A blog about food in Thailand
and elsewhere.

A Cool Lunch

Posted date:  April 12, 2006

Been cooking like a madman lately, revising recipes and taking photos for my book on southern Thai food. I love cooking, so this is fun for me. The only bad part is the weather. It’s April here in Bangkok, which is the hottest month. Most of the time spent in my kitchen I’m literally dripping with sweat, so today I decided to make something cool:

The red are pieces of chilled watermelon, and the topping an odd but delicous mixture of dried fish, sugar and deep-fried shallots. This is an old-school Thai dessert I first had at David Thompson’s dinner at cy’an. He gave me the recipe, which involves taking plaa chon daed diaow, a kind of semi-dried freshwater fish, and roasting or grilling it until dry. You then pick the flesh apart and grind it up in a mortar and pestle with some sugar. For the shallots you simply thinly slice a bunch of shallots and fry them in oil until they become dark and crispy. Let them drain on several changes of paper towels, mix with the fish mixture, and sprinkle over the watermelon!

4 Comments for A Cool Lunch

Wow, what an unusual combination! I would never had thought of combining the savoury with the sweet like that! I’m surprised it’s served as a dessert but terribly intrigued now … I might have to try to recreate this.

Good luck with your book – it sounds fantastic!

Savoury and sweet (and sometimes salty and sweet) is actually a quite common combination in Thai sweets. Yes, do try it, but can you get dried plaa chon, “snakehead fish” where you are?


Dunno but there is a building where all the Thais go to. The smells from that building! I reckon it would be a fun adventure to go there and find out. And I can have lunch there while searching! Fingers crossed.

My favourite Thai dessert is the durian pudding with the coconut poured over the glutinous rice and chunks of durian though. Heaven.

This looks great. What a nice combination of flavors. The chefs at the Ideas in Food blog do some interesting sweet and savoury combinations. I can’t wait for the book.

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