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วันจันทร์ที่ 8 ธันวาคม พ.ศ. 2551

Garlic and Pepper Chicken

Garlic and Pepper Chicken

Garlic and Pepper Chicken (gai pad gratiem prik thai) is a very common dish. You can use any meat — pork, beef, shrimp, squid, etc. You can even make a vegetarian one with tofu. It’s a very easy and quick dish to make. It’s commonly eaten as a one-dish meal over rice, but it can be added to a family-style meal. If sharing - serve it on a regular plate - not over rice.

Rinse and cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces (see picture).

Smash the garlic lightly with the side of a knife. Remove the skin if not using thin-skinned Thai garlic.

Heat the oil in a pan until very hot. Add the garlic and keep stirring so it doesn’t burn.

When (very) lightly browned, add the chicken (or meat, or whatever you’re using!). Cook until done (not raw). If it gets dry and sticky, add some water to the pan about 1-2 tablespoons at a time.

Add the palm sugar, fish sauce and pepper. You may need to add a bit more water here so that it mixes well.

Mix well and serve on rice (for a one-dish meal), or in a plate (to share with friends). Garnish with cilantro.

If making a vegetarian version - pre-fry the tofu first until browned, remove, then start with step 2. Substitute the fish sauce for white soy sauce.

Garlic and Pepper Crusted Pork

Garlic and Pepper Crusted Pork

Garlic and Pepper Crusted Pork is a recipe which my friend P-Mala made up. She’s been a professional cook for 20 years, and is one of the best in Thailand! She was patient enough to teach me how to make this recipe, step by step. In fact, she’s so generous, she has agreed to let me come by on a weekly basis to learn some of her special recipes. Keep a look out for more recipes by P-Mala!

Smash the cilantro roots and salt in a stone mortar & pestle until a paste.
Add de-skinned garlic, and smash. Then add peppercorns and smash until paste.
Cut your meat into 4 equal slices, and put in a bowl. Add your paste, soy sauce and the sugar. Mix to cover the meat. You can also stab the meat a bit with a fork so the marinade seeps in better.

Coat with flour. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 10 hours.

After you’ve waited, fry on medium heat in about 1/2″ of oil. Cook until the meat is cooked through and dark brown, flipping once (about 2 minutes on each side). The meat will be pink and not white, since it’s marinated. Do not overcook or burn the garlic crust.

It’s best to wait until cooled before cutting, so you don’t lose any juice.

Serve with Prik Naam Bplaa: 1 tablespoon fish sauce with a chili sliced into rings. This dish can be a one-plate-dish with rice (sticky rice is a great match), or you can serve with a many-dish meal. You can either marinate the day before, or make it in the morning to eat at dinner.

Plaa Raad Prik

Fried Fish with Chili Sauce

Plaa Raad Prik (pla rad prik) is a whole fish, fried until crispy and then covered with a sweet spicy sauce made from garlic, palm sugar and chilies. This is usually part of a larger meal. You can pair this with a curry or soup and a few vegetable dishes for balance. This recipe is a home style recipe, it’ll taste different (better) than the ones you get at restaurants. Most restaurants use pre-made sweet sauce and alter it a bit.

Smash the garlic cloves slightly in a stone mortar & pestle, or with the back of a knife. If not using thin-skinned Thai garlic, remove the skins. Add the chilies and smash. Do not smash to a paste.

Combine the tamarind with the hot water and squish it with your fingers to create a paste. Strain and set aside.

Clean the guts out of the fish and remove the scales. Wash and pat dry. Rub the fish with the salt, then make 3-4 deep slices into both sides of the fish.

Deep fry on medium heat until crispy and golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Set the fish aside on a rack or plate. Remove the oil from the wok, but reserve it to use in the sauce.
Add 1/2 cup of the used oil back to the pan. Fry the garlic and chilies until fragrant on medium or medium-low heat. Keep stirring at all times to prevent the garlic from burning. The garlic should not be brown and crispy, only slightly browned and still soft. If you overcook it, ditch it and start a new one.

