Category Archives: Thai

Good Everything – restaurant review

cute silverware holder

Since Udon Thani is the biggest Thai city close to Vientiane, we find ourselves there pretty often. Sometimes we go to Udon for its airport and sometimes for it’s hospital. Whenever we’re there, we love to eat at Good Everything. It’s a cute little restaurant across the street from Nong Prajak Park where everything really is good (everything we’ve tried at least). The atmosphere is airy, fresh, quiet, and quaint. It reminds me of an old flower shop and it’s surrounded by a small, carefully maintained garden.

The menu includes both Thai and foreign dishes. It can be hard to find good western food in Southeast Asia. Sometimes it’s too bland, too ketchup-y, or not very healthy. I don’t know how, but Good Everything has figured out what western food should actually taste like!

The last time we ate there, I got the corn cream soup and a mango shake:

corn cream soup with garlic bread

Mango Shake - so pretty!

James ordered a Vietnamese style wrap set (sorry for the out of focus lettuce):

In the past we’ve had the salad nicoise, bread basket with spreads (one of our favorites), Thai latna, and many of the fruit drinks. All the fruit drinks are presently beautifully and made of real fruit. They also have a good selection of teas and desserts.

Iced Hibiscus Tea – Agua de Flor de Jamaica

I first encountered this drink in the Yucatan province of Mexico. It was called “Jamaica” and I loved how refreshing it was on a hot day. It was available at almost every restaurant and I drank it at every chance. Although it’s a tea, it tastes more like a juice. Jamaica is pronounced “Ha-mike-ah”  and the name of the drink comes from the Spanish word for hibiscus, Flor de Jamaica (flower of Jamaica).

I was so excited come across this drink again in Laos. We were eating lunch at the Vang Vieng Organic Farm and they served us some of this juice. Since then, we’ve discovered that one of James’ co-workers grows this flower on her small farm. So now we have access to an unlimited supply! The Lao name for this drink is “nam som podee” – which means “sour juice, just right”. Some people also call it “nam krajiab” which is the Thai name. Continue reading

Tempura Fried Okra

Once again, we’re growing okra and it’s doing really well. We have 15 plants and have harvested from 10 of them so far. We mostly eat okra in soups, with beans, and fried. It can also be used in Indian curries and is called “bindi” in many Indian recipes. If you live in our city and want okra, we probably have some to share with you!

I used to think that the only way to fry okra was the traditional cornmeal method commonly used in the South. That is a great way to do it, but I haven’t been able to get cornmeal lately, so I’m using tempura flour which is available for less than 50 cents at the mini-mart. I’m sure you can get tempura flour in the US too. Continue reading

Indonesian Pumpkin Curry

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Pumpkin is a common vegetable here, so I’ve learned how to make a variety of things with it. Actually not much variety – mostly soups that are a lot like this. Most of the time I use a packaged Thai curry paste instead of making a spice paste myself, but this recipe includes directions for an Indonesian style of spice paste. Thai and Indonesian foods have some similar flavors and both ways of making the soup taste delicious. Continue reading

Wasabi Seaweed Chips

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These are my new favorite snack. Actually I love many kinds of dried seaweed, especially the Korean kind that comes in sheets and is a little salty. This kind is made in Thailand though. As far as I can tell, seaweed is not traditional Thai or Lao food. It’s more common in Korea and Japan, but aparentally Thai people are starting to like it too.

Here’s a weird picture from the back of the package:

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I think the meaning is “All the cool skinny girls eat seaweed chips. Fat ladies who eat potato chips feel left out.” Nevermind the fact that this bag of seaweed chips contains 27 grams of fat! Really though, it’s a lot of seaweed and I’d never want to eat the whole bag in one sitting anyway.

Pad Thai

I’ve tried making similar Thai noodle dishes a few times, and this is definitely the best.  The shape of the noodles is not very important, thin or thick ones are fine, just make sure they’re made of rice or bean starch.  The spiciness can also be adjusted by adding more curry paste or peppers.  I made this recipe rather mild so that most Americans can eat it!  Thai food can be really spicy.  In Laos, we have Thai ramen noodles and I can’t eat them if I add more than half of the flavor packet.  I had the same problem when I got Thai curry soups in Thailand, but that problem can be solved by mixing it with a lot of rice.  It’s important to add the lime juice at the end because if you add it too early, some of the flavor will cook off. Continue reading

Thai Eggplant Curry

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This is not an authentically Thai dish because Thai people would probably use chicken or pork in something like this and it would be more like a soup. It still tastes very Thai. The coconut milk and red curry paste really make this delicious. Thai curries and Indian curries taste very different, so it’s strange that their both “curries”. I guess the reason is that they both use mixes of spices sometimes called curries. Anyway, don’t try using a yellow curry powder instead of the red curry paste, it’s completely different! (I hope I’m not insulting your intelligence) You can find the red curry paste in a small jar in the Asian foods section of most grocery stores. It’s often from Thai Kitchen. We peeled the eggplant because the skin was tough, but maybe your eggplant won’t need peeling. Continue reading