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A Killer Dinner!!!

April 17, 2010

(Dokmai Garden now offers this experience to visitors as “A Killer Lunch“)

“Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture.”

-Mark Kuransky, American journalist

I believe there is no better way to experience a culture than through food, and it is through these culinary experiences that you get an insight into how people act and live.  Here at Dokmai Garden in Chiang Mai I got one such unique experience.  Together with Khun Densak (the head gardener) we caught, killed, plucked, and cooked a duck.  It was an awesome experience to learn firsthand how Thai people traditionally hunted for their meals.

The experience started at the large pond, on the north end of Dokmai Garden, where Khun Densak and I attempted to catch the duck.  At first the ducks were weary of our intentions and stayed far out in the middle of the pond where we could not get them.  After some wrangling (mostly on the part of Khun Densak) we got the ducks cornered and were able to grab one.  We made sure to grab one of the females so as not to disrupt the flocks hierarchy.

After some religious apologies for taking a life, Khun Densak and I slit the throat and collected the blood (to be added back into one of the dishes) as it dripped out.  We next submerged the duck in a boiling broth to loosen the feathers and make plucking easier.  After removing all the feathers, I along with Khun Densak dressed the duck and separated certain parts for different dishes.  My favorite selection was the BBQ, which included the head (with a seasoning of gall bladder and its blue content), the feet, the wings, and the spine.  This arrangement got quickly roasted over the terracotta barbeque and enjoyed while the rest of the duck cooked.  The other dishes included a soup (jungle liana, Tiliacora triandra, with the blood added back in and chunks of duck meat) and a spicy duck salad. The duck meat for the salad was vigorously minced and mixed with some herbs collected from the garden including a nice heap of fresh chillies.  To round out the meal Khun Densak and I washed all this down with a couple of Leo beers, and finished with some ice-cream.  What a wonderful meal, and enlightening cultural insight!

Nick Tittle, Tropical Gardening School student, Washington D.C.

The plucking of a duck is easy after boiling.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Taylor Cantril permalink
    May 24, 2010 5:42 PM


    Your blog and website are great! I’m excited to find out that there is a place like Dokmai Garden so close to Chiang Mai. I just finished studying for a semester in Chiang Mai, but I have two weeks before returning to my home in the United States. Could you use help in the garden? If so, let me know. I couldn’t find your listing on the WWOOF Independents directory.

    Enjoy the rains,

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