“Pak Waan Paa” or “Pak Waan” is a perennial plant local to Thailand with great longevity. It can be harvested in only a specific season. It’s ubiquitous in March-May and becomes rarer during other times of the year, hence cheaper price in season. The common parts to consume are tips, young leaves, and young blossoms. It can be cooked in various ways. One of those is to stir fry using the tips or young leaves which is an easy method. Just stir fry the vegetable with cooking oil, sauce and later meat such as minced pork or chicken and shrimp can be added.
It is a modern iteration of the local ingredient because it is believed that the Thai adopted stir frying from the Chinese. As mentioned in the book ‘The Saowabhas’ Recipes’ of the Saipunya association, Chinese vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, cabbage, Chinese kale, chive, crown daisy, etc. were brought into the region by Chinese immigrants. They were usually cooked with a Chinese method which is stir-frying in an iron wok with high heat, seasoned with sea salt, soy sauce, soybean paste, or Cantonese fish sauce. This cooking method was later adopted by Thai people to cook local vegetables. In the past, they usually consume vegetables fresh with chili paste or dippings. If cooked, they would rather use boiling or steaming.