Tag Archives: Thai Food

Thai Burgers Anyone?

Places with fun burgers
It is fun to go to places like The Counter and get custom made burgers. What was even more fun at The Counter was when I did burger and beer tastings once. I got burgers done the way they like it instead of how I like it and it was very interesting. The sauces and the combinations of extras was quite unusual. However, the beers that accompanied the pairing were really awful and didn’t exactly match the flavors in the burger either. But, burger and beer tasting is a great idea. But, what about Thai burgers?

It is common for fun places to have multiple types of burgers. The mushroom burger, portobello, various types of cheeses, etc. But, I have never heard of a Thai burger. What would it be like?

Thai burgers
The meat of a Thai burger should be grilled. Perhaps a chicken burger, or maybe beef or even pork. I could even picture a mixture of meats. But, the meat should be well grilled and a bit charred on the outside.

The seasonings could include basil, mint, galanga (an Indonesian spice common to most Thai curries) as well as coconut or peanut sauce. Some lime could accompany the sauces as well. The philosophy behind the seasonings in a Thai burger are based somewhat on Thai sate which is a popular appetizer. It is grilled meat with a peanut, sweet, or hot sauce. The other flavors are common in Thai stir fry or salads. But, rather than generalize about Thai flavors for cooking meat, and let’s come up with some specific ideas.

The Angel Burger
We’ve all had Thai angel wings which are stuffed with glass noodles and spices. But, what if this concept could be turned into an innovative and bizarre burger? Let’s first create a patty out of chicken meat, but not regular chicken meat. Let’s use the wing meat for extra flavor. We could even fry the wings before we grind them and then mix that meat with ground meat and put glass noodles in the middle. I’m not sure how this would turn out. You might have to add the glass noodles after the fact! The burger could be cut into four quarters and each quarter (or create sliders) could have a different sauce. A lemongrass sauce, peanut sauce, sweet & spicy sauce, and a red curry sauce for the last quarter.

The Pork Belly Slider
Pork belly is popular with Koreans as it was a traditional food that helped coal miners maintain lung health. The fat in the pork belly helps to remove heavy metals from the lungs! What if you cooked some pork belly, ground it up and mixed it with ground pork, and created a patty you could grill? Then, it could be served with a spicy sesame sauce. Maybe this sounds more Korean than Thai, but it sounds delicious to me.

Wagyu Beef
Nothing beats a high quality beef like Wagyu or Kobe beef. The taste of the beef has a lot to do with where it is raised as well as what name brand it is. But, a good wagyu beef burger would go well with a peanut sate sauce in a burger, lettuce, tomato, onion, and perhaps a little mint or basil to add a little unique Thai touch to it.

Beef short ribs AKA kalbi
Forgive me, for I live near Koreatown. I rarely eat there, but, the culture has influenced me. Kalbi sliders, tacos, or anything else you can think of sound wonderful to me. But, what Thai seasonings would this traditionally Korean specialty go well with? Why not do tortilla lime short rib tacos with a basil / mint Thai sauce on the top. How is that for tri-cultural innovation?

Mixed meat
It might be fun to have a burger that is not all beef. Why not mix chicken, beef, and pork in one burger. You could have a cashew spice sauce as well just to be different. Or just use the regular sate sauce which has spices, peanut, coconut, and more!

I am not a cook and have no idea what any of these dishes would taste like. But, it is fun to think about it, and I would drive 100 miles to taste any of these creations! Maybe some restauranteur will try these some day and see how the crowd reacts!

The Angry Thai – a restaurant with a huge angry Buddha

Some bored restauranteurs got together to discuss some ideas. They were tired with the same old restaurants, the nice service, the outfits, the predictable menus, etc. They wanted to do something different, but what? One guy thought of the idea of doing underwater dining, but that has already been done in some foreign country. Another thought of a simulated outer space experience, but that was too costly and complicated. Finally, after hours of brainstorming Ryan came up with the idea of a Thai restaurant where everyone was angry. The other guys were not sure if the idea would fly. It would go either way. People might like the idea because it was different, or they might be scared off. The main point was that the restaurant would be an experience that you would not forget.

So, they built a restaurant with a huge angry Buddha. This Buddha got so upset, that steam would come out of its ears when it got mad. Not only that, but the floor, windows, and porcelain would start to rattle every time the Buddha got mad. At first this was fun. But, little did they know that the idea would get out of hand.

