October 18, 2014
A Food Menu from Thailand
After my previous blog titled ‘Blood and Guts’, which received a warm, if a little squeamish response, I thought I would add a menu of other strange foods found in the Kingdom of Thailand.
Some of these dishes are not traditional Thai food but due to the hereditary ties with China, its direct neighbours and later the ties with the rest of Asia these dishes can now be found throughout the Kingdom
Most of us are aware that the Chinese, Japanese and the Koreans, are known for their belief in the use of animal parts in Traditional Medicine. Including the use of powdered bear claws and rhinoceros horn as an aphrodisiac, what you may not be aware, is that here in Kingdom the same aphrodisiacal qualities, are also believed to be present in the dangly bits of the following male animals, ox, donkey, dog, sheep, yak, goat, deer, seal, cow and dear old Skippy. The most common eaten in Thailand is Ox Penis, (along with its testicles), served as Kao Lao (a soup with the strong taste and smell of star anise and cinnamon), or served stewed with noodles, Chinese herbs and presented in a terracotta pot.
If that wasn’t enough to wet your appetite then why not try a bowl of pig brains, the most famous is known in Thailand as Samong Moo Thai Tham, this clear peppery broth contains other interesting bits and pieces, such as, pig entrails, deep-fried fish skin, Chinese sausages and deep-fried taro balls, all floating in a rich clear consommé.
I have no idea if the combination of this and the above will make you horny and clever buy hey it’s worth trying, plus it scores high on bragging rights.
Cod Sperm Kubpo Hanako
Yep we’re back to sex…..fish sperm in this case or Milt (“white children” in Japanese), While this is more of a Japanese delicacy and only available in December, (Milt is also eaten in Russian, Sicilian and Romanian cuisine), in reality these “white children” are there more to give the dish a certain texture and novelty factor rather than taste, which it lacks on its own.
The white scrambled blob looks gross at first glance, but if you can forget for a second what you are about to eat, you’re in for a treat, for once it’s cooked with the citrus flavoured ponzu sauce, the texture of the whole dish becomes creamy and custard-like resembling shark fin or fugu, (puffer fish) soup.
Raw Octopus Sannakji
Raw octopus (or squid) is a Korean delicacy and is found in a number of the Korean restaurants in Bangkok and Pattaya.
There are two variations to this strange dish, both of which are usually lightly seasoned with sesame and sesame oil and are served with cut root vegetables and a chilli dip.
There are two ways to eat hapless creature
One option is to take a live octopus and slice it up, although it’s technically dead no one seems to have told the creature as it continues to writhe around on the plate. The second option involves a real live un-cut baby octopus, you get the same result with either alternative, once you place parts or the whole animal into your mouth, you can immediately feel the suction from its cups on your tongue, teeth and the roof of your mouth, there is nothing else to do but to chew on it, with the hope that you have knocked what little life it at had left in it before you swallow.
It is then that you find the octopus has the last laugh, as it attaches itself to the back of your throat and you resort to trying to dislodge it with large amounts of beer or Soju. Hooray for the octopus.
Not something that falls within the scope of some of the foods mentioned here but I thought it was worth adding, the Banana Blossom also known as the banana flower or heart. This is the bud, if you like of the banana, so you can imagine its actual size, it is from this reddish coloured blossom, that the fruit will form.
It is really liked by the Thai’s who will forgo the bananas themselves when they cut the blossom from the tree, before the bud can actually produce the bananas. You eat the inner white leaves and not the still forming bananas that are housed within. It can be eaten raw or cooked with all manner of herbs and spices, for me cooked it just tastes like eating raw banana peel and raw it is even worse as it has an unpleasant astringent bite, an acquired taste to say the least.
Black Ivory coffee
To wash down this smorgasbord of tasty delights why not try a cup of Black Ivory coffee.
Recently Black Ivory Coffee became one of the world’s most expensive brews, at approx… $1,100 per kilogram. Not to be bettered by the Kopi Luwak (or Civet Coffee), the Thai’s have their own ground dwelling and much bigger alternative to the Asian Palm Civet, in the guise of rescued elephants. Both animals naturally refine the coffee cherries (which will ultimately become coffee beans) as they pass through their digestive systems, sometime later these cherries are retrieved from the animal’s droppings. The final result is a smooth taste with just the hint of Dumbo thrown in.
Thai Whiskey with Bite (or a sting)
If you are in need of something stronger to settle your stomach after reading this then why not try a shot of snake whiskey or better still spider whiskey a frightening selection can be found within the country and if the idea has tickled your taste buds take a look at some more ideas and why not stock up for Christmas?
This is not a complete list of weird food and drinks that can be found in the Kingdom of Thailand, but if this selection has tickled your taste buds then watch out for more ideas on strange Thai Dishes to be posted here.
If you have your own favourite then please do share them.
For more tasty morsels to be found in the Kingdom click on any of our posts below
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