From Rural Pastures to the Big City – The Journey of Chili Paste Serving local culture with contemporary wisdom

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The Department of Cultural Promotion, in collaboration with 20 chefs from renowned restaurants on the Bangkok dining scene, have come up with a special menu based on chili paste recipes from local communities across the nation.

These fiery, flavorful pastes are an important Thai cultural heritage and now, for the first time, they have been adapted and incorporated into a series of cutting-edge fusion dishes which incorporate elements of Vietnamese, Japanese, Italian for the pleasure of Bangkok residents and visitors.

Mr. Chai Nakhonchai, Director-General of the Department of Cultural Promotion, revealed that “These chili pastes are a cultural heritage that has been passed down through generations ever since the Ayutthaya era and it’s not just the spiciness and intense flavor that Thais love that makes them outstanding, it’s also their adaptability, the ease with which they can be incorporated into a wide range of cuisines, and the fact that they go hand in hand with untold varieties of local vegetables and crops. The sheer variety of different chili paste recipes is a true indicator of the diversity of regional and local cuisine and abundance of fresh ingredients available in these small rural communities. In 2012, the Department of Cultural Promotion awarded Chili paste and ‘Plaraa’ fermented fish cultural heritage status and this year marks the tenth anniversary of this award. In an effort to introduce these ancient flavors to a new generation of food lovers as well as understand their history and their importance as a culinary cultural heritage, this project hopes to expand on cultural wisdom, inject it with new value and increase the popularity of these rural culinary gems with food-loving city dwellers. As a result, we hope the communities involved will feel a renewed sense of pride in their treasured recipes and the ancestral wisdom that they stemmed from, and furthermore understand the importance of not just maintaining them and keeping them alive. but also promoting them to new audiences.” 

Mr. Jakkapong Chinkratok, Chief Executive Officer, Find Food Marketplace, added that “Top chefs from 20 of Bangkok’s most popular eateries – Attarot, Tha Arun, The Local by Oam Thong Thai Cuisine, Songserm Pochana, Naboworn, Khon Chong Khon Prung, Charm Garden Tiaw Ho, Baan Ying, Thai Niyom. Ob Oan, Saen Samran Ti Saen Saab, Yam Yen Restaurant, Kam Kin Suk, Kamin, Ban Chalong, Maison Saigon, Spaghetti House Prachachuen, Le Khwam Luck and Honmono Sushi have come together to create and launch ‘Chili Pastes from Rural Pastures’, a series of dishes designed to introduce the charm of chili paste from countryside communities to urban diners. Food lovers wishing to sample the menu can do so by visiting the restaurants involved or by ordering the dishes for home delivery. For those seeking the original chili pastes themselves, they can do so at Find Food Marketplace at their official LINE account @findfood19 from today to August 31, 2022.”

The 20 menus based on chili pastes are as follows:

  1. Egg Roll Sails South by Attarot, created from with grilled crab roe chili paste, Khlong Kam community, Krabi province
  2. Chili Paste Spring Rolls by Tha Arun, created from roasted anchovy chili paste, Pa Koh community, Nong Khai province
  3. ‘Lon’ Chili Paste Relish by Na Bowon, created from herbal shrimp chili paste, Ban Khok Mueang, Prakhon Chai, Buri Ram province
  4. Ong Chili Paste with Shrimp by Kam Kin Suk, created from shrimp chili paste, Ban Nam Chiao, Trad province
  5. Salted Egg Chili Paste with Fresh Shrimp by The Local by Oam Thong Thai Cuisine, created from ‘Sadung’ chili paste Ban Khao Phra community, Suphanburi province
  6. Roasted Bitter Ginger Chili Paste with Salmon by Yam Yen, created from the Bitter Ginger Chili Paste recipe from Ban Bang Tao Tourism Community, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  7. Beef Cerviche with ‘Pai Na’ chili paste by Thai Niyom, created from ‘Pai Na’ chili paste, Ban Laem, Suphan Buri province
  8. Sandwich Sushi by Honmono Sushi, created from ‘Thai Tha Wat’ chili paste with ground fish, Ban Thai Tha Wat, Sakon Nakhon province
  9. Banh Mi with Fishcakes and Crab Fat Chili Paste by Maison Saigon, created from Crab fat chili paste, Thong Kham Bay Mangrove Conservation Group, Ban Laem Homestay, Nakhon Si Thammarat province
  10. Hokkien on The Boat by Ob-Oan, created from ‘Nam Prik Long Ruea’ chili paste, Tha Maprang-Khlong Play community, Nakhon Ratchasima province
  11. Seafood Tagliatelle with Auntie Laeng’s ‘Kua Sai’ chili paste by Le Khwam Luck Café, created from ‘Kua Sai’ chili paste, Ban Chon Pao Local Food Community Venture, Pai, Mae Hong Son
  12. Rural Style ‘Ta Daeng’ Spaghetti by Spaghetti House Prachachuen, created from Ta Daeng Ma Tung chili paste, Ban Thung Si, Phrae province
  13. Seasoned Santol by Saen Samran Ti Saen Saep, created from ‘Chup Ananas’ chili paste, Ban Bang Rong community, Phuket province
  14.  Fried Rice with Mango Chili Paste and Fried Fish by Khon Chong Khon Prung in Tamarind Sauce, from mango chili paste, To La Nga community, Pattani province
  15. Fried Rice with Mantis Shrimp Chili Paste by Songserm Phochana, created from mantis shrimp paste, Mai Rood Tourism Community, Trat province
  16. Kitty Cat Rice with Salted Shrimp Chili Paste by Charm Garden, created from salted shrimp chili paste, Khlong Yai Tourism Community, Trat Province
  17. Roasted Sticky Rice with Egg and ‘Chaew Bong’ with Grilled Pork Neck by Ban Yhing, created from Chaew Bong, Tha Ruea Model Community, Nakhon Panom province
  18.  Fried Rice with Roasted Fire Pork Chili Paste by Tiaw Ho, created from roasted pork chili paste, Nawatwitinakhonchum, Kamphaeng Phet province
  19. Thai Set Menu by Kamin, created from ‘Narok’ chili paste with sea bream, Ban Chai Khlong Pak Pra, Patthalung province
  20.  Coconut Broth with Melinjo and Prawns by Ban Chalong Southern Thai, created from anchovy chili paste, Ban Bang Tao Tourism Community, Phuket province

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