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How did the star-rating system for spiciness get started?

At almost any Thai restaurant in the U.S., many dishes can be ordered with a specification of how spicy the dish should be. Usually, this is on a scale of four or five stars (with possibly an extra "Thai hot") at the top. I'm curious as to how this tradition got started and why it's primarily associated with Thai food. (And I guess as a side question, whether this phenomenon extends to Thai restaurants outside of the U.S.) I've tried to do some searching myself, but either the info is hard to find, or I haven't found the right search query to separate the wheat from the chaff. [more inside]
posted by ErWenn on May 30, 2014 - 33 answers

Recipe help: thai egg roll dipping sauce

So I have googled, I promise. But I'm not sure I'm finding the right recipes. I want to make a dipping sauce like the stuff that almost every Thai place around here (Portland area) serves with their fried egg rolls / spring rolls / veggie rolls. [more inside]
posted by peep on May 19, 2014 - 18 answers

Help me to reverse-engineer this excellent tom yum soup

A local Chinese restaurant makes the best tom yum vegetable soup I've ever tasted. I'd like to make it at home, but I don't have the recipe. [more inside]
posted by akk2014 on Apr 24, 2014 - 10 answers

Brands for stickier sticky rice?

I've lately been trying to make thai-style glutinous rice but may attempts so far have not been as satisfyingly sticky as I had hoped. I think it may be down to needing a more authentic brand. [more inside]
posted by onehundredand80 on Feb 8, 2014 - 17 answers

A Cilantro-Hater in Thailand, China, and Japan

Asking for a friend who does not share my intense love for cilantro: "Can someone please translate some simple cilantro-avoidance phrases into Thai, Mandarin, and Japanese for me?" [more inside]
posted by maudlin on Jun 25, 2013 - 12 answers

Thai Basil in NYC

Where can I buy Thai Basil in NYC?
posted by willie11 on May 23, 2013 - 7 answers

~30

Which script / language is this tattoo? What does it mean?
posted by Akeem on Apr 10, 2013 - 5 answers

Maa, maa, maa? Thai tones and beginning language learning

I'm taking a beginning Thai language class, with an emphasis on oral communication. Is it vital to learn the tones/alphabet first? [more inside]
posted by elisse on Sep 16, 2012 - 6 answers

Moved back to the Netherlands, and I'm hungry.

Mefites of Holland! Send me to your favorite ethnic grocery stores and trattorias in de Randstad. Bonus points for North Holland (esp. Haarlem-A'dam-Alkmaar), and you win 1,000 internets if you know of a real Mexican, Thai or Indian grocer anywhere within 250k of Amsterdam.
posted by digitalprimate on Aug 15, 2012 - 14 answers

Help me get my leather painting fixed.

My wife has this leather painting/art kind of thing which was made by taking a hide of leather and cutting out patterns in it. I think it was then painted a bit. It was made in Thailand originally. The problem is that it got stored somewhere damp and the bottom bit has shrunk, so now it is not rectangular but more rhombussy shaped. (Not a lot, but noticeably). Is this repairable? I mean, leather stretches right? If so, where would you go to get it fixed? I don't even know what sort of craftsman to ask.
posted by Just this guy, y'know on Mar 26, 2012 - 3 answers

What to do with weird little fruit?

I bought some Kaffir Limes. (I also bought the leaves, but I've cooked with those before.) What do I do with them? [more inside]
posted by Hactar on Mar 24, 2012 - 5 answers

Don't let the shrimps kill me!

I am seriously allergic to shellfish (crustaceans). I need to be able to communicate this in several languages. [more inside]
posted by kamikazegopher on Mar 16, 2012 - 11 answers

Help me make a yellow curry that'll knock my kids' socks off.

