Last month Rachel and I went with the boys to a Japanese summer festival at a nearby Japanese grocery store (Mitsuwa, in Edgewater NJ – should you be local). They hold this festival every year outside in the parking lot – overlooking the Hudson River and NYC skyline. As in past years, it was pretty busy. Lots of people came dressed in their beautiful, bright summer kimono (yukata). There are little games for the kids to play, as well as lots of food stalls out with a variety of Japanese festival foods – yakisoba (grilled soba noodles with some veggies and meat), yakitori and yakiniku (grilled chicken and meat on skewers) and more. Great sights, great smells, great food.
The highlight of the trip (besides the food) was the taiko drum performance. You can see a clip we filmed, below, which does a far better job of explaining taiko drums than simple words would do. It was awesome, and the boys loved it too!
Having once lived in Japan, cultural events like the festival hold a special place in my heart. I was thrilled that day to get to share some of that culture I love with Rachel and the boys, even if just for a few hours.
So – having gone through that bout of nostalgia, it was kind of funny that for The Secret Recipe Club this month I was assigned the food blog of an expat. Jess, from The Inquiring Chef, lives in Thailand with her husband. She’s originally from Kansas, spent some time in Romania volunteering, and now lives in Bangkok, Thailand with her husband who works for the US government. Jess’ blog has beautiful pictures of the country which make you want to hop on a plane and go visit, as well as food photos that make you wish you could do a taste-test through the computer screen.
True, Jess is in Thailand and I was in Japan. But when you’ve lived in another country, I think you can relate to others who have lived (or are living) abroad as well.
Although living in Thailand and immersed in Thai culture, Jess does not cook and blog about strictly Thai food. Indeed, she has a Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake that – raspberry fiend that I am – I have to bake. But as this is our Secret Recipe Club assignment, and Jess is living in Thailand, we thought we should try a Thai dish.
We happen to love Thai food, but have only tried cooking it a handful of times. We decided to try Pad See Ew which, as Jess puts it, ” … is absolute comfort food – the Thai equivalent of mac and cheese, without the mac…or cheese.” Obviously, we had to try this!
It really is great comfort food. It’s got the savory flavor from the soy sauce, with some sweetness from the sugar. Fresh basil gave it some nice aromatic and additional flavor. Best part of all though was just how easy (with a few simple ingredients!), this recipe is.
Thanks for sharing your adventures and delicious recipes Jess!
Recipe from: Inquiring Chef