Seemingly Stuck

Thailand sees it's fair share of Tourists year in and year out and over on the backpacker isle of Koh Lipe they have a nice little system working. The island is quite petite so there is absolutely no chance of scooting off to a spot where no 'farang' has ventured before. Beachfront restaurants along with smaller shacks sell basic Thai dishes for travelers at 2-3 times the mainland price. Their reasoning is that 'it's an island' but please it's not the Pitcairns [pop. 50]- we're 20 miles off the coast. Shipping can't be that expensive. It seems like every spot sells everything for the same price- be it sunscreen ($12 a bottle anyone?), fried chicken or mineral water. Almost like they have an island-wide union set up and selling below the going rate will get a bone or two broken by this guy.

I've come to accept paying more in tourist areas, but I'm not thrilled about paying these prices when the food is average and choices are limited. pad thai, papaya salad, sticky rice, banana pancake, pad thai, papaya salad...Needless to say I felt suffocated.

One sunny morning I asked the massage ladies next to our lovely cabanas [above] what it is they eat. They told me they cook their meals. Not surprising. Right then and there I knew I wanted to eat that- whatever it was. Three of us pooled together some cash and the ladies went off to the market to cook up a hearty spread of Thai dishes.

A few kilos of fresh Tuna fresh got stuffed with Pandan Leaves and grilled over a few spare 2x4's they found on the beach. Probably from the restaurant being built next door.

Water Spinach to Asia is like Bert to Ernie.

The ladies hard at work. In the States they have these ratings where to most folks 'C' translates to stay the hell away and opt for Jack-in-the-Box instead. Soooo this is probably a 'Q' rating if you wanna get specific about it. But I don't. So lets not.

Wok-Toasting sticky rice for Lap Muu- a spicy ground pork mixture with lime, herbs and shallots. A Laos / Isan [North-East Thailand: homeland of the massage ladies] specialty. Stuff looks and tastes better when the wok is involved.

Limes, shallots, scallions and cilantro. Four big-time Thai players.

Lap Muu. In all it's glory. Actually doesn't look that glorious but the taste was top-notch.

They fry until golden and crispy, even if it means you're taking in loads of oil with it. The way I look at it is that's just extra flavor for the high life.

A tart sauce of tamarind, chilis, sugar and fish sauce is spooned over the fried tuna to create 'pla sam lot'. 3 flavored fish. Works perfectly.

The final spread also included Pad Siew [fried noodles with soy], Pork Satay [skewers] and Sticky rice to go with the fish, Lap Muu and water spinach. Then we sipped vodka and counted the stars. Lots of 'em. The banana pancake was not invited.

Stay Relentless.


Mai said...

The fried fish looks glorious!

Jodi (legalnomads) said...

Hey there. Not sure if you remember me, but you ate at The Alternative in El Nido (and I believe you weren't a big fan!) when I was working there for a month or two. I've been following your blog since & just wanted to pop in and say hi. Am heading back to Thailand in a few weeks time - where to next for you? -Jodi

A. Rizzi said...

Yeah I remember you for sure! I peeped your blog a while back- love the pics and stories. Nice work. P.S. - That ' chef's special' dish in El Nido was one of the saltiest things I've ever put in my mouth!!! Inedible!!


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