Sunday, 10 March 2013

Shake it up

The Thai’s are spoilt for choice when it comes to fruit. All around you, whether it’s a market, a stall on the street or a vendor cruising around on a bike and side cart you can get the ripest seasonal fruit for next to nothing. From individual portions to bags full, options are endless. Just this morning I tucked into some delicious, sweet and juicy pineapple. The vendor I bought it from prepares it in such a unique and attractive way. Despite the unbelievable freshness of the fruit, it simply looks good too. He was an artist. Sculpting the fruit to make it beautiful only helps the taste.

Pineapple alone isn’t exciting even though it is the tastiest pineapple you’ll ever have. There’s something about the tropical environment of Thialand and SE Asia that transforms the fruit into sweeter and juicier than we’re used to. The variety is what makes fruit here so exciting. Fruit like 
  • Longon - a yellow ball about the size of a lychee and wikedly sweet
  • Sala - Remember Wicks bubblegum? Well this fruit tastes like it
  • Dragon fruit - The weirdest looking of the lot. A bright pink fruit that grows on a cactus and is pure white with thousands of tiny black pips. Slightly sweet and of the texture of kiwi fruit
  • Star fruit - Also unusal looking and with a juicy flesh with the texture of grapes  
  • Mangosteen - Sweet like a lychee with a dark purple shell 
  • Jack fruit - Stinky and known to grow up to 30kg in weight. Jack fruit has a less pungent smelling fruit with a crispy texture unless it's kept outside where it can go slightly rubbery
  • Rambutan - Red/pink in colour it's another lychee type fruit with small soft spikes
  • Yellow watermelon - Exactly the same as watermelon but yellow. I was so excited when I first saw this
  • Durian - A huge spiky fruit, often confused with jack fruit. It's known as the king of fruits and has a custard type pod inside. The flavour is rich and luxurious, it's definitely the most unusual fruit you'll ever have

Another thing about the Thai’s is that they’re industrious. They make use of everything. Almost nothing goes to waste. This has given them an ability to have more than one use for the fruit they have. They sculpt it, cook with it, add it to sauces, make juice and other drinks, feed their animals all with fruit.

One of my favourite uses of fruit is juicing. Here’s a fool proof Thai shake recipe that, if made at home, will be exactly as good as one you’ll order while lying on a tropical beach in Koh Samui. It's enough for two shakes

  • 1 cup of your favourite fruit – mix them if you want
  • My favourite mix is: juice of 1 small orange, juice of ½ a lime, ¼ mango, 1/3 cup pineapple
  • ½ - 1 ½ tsp sugar (depending on the ripeness of your fruit)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 cup ice
  1. Peel and roughly chop the fruit.
  2. In a blender add the fruit, sugar, water and ice and blend together until the ice is well crushed.
  3. Taste and add more sugar if needed.
  4. Pour into a cocktail glass and enjoy.

This is the easiest way to recreate authentic Thai flavours at home. It's also a great way to get those vitamins in... Give it a try.


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