The most prevalent seasoning in Vietnam and Thailand is a salty, pungent, translucent, brown liquid flavored with fermented fish. In Vietnam it’s called nouc mam and in Thailand it’s called nahm pla. It’s used in all types of dishes, regardless of whether or not they contain seafood. The sauce is primarily made with a species of small fish, known as The long-jawed anchovy. There are actually 2-3 varieties of the Stolephorus fish: Baccaneeri, Miarcha, and Purpureus, which is often referred to as an anchovy, but is not the familiar anchovy of the Mediterranean (Engraulis encrasicolus.)... more can be found within the pages of Southeast Asian Flavors book.
With 700 photos already in the book, we simply could not fit another but nor couldn’t bare to omit it completely, so here is the photo of the lemon basil.
Making Palm Sugar in Chumpon: The Real Deal
Actual footage of Palm Sugar production in rural Chumpon.
Chef Danhi’s Notes on Noodles:
Wheat noodles can be traced back to ancient China, now available in your local store.
Ever wondered why the illusive aroma of Pandan is so amazing, watch this video
No Fish Sauce Allowed?
In the Nha Trang airport I was stopped with contraband in my suitcase. I had visited a fish sauce producer and bought several bottles of the golden elixir to use for special occasions. That special occasion turned out to be locals’ dinner. I was stopped and told to remove the fish sauce from my bag, I was puzzled until they showed me a sign like this. I could not surrender the fish nectar to those that stopped me so I found a local with a smile and donated the sauce to their family meals.
Rice harvesting: Rice, How they do it over there, Vietnam 2001