When the garlic is fragrant, add the tamarind water and palm sugar. Bring the heat up and boil for about 1-2 minutes, stirring well.

Pour the sauce over the fish and garnish with a few sprigs of coriander.

You can use any white meat (non-fishy) fish for this recipe.

If you have issues with eating a whole fish, you can use fish fillets. Just make sure they're thick enough as to be soft & meaty inside after frying.

Thai garlic is very thin skinned, so in dishes such as this the skin is usually thrown in. If using the large white garlic found in the US, take the skin off first.

You can make a vegetarian version by frying tofu and covering with the sauce. Replace the fish sauce with about 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp

Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp

Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp (tom yum goong, ต้มยำกุ้ง) is probably the most famous Thai dish, both inside and outside of Thailand. It’s eaten very often here, usually in a type of hot pot with fire underneath. There are hundreds of variations of tom yum, and this recipe includes the two most common versions of Tom Yum Goong.

Prepare all the ingredients. Remove the outer layer of the lemongrass stalks and cut off the end. Cut into 1-2″ pieces and smash with the side of a heavy knife to release flavor. Tear the center vein off the lime leaves. Slice your galangal into thin slices. Cut the tomato into 6 pieces lengthwise. Peel the skin off the shallots and smash lightly. Clean your coriander roots well. Smash the fresh chilies with the back of a heavy knife, or in a mortar and pestle. If using fresh Thai straw mushrooms, slice the bottoms off and cut in 1/2 lengthwise. If making the version with milk: roast the dried chilies until fragrant and browned in a dry wok on medium heat (see note).

Clean the shrimp by peeling off the backs and snapping off the top part of the heads, but leave the fat on at the base of the head (the reddish brown goop). This is very important, as that fat imparts a signature flavor into Tom Yum Goong. Don’t discard it. Then, peel out the legs + intestine underneath, but leave the tails on. Set aside.

Boil the broth on high until it comes to a rapid boil. (see note about broth below). Add the lime leaves, lemongrass, coriander root, galangal and tomato. Boil for 4-5 minutes until the broth tastes herbal. if you’re using fresh ingredients, 4-5 minutes should be enough. In a separate pan, boil the mushrooms in plain water.

After you’ve boiled 4-5 minutes, add a pinch of salt and the shrimp. Strain the cooked mushrooms and add them to the soup as well. Cook until shrimp turn pink, about a minute.
Add the fish sauce and remove from heat. You will now season the soup.
Add lime juice, chili paste, smashed fresh chilies. Taste the soup. Is it sour? Is it salty? If no, add a bit more, 1/4 teaspoon at a time.

If making the version with milk: Add the milk and dried chilies. If doing this step you’ll need to add a bit more lime juice and fish sauce as the milk tames it down a bit. Add about a teaspoon more of each.

Add cilantro and serve. This soup is best served really hot!

This recipe is for the two most common Tom Yum Goong recipes. Both have chili paste (nam prik pao). The only difference is the addition of milk. Milk gives it a somewhat rounded flavor. It's not enough milk to make the soup creamy, just enough to make it less harsh. If you do add the milk, add the dried roasted chilies and a bit more fish sauce and lime juice as well.
A vegetarian Tom Yum recipe can be found here: Tom Yum Het, a clear version of tom yum made with mushrooms.

You can use freshwater prawns for this soup if you'd prefer.
This recipe makes a small soup, enough for 2 to eat with a meal. If cooking for a larger group you may want to double or triple this recipe.

Thais do not fish out the parts of this soup you don't eat before serving - they know to avoid munching on the lemongrass stalks, galangal, cilantro root and lime leaves. If serving this to guests who are unfamiliar with Thai food, you may want to let them know what to eat and what not to eat, or fish out the herbs before serving.

