WBEZ | thailand http://www.wbez.org/tags/thailand Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Sticky situation: Thai food and festival in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-06/sticky-situation-thai-food-and-festival-chicago-107546 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/stickyriceisan.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Isan eastern Thai sausage at Royal Thai Consulate dinner, Sticky Rice in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><p>Thai food generates heat unlike any other exotic cuisine in Chicago, literally and figuratively. In fact the current darling of local food fans is <u><a href="http://www.rainbowcuisine.us/" target="_blank">Rainbow Cuisine in Lincoln Square</a></u>. The hidden in plain sight, one-year-old, 12-seat restaurant was first discovered by&nbsp;<em>LTH Forum</em> member <a href="http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=14&amp;t=37623" target="_blank"><u>Matt Zatkoff (aka laikom)</u></a>, and since covered by the <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/recommended-lincoln-square-rainbow-thai-cuisine-restaurant/Content?oid=9705000" target="_blank"><u><em>Reader</em>&#39;s</u></a><u><a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/recommended-lincoln-square-rainbow-thai-cuisine-restaurant/Content?oid=9705000">&nbsp;Mike Sula</a></u>, <a href="http://www.tastingtable.com/entry_detail/chicago/13712/Lincoln_Squares_Rainbow_is_a_hidden_Thai_gem.htm" target="_blank"><u><em>Tasting Table</em>&#39;s Heather Sperling</u></a>, and soon by the&nbsp;<a href="http://stevedolinsky.com/blog" target="_blank"><u>Hungry Hound himself, Steve Dolinksy</u></a>.</p><p>Chicago&#39;s Thai Consul General, Songphol Sukchan, hosted an &quot;authentic&quot; Thai media dinner at trailblazing <a href="http://stickyricethai.com/" target="_blank"><u>Sticky Rice restaurant</u></a> in North Center last night to ostensibly promote the upcoming <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thai-Festival-Chicago-2013/134637676562048" target="_blank"><u>11th annual Thai Festival</u></a>. Starting two weeks from today, the three day event (June 19 to 21) takes over Federal Center Plaza downtown with not only food and fresh coconut juice, but traditional dance and music,&nbsp;Muay Thai kickboxing, and even Thai massage.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/stickyriceapps.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="Drunken appetizers, Singha beer, fresh coconut water at Royal Thai Consulate dinner, Sticky Rice in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Sticky Rice will open a second location, Sticky Rice Chiang Mai, on Western Avenue in Bucktown soon after the Fourth of July. Sadly they stopped serving their <a href="http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=4618" target="_blank"><u>infamous insect menu</u></a> about a year ago, because they could no longer source insects.</div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/stickyricemee.jpg" style="width: 620px;" title="Mee Krob at Royal Thai Consulate dinner, Sticky Rice in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Not that we missed them, nor pad thai for that matter.&nbsp;As I learned from the Consul General&#39;s wife, the charming Piyachanid Suthinont Sukchan, seated across from me at dinner, a proper pad thai is a complex dish that should only be prepared two servings at a time due to the ideal immediacy of the ingredients, Mrs. Sukchan said their official residence chef once served pad thai to only a dozen guests, taking nearly three hours. Chicago&#39;s own Thai food expert and <em>SheSimmers</em> food blogger, Leela Punyaratabandhu, once posted an epic <a href="http://shesimmers.com/2011/11/pad-thai-recipe-part-five-making-pad.html" target="_blank"><u>five part pad thai recipe</u></a>.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/stickyricesausage.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Northern Thai sausage at Royal Thai Consulate dinner, Sticky Rice in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">A few lessons on Thai dining etiquette:</div><ul><li class="image-insert-image ">Eat with spoon and fork, no knife, or right hand fingers only, but never chopsticks.</li><li class="image-insert-image ">With rice dishes, use fork to push food on to spoon then eat, but spearing food like sausages is acceptable.</li><li class="image-insert-image ">With sticky rice, use it as your only utensil.</li><li class="image-insert-image ">Beware, the rice is hot, <em>very</em> hot. With fingertips only, quickly pull off a bite-sized piece, then rapidly roll into a ball, again fingertips only.</li><li class="image-insert-image ">Mrs. Sukchan&nbsp;said Thai mothers roll tiny sticky rice balls for their children, lining them up along the edge of their plates.</li></ul></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image ">The Consul General once called after landing at the airport asking for the one Thai dish he&#39;d been craving most while away:&nbsp;Kai Jiaw, the classic Thai omelette comfort food. He and the Royal Thai ambassador in the UK had actually gone in to the kitchen at a pub in Scotland to show the chef how to make one, but they couldn&#39;t get it quite right.&nbsp;</div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/stickyriceomelette.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Kai Jiaw Moo Sub: Thai omelette with crab, ground pork, onions, cilantro, and Sriracha at Royal Thai Consulate dinner, Sticky Rice in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">But sticky rice is also featured sweet, in the nearly mythical mango sticky rice, and lesser known but far more seductive durian sticky rice. The durian dessert is Dolinsky&#39;s favorite too. A&nbsp;<u><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/top-5-thai-restaurants-chicago" target="_blank">Thai food&nbsp;</a></u><u><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/top-5-thai-restaurants-chicago" target="_blank">aficionado</a></u>,&nbsp;the Consul General consulted the Hound on last night&#39;s guest list.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Follow Louisa Chu <a href="https://twitter.com/louisachu" target="_blank"><u>@louisachu</u></a>.</em></div></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 05 Jun 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-06/sticky-situation-thai-food-and-festival-chicago-107546 Journalist Andrew MacGregor Marshall risks career to reveal truth about Thailand http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-07/journalist-andrew-macgregor-marshall-risks-career-reveal-truth-about-tha <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-07/thai1.