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Aug 20, 2010 05:55 PM

Can you identify this Thai dish?

Enjoyed it yesterday at a small eatery on Th Plaeng Naam, closer to Charoen Krung than Yaowarat, in Bangkok. A photo from the restaurant's wall menu, and another of my plate, are attached.

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  1. It looks like green soybeans in some kind of natto or dashi? I know that those aren't proper terms for Thai cuisine, but it's what I can come up with. Either that, or those little green devils are bugs or insects of some kind, but I don't think so. I see soybeans.

    1. The featured ingredient, said a woman at the desk of the service apartments where I stayed with my friend in Bangkok, is some sort of river shellfish. She was unclear, however, about the name of the dish and the preparation.

      8 Replies
      1. re: DaveCook

        Was it good? I'm having a difficult time around the appearence...

            1. re: ScubaSteve

              See my previous post for what little I know, so far.

              1. re: DaveCook

                I'd never had this dish before. The Thai description on the menu seemed to say 'hoi krapeung ped, i.e. (small) clams fried with flour. What did they taste like?

                1. re: klyeoh

                  Sorry for the delayed reply, klyeoh, but many other dishes in Bangkok, KL, and Singapore have intervened. My first thought when I saw this dish on display was that these must be vegetable and not animal; as buttertart writes, "little teeny clams, removed from their shells...would be one heck of a lot of work." The impression persisted when I was offered a sample, which prompted me to order a plate (35 baht, at the time, a little more than a buck). There's an indulgently oily and rich mouthfeel (note the pooled liquid at the right of the plated dish) that, at least for me, disguised the aquatic origins of the main ingredient. That is, I never tasted "clam," though I don't doubt that little teeny clams are what they were.

                  1. re: DaveCook

                    You certainly are one heck of an adventurous eater, DaveCook. I showed the photo to quite a few Thai relatives & friends from Bangkok, some of them foodies in their 40s & 50s. None of them had even tried this dish before!

                2. re: DaveCook

                  Are they haiguazi, those little teeny clams, removed from their shells? That would be one heck of a lot of work.

        1. Was it refried rice??? If so, there is a famous Hue dish that uses baby fresh water clams and refried rice. Ill try and find the name if of interest.

          2 Replies
          1. re: celeryroot

            I've tried the Hue dish (though only in Saigon; it's delightful in its own way), and, no, this wasn't it.

            I was hoping to find someone simply to translate the name of the dish on the wall menu -- and originally added this post to the China and Southeast Asia board with that thought in mind -- but the moderators have moved it here, to General Chowhounding Topics.

            1. re: DaveCook

              Not sure if you're still interested in knowing the translation as it has been 2 months since you had the dish :) but I just found your post

              The dish is pronounced "hoi ka pong pad pang" (very similar to what klyeoh mentioned in the eariler post)
              hoi (one word) refers to all kind of mollusks in Thai

              hoi ka pong = horse mussel (according to Faculty of Fisheries, Kasetsart University)
              pad = stir-fried
              pang = flour

              I haven't had this particular dish but I had "hoi ka pong pad ped"- spicy stir fried horse mussel. They are more on the texture side rather than any unique flavour.

              So, I guess they aren't tiny clams but tiny mussels :)

          2. These are a baby ocean clam fried in rice flour.

            Most definitely seafood!

            3 Replies
            1. re: nhung

              The little darkshelled ones called hai guazi (sea pumpkinseeds) in Taiwan? Looks like it to me too. Quite labor-intensive to shell all of those little guys!

              1. re: buttertart

                hai guazi are mentioned in this article which may interest you, o tarty one with seafood knowledge.

                1. re: alkapal

                  These were not quite that small, rather about the size of the pad of your index finger. Hadn't thought of them as a mussel, the shell is clam-shaped, not elongated like a mussel. The meat is beige-y with darker parts. They're usually cooked with garlic, basil, and red peppers (the basil is called jiu ceng ta, "9-storey pagoda", it's a holy basil with small leaves that's very fragrant, and the red peppers like the long "Holland" reds you sometimes see, more flavorful than hot). Maybe as Chemk says they're in a green herb sauce or chili paste here too.

            2. i've been reading this thread with interest, and don't have a clue as to any answer.

              i did, however, have a couple of questions:
              1. can clams be green, as these "clams" are? are there any other clams or seafood the flesh of which is green?
              2. green to me means chlorophyll, and thus vegetation (well, i guess algae and plants in an aquatic setting). these bean shaped things on the platter look to me like....well, beans. tell me where i'm wrong (because i'd like to learn).

              6 Replies
              1. re: alkapal

                Maybe the green is not originate from the clams, rather part of the sauce or something.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  I was a Thai linguist once upon a time and lived in Bangkok for 12 years. My wife is Thai. NP2 is correct in his translation of the name for the dish as given in the menu. But the dish does not look like it was made with any sort of flour and we cannot see any reason to add flour. All we can see in the dish are the clams, some chopped spring onion and the oil. Most often this type of clam is stir-fried with basil but that is not the case here as the basil leaves would be visible and the menu name does not mention basil. So, it is kind of mystery to us too.

                  1. re: ThaiNut

                    The reason to add the flour is crispiness, don't you think? Like dredging chicken parts in flour before frying. You wouldn't necessarily see the flour in a picture.

                    1. re: Steve

                      I'd agree if the dish looked cripsy. But to me it looks very wet.

                      1. re: ThaiNut

                        It tasted wet and not crispy, too.

                        1. re: DaveCook

                          It looks wonderful to me, though at first glance I'd have sworn it was barley!