A recipe from the past – Pla Cian – Thai style fried fish

Nang's recipe

Pi Nang’s Pla Cian recipe written out by her when she first came to Australia

A recent photograph, 2014, of our former Khon Kaen home, now very dilapidated.

A recent photograph, 2014, of our former Khon Kaen home, now very dilapidated.

Pi Nang, Brisbane, circa 2011.

Pi Nang in Brisbane, circa 2011.

I was doing a bit of a tidy-up today, looking for something else, when I came across some old recipes from the seventies when I lived in Thailand.  Our cook, pi Nang as we called her, was one of the best in this small town located in the north-east of the country then one of the poorest regions and the recipient of much foreign aid as the government sought to counter the threat of communist insurgents.

Nang came to us by chance.  She had been reserved by another family.  However, a no-show by them due to the usual bureaucratic delays meant pi Nang was left in the lurch and out of work.  Luckily, we were looking for someone.   She never really left us, staying on as a Nanny when my marriage broke up and coming to Australia where she eventually worked as a chef in a couple of up-market city restaurants buying her own home along the way.   She stayed for over thirty years only returning to Thailand a couple of years ago.

The recipe is one of her old ones that she wrote out for us not long after her arrival in Australia. However, she continues to evolve as a true cook, never ceasing to experiment and inventing new recipes each year, always delicious. She may not even remember this recipe. I must ask her opinion next time she visits.

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