Posted: October 29, 2009
The first thing I do when visit a new country in Asia is look for the best local wet market. It’s usually colorful and full of activities. I particular love the astounding freshness and good-looking ingredients. This is the place where locals shop for fresh fish, gruesomely anatomical arts of meat as well as catch up with what’s going in the neighborhood. Obviously a wet market is wet.
The floor is wet and dirty because the merchants are constantly hosing down their seafood, spraying their fruits and vegetables to keep them fresh or washing the blood off their knives after killing a chicken or hacking open a pork carcass. You just have to watch your step. There could be an escaped green frog hopping on the floor or a flapping fish that’s flipped out of its basket. Despite the screaming fish seller, the slippery floors and the wall-to-wall people the wet market is really a place of beauty.
So, I took our Thai Chef, Vira down to The Samyan Market near the hotel last week, just to look for something new and different. And amazingly we found a species of river fish none of us have ever seen before (picture). I found out later, it is a river fish called Soldier Croaker. Vira steamed the Soldier Croaker with spicy curry sauce with fresh kaffir lime leaves and rice paddy herbs (attached picture). The tastes of fish curry and rice paddy herbs were so fragrant that it sent my taste buds into overdrive!
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