Pork or Chicken broth can be made by simply boiling pieces of pork or chicken in water. Leaving the meat on the bone is best. If you do cheat and use a flavor cube or pre-made broth, make sure it's simply meat broth and not flavored with vegetables as well.

Gaeng Liang

Vegetable Soup With Herbs

Gaeng Liang is a very flavorful soup with tons of fresh vegetables and herbs. The main flavors are basil and finger root. While most of the vegetables might be hard to find outside of Thailand, I have included a few substitutions which will work.

First you make the curry paste. Start by smashing the peppercorns in a stone mortar & pestle until they become a fine powder.

Chop the herbs into small pieces, and add in order, smashing until a fine paste between each new herb: finger root, garlic, shallots, then chilies.

Dice the mushrooms into tiny pieces, then add them too, and smash until fine.

Add the salted beans, smash, mix, and set the finished curry paste aside.

Bring the water to a boil in a pan on medium high. Add salt & the curry paste, and stir well.
When the water boils again, add the thai pumpkin and goard.

When the thai pumpkin and goard are soft, add the sponge vegetable. Cook for a minute or two until soft.

Add soy sauce & palm sugar and mix. Add the soft leafy vegetables and basil now. Stir in and when wilted, serve.

Bottle gourd and angle loofa can both be substituted with cucumber, and Thai pumpkin can be substituted for Japanese pumpkin.

Stir-fried Thai pumpkin with egg

Thai Pumpkin with Egg

Stir-fried Thai pumpkin with egg is an easy, tasty dish which goes well with many things. It’s great eaten with rice or rice soup.

Cut off the outer skin and inner bits and seeds of the pumpkin. Cut the rest into bite-size pieces and set aside. Chop the garlic & chilies too.

Heat your pan to medium-high with the oil, and fry the garlic until lightly browned and fragrant. Add the chilies and cook for about 10-20 seconds more.

Add the pumpkin and water, and cover the pan with a lid. Cook for about 5 minutes until cooked through (can cut easily).

When the pumpkin is finished cooking, remove the lid and let the remaining water dry up.
When dry, add the sugar and stir. Make a little room to crack the egg, scramble it in the pan first, let it solidify, then coat the pumpkin. Add the soy sauce. Mix well.

Do not substitute Thai pumpkin with the jack-o-lantern/pumpkin pie variety. You can try Japanese pumpkin if you cannot get Thai.

Tod Man Khao Pod

Spicy Corn Cakes

Tod Man Khao Pod is a variation on the popular tod man plaa, or ‘fish cakes’ which are so common here in Thailand. This version uses corn kernels instead of fish, and is quite easy to make. Serve it with Slightly Pickled Cucumber Salad.

Remove the kernels of corn from the cob. The best way to do it is to remove by hand, peeling in a downward motion, one at a time. This preserves the whole kernel, and leaves them juicy and flavorful when you bite into them. If you’re lazy, you can use a knife and slice them off. Or even lazier, just get frozen corn. Whole kernels do taste better, however, and don’t explode when you fry them.

In a bowl, add the corn, flour, egg, curry paste, sugar and lime leaves. Mix well.

Drop by rounded spoonful (and smush a bit once in the pan to flatten) into hot oil. Cook on medium-high heat until golden brown, flipping once. It should take about one minute per side.

Son In Law Eggs

Son In Law Eggs

Son In Law Eggs, or ‘khai luuk kheuy’ is a salad made from deep-fried hard boiled eggs, which have been cut into halves or quarters, and topped with a sour & sweet tamarind sauce and fried shallots. I’ve heard many stories as to the origin of this dish’s name… but they all conflict. I’ll ask around here in Thailand and see if I can get the real story and get back to you.

Boil the eggs: put the eggs in cold/room temp water on the stove, and make sure they are at least 1″ under the surface of the water. Bring to boil and boil for 7 minutes on medium-high. Don’t do a rolling boil, or the shells will crack. When finished, switch the water with cool water and leave for a few minutes to cool down. When cooled, peel and set aside for frying.