Help me make a yellow curry that'll knock my kids' socks off. [more inside]
posted by sesquipedalia on Oct 5, 2011 - 17 answers

Thai on LA

I need a quick and awesome reco for a Thai restaurant in LA for tonight! Anywhere near Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City, or downtown. Less than $30 per person. Casual attire.
posted by JPowers on May 27, 2011 - 10 answers

Step #1: Buy a Mortar and Pestle

Just got David Thompson's Thai Cooking and I'm overwhelmed! Where to start? [more inside]
posted by rossination on Dec 29, 2010 - 12 answers

Why don't Westerners like Asian desserts?

Why don't Westerners like Asian desserts? [more inside]
posted by dontjumplarry on Dec 15, 2010 - 70 answers

Where can I buy this bowl/cup?

A Thai place in Berkeley where I had dinner some time ago had those really nice drinking bowls/cups made out of aluminum or silver or some other metal - where can I buy them? Here's a picture (with a table spoon for size comparison). [more inside]
posted by The Toad on Nov 9, 2010 - 12 answers

Where to learn Thai in Bangkok

Next year i want to travel to Thailand and start to learn Thai in Bangkok. Can anyone suggest any courses there or have any tips for me?
posted by terminus on Nov 5, 2010 - 8 answers

Thai food for picky eaters

What's the deal with Thai food? [more inside]
posted by cirrostratus on Oct 19, 2010 - 54 answers

Currying favor in Seattle

What is the best source of kaffir lime leaves and holy basil in Seattle? [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 16, 2010 - 10 answers

How can I make restaurant-style Thai iced tea?

I need your help making Thai iced tea like that served in Thai restaurants! Can you help? [more inside]
posted by karizma on Jul 26, 2010 - 15 answers

A mysterious Thai amulet

Any ideas on the story behind this Thai amulet? [more inside]
posted by gomichild on May 27, 2010 - 5 answers

Thai Curry Pastes

Any good uses for Thai curry pastes, besides the usual red/yellow/green curry? [more inside]
posted by k. on May 5, 2010 - 17 answers

Looking for Thai restaurant tofu.

What is the red/pink tofu in restaurant pad thai? [more inside]
posted by hilaritas on Apr 17, 2010 - 12 answers

Where can I find the spiciest food in Minneapolis?

Where can I find the spiciest food in Minneapolis? [more inside]
posted by zombieApoc on Apr 2, 2010 - 13 answers

We shall overcome carryout!

We love Thai food! What's your favorite Thai cookbook? [more inside]
posted by teragram on Mar 17, 2010 - 17 answers

How to make amazing Thai Pineapple Fried Rice?

How do I get my Thai Pineapple Fried Rice to taste like the restaurant variety? [more inside]
posted by haveanicesummer on Mar 12, 2010 - 16 answers

thai food in denver?

What are some great Thai places in Denver, specifically in Cherry Creek or downtown? [more inside]
posted by negative1 on Jan 18, 2010 - 10 answers

What is in my peanut sauce?

Weird question about Thai food. [more inside]
posted by jefficator on Dec 29, 2009 - 13 answers

Where is the BEST place to learn Thai yoga massage?

I'm a yoga teacher and have long been interested in learning thai yoga massage. 2010 is the year for it! I live "overseas" so will have to travel to take a course and it would have to be an intensive (2 weeks rather than a number of weekends over a period of months for example). I'm boggled by all the options out there ...where in the world to go - who are the best teachers? I'm drawn to Saul David Raye....but would appreciate your suggestions. Thank you and Happy Holidays!
posted by LivinginYes on Dec 18, 2009 - 4 answers

I want to make Asian noodles from scratch. Can you help me?

I really really love all types of Asian cooking that involves noodles (banh pho, udon, ramen, whatever!). Problem: kosher asian noodles are crazy hard to find in my neck of the woods. Could you help me out by suggesting cookbooks or websites with great make-it-from-scratch noodle recipes? [more inside]
posted by flibbertigibbet on Dec 9, 2009 - 8 answers

Beef. Noodle.

Can you help me figure out what this delicious beef noodle thing I ate years ago was? [more inside]
posted by peachfuzz on Oct 20, 2009 - 13 answers

Beer pairing advice?

