Sawaddee July!

Food For Thought...

A question I get quite often from HTK fans is: “Pai, I had [this Thai dish] at [this Thai restaurant], and it was delicious, do you have a recipe for it?" Sometimes I can say, "Yes! Here it is!" and both you and I walk away happy. But other times, my answer is, "Sorry, I don't actually know what that dish is...[insert awkward, guilty silence here]." 

I'm bringing it up in this newsletter because it highlights an important point about Thai cooking.

Typically, when I am asked this type of question, the person has already done some Googling on it, but with no good results. So then, the question comes to me. So why is it that sometimes I can't do any better than Google?

Implicit in this question is the assumption that because the dish is being served in “an authentic Thai restaurant," perhaps even in Thailand, it would be an existing, traditional dish that most Thai people would know about—a dish with a name, a dish I would see a photo of and go, "oh yes, I know what that is." 

But in fact, most Thai restaurants, either in or outside of Thailand, don't serve only traditional dishes. They also add their own unique creations on the menu (like I do in some of my videos).

Having said that, your dish might also be an existing, traditional dish that I simply don't know about! Thai cuisine is SOOOO vast with countless variations and region-specific dishes, that I haven't even come close to knowing them all.

So the important point I was referring to is that Thai cuisine isn't a finite collection of traditional dishes, but an ever-evolving cuisine with new dishes and techniques being created everyday by people like you and me, and every traditional recipe of today was once new and different.

And what I really was trying to tell you is that you do have the creative license to try out new things in the kitchen, just like all those Thai restaurants out there. And when you do, don't forget to share your results with me!

Happy Cooking!



News & Updates

• Gavin Price, the winner of the HTK Cookbook Contest has received his custom made apron, and below is a photo he kindly sent of the apron in action after making the delicious Pad Prik King! Thank you everyone again who has purchased my book, I hope you are enjoying it and don't forget to let me know what you think!

• Cooking Demo at Surrey Fusion Festival: I will be doing a live cooking demo at Surrey Fusion Festival on July 24th, if you're in the area, come say hello!


Hot Thai Kitchen Videos

(Uploaded on Fridays)

mango ice cream in a blender

Mango Ice Cream in a Blender!

A ridiculously simple ice cream recipe that is also ridiculously delicious! This mango ice cream is done in a blitz (literally!) 

laab gai

Laab Gai - Northeastern Chicken Salad 

This famous dish is iconic of northeastern Thai cuisine, and it's probably the healthiest chicken salad I've ever seen!

coconut agar agar

Coconut Agar Jelly Duo

This is the traditional recipe that inspired my wildly popular Mango Coconut Jelly! The two layers represent two different life stages of the coconut: coconut water from a young coconut, and coconut milk from a mature one.

Green papaya salad

Green Papaya Salad(som tum)

Here is a new and improved recipe for the famous northeastern Thai salad! This time around, I provide you with lots of tricks, tips, and explanations to make sure you can really master this classic, delicious salad. 


Pai's Kitchen Videos

Pai's Kitchen is my second show where I share with you delicious recipes that are outside of Thai cuisine. Don't forget to send me recipe requests: Asian food, Western food, baking recipes...anything you like!

crispy chicken skin

Crispy Chicken Skin!

"The distillation of all that is good about chicken" is how my brother described this crispy chicken skin. Let's face it, the skin is the best part about eating chicken, especially if it's crispy, AND can be done in just a few minutes!

Easy pasta recipe

Garlicky Tomatoey Weeknight Pasta

This is the perfect dish for a busy wednesday night! I was craving some tomatoey pasta, but I didn't have time for a slow-simmering pot of tomato sauce, so I whipped out my wok and put this together! Lo and behold, it turned out absolutely delicious!


Throwback: A good ol' video to watch in July

Courageous Kitchen

Courageous Kitchen!

June 20th was World Refugee Day, a good day to rewatch this fantastic food-centric charity program that helps support and educate urban refugees in Bangkok.


Interesting stuff you might enjoy...


• "50 Drool-Worthy Reasons to Travel to Bangkok." I love this list because it goes beyond basic Thai street food, which most other lists focus on. This article really captures what kind of food the Bangkokians are into right now, Thai or otherwise, including Korean dessert bars and high-end Indian restaurants. 

• Your chicken is bloody, and that's okay to eat. This is something I've been preaching for a while, and I struggled with it with pink-chicken-phobic customers when I worked in the restaurant industry. Finally here's a good article that really talks about the issue in an easily understandable way. 

• Salad Cake. That's right, it's a salad....made into a cake, take a look at how this cafe in Japan is serving up these gorgeous veggie creations!


June Fan Photos!

Thank you to everyone who sent me pictures, please keep them coming, I really enjoy receiving them! They are absolutely beautiful and only wish I could've included all the photos! Let me know if you're intrigued by any of the pictures and want to know which recipes they are.

Photo Credits: 

Albert B, Ann S, David D, Duncan C, @whollyvegan, @xbaokie, @plantbasedartist, @homemade.soul, @wayne_simbo, @moflunder, @lwin_mar_kyaw, @buivandung, Mark S, Mieke B, Oliver C, Reginald S, Richard L, Uwe L.