2012 began on a slightly unusual note for me: the New Year marked my virgin attempt in cooking for Mr. P’s family in Udon Thani. My mum-in-law has heard about my new-found interest in the kitchen—Mr. P was always telling her of our homemade concoctions—so she requested to taste my cooking. Cooking a Chinese dish was a much safer option as the folks would not have any basis for comparison, as opposed to, say, som tam. I decided on bak kut teh because its thick, peppery broth is most likely to satiate Thais’ strong flavours-inclined palates.
I’ve been eyeing Chef McDang‘s The Principles of Thai Cookery for the past few months and I’m glad I finally purchased a copy after much procrastination. Each time I visit an Asia Books store, I can’t help but pick this book off the shelf and flip a few pages to peek at the content inside. While a certain Michelin-star farang chef has produced an even thicker, heavier—and more expensive—tome on Thai cooking, but somehow I gravitated toward Chef McDang’s version. After all, he’s a celebrity chef who was raised in a Thai household—the palatial kitchen to be exact as he’s a descendent of the Thai royal family. Plus his father is also an esteemed chef and gourmand.