilting the soft leaves until they are incorporated into…

A Bite of History (and Wonton Perfection)

Hualien has much to love about it with its small town charm, cute night market, and the main tourism draw, Toroko Gorge. But my favorite attraction was a simple, yet perfect, wonton soup. On our first night in this eastern mountainous coastal town, we found Dai Ji’s dumplings through a bit of googling. When we…

Duck Dynasty: A Thirty Year Old Street Stall

Last month when I was in Bangkok with my sister Julia, I ran her all around the city, making sure she tasted all of my favorite snacks and street food finds. I was most excited about this little gem that my friend Nhoi had shown me a while back. In Thailand, I’ve eaten many an…

Sweet Street Treats: A Bite of Adventure

I adore Flushing, Queens NY. The moment you come up from the train station you get the sensation that you might as well have just come off a flight. Most every sign advertising a restaurant, coffee shop or magazine store is written in Chinese characters. It’s a true place of discovery and of getting lost….

Raan Jay Fai, Do or Die

This evening I went back to Raan Jay Fai for maybe my sixth time. I came here for the first time about five years ago…and that was the beginning of my love story for Jay Fai. Jay means ‘sister’ in Thai-Chinese and Fai means mole, as in a beauty mark (not the subterranean mammal). Sister…

Thai Desserts: So Fun to Make, Even More Fun to Eat

Thai desserts have become my main heart throb, my raison d’Γͺtre…after my lovely boyfriend of course! Every time I come to Bangkok now, I make a beeline straight to the back of Nahm’s kitchen. My good friends Pi Pat and Pi Ta welcome me back with squeals and semi-hugs (Thai’s don’t hug) and they ask…

My Favorite Lunch Spot in the Whole Wide World

  I’m learning to read and write Thai, and let me tell you, it’s quite the challenge. I’m mainly inspired to learn because I really really really want to be able to talk with people (obvious). Specifically about food. Many of the street vendors here I’ve been visiting for years and we have a very…

Chicken Soup Extreme

I love this dish and it’s a soup that will definitely go on a future menu. It’s full of chicken bits, including shredded white meat, bits of bone with crunchy cartilage, blood cake and braised feet. It may sound a bit extreme, but it’s probably the kind of soup a chicken would hope to end…

Kuala Lumpur, An Exercise in Eating

I was sitting in my hotel room two weeks ago hovering the mouse arrow over the buy button at the bottom of AirAsia’s promotion flight to Kuala Lumpur. I needed to do a visa run, but the most important part of the crossing the border part was which country I would renew my papers in….

A Sweet That Wasn’t so Sweet

If I don’t know what it is, I want to try it. I don’t want to proverbial “chew on it” or think about what it might taste like. No, I want to savor it, munch it, understand the texture, what spices are in it, and how it most likely was made. It should be in…