Monthly Archives: December 2014

Tamarind pods, sweet and sour, and a sour soup with green papaya and salmon

Tamarind (or tamr hind “Indian date”–in other words, long cultivated throughout South Asia) is a key souring agent used in Southeast Asian cooking. I touched on this ingredient briefly in a prior post on Three essential Cambodian flavors. In that … Continue reading

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“Vietnamese mint” and a Northern Thai “soupy salad” with chicken

In most Southeast Asian markets in Philly (i.e. Cambodian, Vietnamese markets of North and South Philly, as well as the 3 large markets on Washington Ave) you can find the very tasty herb pictured below. It has a very unique … Continue reading

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Flowering garlic chives

Many Chinese vegetables available at the markets are sold in multiple forms and maturities. Vegetables that are going into flower are also appreciated and are usually labeled with an indication with a final word or character hua 花. Today’s item … Continue reading

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Deep-fried Thai snakeskin gourami

Snakeskin gourami found! I puzzled over this fish during a recent browse through the freezer section of my local Cambodian market. It was labeled “Marinated gourami”. I wasn’t sure if that meant it was fermented or what. I am pleased … Continue reading

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Green papaya and papaya salads

A regular meal at our house is green papaya salad, usually eaten together with roasted meats, lettuce, pork skin, and sticky rice. In Thai it is known as somtam (literally “pounded sour”).  In Isaan and Laos it is known as … Continue reading

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Ivy gourd leaves and a simple clear soup

In Southeast Asian cooking traditions of Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos, a wide variety of leaves, vines, and flowers are used for cooking that are little known for culinary purposes elsewhere.  Ivy gourd leaves are one such delicious variety of edible … Continue reading

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