While the eggs are boiling, you can start with the rest of the steps. First is to dry-roast the chilies. Take the chilies and put them in a pan on medium-high and toss every few seconds. The air might get a bit spicy so make sure you have a window open or a fan on or something. Brown on each side and set aside.

Now you can make the sauce. Start by creating the tamarind paste out of the tamarind and hot water. Squeeze it in a small bowl with your fingers until you’re left with a paste and seeds/fibers. Remove the seeds/fibers and then strain the rest to get rid of the bits. Add to a sauce pan.
Heat on low until warm, and add the palm sugar and fish sauce. The palm sugar will melt in the heat. Cook until it’s melted and mixed well, and then simmer on low for about 5 minutes until darker brown. Set aside.

Frying time! In a wok add about 2 tablespoons of oil, and heat to high. Drop in the shallots and stir constantly (don’t stop even for a second or they will burn!) until lightly browned. Strain and remove.

Add a tablespoon more of oil, lower your heat to medium/high, and add your eggs. The recipe is for ‘deep fried’ eggs, but actually you don’t need to waste your oil to submerge them. Just keep turning the eggs so they evenly brown all over. When golden brown, strain and set aside.

Cut your eggs into quarters or halves, and arrange on a plate. Drizzle the sauce on top, and top with the fried shallots, roasted chilies and fresh coriander.

Tom Khaa

Mushroom Coconut Milk Soup

Tom Khaa is probably Thailand’s second most famous soup, after Tom Yum. It’s spicy and tangy but also very creamy due to the coconut milk. Here’s a vegetarian version made with mushrooms instead of chicken or fish.

Bring water to a boil. Add galangal, lemongrass, lime leaves and knorr cube. Boil for 5 minutes or so, until flavor comes out. You will need to boil longer if your herbs are not so fresh, and you also may need to increase the amount.

Add the chilies, tofu, mushrooms & coconut milk, and cook for a minute or two. Be careful not to cook for too long, just until mushrooms are finished.

Turn off the heat. Add the soy sauce & lime juice, then garnish with cilantro.

You don't eat the galangal, lime leaves or lemongrass, so you may want to fish them out of the soup before you serve it to your guests. Also, lime juice loses it's sourness when boiled, which is why you add it at the very end, after turning off the heat. You should serve the soup right away. Both chicken or seafood can be substituted for mushrooms, if preferred.

Vegetarian Mushroom Lemongrass Soup, or Tom Yum

Clear Mushroom Lemongrass Soup

Vegetarian Mushroom Lemongrass Soup, or Tom Yum (tom yum het mangsawirat, ต้มยำเห็ดมังสะวิรัติ) is a vegetarian version of Thailand’s most popular soup. Tom Yum is very spicy and sour, and usually served scalding hot in a hotpot with a fire underneath. There are many different variations… This one is a clear vegetarian version with mushrooms and tomato.

Add the water to a sauce pan. Crush the lemongrass and cilantro root in a stone mortar & pestle or with the butt of a knife, then add them to the water. Tear the lime leaves to release flavor, and throw them in too along with the galangal.

Turn on your heat to medium high, and bring to a boil. Boil your herbs for about 5 minutes or so, to release the flavors. The color of the water should be a light green when you’re finished.
Add the mushrooms, chilies and knorr cube. Boil for 2-3 more minutes, until mushrooms are soft.

Add the sliced tomato, and cook until soft, probably less than a minute.

Turn off the heat. Add your soy sauce, sugar, and at the very end the lime juice. Taste to make sure the flavor is right… It should be very sour & spicy. You may need to add more lime juice depending on how sour your limes are.

Transfer to a bowl and garnish with cilantro.

You don't eat the galangal, lime leaves, lemongrass or coriander root, so you may want to fish them out of the soup before you serve it to your guests. Also, lime juice loses it's sourness when boiled, which is why you add it at the very end, after turning off the heat. You should serve the soup right away. Both chicken or seafood can be substituted for mushrooms, if preferred.

