Our family in Thailand has a small farm where rice is growing right now and if you have ever seen how rice is grown. You will know that rice needs a lot of water. We have to fill the land with water so half of the plants in submerge and only the green leaves wave through the air. Have you ever know how wonderful rice field smell? It is incredibly fresh and earthy.
So when there is that much of water in the field, farmers have a genius idea! They put some fish in the field, the fish grow in rice field eating spiders, insects, and their waste is natural fertilizer to our rice. So these fish is 100% organic and our rice doesn’t need fertilizer.
Mr. & Mrs. Farmer eat a lot of fish lately as it is a rice season so there were plenty of fish. I asked them to take the photo of the farm, fields, fish and food but they were too busy, and they didn’t have much time. But they were kind enough to share the pictures of their meals and sent to us.
So this typically how their food looks like every evening:
Spicy Stir fried Fish (Pla Pad Cha)
1 kg big Catfish- sliced (you can use any firm fresh fish)
200 gm eggplants- sliced
5 cloves garlic- peeled
4 red chili- use less if you want it to be milder
5 shallots- sliced
1/4 cup wild ginger (Kra Chai or finger roots) – thinly sliced into long strips
4 coriander roots – pound to paste
2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
2 tsp Fish Sauce
1 tsp White Sugar
1 tsp light soy sauce
A handful of fresh green peppercorn
A big bunch fresh basil leaves
6 kaffir lime leaves
Oil for deep fry + 2 tbsp for stir fry
Heat the oil in the large pan over the medium heat for deep fry.
Add basil and deep fry until crispy and reserve for garnish.
In the same oil, add fish and deep fry until golden brown. Drain and keep aside.
Add shallot, garlic and red chili into the mixer and blend until smooth.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in another large pan or wok over the medium heat.
Add the paste and stir fry until fragrance.
Add sliced eggplants, oyster sauce, sugar, light soy sauce and fish sauce. Stir for one minute and add about 1/3 cup of water, then bring to boil.
Add sliced wild ginger and deep fried fish and toss quickly.
Add kaffir lime leaves, and fresh green pepper corn, and then stir quickly.
Garnish with crispy fried basil leaves.
Hot and Sour Fish Soup (Tom Pla)
500 gm fish- sliced (any firm fresh fish- we use snake head fish)
3 lemon grass- sliced
100 gm galangal- sliced
6 kaffir lime leaves
2 tomato- sliced
3 red chili- sliced long strips
200 gm oyster mushroom
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 lime- juiced
2 tsp chili paste (soak dried red chili in warm water then drain and blend until smooth paste. Stir fry the paste in oil with some sea salt until the oil surface on top)
Few coriander leaves- chopped
1 ltr vegetable stock or chicken stock
Bring the stock to a boil, add the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves.
Add mushrooms and boil further for few minutes.
Add chilli paste, tomatoes and fish. Simmer for 5 minutes or until fish is cooked.
Add fish sauce, sugar and lime.
Sprinkle coriander on top and garnish with some sliced red chili.
Mr and Mrs Farmer never really buy anything from outside. They have everything in their farm. Everything other than the condiments are form their land.
They are now working on the project which offer a farm-stay and help people remember farmer way of life. There will be a healthy and authentic cooking class using the ingredients from the farm, fishing in the pool, wild mushroom picking, wild bamboo shoot picking, camping, etc. There will small farm zoo for children and we wanna help them learn to grow rice.
One day I really wish you could be our guest there 🙂
We will update this beautiful project time to time.
Have you ever been in a farm stay? How was it? I really could use some good ideas for developing our farm stay project!