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Last weekend, Thailand held national elections. The results may heighten the nation’s political instability. But to understand exactly how, it's necessary to know the role of Thailand’s monarchy. It's complicated because in Thailand, criticizing the royal family is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.</p><p>After nearly two decades with <em>Reuters</em>, journalist <a href="http://www.zenjournalist.com" target="_blank">Andrew MacGregor Marshall</a> wanted to write about Wikileaks cables that shed light on the true nature of Thailand’s monarchy. He tells us why he felt compelled to quit his job in order to reveal the truth.</p></p> Thu, 07 Jul 2011 16:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-07/journalist-andrew-macgregor-marshall-risks-career-reveal-truth-about-tha Thailand to tattoo tourists: Think before you ink http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-20/thailand-tattoo-tourists-think-you-ink-88077 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-20/tattoo3.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Many of Thailand's tattoo tourists find their way to Bangkok's Khao San Road, where tattoo parlors are nestled among the Internet cafes, noodle stalls and other backpacker hangouts. A visitor along this road might pick up a tattoo, along with some beads and dreadlocks, and perhaps even a nose ring.</p><p>The Thais are famously welcoming to visitors. But last month, Thai Culture Minister Nipit Intarasombat called for a ban on foreigners getting religious tattoos that offend Thai people.</p><p>The issue came up after an incident in the southern tourist haven of Phuket Island. Exactly whose tattoo offended whom is not clear. Nor is any sort of tattoo illegal under Thai law. But Thais consider the head sacred and the feet profane, and some foreigners get Buddhist tattoos below the waist, which can upset Thais.</p><p>"There are some tattoo artists who only care about money," confides Pongsuk Tammaget, who runs the Max Body Tattoo Parlor. "They heed no rules or regulations. If the law is aimed at them, that's fine by me. If I see foreigners with tattoos in the wrong place, we notice it. It's not good, and it offends Thai people's sensibilities."</p><p>The details of the minister's ban are a bit vague. But the Culture Ministry says it intends to print guidelines for religious tattoos and inspect tattoo parlors for compliance.</p><p>In an alley just off Khao San Road in Bangkok, an Australian man who goes by his Buddhist name, Tao Jaiphet, is checking out the tattoo parlors. He extends an arm adorned with sacred tattoos known as Sak Yant, and comments that his tattoo master would never do these anywhere below the belt.</p><p>Tao explains that his window on the local culture is the art of Thai boxing.</p><p>"I was a boxer here. I was living here in the late 90s, and it's quite common for Muay Thai fighters to get Sak Yant," he notes. "I think they were kind of like the first, before Angelina Jolie got on the bandwagon. A lot of the boxers would get Sak Yant to protect them while they're fighting."</p><p>Master Noo Kampai is a former Buddhist monk who illustrated the back of actress Angelina Jolie — perhaps the most famous of tattoo tourists — with a crouching tiger and rows of sacred scripts. Master Noo explains that tattoos are essentially like amulets. He goes into a trance and channels the force of his teacher and the Buddha into his magic tattoos.</p><p>But Master Noo rose some time ago to guru status, leaving his young disciples to do much of the work. He agrees with the government's injunctions against improper tattooing.</p><p>"My message for those who want to get tattoos is that you should think it over repeatedly, because it'll be on your body for good," he said. "You should think about whether or not it will affect your job applications."</p><p>Another debate over public morals erupted in April, amid the water-splashing revelry of Songkran, the Thai New Year celebrations. In downtown Bangkok, three young women got up on parked vehicles, stripped to the waist and started dancing. Someone posted a video of it to the Internet.</p><p>In the ensuing uproar, Culture Minister Nipit called for the trio to be fined and to perform community work.</p><p>Professor Pavin Chachavalpongpun, of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, says that the minister was apparently not concerned with Bangkok's Red Light districts, where standards of public behavior would make the topless teenagers look positively chaste.</p><p>"I just wish that, you know, we just be honest about what happens in Thailand," he laments. "And as a Thai, I mean, I find it frustrating because we know that, in reality, what I see every day in Thailand is just not what the state wants foreigners to see."</p><p>Pavin says officials' selective outrage suggests either double standards or political motives.</p><p>That is how many see the involvement of Thailand's military in politics. This spring, the army filed charges against the leaders of last year's "Red Shirt" political protests, as well as a Bangkok academic. Critics accused the military of using its self-appointed role as protector of the monarchy to silence political opponents.</p><p>Observers also noticed that even as Culture Minister Nipit fulminated about the topless girls, his ministry's website was adorned with festive folk art images of bare-breasted ladies. When this was pointed out, the images were quickly deleted. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. <img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1308598343?&gn=Thailand+To+Tattoo+Tourists%3A+Think+Before+You+Ink&ev=event2&ch=1125&h1=Asia,World,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=137228187&c7=1125&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1125&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110620&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=2&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Mon, 20 Jun 2011 14:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-20/thailand-tattoo-tourists-think-you-ink-88077 Burmese migrants in Thailand end up in 'Seafood Slavery' http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-09/burmese-migrants-thailand-end-seafood-slavery-85899 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-01/97056266.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Much of the fish that ends up in American grocery stores and on your dinner plate once swam in the Gulf of Thailand. As the main supplier of seafood for the United States, Thailand's massive seafood industry attracts thousands of illegal immigrants from neighboring Burma, seeking under-the-table jobs. But most consumers are unaware the seafood they’re eating could have been caught by a seafood slave.</p><p>Patrick Winn reports. The story was provided by the <a href="http://www.prx.org/">Public Radio Exchange</a>.</p></p> Mon, 09 May 2011 17:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-09/burmese-migrants-thailand-end-seafood-slavery-85899