DINING OUT - RECIPES BY NOI
El Patio offers something new
By Heather Allen
I like tapas and usually really enjoy getting a more
than a few of a little bit of somethings for dinner, it
offers the opportunity to have many different flavours in
one meal without having to eat a giant meal.
Patio is probably one of the best know tapas bars around
with a regularly changing and varied menu of little bites on
offer. However, their new chef, a handsome and friendly
Spaniard named Jesus (and no the J is not hard, it is
pronounced Hay-soos- we don’t have the Second Coming in
Chiang Mai just yet although some of the men living here may
seem to think they are it). Jesus is whipping up some
wonderful Spanish fare and one of the more controversial
dishes may be the black rice. Jesus tells me that while some
may call it black paella, in fact it really is black rice.
I love squid ink pasta so was excited to try squid ink rice.
Loaded up with seafood the rice was uniquely textured. Most
definitely different from regular paella, the rice had a
slightly chewier texture, not in an uncooked way of course,
but a rather difficult to describe texture that was
different from regular paella.
In addition to the black rice dish, which was for me the
absolute best meal I had in some time, there were tapas made
from chorizo, lamb and other ingredients. But I heartily
recommend that you put aside your fears and step into the
breach and indulge your adventurous side and try the black
Desserts are also on offer and with the abundance of mangoes
this year the mango mousse was incredible. The dessert was
sweet without being cloying, and satisfyingly refreshing on
these hot summer evenings.
El Patio offers a wonderful outdoor ambiance and an
excellent selection of wines. The affable host Chris is more
than willing to offer suggestions based on his own expert
knowledge as well. Located on Nimmanhaemin soi 11, El Patio
is open every day but Tuesdays in the evening.
RECIPES BY NOI: Wild mango sticky rice
Mangoes at 10 Baht a kilo, is it a dream? This year there
are a lot of mangoes for us to eat. Maybe it is temperature,
rain, fertilizer or whatever that has made mango trees
produce this much fruit this year. Once I was in Berlin in
April craving mangoes and durians. Unfortunately there were
no shops in my neighborhood with durians but I did find Thai
mangoes. The price was almost 5 Euro instead of 2 Euro for a
South African mango but it was worth it!
This year, I am in Thailand and there are mangoes
everywhere! Before the start of the season they were 80 -90
baht per kilo but now they are 30 -40 per kilogram. If you
don’t mind that they are not beautiful or big then you can
buy them even at 10 to 20 baht per kilo.
The mango that everyone knows is called the Nam Dok Mai
which is very common to find in any market. It’s sweet, big
and has nice yellow fruit. The other popular mangoes are Ok
Rong, Kiaw Sawei, Mahachanok, Keaw and Rad.
Also there are a lot of local mangoes in Thailand. Ku, Sampi
and wild mango are the common 3 that we can find in my
Mamuang Sampi is long and slim and very sour when young and
still a little bit sour when it’s ripe. Sampi means 3 years;
many years ago we only grew plants by seed. Mamuang Sampi
takes 3 years to give fruits but the other mango takes over
5 years. Mamuang Ku is rounded and fat. Sour when it’s young
and sweet when it’s ripe.
Mamuang Pa or wild mango is very small and the seed is as
big as the fruit. I’ve only seen 3 wild mango trees in my
life. One was in my primary school which is now cut down
already. And the other two are in the mountains and
hopefully they are still there.
My auntie neighbor likes to go hiking. Even though she is
now more than 60 years old she still goes hiking by herself
and she is the owner of the recipe today. It’s a very easy
way to make mango sticky rice with wild mango. She likes to
go to the wild mango tree before noon to have lunch there.
Then she picks fruit of a nice size, cuts around the head of
the mango, opens it and takes the seed out. Stuff sticky
rice in the mango and press it closed.
And there is your wild mango sticky rice!