Chiva-Som is a beachfront health resort in the royal Thai city of Hua Hin and often described asÂ one of the worldâ€™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 thereâ€™s the food.
Dishing up healthy food is a relatively easy, if entirely boring, enterprise for the most part.Â Scintillating the senses with so many flavors you never notice itâ€™s good for you is an art – one thatâ€™s been perfected under the guidance of Executive Chef Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat.Â (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.Â Yet the recently published Chiva-Somâ€™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 à¸à¸±à¸™à¸™à¸µà¹‰à¹€à¸›à¹‡à¸™à¹€à¸£à¸·à¹ˆà¸à¸‡à¸—à¸µà¹ˆà¸‡à¹ˆà¸²à¸¢. (Go on, guess!)
Hereâ€™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.)Â Oh and you can purchase the cookbook directly from the resort at [email protected]
2 Â½ T lime juice
2 T soy sauce
1 Â½ T honey
1 T roasted chili paste
2 birdâ€™s eye chilies, finely chopped
4 Â½ oz banana blossom, peeled
4 Â½ 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.