Chiva-Som is a beachfront health resort in the royal Thai city of Hua Hin and often described as one of the world’s best destination spas. Focusing on greater well being and vitality, the Green Globe certified resort offers wide-ranging facilities blending Eastern philosophies, Western diagnostic skills, and lavish accommodations nestled within lush tropical gardens.
And then there’s the food.
Dishing up healthy food is a relatively easy, if entirely boring, enterprise for the most part. Scintillating the senses with so many flavors you never notice it’s good for you is an art – one that’s been perfected under the guidance of Executive Chef Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat. (Which explains why the resort has won a number of international awards for its spa cuisine.)
Replicating the experience at home, however, is usually just a bit too daunting for most amateur chefs. Yet the recently published Chiva-Som’s Thai Spa Cuisine Cookbook makes it uncomplicated; featuring some 50 lavishly illustrated and simple-to-follow recipes that will invigorate you quicker than you can say อันนี้เป็นเรื่องที่ง่าย. (Go on, guess!)
Here’s one sterling example, courtesy of the chef: Yam Hua Plee, or banana blossom salad. (Banana blossom is loaded with nutrients like vitamin B and calcium, not to mention a great source of iron.) Oh and you can purchase the cookbook directly from the resort at [email protected]
2 ½ T lime juice
2 T soy sauce
1 ½ T honey
1 T roasted chili paste
2 bird’s eye chilies, finely chopped
4 ½ oz banana blossom, peeled
4 ½ oz. chicken breast, boiled and shredded
3 T ground roasted almond, coarsely chopped
2 T sliced shallots
2 T chopped spring onions
1 T finely diagonally sliced lemongrass
4 T roasted coconut flakes, to garnish
To prepare the dressing, whisk lime juice, soy sauce, honey, chili paste, and chilies in a large bowl. Set aside. To prepare salad, gently toss all remaining ingredients with all of the dressing in a mixing bowl until evenly mixed. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and serve.