My Asia travels this month are taking me to Thailand, where I can't wait to revisit the fresh flavors of Thai cuisine. I was there many years ago, but still think about one of the most amazing meals I had on top of a mountain in Chiang Mai. We had been hiking all day through the incredibly oppressive heat and humidity with occasional rain showers added to the mix. When we reached our thatched hut sweaty and sticky, we were shown a small fenced in corner with no roof and a bucket of water to "shower." Some scoops in the barrel got me as clean as I could and then we proceeded to see and smell an amazing meal come together from the local women, using simple ingredients we had bought at the market early that morning. I don't know if it was the heat, the hiking or my hunger, but I still dream of that meal with the fresh Thai flavors of lemongrass, galangal, ginger and cilantro. We ate huddled on top of a wooden table under a small woven overhang while the rain poured outside. Perfection.
Luckily I don't have to hike to the top of a mountain to get great Thai food. I only recently had to meet Thai Chef Katie Chin to get transported back. Katie prepared dishes from her Everyday Thai Cooking book and then I recreated some of her recipes in my own kitchen. I started with these two and know I'll be digging back in for more inspiration when I return from my trip.