The next hurdle was to find staff. Thai people are generally very congenial and nice. It is very rare that you meet an angry Thai person. Even if they are angry, they smile and pretend to be happy, as that is their culture. I only met an angry Thai person once. She was very rude. The other people are her work outcasted her and basically threw her out. It is socially not acceptable to be angry with Thais (or Indians) for that matter. You’ll get outcasted faster than you can say Rad Na if you are!

Finally, after lots of looking around, they found some actors and actresses who were good at acting angry, but no too angry. This was good, because they didn’t want to have situations that were out of control. They put together a menu, found a few good chefs, and they were open for business.

HOSTESS: “Sawat di kaaaaaa… Welcome to the Angry Thai, is there anything I can do to make your stay more angry?”

CUSTOMER: “Um, we heard you had a very good Thai style angry pork sandwich.”

HOSTESS: “Yaaaa, very angry-la. It has many chili peppers in it — make you very angry very fast. You like…”

CUSTOMER: “Sounds great. Can you recommend anything else?”

HOSTESS: “Try our salads, very spicy too. Not sate salad — too agreeable. Try spicy beef salad with lemongrass, lime and chilis. Guaranteed to make you mad after your first bite. Have a seat, your server will be with you.”

SERVER: “Welcome to the angry Thai, I’m Nelson, and I’m angry.”

CUSTOMER: “Nice to meet you Nelson.”

SERVER: “No, not nice. I am not nice — I am angry, and meeting me is not nice.”

CUSTOMER: “Got it. We are interested in the papaya salad.”

SERVER: “Okay, but not angry. To compensate, I can step on your toe.”

CUSTOMER: “Okay, just don’t step too hard. By the way, that is a very nice Buddha you have over there.”

SERVER: “You must never speak ill of the Buddha — he will get very very angry! And terrible things will happen…”

CUSTOMER: “I thought that the Buddha was enlightened and happy, and spread peace throughout the world.”

SERVER: “You’ve got the wrong Buddha lady. Our Buddha is not like that. He gets mad!”

CUSTOMER: “I don’t believe that.” (speaking to the Buddha) “Hey Buddha, what’s the secret to enlightenment?”

SERVER: “Oh no, you must not do that…”

HOSTESS: “How is everything? Is everybody angry yet?”

CUSTOMER: “No, I just asked the Buddha a question.”

HOSTESS: “Oh no, don’t do that. He get very angry. Don’t play game with our Buddha. He not like other Buddha.”

CUSTOMER: “I don’t believe that.” (speaking to the Buddha) “Hey Buddha, how come you meditate all the time, why don’t you get a girlfriend.”

GUY AT NEXT TABLE: “Seriously, you are pushing it. That Buddha has a reputation. The whole place will start shaking if you make him mad.

CUSTOMER: “That’s a bunch of BS. And besides. I can get exactly the same Buddha for less than half what you paid on Buddhas4less.com.”

Suddenly, the entire restaurant started shaking. The chinaware was clanging, the pots were banging, the floor was shaking, and steam was coming out from the Buddha’s ears.

HOSTESS: “Oh no, you made the Buddha mad. See what you did?”

CUSTOMER: “I thought that was the whole point of coming here — to have an angry experience…”

HOSTESS: “Yes, getting mad is okay, just don’t make the Buddha mad — when he get mad, he get very very angry. Terrible things will happen.”

The customers enjoyed their angry Thai food and went home feeling satisfied. They were even more satisfied that they upset the Buddha, and regarded making him mad as a mark of achievement. Several weeks later something much more serious happened. A family with children came to the restaurant. The children taunted the Buddha and kept poking him and asking him why he was so angry. The Buddha got so angry that the whole restaurant shook, but much more seriously than before. Instead of a light tremor, it was more like an 8.7. The paintings fell off the wall, the windows started to break, the walls started to cave in. Everyone rushed for the door and barely escaped with their lives. The Buddha got so angry that the entire neighborhood shook until no building was standing for two blocks. The entire area was reduced to rubble. When the clean up crew came, the only object that was still intact was the golden angry Buddha. Word on the street was that the angry Buddha was angry because it was inhabited by an angry spirit of a disgruntled monk from Burma whose community turned on him and kicked him out of the monastery.

But, the angry Buddha was different now. He usually had a scowl and sharply angled eyebrows. The Buddha’s physical appearance had changed. Now, he was content and relieved, and anyone who looked at him could tell. The Buddha was smiling. Perhaps a different spirit was inside of this golden Buddha now. A happy spirit. What an irony.

And that is the tale of the Angry Buddha at the Angry Thai Restaurant.
Have an angry rest of your day!
The end!