Palm Oil Shortage in Thailand, a good time for me to get off fried food?

21 Feb

Earlier this evening after a day of work, I decided to go for a quick dinner before going home.  As I went pass the oyster omelette place not far from Taksin Bridge BTS station I didn’t hesitate to walk in.

The truth is I was craving for this oyster omelette for ages, and heard that this place was quite good.  For those of you who do not know what it is, basically it is a Chinese dish originated from Teochew/Fujian area with the main ingredients of oysters (of course!), corn starch, eggs and bean sprouts accompany with Sriracha or chilli sauce mixed with chilli vinegar.


As I was halfway through the dish thinking that my omelette was not as crispy as it should be, I remember about the “Palm Oil shortage” that’s currently occurring in Thailand. In some supermarkets, the palm oil are out of stocks and the price of the bottled oil raised by about 9 THB (approx 30 cents) The shortage has become a problem that it has become under the DSI (Division of Special Investigation)’s investigation!

In many of the forums, the topic of palm oil shortage has become a concern. I mean,  many of the street food in Thailand are fried, and those fried food stalls are widely known that they re-use their oil which is very unhealthy. With the crisis now, consumers are concerned about the health factor and thinking about putting off the fried food (at least until the crisis is over), not to mentioned that many of the stalls are out of business including my neighborhood fried pork/chicken.

Reading many topics posted in the food forums, many people are asking about the recipes/menus that are not involved oil, I think people are already forgotten that original Thai food do not really involved oil. There are still other way to cook like grilled, boiled and steam. Maybe this is going to change the trend of the food we eat. Maybe we are going to go back to the original way of eating?

As I was finishing my dinner with 1/4 leftovers (it was too oily for me.. very ironic I know) I asked the shop owner how the palm oil shortage effected the shop.

“We had to cut down on using the flour as the cost price is higher”

Hmm.. not sure if that’s relevent, but he definitely said that he has to pay for the higher price of the oil.

Do you pay for the eggs by Kilo? I asked  as I was handing him 100 baht note(*Thailand had recently introduced the eggs to be sold by weight)

“No, we still doing it the old way.”

I thanked him, picked up my change and wished him luck.



2 Responses to “Palm Oil Shortage in Thailand, a good time for me to get off fried food?”

  1. Jay March 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    I thought the same question to myself when I went to a resturant/bar and ordered fish & chips. The three pieces of fish with their chip counterparts arrived at my table pretty greasy. i ate only one fish & about half the chips. when i awakened the next morning, i felt as if nothing had digested & was bloated andd in a bit of pain. i felt sick for a few days & my flatmate told me that it may have been the old oil used to fry my food. That was about 2 weeks ago & i have been avoiding the fried. when i stop to think about how much fried food i eat regularly, i have a difficult time figuring out what to put in its place! lose-lose situation i guess! i’m hungry now! what do i eat?!

  2. chris April 5, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    Interesting you point this out, as food prices in Hong Kong are also on the way up. My brother was just mentioning to me the other day that this noodle shop in Wanchai, famous for its beef tripe noodles, has upped their prices from ~HKD30 to ~HKD50 for a bowl of noodles and a drink. Just one of the many examples we hear about in HK these days, but sometimes I wonder how much is really caused by higher ingredient prices and how much is shop owners padding their profits in the name of inflation…

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