Friday, October 1, 2010

Country 1: Thailand

Well, first off, an explanation is in order. This month I decided to make different traditional dishes from a different country for dinner for one month. That decision may turn to out to be a very bad one, but we shall see what we shall I guess. Forward ho!
The first country on my list was Thailand. I chose a recipe I found on the interwebs for Thai Green Curry. This recipe had a rather massive list of ingredients, but I decided not to let that daunt me (stupid me). Among the ingredients were 'Kaffir Lime Leaves' and 'shrimp paste' and 'fish sauce'. That should have been my first clue.
I went to the biggest Asian market within a decent distance, and found the fish sauce and shrimp paste, but could find any of these so called "kaffir lime leaves". Oh well, I figured, I'll just substitute some lime zest and extra lime juice.
As I went to the check out at this Asian market, my second clue should have been when the Asian cashier gave me a look of half terror, half disbelief when she saw the shrimp paste. She asked me, "Have you ever used this stuff before?" "No..." I'm sure she was thinking "Oh boy, another white person who doesn't know what they are getting themselves into.." She then went on to describe to me just how awful this stuff smelled, and how long that smell lasted. I though, oh, how bad can it be, I'll only be using 1/2 tsp!
Well, she wasn't kidding. When I peeled of the outer plastic on that jar I could smell it before I even popped the lid. Then I bravely opened that shrimp paste up and as soon as a did I wanted to vomit and cry at the same time. I'm not sure I've ever smelled anything that vile. But I carried on none the less and continued to blend up my green curry paste. As I proceeded with making the recipe, the less and less I wanted to put any of it in my mouth. Erich made an appearance at this time, and I told him I was quite frankly terrified of the concoction I was brewing. He laughed and told me to be more adventurous. Then he disappeared again.
Well, it was nearly time to serve, and I dipped a finger into this "Thai Green Curry" to make sure the seasonings were right, and I decided right there and then that I was not partaking of the eating of that stuff. I'd just eat the rice I made to go along with it. I thought maybe Erich would still like it, he's got a slightly broader palate than I do. So I served him up a plate, and told him to try it at his own risk. Well, he did. A rather large bite, in fact. He promptly spat it right back out, after making a rather hideous face first, of course.
So, after throwing the remainder away (yes, it was that bad folks, I rarely throw any food away) we up and went to Dillons and had Chinese. So it was still ethnic food, right? :)
Oh yeah, I threw away that god-awful shrimp paste too. Whoever came up with that stuff had a very sick and twisted mind.
Here's hoping next country will be much, much more delicious!

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