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Archive for the ‘Wednesday Photo’ Category

Three Karen Ladies (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Three Karen Ladies in Mae Hong Son

Karen Ladies

Karen ladies

This three ladies work at the resort where Kasma has her tours stay each year in Mae Hong Son. Nothing like a friendly smile to make you feel welcome! The Karen (pronounced “Gu-rian”) are one of the hilltribes found in Thailand.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Hmong Children (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Hmong Children

Hmong Children

Hmong children

Here’s a photo of three appealing Hmong children taken during a recent trip by Kasma at a village on the way from Mae Hong Son to Bahn Rak Thai in the north of Thailand. We seem to be doing lots of pictures of Thai people latel.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Hmong Vendors (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Hmong Vendor in Hua Hin

Hmong Vendor

Hmong vendor and child

This is a picture of young Hmong woman and her baby taken on the main highway in Hua Hin, on the way down south.

In looking over all my Wednesday photos I realize I’ve sadly neglected pictures of what is really my favorite part of Thailand – the Thai people. There is a reason that Thailand is sometimes called “The Land of Smiles.” Often, while going through a market or even just on the street, from out of nowhere your own smile is often mirrored back in a Thai smile that makes your day.

Since Hmong villages are pretty much exclusively in the north, this woman is a transplant out of economic necessity: she has come here to set up a stall and sell goods to tourists. It’s a fairly common Thai story, not just for the Hmong but also for uncounted Thais from northeast Thailand (Isaan): having to leave the safe confines of village and home in order to survive. Nonetheless, what a beautiful smile!


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Temple Detail (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Chiang Mai Temple Detail

Temple Detail

Temple detail

This is a photo of an intricate decoration on a temple in Chiang Mai.

I enjoy the temples of Thailand. From a distance they are often quite gaudy as the outer walls are often covered with ceramic tiles and gold leaf. Whenever I visit a temple I like to pay close attention to what is on the walls. I like this intricate little beast on the outside of a temple in Chiang Mai.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Fermented Tofu and Pork (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Stir-fried Fermented Tofu and Pork Belly

Fermented Tofu Dish

Fermented Tofu and Pork

One of my very favorite Thai dishes, probably in the top 5, is Stir-fried Fermented Tofu and Pork Belly. I first ate it at our beloved Ruen Mai Restaurant in Krabi, Thailand. Kasma calls her version, pictured above, Stir-Fried Pork Belly with Fermented Tofu Sauce and Thai Chillies (Moo Sahm Chan Pad Dtow Hoo Yee). Ruen Mai calls it Pad Mu Tao Hu Yi and describes it as “fried pork with fermented bean curd and some garlic.”

The brine from the red fermented tofu adds a wonderful sourness that contrasts and blends with the generous addition of garlic and chillies. We love to make it with pork belly (the cut used to make bacon) for the delightful combination of pork meat and fat.

I know of no place in the U.S. other than Kasma’s kitchen where you can get this dish! (Although there may be a restaurant somewhere in the U.S. that serves it.)

You can also check out Ruen Mai’s version of this dish.

We are not big fans of soy, in general. Traditionally, it was only eaten in its fermented form, for the fermentation helps to ameliorate some of soy’s problems (such as high levels of phytic acid, which interfere with mineral absorption, and its anti-thyroid properties).

If you think non-fermented soy is a healthy food, you might want to read a summary of the dangers of soy and follow some of the links below the summary. Here are three good places to start.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Thai Muslim Goat Curry (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Goat Curry in Thailand

Goat Curry

Thai Muslim Goat Curry

Goat curry might not necessarily come to mind when you think of Thai food.

Although Thailand is said to be anywhere from 90% to 95% Buddhist, there is also a substantial Muslim population, particularly in the southernmost provinces. Goat is a popular meat among Muslims, although it is hard to find in restaurants in Thailand – it is mostly consumed at home. One year we purchased a goat from the wife of our boat driver in Krabi and had her cook us some goat meals. One of the dishes she made was a goat curry, similar to this one.

The only place in America where I’ve had many delicious Thai dishes such as this one is in my own home. I love when Kasma is developing new recipes for her Advanced classes (she has 8 evening series and 4 weeklong Advanced classes) because it means I’ll get to eat Thai food such as is available only in Thailand and at home. Many of Kasma’s student begin taking classes after a trip to Thailand when they find out that the only way to get the mouth-watering Thai flavors they experienced in Thailand is to learn how to cook the dishes themselves. Unfortunately, the only way to learn to cook some of these dishes is to work your way through to the Advanced series where it is taught.

I love the Thai word for goat: it is paeh, very much the sound that a goat makes when it bleats.

I thought this month to post a number of pictures from Kasma’s Advanced Thai cooking classes, such as the Thai Fruit Salad from last week.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.