The Thai Meteorological Department has just announced that Thailand was moving into the summer season. Cringe. A moment while we whack our heads against the wall and start putting aside money to pay for our soon-to-become-exorbitant electricity bills. Foodies, however, see this season as the chance to feast on their favorite Thai summer dish, khao chae.
Khao chae is a traditional Thai dish usually served during the hot summer months. Refashioned from a Mon dish a few hundred years ago, khao chae is steamed rice soaked in jasmine-scented water and served with mix-ins such as luk krapi (deep-fried shrimp paste balls), hom daeng yud sai (deep-fried shallots and shredded pork), prik yuak sod sai (egg-wrapped steamed green chili stuffed with minced pork) and moo foi (sweet shredded pork). The more toppings added, the merrier. Khao chae was, in the past, eaten only in the royal court and at the homes of the affluent because it required fine ingredients, culinary craft and a lot of time. Today, however, khao chae has become more common and is offered at many restaurants around town.