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Posts Tagged ‘pork’

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.

Hmong Sausage Vendor (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Hmong Sausage Vendor

Hmong Sausage Vendor

Hmong woman grilling sausage

This is a photo of a Hmong woman grilling sour sausage (a subject dear to my heart!) at a Hmong New Year’s celebration in 2003 in a village north of Chiang Mai.

The other day I was musing on the rise of digital cameras leading to the nearly total eclipse of film cameras and waxing a bit nostalgic. As recently as 2003 Kasma and I were still shooting slides and spending several hundred dollars a year on slide film, developing and printing pictures. Now we’re 100% digital. Some days I fantasize about digitizing at least some of the approximately 20,000 slides we have. One of these days. Perhaps.

This picture is posted here In honor of those days gone past, The camera was a Nikon N80, long may it rest in peace!

Here’s another Sausage Vendor (in Ayuthaya).


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

Pork For Sale (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Entrance to Pork Butchers

Krabi Market Pork for Sale

Entrance to pork butchers

Pork Butcher Entrance Door

Pork butcher entrance door

One constant among Asians seems to be an inordinate fondness for pork. At the
Krabi Morning Market both pork and beef are sold in a separate building (from the produce, seafood and prepared foods) with these signs to make sure you know which area you are walking into.

Previous Wednesday photos with pork include:


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

Stir-fried Pork with Holy Basil (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Basil Pork

Stir-fried Pork with Holy Basil

Stir-fried Pork with Holy Basil

I’ve borrowed one of Kasma’s photos for this Wednesday’s photo. It shows one of my favorite Thai dishes – Basil Pork (Moo Pad Gkaprao). It’s one of the earliest dishes I learned to cook by myself without a recipe, using Kasma’s Spicy Basil Chicken Recipe (Gkai Pad Gkaprao).

It’s actually the very first Thai dish I tried to cook by myself after watching Kasma cook it during class. She made it look so easy that I approached the dish with confidence. Then things started sizzling and I realized it was happening a LOT faster than I thought!

Almost anything can be made stir-fried with basil (pad gkaprao). Kasma’s recipe calls for chicken but you can do a straight substitution with pork. You can also adapt it for beef, shrimp, squid, lamb, fish of any kind or anything else you can think of. One of my favorite adaptation uses salmon – I cut the salmon into bite-sized pieces and add it later on in the recipe so that it will still be pink in the middle. When I use salmon I prefer to use Thai basil rather than holy basil – Thai basil tastes a better to me with salmon. If you can’t find the holy basil you can always substitute Thai basil with any of the variations, though I think pork tastes much better with holy basil.

This picture, taken in a restaurant on the way from Mae Hong Son to Pai, shows the dish served with a fried egg; this is fairly common in Thailand.

Basil anything is a common one-dish meal served over rice. A perfect lunch.


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

Roasted Pork (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Roast Pork For Sale

Roasted Pork at Aw Taw Kaw market

Roasted Pork at Aw Taw Kaw market

In nearly every market in Thailand you’ll find a display of roast pig for sale such as this one, photographed at Or Tor Kor (or Aw Taw Kaw) Market in Bangkok – It invariably has the skin on, crispy from the roasting; next to the skin is a good sized layer of fat before you get to the meat underneath. It’s sold by weight. If you get the smaller, bite-sized pieces (such as in the lower center), it’s placed in a plastic bag and you’re given a sharp, long skewer to use to stab a piece  and also a smaller plastic bag of chilli-dipping sauce.

Thai people, like most Asians, love pork. 

Or Tor Kor (Aw Taw Kaw) Market in Bangkok (near Chatuchak Market) is a fabulous market, well worth a visit (don’t eat beforehand). You can read our previous blog entry on Pad Thai at Aw Taw Kaw (Or Tor Kor) market.

This photo continues with last week’s pork theme.


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

Happy Pork (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Thai Supermarket Pork

Happy Pork in Supermarket

Happy Pork in Supermarket

I took this picture this last year in Thailand at a supermarket in Seri Center in Bangkok. There are too many malls in Bangkok to count: Seri Center (now called Paradise Park) is one of them. They seem very popular amongst Thai people – I think that they enjoy going there because they are air-conditioned.

The only place in Thailand that I’ve really seen the equivalent of an American supermarket is in a mall: they all seem to have one on the very bottom floor. They are as appalling as the American equivalent, with aisle after aisle of non-food, things such as soft-drinks and packaged foods. Most of them do, however, have very appetizing looking fresh food and often very good, fresh fish.

I took this picture because of the sign on the package “Our pork is happy.” I found it interesting that the healthy food movement, natural meat without antibiotics, has found its way to Thailand. There were also organic eggs at this market.


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