Thailand fruits are as fascinating and delicious as the country’s famous cuisine. A mix of the familiar and exotic, here are some of the many fruits you need to try as well as some of the delectable sweets usually made from them.
This is a fruit that is not easy to like. Many people can’t get past the strong and cloying smell. You can’t even hand-carry it with you on the plane. Some hotels don’t even allow it on their premises. But aroma aside, the fruit is actually quite good. Rich and creamy with a soft texture, durian is a tasty treat on its own. Some of the best Thai desserts and sweets made with the fruit are the khao neow toorien (durian coconut milk soup with sticky rice) and toorien guan (durian paste).
Mangoes are one of the most popular fruits in Thailand. Ripe mangoes are usually enjoyed fresh or as ingredients in treats like khao neow ma muang (sweet sticky rice with mango), mamuang guan (dried mango roll-ups). Some people also eat it unripe or half-ripe by dipping it in sugar.
Somewhat similar to lychee, longan is a round-shape fruit with a sweet flavor often grown in the northern area of the country. You can enjoy the fruit by removing the shell and eating what’s inside. Dried longans are likewise a popular snack in the country.
Ripe papaya is sweet and tasty. Just remove the seeds and you can scoop it up with a spoon. You can enjoy it dried. The unripe fruit can also be made into one of the famous Thai dishes. Som tum or green papaya salad is a dish made with shredded unripe papaya and flavored with chilies, dried shrimp, nuts, and drizzled with lemon juice.
Home cooking is not something that everyone finds easy to do. For some, preparing food from scratch can be quite a challenge. Not having enough time to cook a hearty meal, however, does not mean you cannot enjoy a tasty home cooked meal. Here’s a delicious baked chicken dish that is simple and easy to prepare that you can make as often as you want.
Today’s lunch was baked chicken with only three ingredients, two of which I already have in the kitchen. A quick trip to the nearest grocery and I got the last missing piece(s) – the boneless, skinless chicken.
I deviated a bit from the original recipe by using the following:
- About 1/2 a kilo of the chicken breast
- 3/4 cup of Italian dressing
- About 1/3 cup of brown sugar
I also covered the baking pan with aluminum foil for most part of the 60-minute baking time so my chicken looked paler than the photo in the original recipe. I baked the chicken without the foil cover for 12 minutes to darken the sauce. The sugar did not caramelize but I’m happy with how it turned out. Delicious, filling, and simple to make. I love how easy it was to prepare.
Here’s the full, original recipe:
- About 3 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken
- 1 ( .7 ounce) packet of Italian dressing mix
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12 inch x 9 inch pan and set aside, and/or it may be preferable to line your dish with aluminum foil as the sugar tends to caramelize while baking.
Rinse chicken, pat dry with paper towels.
Combine and the dried Italian seasoning mix and the brown sugar, mixing together well.
Dip and press the chicken pieces into the mixture, coating front and back and place into your prepared pan, topside of the chicken facing up. Any extra coating that remains can just be sprinkled over the chicken.
Cook for 50-60 minutes or until chicken is done turning every 15 min and basting each time with the drippings with the final turn leaving the topside facing up for the last bit of baking.