Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I've been learning about Thai cooking, because when I go to Thailand, I don't want anyone cooking for me. I like flavour, but not too much heat, so I'm planning to cook for myself over there and I know nothing about Thai food. I'll be standing there in the market, not knowing what's in front of me. So I looked online and, after a successful and delicious foray into Satay chicken with peanut sauce the other night, I was ready to try something new. The recipe baffled me. What is "galanga"? What is "lemongrass"? And what are "Thai birds"? I looked all over town yesterday and could locate none of these things. Finally decided to cast the net a little wider and discovered Amy's Asian Foods & Cafe, on 13th Avenue, in Campbell River. I phoned her and was assured that she had all these mystery ingredients, and more, so I couldn't wait and headed out there this morning. What an experience! I learned more about Thai cooking in five minutes than in all my Internet searching to date. As it turns out, galanga is a rhizome, sort of similar to ginger, lemongrass is a sort of citrus tasting grass that is used as a herb, and Thai birds are little dried chilis. I came home with the right stuff for my next creation, and much more. Tomorrow I will make Thai Chicken and Coconut Milk Soup (Tom Ka Gai). I am way too tired to start cooking now but very happy to have found a good place to buy ingredients.
On the way out of town, I stopped in at Sushi Mong on Shopper's Row to try one of the lunch specials and had an absolutely amazing meal. Miso soup to start, teriyaki chicken, tempura vegetables, salad, an orange, and three kinds of nigiri - tuna, salmon and shrimp. All for $12.95 - which meant that the budget also allowed for hot sake and mango ice cream. That is an absolutely unbeatable price. Nice atmosphere and excellent service too.
I have always liked Campbell River, and it seems like every time an errand takes me there, I find reason to like it more. If you Campbell River guys haven't been to Amy's or Sushi Mong, do yourself a favour and check them out. You'd be surprised how delicious this food is, even if some of it sounds yucky :D
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