Take a sneak look at one of our Birmingham food heroes with this excerpt from the No Ping No Bling guide ……….
Sompong – known to her friends as Apple – came to England ten years ago from the North East of Thailand to work in restaurants and she still still works in one today making savoury dishes for ten hours a day, six days a week.
She clearly thrives on hard work as all her free time is spent in the pursuit of Thai dessert making in the most traditional and highly skilled form possible.
She does not use artificial colorants – the colours in her food are always drawn from beautiful dried plants especially shipped from Thailand.
She is driven to do this not just for the love of her art but also to give as much support as possible to the Wat Santiwongsaram Buddhist Temple in Handsworth.
Every week she makes offerings of sweet delights not only for the monks to eat but also for temple goers and hopefully in return they will make donations to the temple.
On big celebration days you will also find her there making elaborate flower arrangements.
Amazingly Apple has twenty recipes perfected and she manages to make a selection each week which she supplies to China Mini Market in the Birmingham Bullring Indoor Market.
Take a look at her facebook page you’re sure to be impressed! https://www.facebook.com/sompong.kotsranoi
Every Halloween my mind turns to Loy Krathong in Thailand because they are always close together.
This year its going to be on the 24th of November and once again everyone will gather around and create little rafts of floating lotus flowers adorned with incense and candles and float them off on rivers and lakes to pay respects to the water goddess. Granted sometimes they are polystyrene and tinfoil these days, but nothing beats the sublime beauty of thousands of rafts twinkling away as they make their way down the Chaophraya river.
It struck me that stewed fruit is a mainstay in Thailand and so I thought I would suggest a great way to use up those pumpkins. These instructions are for a kilo of pumpkin so adjust accordingly depending on size. Simply peel the pumpkin, discard the seeds and cut into 2 inch pieces. Bring 750ml of coconut milk to the boil and add 175g caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Add the pumpkin and simmer until the fruit is tender which should take about ten minutes.
Pour into bowls and decorate with some pumpkin seed – or mint – or both – to serve.