Thai cooking is renowned for its perfect balance of flavours and textures and for its imaginative presentation. And the more people there are to share it, the better: for the Thais, the sharing of food is a source of great joy. Over the centuries migration has brought many influences from abroad, especially from China and (in the south) the spicier traditions from India. Chillies may have been introduced by Portuguese traders in the sixteenth century. Although veganism is virtually unheard of in Thailand, there is no need for vegans to miss out. Many of the ingredients are already familiar to vegan cooks, and the more specialist ingredients are becoming increasingly easy to get hold of. There is more good news too: many of the dishes are very quick and easy to prepare. Linda Majzlik has created over 120 dishes in her own kitchen, using authentic Thai ingredients and flavours, but avoiding the use of animal ingredients. Try her Beansprout and Lettuce Soup, the Tofu and Tamarind Dip, a bowl of Carrot, Ginger and Sesame Fried Rice, some Curried Aubergine with Tofu, a plate of Broccoli with Peanut and Chilli Sauce, a Pineapple and Water Chestnut Salad, all accompanied with Pan-fried Bread, some Crispy Fried Garlic, Onion and Shallots, and finish the meal off with a Pumpkin and Coconut Pudding.
Samui Island, Thailand, almost a paradise and a great place to have a motorbike club. For Mike Weber, one time successful DJ and manager of nightclubs across the UK, it is also an opportunity to become a member of a full-patched motorcycle club, the Samui Pirates. This he does and what follows in Thailand - A Biker's Tale is a vivid account, both of Thailand itself and what it means to belong to a club like the Pirates. In a series of richly told anecdotes Mike takes the reader through his progression to Sergeant at Arms with stories both comic and tragic, involving ghosts, fights, drink, women, the lore of the club, and ultimately - death, all taking place within the culture of this marvellous country.
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