Hi friends! Reading everyone's blogs and emails from the USA about Summertime and Memorial Day barbecues has me missing summer back in the States. Of course, living in the land of eternal summer, or so it seems, has its benefits too! This week my friend Wat invited several teachers from the English Program out to a local barbecue place for dinner. Now, when Thais say barbecue, they mean Thai-style, which back home means Korean-style. So, while in the USA barbecue means steaks, hot dogs, seed-spitting contests, corn on the cob, and a Budweiser, over here in Thailand we do barbecues with jellyfish, spring-rolls, photo hunt, Beer Singha and chopsticks!
In Thailand, barbecue means a hot-pot on the middle of your table - with coals on the bottom, water in the rim and a piece of fat in the middle to grease up the pot.
After you head back to the table you add the meat piece by piece with your chopsticks and bbq it until it's cooked to your liking. Since I'm not a fan of touching raw meat, and I don't really understand how it's ok to touch the meat with your chopsticks and then eat off of them, I usually let someone else "man the grill."
From there it's a free for all, whoever grabs the meat first with their chopsticks gets to enjoy it! You can also add some spicy sauce - because it wouldn't be Thai if it didn't leave your mouth on fire.
Finally, there's no better way to finish the meal than a couple of scoops of ice cream to cool things down because, trust me, sitting outside in the 100+ degree heat with the smoke from the hot-pot added in does not make for a super pleasant eating experience and by the end everyone at the table is mopping sweat off their bodies.