Mae Jum Celebrates Songkran!
Sawadee Pe Mai Thai Ka! Happy Thai New Year! Wishing all my family, friends and everyone in the Thai community across the world a happy fresh start to the traditional Thai New Year! Happy Songkran 2021!
Usually in Thailand, Songkran is celebrated with high-spirited water fights but with Thai Covid-19 guidelines in place, these high crowded waters can not go ahead this year, but Thai people can still gather together for meals and visit temples to get involved in traditional rituals such as Song Nam Phra. We have written all about the traditions and celebrations of Songkran in our blog post ‘Mae Jum’s Guide to Songkran’. In this post, I would like to share how I spent Songkran 2021 with my family, here in England.
In my home, I have a place where I display a statue of Buddha. There will always be fruit, flowers and water next to the Buddha. As today is a special day in the Buddhist calendar, I prepared a special kind of water to put on display and for the ritual of pouring. The water is scented using jasmine oil and flower petals.
The fresh fruit and flowers are offerings to Buddha. At temple visits you would bring cooked food, fresh fruit, flowers or essentials as offerings to the monks. The pouring of the water over a Buddha statue is called ‘Song Nam Phra’, which means ‘pour water over monks’.
This ritual is symbolic of washing away past misfortune and being reborn into the new year with a blessing. Today, as I poured the water, I prayed to keep my family healthy, for us to see good fortune and to send a blessing to everyone who has supported me with the Mae Jum brand.
Songkran 2021 Thai Feast
I really enjoyed cooking today, making our own mini Thai feast for lunch - there wasn’t much leftover for dinner later! I made three dishes, a side, Jasmine rice and sticky rice with two dipping sauces. The names of the dishes are Phad Phed Moo, Gaeng Som Pla Salmon and Garlic & Coriander Chicken Wings. There are recipes for all these meals in our ‘Recipe’ section or you can find the links below!
I’m going to start off with these wings because they were fantastic and crispy! I prepared the wings first as they needed time to sit in the garlic and coriander marinade. The marinade is made with garlic, fish sauce, palm sugar, black pepper and coriander roots. I like to use the roots as they are really aromatic and sturdier than the leaves. They are harder to find, so if you can’t, you can use coriander stem and leaves.
I also kept the garlic skin on for extra flavour and it also helps minimise food waste too. I deep-fried these wings using deep fry oil in my wok which works just as well as a deep fryer. You could also BBQ the wings too, which I will be doing this summer! You can find the full ingredient list and cooking method for the chicken wings here.
Gaeng Som is in my top 3 favourite curries, it is a southern Thai hot and sour curry, usually cooked with fish and seafood. Gaeng Som doesn’t use coconut milk, it has a water-based broth and the herbs and spices in the curry paste are turmeric, fresh & dried chillies and garlic with a pinch of salt. That is all!
It is common in other regions of Thailand for Gaeng Som to be referred to as Yellow curry, but the two are very different. Sadly, you wouldn’t be able to make this type of curry from a yellow curry paste as it has too many ingredients! Tamarind and lime juice are both added to the curry for sourness and cooked with fish for saltiness. Overall, it is very healthy and delicious, you can find the recipe here!
Phad Phed Moo is a spicy pork stir fry and is a great way to use a Thai curry paste in something other than a curry! I made this using our Thai red curry paste and this is the quickest dish to prepare and cook out of the three! Simply, fry the paste in oil, season with fish sauce and palm sugar, add sliced pork and let it cook for a few minutes before adding in vegetables and in 10 or so minutes, the dish is done! I love these speedy meals especially for a week day like today! The full list of ingredients and cooking method can be found here!
If you would like to read more about Songkran, have a look at our blog post 'Mae Jum's Guide to Songkran' here. I hope you all have a good year and if you make any of my Songkran dishes, please do share and tag us in photos!
Happy Songkran 2021, all the best, Jum x
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