Tasty Tuesdays in Sra Keaw
After several evenings eating in for supper, we decided to venture back out to our favorite night market in the part of town known as Sra Kaew. This is the same place each of the other Tasty Tuesdays in the market took place as well! There are 2 parts to the Sra Kaew market – one is open from early morning until about 5 or 6 pm, selling fresh fruits, veggies, meats, some household goods, and a small selection of already prepared Thai meals you can take back home to eat. The other part (where we like to eat supper), if you remember from last time, sets up along both sides of one long street in the late afternoon for the purpose of serving the evening meal. Cart after cart, make-shift kitchens and tables with plastic stools are everywhere, and it’s all outdoors.
We have one place that we’ve chosen as our favorite, and up until now we only knew 2 things that they made – Fried garlic pork with an egg on top, and any kind of fried rice you could think of. All that changed tonight, as we walked up and I began to READ the entire menu out loud. Here’s what the booth looks like. (The menu is written on the white signs hanging at either end of the cart)
I’ve gotten so used to trying to read everything I see now, that I really didn’t think anything of it when I began to understand the signs. It wasn’t until I turned to Brook and said “Hmmm, they have phat priaw waan,” that I realized I had just read that, understood it, and now knew I could order that! I just went from being able to order only 2 things to 21 in a matter of seconds. Unbelievable!
So, this is what I ordered. The 3rd sign from the top, on the left side says
“phat priaw waan.” Here’s a closer look.
Literally translated, phat priaw waan means “stir-fry sour sweet” – which we would understand as sweet and sour. I ordered mine with chicken, and boy was it good. Now, I know the first thing that probably comes to your mind is the sweet & sour chicken you get at your local Chinese take-out or buffet. Nope. No battered meat chunks here. No bell peppers in sight. No thick, reddish, syrupy (although quite good, too!) sauce drenching your meal. Sweet & sour Thai-style is light, fresh, and anything but unhealthy. Check it out.
Thin slices of meat (in this case, white meat chicken) are pan fried until cooked through, then set aside while the sauce and veggies are cooked up. This dish is chock full of fresh pineapple chunks, tomatoes, green onion, rings of tender white onion, shaved carrots, and big hunks of peeled cucumber. I have yet to figure out what all goes into the sauce (next time I order it, I will ask if I can watch how it is made, up-close), but it has a flavor so delicate that it doesn’t overpower the individual tastes of all the other ingredients, yet distinctive enough that it doesn’t get lost in the dish. Does that make sense? All I know is that it’s good. Real good. Oh, and did I happen to mention it only took about 5 minutes to make and including a bottle of water, my whole meal was about $1.00 US?
You should all come visit us and eat here. 🙂