What would you say are the best beer styles (or individual beers) to pair with Indian or Thai cuisine? [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge on Oct 9, 2009 - 28 answers

Thai-to-English Translation Sought for Butthole Surfers Fan

Do you speak Thai? Can you translate this song into English?* This mp3 link is performed by the original artist, who remains unknown, and was infamously plundered by the Butthole Surfers in 1987 to create the track "Kuntz" on the album Locust Abortion Technician. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on Oct 3, 2009 - 6 answers

Thai writing

What is written here? It's Thai. [more inside]
posted by Baldons on Oct 2, 2009 - 6 answers

Pad thai below 14th?

Looking for a specific Thai restaurant in Lower Manhattan. [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit on Feb 14, 2009 - 8 answers

What is this mysterious plant from Thailand called?

What plant did my Thai neighbor just give me? [more inside]
posted by watercarrier on Jan 25, 2009 - 3 answers

Evolution, Thai style?

Tell me about the Thai image that shows an evolutionary progression from a rabbit to a general. [more inside]
posted by chez shoes on Nov 24, 2008 - 4 answers

Why Thai Rice, Cabbage, Apple, Water?

Why do they leave a basket with rice, cabbage, water, and apple outside my favorite Thai restaurant? [more inside]
posted by JakeTimberlake on Nov 6, 2008 - 8 answers

Thai to English translation needed for a car-parts website

I need help finding parts for a Honda City on a Thai website. Would appreciate it if someone could translate important bits for me :) [more inside]
posted by cyanide on Oct 11, 2008 - 0 answers

How can I find and watch this Thai movie?

How can I find a copy of this movie? It's a Thai comedy about a fierce dog that terrorizes a town. http://filmasia.blogspot.com/2008/07/woh-mah-ba-maha-sanook-thailand-2008.html Any help tracking it down would be appreciated, because I really want to watch this movie!
posted by k7lim on Sep 8, 2008 - 1 answer

Where to buy thai ingredients in Schaumburg IL

Where do I buy Thai food ingredients in Schaumburg, IL? [more inside]
posted by ets960 on Jul 28, 2008 - 7 answers

Which bottled peanut sauce is best?

Which brand of bottled peanut sauce comes closest to approximating the rich, coconutty taste of the peanut sauce served in most Thai restaurants? [more inside]
posted by chickletworks on Jun 2, 2008 - 11 answers

Why are there three Thai restaurants on my block?

Why do I often see two, three, even four different Thai restaurants on the same block, sometimes even right next to one another? [more inside]
posted by bubukaba on May 19, 2008 - 22 answers

How do I send Tofu Panang to my mother?

How do I send Tofu Panang to my mother? [more inside]
posted by JJ Jenkins on May 2, 2008 - 6 answers

Thai translation needed please.

Can you guys please translate these sentences into Thai for me?
They're (paraphrased) excerpts from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. [more inside]
posted by Taksi Putra on Apr 28, 2008 - 1 answer

What are some good, quick boxed international lunches?

I really love these easy-to-prepare, not-too-expensive A Taste of Thai/India/China meals for lunch. What else would I like? [more inside]
posted by nitsuj on Feb 23, 2008 - 12 answers

Is it common for Muslim in India to speak Malay, Thai, Indonesian?

Is it common for Muslim in India to speak Malay, Thai, Indonesian as opposed to or in addition to Arabic? [more inside]
posted by notsogirliegal on Feb 5, 2008 - 15 answers

What's the best way to prove ongoing transit for the purposes of Thai immigration for the least amount of money?

What's the best way to prove ongoing transit for the purposes of Thai immigration for the least amount of money?
posted by matkline on Jan 21, 2008 - 13 answers

Thai Food on / around Sunset?

Places to eat in Los Angeles, ArcLight edition. [more inside]
posted by Weebot on Dec 30, 2007 - 17 answers

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