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Sriracha – Much More Than a Condiment in Thailand

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(Gerry Furth-Sides) Flavorful, colorful, almost sculpted dishes are so meticulously researched and prepared that Lum-Ka-Naad deserves a “destination restaurant” designation for its own menu of regional dishes.

As one means of introducing Thai food to new people, Alex Amsombolee,  the activist owner of Lum-Ka-Naad Restaurant, created “A Hometown Sriracha, Thailand Dinner”.

The three-course menu dishes  are popular and well- known in the Eastern Seaboard region.  The area covers the provinces of Chachongsao, Cholburi, Rayong, Chantaburi, and Trat the Easternmost point of Thailand, which has a strong connection to Cambodia.

In fact, the rich Eastern Seaboard distinguishes itself from the rest of country.  Every Thai knows that.  The first is that it reflects the strong influence of the waters.P1040396The main reason is that the area boasts one of the highest capital income per person, with an abundance of agriculture and a longer (6-8 month) rainy season outside of the Southern peninsula. It is the perfect holiday trip, located only 300 kms away from Bangkok, and bordering the Gulf of Thailand.

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This region has its own uniqueness demographic diversity. The Eastern most provinces particularly Rayong, Chantaburi, and Trat has its own speaking dialect influenced by the neighboring countries, Lao and Cambodian, whose influences were bought into the area at different times during the last 300 years

P1040412The food from this area has evolved into a cuisine with many influences from historical migrations. It has plentiful ocean fisheries since it is on the coast.  It has an intense rainy season and so an abundance of tropical plants and fruits, like Mangosteen, and Durian, that thrive in a heavy rain force

Small Plates

Mieng Guoy Tiew Rice Noodle wrapped with the fillers

Jang Lon Grills Fish-cake stick in coconut power/Sriracha Spices

Hoy Jor Tofu Skin rolls stuffed with ground Shrimp/pork, and chestnut served with spicy Sriracha dipping sauce.

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Main Course Platter

Hormok Seafood medley marinated with East Curry

Steamed in banana leafe basket

Steamed crickets (Alex gift to me)

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Dessert

Durian Sticky Rice

Sticky Rice in Bamboo (a gift from Alex!)

 

Guests also visited Bangluck Market (District of Love in Thai translation). The market is named after the district in Bangkok, which is currently serves as Thailand’s financial district and the famous red-light district (!) in the capital city – Alex, of course, gets a big laugh out of this.   Alex also took the group to his own backyard herb garden to introduce them to the essential herbs and produces regularly used in Thai cooking.

For more information on LUM-KA-NAAD Restaurant in Northridge and Studio City, please see:
www.lumkanaad.com.

For more information on the Sriracha Cookbook by Randy Clemen, please see:  http://randyclemens.com/2010/06/sriracha-cookbook-january-2011/


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Author
Gerry Furth-Sides

Gerry Furth-Sides

Content Editor/Columnist

Photo-journalist Gerry Furth-Sides has been covering the ethnic and American culinary scene in California since it first came into prominence 25 years ago.