Aussie Food blogger Craig Gee has spent most of his working life trying to create a menu that satisfies the taste buds of all Australians, but his latest venture into the world of cambos and cayenne peppers has been nothing short of a success.
Gee created the new dish dubbed “Cambodians”, which uses “savoury, spicy” meat from the southern part of Thailand, but also includes pork, chicken and beef, with a lot of cayennes thrown in for good measure.
The result is a dish that’s both tasty and very satisfying, and the best part?
It’s free of the common and unnecessary ingredients that are found in other Thai dishes.
“I thought I’d create something different to the typical Thai cayne pepper and pork, and have a curry with a little more spice,” Gee said.
“It was definitely a challenge, but it was very rewarding and it turned out to be really good.”
The dish was created by Gee and fellow Australian Andrew Taylor at a restaurant called The Crooked Stomach in Melbourne, where he and Taylor worked as a waiter.
Taylor said the couple thought it would be a good idea to create something a little different to what they had been used to.
“There’s always that little bit of nostalgia when you go to a place like that and they do a Thai-inspired curry, and it’s always quite good,” Taylor said.
But while they were thinking about the curry’s name, Taylor said he was also thinking about how the meat should taste.
“Cangos, I don’t know if you know this, are like chinese noodles.
They’re actually really good.
But they’re really, really soft, so they’re not as good as those Chinese noodles,” Taylor explained.
The two went to Thailand and came up with the name “Catch Me if You Can” as an homage to the famous Thai catch phrase “kok mai”.
The name caught on and was quickly picked up by other people in the area, which helped them sell the dish to local restaurants.
“The only people that actually knew it was a real thing were the people that were going to be eating it and then a lot more people started seeing it and that’s how it became a hit with Thai people,” Taylor added.
The name “catch me if you can” has since spread throughout the region, with people passing it around on the streets.
“We all just kept passing it off as something we were doing, but we were really just doing it for ourselves,” Taylor continued.
The dish is a new take on traditional Thai cooking, but its not the first time the name has been used.
The word “tam,” for example, means “to catch”.
The restaurant in Melbourne also makes other dishes that use the word “sauce”, such as “tamar”, which is a Vietnamese soup.
“Tamar is actually a pretty good thing to call a dish because the way it’s prepared, the way you put it together, it’s not something that you could make just by adding your ingredients and trying to do the whole thing,” Taylor noted.
“This is a really good dish, and I think we’re probably one of the few people that can make it at home.”
With the popularity of the dish, Taylor and Gee have started their own catering business, which will allow them to sell the curry for a cheaper price.
The dishes have already been shared by other travellers, with Gee adding that people have asked for more than one version.
“You can’t just go in and buy one,” he said.