Made in Thailand – An Excerpt

thaiThere was once a beautiful young woman named Mae Nak whose love for her husband, Tid Mak, was undying. One day, while her husband was away at war, she died giving birth to their baby who did not survive either. Due to her undying love for her husband, Mae Nak and the baby returned to the living world as spirits. Everyone in the village has learned of their deaths, but when Mae Nak’s husband returns home from the battlefield he is greeted by his loving wife and their newborn child, unaware that they are spirits. The villagers try to warn him but he doesn’t want to believe them. One night the ghost of Mae Nak is preparing dinner for her husband when she suddenly drops a lime and it falls through a gap in the wooden floorboards. Back in those days, the houses were built a short distance off the ground. Tid Mak watches Mae Nak from the outside of the house as she stretches an elongated, ghostly arm through the long gap to the ground and reaches for the lime. He was aware that no human could reach that far and it was then that he realised the villagers were telling the truth. He runs from the house in terror to a nearby temple to seek refuge where the ghost of Mae Nak is unable to enter. Mae Nak becomes angry and takes out her frustration by terrorising the villagers. There are a few versions of how the story ends. In one, Mae Nak and her baby’s spirit are believed to be confined in a piece of bone from her exhumed forehead and bound into a wristband worn by a monk. In another version, a monk convinces Mae Nak that she will be reunited with her husband in another life at which point Mae Nak, along with the baby, is believed to have voluntarily moved on.

Thank you for the reviews for ‘Made in Thailand’ so far.

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“Enjoyed every page. Fantastic. Would read it again and honestly I couldn’t put it down !!!” – Kamonchanok, Bangkok, Thailand

“Brilliant. Well worth reading. What an absolute, magnificent read !” – Toni, London, UK

“I enjoyed this book so much I bought it for my friend who loves Thailand. She loved it and enjoyed reading it just as much.” – Neil, London, UK

“This reminded me of my childhood. Loved every page. I felt like wanting to be that person who sat next to you on the first day when you just moved to Patana.” – Rose, London, UK

Made in Thailand – An Excerpt

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I believe Bangkok traffic is something everyone should experience at least once in their life and an item to be added to the bucket list. Bangkok traffic defines the real definition of ‘traffic jam’. You could get stuck in it and not move for many long hours. The worst time was when it rained, especially during the rainy season when there is flooding. Flooding and traffic put together, especially in Bangkok, is a very bad combination. Bangkok traffic is so bad I can only compare it with joining every single vehicle into one single unit until it is bigger than the size of the city itself. It does make you wonder where all the vehicles come from. It is like a traffic apocalypse. 

11. THE POSITIVITY PROJECT – TAKE THE 21-DAY GRATITUDE CHALLENGE (DAY 4)

Record one thing you’re grateful for (flatmates with the same shoe size, a FaceTime chat with your mum, that free coffee in Pret – it’s all relative) each day for three weeks. Research says it can improve your mood, sleep and energy.

DAY 4 – Made in Thailand Sequel

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Once again, I would like to thank those who have purchased and supported Made in Thailand, and because of how well it is doing, I have decided to bring out a sequel, where the autobiography will have a broader focus on my life in 90’s Bangkok and much more. It is already in the works alongside the sequel to Who We Were. The sequel to Made in Thailand would not have come to plan if it wasn’t for the supportive bloggers, readers and fans. I thank you all, and hope that we can make the sequel an even better success.  

Inspirational Excerpt from ‘Made in Thailand’

My father, the most inspirational figure in my life.

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“…my father might be strict, but at the end of the day he wanted me to have the best quality education and be the very best that I could be. He wanted me to have the opportunity to further my studies in the international field and have broader choices when it came to my career. He wanted to prove that an Asian could be just as successful as anyone else in the international field.”

Made in Thailand

pythaicoverMade in Thailand is the autobiographical story of my adolescent years so that you might get to know me as an author a little better.

Raised in the country and used to my circle of close friends at school, my father drops a bombshell and tells my mother and I that we are about to pack our bags and move to Bangkok. Bangkok and the bright lights of the city were totally alien to me and even the knowledge that I had been enrolled into a prestigious, international school named Patana did nothing to alleviate my initial fears. However, after rather a shaky start, Patana proved to be my making and gave me choices I would most probably never have taken.

Puiyin’s Thai Green Curry

According to friends, I tend to make the most delicious Thai green curry. Whether it’s true or not, I have no idea. But they have been asking for the recipe. There are a few ways of making the Thai green curry. With the traditional Thai version, bamboo shoot is put in the curry, which gives it a really strong exotic ‘kick’. The ‘kick’ itself is like a marmite thing. Either you like it or you don’t. As for me, I prefer not to have it as the taste and the smell is quite strong. And with other versions, the sauce is thicker, whereas some have a slightly ‘soupier’ texture. It really depends on how you want the curry and what you want in it, so as long as it tastes like Thai green curry. In this post, I will share with you my version of the curry, also known as PY LAB’s Thai Green Curry, or Puiyin’s green curry amongst my friends.

