J. Kenji López-Alt blah

Nong Khai: Three Easy Steps to a Happy Wife

Adri and I are traveling together for a full ten weeks. That's a lot of not-much-real-human-contact-besides-each-other time, which means yup, occasionally one of us gets a little unhappy, usually because of something I did or because of something Adri smelled (occasionally both at the same time!).

When Adri is the unhappy one, there are a few tactics I employ to try and get a smile back on her face. One is to talk about the dogs and how much fun they're having up in Sacramento this summer. Another is to ask if she wants crab for dinner.

This is the third and most frequently successful:

Step 1:


Step 2:


Step 3




These little oranges are lime green, smooth-skinned, and about the size of a golf ball. If anything, they look more like our limes back home, but cut into them and you're greeted with bright orange flesh. Thai oranges are extremely low in acid and quite sweet, which makes for a sweet juice that the Thais like to sweeten up even more by adding a ladleful of sugar water. We quickly learned to ask for only a drop of sweetener in our juice.

On our first day in Chiang Mai, Adri drank a full six cups of various fruit juices‐a pineapple, gac fruit, dragon fruit, sugar cane, watermelon, and a mixed smoothie—where juices and smoothies are a way of life. Here in Nong Khai in Northeast Thailand, they tend to eat their fruit rather than drink it, these oranges being the exception. The closest flavor comparison I can think of is tangerine or clementine juice, but the Thai oranges are a little bit more aromatic, with a bit of a Meyer lemon thing going on.

Served in a those thin plastic cups that everything is served in, along with a ton of crushed ice, It's pretty perfect when the weather is hot and humid (which seems to be ALWAYS).

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