Tag Archives: brown rice/organic bistro

Brown Rice/Organic Bistro – cookbook nearing completion…

Things are getting up a head of steam at the Brown Rice/Organic Bistro as we near completion of the Recipe Gathering stage of Operation Cookbook.

I’ve put a gallery below of some of our latest dishes and today we will be cooking up a lot of specials and having a small party to finish up the job… then it’s just a matter of writing it up and all the rest..!

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Wat Phra Singh

Wandered around this beautiful Wat the other day, just up the road from the Brown Rice Restaurant and decided to write about it…

http://www.weekendnotes.com/wat-phra-singh-buddhist-temple/

Compiling quite a lot of reviews on this site for Chiang Mai, get ready for a full city guide soon…

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Chinese Vegetarian Festival at Brown Rice/Organic Bistro

Every year in October Thais celebrate a Chinese festival of vegetarianism known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival. It is celebrated all over Southeast Asia but with particular zeal in Thailand where stalls fly the yellow and red flag to signify that they are serving pure vegetarian food for the period. Phuket is where festivities hit their zenith with the 35% Chinese population also indulging in various other religious rites.
In Chiang Mai, Duang is happily celebrating the festival at Brown Rice Organic bistro since it perfectly fits in with the Vegetarian food that he already serves. Expecting more custom during this period as normally meat-eating customers forgo their normal dishes, Duang is serving a set menu each day along with just a couple of a La Carte options so that he can keep up with the demand.

The cookbook has been on the back-burner a little bit in the last week due to the move, this festival and a couple of trips I’ve taken with Sophie before she heads to India to facilitate a Tantra workshop. We had a great couple of weekends in Chiang Rai and Pai.

I have managed to get a few more recipes down though, notably deep fried Mushrooms with garlic, Herb Fried Rice, Deep Fried Tofu, cabbage with shitake soup and Pa Loh (Chinese 5 Spice Stew). I also learnt Duang’s technique for preparing Ready Cooked and Seasoned Shitake Mushrooms which he keeps and uses when necessary, a restaurant secret to make things quicker but also giving a better taste and smell than using fresh!

Today he served Deep Fried Tofu and Mushroom with Sweet and Sour Chilli Sauce, Stir Fried vegetables with Oyster Sauce and a three mushroom soup with Goji Berries.

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I’m writing a cookbook…!

I stumbled across Brown Rice/Organic Bistro while wandering the streets of Chiang Mai and was drawn in by the picture of the Tom Yum drink that advertised the establishment. I went to have a look at the menu which was led by such an unusual idea and was impressed to see an array of delicious looking and fabulously presented dishes.

We went back and had a feast of Banana Blossom Curry Cakes, Thai Herb Salad and Spicy Tofu with Basil leaves (a vegetarian take on Thai standard Pad Krapow)

The food was amazing although the setting was incongruous being in the front of the Green Oasis guesthouse. Its a nice enough place with some fun people but not really the right setting for chef Duang’s excellent food when Tony, the dreadlocked manager comes out dressed only in a towel.

We chatted with Duang about his story as the author of several Thai cookbooks and his work as a “food stylist” for various magazines and restaurants.  Impressed by his love of food and his enthusiasm for new and innovative vegetarian dishes we decided to sign up for a one day private cooking class the following week.


Here he taught us his take on the classic Pad Thai fried noodle dish – with the addition of a very beautiful “egg net” and how to make Tamarind Sauce, which he uses in many of his dishes.  We learnt his take on satay, using tofu and mushrooms and the traditional soups Tom Yum and Tom Kha which are very similar.  Tom Kha has the addition of coconut milk rather than the spicy and sour taste of clear Tom Yum.

During our cooking class we got talking about the prospect of an English cookbook and he seemed interested in working with me after I mentioned my food blogging past. We actually went back several times in the next week because one of his assistants didn’t turn up and he appreciated our help in the kitchen. It was during this time that the cookbook plan came into fruition.

I spent some time on Ko Phangan, which I’ll write about soon, and then came back to meet Duang just before he moves to his new restaurant near the beautiful Wat Phra Singh.

We have been working together for the last week and have already accumulated 7 recipes for the book starting with Mee Gati, thin rice noodles with coconut cream sauce.

I then learnt Curry Soy Cakes which is a variation on his Banana Blossom recipe but with tofu since that is more accessible for a western audience. These are just like Thai fish cakes but suitable for vegetarians and served with quickly deep fried crispy Thai Basil leaves for an aromatic crunch.

Pineapple Fried Rice is a fruity dish in its own right and his crispy tofu with spicy green Mango salad is just unbelievably good.  Yesterday we took part in a free cooking class he gives on the last Saturday of every month as part of a Government initiative to help small businesses. We learnt his take on potato samosas and Salad Khaek or Indian salad, a Thai “fusion” dish which is unlike any salad I have had in India or elsewhere but with a delicious dressing.

I’ll be in Chiang Mai for the next month or so working with Duang and compiling a set of recipes for us to include while learning some fantastic Thai cooking and I’ll be sure to keep you all posted on my progress.

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