Get ready onion(s), lemongrass, potatoes and chillies. It’s up to you how much of the ingredients mentioned you want to use. Traditionally, potatoes are not used in the green curry. But because I am a potato freak (I love my potatoes), I always use them in the curry. I have more potatoes in the curry than anything else. I’m not sure if lemongrass is used in the traditional green curry, but I love the ‘kick’ it gives, so I tend to put a lot in. Sometimes I like to use Thai basil as well. 15078720_10154038899998202_206636651525844298_n

As far as I know, chicken is the main meat used in the Thai green curry. In Thai restaurants, there are other options such as beef, pork, prawns and vegetables. For me, I always use chicken or king prawns.15134786_10154038905978202_6677827460711957242_n

Chop the ingredients to your size choice and wash them. It’s best not to chop the potatoes too small as they might break up easily during the boiling process later on. And as for the onions, I tend to chop them in big chunks as I don’t want to ‘cry’.  15094413_10154038906638202_6018731592218905806_n

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Make sure you have the coconut powder and Thai green curry paste. It’s up to you which brand you use, but bear in mind sometimes it does make a difference to which brand you use. One time I used African coconut bar and the entire curry turned out funny. It tasted nothing like Thai green curry. I always use the Maggi coconut powder as I like the brand itself. You can also use the coconut milk. But if so, it’s best to use the Thai brands. 15073573_10154038902798202_5967606796669707357_n

It’s best to use a pot to cook the curry.15085494_10154039264518202_1007339773389597103_n

Heat the pot and then add in the oil after it’s hot enough. 15085632_10154038912908202_2389539767607022929_n

Then add in the onions. You can choose to use red or white onions. 15134648_10154038914163202_4974267654206179857_n

After the onions are half cooked, add in the chicken.15192599_10154038915378202_1539537297310981917_n

Cook until the chicken looks cooked enough. 15095455_10154038916783202_3468618695726872139_n

Then add in some hot water. Just add about no more than 3-4 inch of water level. This is because the more water there is, it’ll be harder to get the curry sauce to become creamy, which is the way I like it. But it’s up to you how much water you want to add in. 15078676_10154038918228202_7998432021892127464_n

It’s now time to add in the coconut powder. There are two ways of doing it. You can pour some powder in a bowl and add in hot water and then stir it before pouring it into the pot. This way, you can make the coconut powder (into coconut milk) and determine the texture, whether you want it creamy, soupy etc. But it does take time as you would need to repeat the step a few times. Alternatively, my way is to pour in the coconut powder directly into the pot and I will determine the texture as I go along by adding water if needed. Remember to keep stirring if you are choosing to follow my method.  15135756_10154038919388202_2164422509123153845_n

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Now it’s time to add in the chilli paste. It is not cheating to use the ready-made chilli paste. Most Thai restaurants use the ready-made paste as it would take A LOT of time, work and ingredients to make the paste from scratch. Most of the ingredients must be traditionally Thai-based if you were to make the paste from scratch, and as far as I know, it includes fresh basil, cilantro, and coriander, as well as Thai green chillies, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, kaffir lime zest, fish sauce, shrimp paste, cumin and coconut milk. Also, you would need to get the taste and texture of the paste right. So it is not cheating to use the ready-made paste as it saves time. It’s perfectly normal. 15056441_10154038924463202_4236231259649998297_n

How much of the paste you use is up to you. Obviously the more you put in, the more spicier the curry is going to be. The lighter the ‘green’, the milder it is. And the stronger the ‘green’ the spicier it is. Don’t forget to keep stirring as you put in the paste and keep tasting the sauce with a spoon as you go along. 15094870_10154038923163202_8541769207283440889_n

For the last part, add in the lemongrass, potatoes and chillies.15037323_10154038929238202_7759132110882359899_n

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Cover the pot with its lid and leave it to boil in medium-low heat for about thirty minutes or so. 13532833_10154038930508202_62908490821058191_n

While you are waiting for the curry to boil, you might want to cook some Jasmine rice to eat with the curry. It is usually best eaten with Thai Jasmine rice, which is my choice. But it’s down to you how you would like it eaten. 15109432_10154038932228202_8465197200346015432_n

Your curry is now ready.15094473_10154038933403202_8626746228534859828_n

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Aroi mak mak!!! (Very delicious in Thai)