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Taste of the Foothills Celebration – Many-splendored cuisines

Good home cooking – from Thailand – inspires the menu of Thai Kitichen in Grass Valley.

Co-owner Orn Thammovong was raised in Chang Rai, in northern Thailand. For the Northern Sierra Wine Country Association event this weekend, she’s preparing what she calls Thai “comfort food.”

“Tom Kah is a traditional dish throughout Thailand,” Thammavong said. “It is a comfort food, warm and filling and tastes good.”



From the age of 9, Thammavong learned to cook from her mother and grandmother. She immigrated to the United States when she was 17 and met her husband, Simon, in Sacramento. The two run the South Auburn Street eatery.

Thai Kitchen is Thammavong’s fourth restaurant. She continues the family’s culinary traditions as her three daughters and son learn her cooking skills.




Orn and Simon will participate in the Foothill Celebration taking place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in downtown Grass Valley. More than 25 businesses on Main, Mill and Bank streets will host a restaurant and winery or brewery.

Thai Kitchen will offer a cup of Tom Kah, a delicious and exotic coconut milk soup. Pair it with a dry or semi-dry white wine.

You may also try this specialty on your own. The combination of salty, sweet and tart flavors is pleasing.

For information and tickets to the Foothill Celebration, call Music In The Mountains at 265-6124.

Tom Kah

6 servings, 1 cup each

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 6-7 minutes

2 cans (19 fl. oz. each) coconut milk

1 can water (use empty coconut milk can)

4 tablespoons palm sugar (may substitute 6 tablespoons light brown cane sugar)

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon peeled and thinly sliced galangal* (about a 1 inch piece)

1 inch piece of lemon grass stalk, washed and sliced lengthwise*

1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (2 to 3 plump limes)*

Kaffir lime leaves*

*Ingredients are available in some local Grass Valley markets such as Nevada City SPD.

Tip: Although lemon grass, galangal and lime leaves are edible and add flavor, they are fibrous and generally are not eaten. Remove them or leave for decorative effect when serving.

Optional additions: Sliced green onions, thinly sliced white mushrooms, lightly steamed vegetables, steamed chicken cut into small pieces.

Chopped cilantro or red pepper flakes can be sprinkled on top.

Preparation: Prepare ingredients first. In sauce pan, bring soup ingredients to a boil, add optional ingredients as desired and serve.


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