In episode 49 of The Allsorts Podcast, Desiree talks to Chef Pailin Chongchitnant about her path to becoming a YouTube sensation (her channel has 1.7 million subscribers!) and everything you need to know to cook Thai food at home.

Thai chef Pailin Chongchitnant on The Allsorts Podcast

I was not exposed to Thai cuisine much in my childhood, growing up in smaller Canadian towns in the 80s + 90s. But in my early 20s, I spent some time backpacking with my then boyfriend (now husband…yes I’ve been with him my whole adult life!) throughout South East Asia from Singapore up through Thailand, Laos and Vietnam and to say that I fell in love with Thai food is an understatement. 

A cuisine that celebrates vegetables, lavishes dishes with coconut milk and a liberal use of herbs like Thai basil, tamarind, lemongrass, chiles and galangal?

Um, sign me up….but at home, I have to admit that I had yet to expand my Thai cooking repertoire beyond a simple red curry until very recently. And even if you love Thai food too…you’re probably in the same boat as me.

Which is why you should listen to this episode: my friend Pailin Chongchitnant is a trained chef and host of the YouTube cooking show (with a whopping 1.7 million subscribers!) Hot Thai Kitchen, and she will teach you everything you need to know about cooking Thai at home without spending hours in the kitchen.

I met Pai back in 2016 because we were both hosts of cooking shows on Gusto TV and we’ve been friends ever since…so I am excited to welcome her on the pod so you can get to know this talented chef and creator a little bit better (and learn, once and for all, how to cook rice properly!).

She’s also got a gorgeous new cookbook, Sabai, which is all about easy and comfortable home cooking that will help you feel more confident cooking this flavourful cuisine.

About Pailin Chongchitnant:

Pailin is the creator and host of the YouTube cooking show Hot Thai Kitchen which is all about demystifying Thai cuisine for home cooks, with over 1.7 million subscribers. She’s a trained chef and the author of 2 Thai cookbooks, Hot Thai Kitchen and the new Sabai: 100 Simple Thai Recipes for Any Day of the Week.

On this episode we chat about:

  • Pailin’s circuitous path to culinary school via a nutrition degree
  • Her mission to document all of her grandmother’s signature recipes
  • Pailin’s decision to choose herself and start a YouTube channel
  • What Pai believes is key to her longevity on YouTube
  • The difference between Thai food in North America and Thailand
  • Everything you need to know to cook Thai food at home, including….
  • The essential Thai ingredients you need in your kitchen…and where to find them
  • The BEST Thai curry paste
  • Why your taste buds are your MOST important cooking tool
  • How to veganize Thai recipes and a lot of thoughts on vegan “fish sauce”
  • What most of us are doing wrong when we cook rice

Support the Pod!

We couldn’t make this podcast happen without the support of our amazing listeners.

I love hearing your feedback on these episodes to be sure to join the conversation on our instagram @theallsortspod @desireenielsenrd @hotthaikitchen as well as in our Nutrition with Desiree community.

If you love this episode, please share it with your friends and family, or take a minute to rate, review or subscribe on your favourite podcast app. We appreciate EVERY. SINGLE. LISTEN!

Connect with Pailin:

Pick up Pai’s new Sabai Cookbook




Episode Links + Recommendations:

Thalat Market In Atlanta

Fish Cheeks in NYC

Unchai and Maenam In Vancouver

Pailin’s Thai Grocery Map

Blind Taste Test Curry Paste Video

How to Cook Rice Video

Andrea Nguyen’s Vegan Fish Sauce recipe

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Allsorts Podcast, which is produced by myself and edited by Brian McCalman. We are grateful to live and work and learn on the unceded and ancestral territory of the squamish, musqueum, and tsleil-waututh peoples.