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THE RAINY SEASON (June to September)

The abundant rains of the rainy season cause the seeds of vegetables which have remained dormant through the other two seasons to sprout and soon the various kinds of wild produce are available to the forest gatherer.

food image Paak boong, water convolvulus but better known as water morning glory, is a climbing swamp plant which is abundant in the rainy season. The young shoots are eaten fresh, added to curries, included in appetizers, or stir-fried with condiments and served as a side dish.
food image Paak plung, or paak pung in Northern Thai, is a kind of wild spinach. The young shoots are cooked into omelettes or dipped into chilli sauces as an alternative to sticky rice. The vegetable is rich in protein and minerals, especially iron, phosphorus and iodine. Highly recommended.
food image Paak waen, like many of these native wild vegetables has no common English name. It is a climbing plant with leaves shaped much like four-leaf clover leaves. It is eaten as a raw, fresh vegetable with chilli sauces, or added to the hot and sour curry called gaeng som.
food image Paak taam leung, called paak kaeb in Northern Thai, or the common morning glory, is a member of cucumber family. The young shoots are added to a curry called gaeng khae and it is an important ingredient in gaeng jeud, a non-spicy curry most westerners would recognize as a kind of soup.
food image Paak khom, called paak hom in northern Thai, can be translated as 'bitter vegetable' but the bitter taste disappears when it is boiled in curries. It is a leafy vegetable belonging to the same plant family as many important South American food grains. The young shoots are lightly stir-fried and served as a side dish.
food image Yod fak thong, or Yod fak gaew in the Lanna Thai dialect, are the shoots of a kind of wild pumpkin. These shoots can be boiled and used to dip in chilli sauces, stir-fried, or added as an ingredient in a spicy vegetable soup called gaeng liang.
food image Naw mhai, or bamboo shoots of many different species, grow most abundantly during the rainy season. This versatile vegetable, an important ingredient in many curries, can be boiled and used to dip up chilli sauces. It is the basis of a traditional hot and sour salad or yaam, or is used as an ingredient in mixed stir-fried vegetables.
food image Mara khee nok or Ma hoy in the Northern dialect is a wild bitter gourd. Its addition provides a bitter flavor to curries. Also, it can be steamed or blanched and used to dip up chilli sauces.
food image Pay-Ga, called Ma rid mai in northern Thai, is a wild tree related to the Japanese persimmon. The fruits are roasted and eaten with the spicy chopped meat called laab or used to dip up chilli sauces.
food image Paak naam, literally thorny vegetable, has edible leaves and thorny stems. The thorns are stripped from the stems and steamed together with the leaves to be used to dip up chilli sauces.

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