Portsmouth

You don’t find spring roll pastry in Sainsbury’s let alone green papaya for Som Tam. The same goes for M & S and this says a lot about the retail market in the UK.

No problem if you are looking for ready made and frozen meals.

Imported Thai food products Portsmouth, Hampshire the south of England

But if it is going to be home cooked you need to know where to look. In Portsmouth, if it’s Thai you are after, you want to find the Thai & Asian Food Mart. Around the corner from the Fratton station. Besides green papaya they stock almost everything you might need. Although I am not sure whether they have the spring roll pastry.

Thai cooking ingredients Portsmouth, Hampshire the south coast of England

Scratching through the fridge crammed full of fresh ingredients I found small trays of Sadtaw. A bitter young bean like seed which blends perfectly with into a hot Thai curry. Which when bought in a village market, come in a long, flat and wavy, over-sized, bright green seedpod which are usually bound together with a rubber band.

Fresh Thai vegetables in Portsmouth, Hampshire the south east of England

Pak bung, wild morning glory water spinach and cha-om which is a ferny young leaf shoot. A well-loved herby vegetable that is cunningly secreted into Thai omelettes to hide those spikey bits which you get even in the tender tips. Not to forget to mention the short stocky Thai bananas which I think are called gluay nam wa.

Fresh Thai fruit in Portsmouth Hampshire the south coast of England

But with fifty odd different varieties of banana in Thailand you can never be sure which is which. But if it is Thai there is a good chance you can find it. Jasmine rice, sticky rice, black rice, rice noodle sticks in the three prescribed sizes. Oyster sauce, mushroom soya sauce and fish sauce. Bottles of all sorts, tins of coconut milk, jars of palm sugar and packets of dried chilli.

They even stock Birdy iced coffee in cans, bottles Oishi teas and the notorious Mama instant noodles.

Street food in Bristol

It is impossible to define what is and what is not authentic Thai street food. It’s not about recipes, what is right what is wrong.

It is about  people, what they enjoy, about everything that goes into the preparation and presentation of the food we call Thai street food.

At the age of five, Tippy’s mother Niang was helping her mother cook food for sale at the market in Surin. Lifeskills and experience she bought with her when she opened her first market in Glouster. Skills passed down to Tippy and in turn to her sisters.

Authentic Thai food in Bristol

Preparing food they sell at the street markets throughout Bristol. ThaiFridays.co.uk

 

Bangkok Breakfast

Breakfast in Bangkok

You have to look hard for a high cholestrol greasy English breakfast in Bangkok. Most of the quaintly chic Thai coffee shops don’t understand a pre-cooked perfectly formed fried egg on a croissant does not pass as breakfast. ¬†And when you do find what you are looking for it’s pricey, very pricey.