DINING OUT - RECIPES BY NOI
New chef at 137 Pillars
By Shana Kongmun
The boutique hotel 137 Pillars House is known for
its high teas and great happy hours on the lawn in front of
the beautiful old teak house that gives the hotel its name.
However, the arrival of Executive Chef Amporn, at the
hotel’s restaurant brings fine dining to the Wat Ket area.
I was given the great pleasure to meet with Chef Amporn who
introduced himself along with his delicious food. The meal
started with a delicious lobster dumpling soup, the
dumplings were tender and a bit chewy, cooked just right; a
difficult thing to do with dumplings as I learned for myself
when I tried to make them myself one time. This was followed
by a foie gras dish and a sorbet to clear the palate. The
sorbet was perfect, a delicious orange juice sorbet with a
hint of Thai holy basil that gave it a pepper flavor.
So, suitably cleansed I was ready for my
duck confit which was perfectly cooked. It was accompanied
by apple soaked in beetroot juice. I am not a lover of
beetroot and so was a bit concerned by the apple was crisp
and not soft like beetroot so often is, and the taste of
beetroot was light and not overwhelming.
My dining companion had the duck, which she enjoyed greatly,
noting that the caviar topping the salmon added a nice salty
touch to the tender Norwegian salmon. We both dug into the
dessert that followed; an exquisite strawberry mousse
wrapped by a crispy ribbon of dark chocolate. The scoop of
ice cream on the side was good but the combination of creamy
mousse, sweet strawberry and dark chocolate was sublime. I
still have a sweet tooth and love my desserts and this
dessert has just made my top five favorite desserts.
Palette is the name of the restaurant at 137 Pillars House
and it is an appropriate name for my dinner delighted my
palate. 137 Pillars House is located in the Wat Ket area, on
Soi 1 Nawatgate.
RECIPES BY NOI: Tom Som Kha Moo Yod Som Poi
(Sour pork leg soup with Som Poi )
Continuing from the previous issue, I still have 2 more
stories to tell about Som Poi plus a recipe called Tom Som
Kha Moo which means Sour Pork Leg Soup with Som Poi.
We only eat the young leaves as the pod isn’t for eating. As
we know that it is the main ingredient to make holy water to
wash away all the bad things.
Torapi was the one who discovered this use; once upon a time
there was a king of the buffalo named Torrapa. He was a
proud buffalo and liked to fight and kill other male
buffaloes so there were many that disliked him. They started
a rumor that he will be killed by his own son so after that
he killed all of his newborn sons but there was a female
buffalo hiding from Torrapa and she went to give birth
alone. It came out that she gave birth to her lovely son.
She raised her son in a cave far away from Torrapa’s sight
and named him Torapi.
Torapi grew up to become a young healthy buffalo and
wondered why his mother kept him only in the cave. When he
learned about his father, he got really mad and went out to
fight. They fought for 7 days and 7 nights. Torapi was
exhausted and starting to lose, he stepped back against a
Som Poi tree. A pod fell onto his head (some said it was a
dewdrop from the leaf) and suddenly he had his strength
back. He fought back his father and his father retreated
again a tree called Makham Pom (Indian gooseberry). The
fruit fell onto his head and it suddenly exhausted him and
the son was able to kill his father. Since then we use the
word Torapi to call a son who is ungrateful to his parents.
There is also a story about a Naga king and his son. The
Naga son wanted to be human so his father gave him a golden
bowl to fill with holy water which contained 7 Som Poi Pods
that have 7 nodes and seeds, water from 7 rivers and wells.
Then pray 7 mantras for 7 times. When everything was ready
he bathed with the holy water to become a human.
Here’s the recipe for today;
The ingredients are, quick grilled pork legs, a bunch of
young Som Poi leaves, chili, galangal, lemongrass, tomato,
onion, lime juice, salt, coriander and spring onions.
First we boil water, add mashed chili, galangal, lemongrass
and then pork. At this step, we add Som Poi, salt and lime
juice. Tomatoes and onion will be the last ingredients to
add into the soup before we take it off the fire.
Before serving sprinkle with chopped coriander and spring
onion. Easy peasy!