Wednesday, 24 September 2008
Thai Food in Chile: Do It Yourself
One of the complaints most foreigners have about Chile is the lack of decent-and spicy- Asian food. Chinese food here is beyond appalling and Thai and Indian cuisine is watered down and Chileanised so much that it resembles the original only in name.
Now to get around this, you have to cook your own. If you live in Santiasco, then you have easy access to the Chinese and Korean supermarkets in Patronato where you can buy all the sauces, frozen dim-sum, noodles and other imported goodies your little hearts desire. If you live on the coast, however, you're screwed. But not anymore...
Both Jumbo and Lider now stock a reasonable variety of imported Asian spices and sauces. The best find was the authentic Thai curry pastes in Lider in Vina (also sold in a little store on Arlegui). Red, green and yellow are available and mixed in with the Thai coconut milk from Lider you can make a fantastic Thai curry.
The Thai pastes from Jumbo (there's Tom Yum and a couple of others) are really good for making proper fried rice. Jumbo's coconut milk is an absurd rip off at 2400 pesos, however. Lider's Thai stuff is about 800 pesos. The curry pastes cost around 2500 pesos and last forever.
Now, let's hope that real Indian spices make it over here soon as well...