White Soybean & Coconut Milk Dip

White Soybean & Coconut Milk Dip

White Soybean & Coconut Milk Dip or ‘dtao jiao lon’ is a tasty dip for raw vegetables. It’s usually eaten with cucumber, chinese cabbage and long beans. It’s got a nice, slightly fermented flavor, somewhat like miso.

Rinse and strain the white soybeans and add to a stone mortar & pestle. Smash until a uniform paste.

Add 1/3 cup sliced and de-skinned shallots, and smash until paste.
Bring the coconut milk to a low boil over medium high heat, and add the paste and salt. Simmer on medium to medium low for 15 minutes or so, until the liquid is reduced by 1/2. Keep stirring every few minutes.
Add chilies, the rest of the shallots, and the pork. Simmer for another 15 minutes or so. Keep stirring as before.
Add the palm sugar, mix and remove from heat.
Serve with raw veggies to dip.
Vegetarians: Substituting the pork with a mixture of mushrooms and or tofu makes an excellent veggie dish.
Fermented white soybeans are usually sold in a bottle in the dry goods section of an Asian market. Once opened, store the bottle in the fridge.
If using canned coconut milk, thin it down first with water. Use 1 cup coconut milk + 1 cup water.
Some people add a bit of tamarind paste to their recipe. P-Mala (who taught me how to make this) doesn't. It's up to your taste. Feel free to try adding a bit to see if you like it.

Naam Prik Gapi

Spicy Shrimp Paste Dip

Naam Prik Gapi is one of the oldest of Thai foods which is still eaten today. Dips like this are eaten with either raw or boiled vegetables and fish. This type of food pre-dates the Chinese introduction of woks and cooking oils. This is a very popular Central Thai dish.

Pound the garlic and chilies together in a stone mortar & pestle to make a rough paste.

Add the shrimp paste and pound to mix.
Add the palm sugar, and pound to mix.
Add the hairy eggplant slices and lime juice. Mix well and place in a small bowl to serve. Garnish
with small Thai chilies or pea eggplants.
Serve with vegetables, cut as shown.
You can also serve with slices of ‘cha-om’ omelette, which is made by mixing 3 eggs with 1 cup cha-om leaves and frying in oil on high heat until set and browned on both sides.
The quality of your naam prik gapi depends on the quality of your shrimp paste. Most of the commercial (and sadly, export) brands are really strong smelling, and not very fragrant. We get our shrimp paste at Bangkok's Aww Daaw Gaaw Market, near the Chatuchack Weekend Market. If you're outside Thailand, and have friends coming to visit, ask them to pick up some for you while here.
If you're outside Thailand, and Thai vegetables are hard to come by, you can serve naam prik gapi with pretty much any raw vegetable.

Roasted Chili paste

Roasted Chili Paste

Roasted Chili paste (naam prik pao - น้ำพริกเผา) is a condiment which is used in a variety of dishes, ranging from soups, salads to stir fries. You can even spread it on toast like you would fruit jam. Many people buy this pre-made in jars, but fresh is better!

Peel and cut the garlic & shallots thinly and uniform. If they are different sizes they will cook at different speeds, resulting in burning. De-seed the chilies.

Fry the garlic in the oil on medium heat until lightly browned. Remove the garlic and set aside. Fry the shallots the same way, and set aside. Fry the chilies until fragrant, but be careful not to burn, then set aside. Fry the shrimp until light browned and fragrant, set aside and keep the oil in the pan. Both the garlic and shallots will continue to cook for a minute or two so don’t take them out too late.

Roast the shrimp paste in tin foil in a dry pan (or directly on the burner if you have an electric stove) for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat.

Powder each ingredient seperately, either in a stone mortar & pestle or in an electric spice mixer. Then mix together.

Return the mixture to the pan with the oil along with the shrimp paste. Cook over low heat until fragrant and browned. Be careful not to burn.

Add the tamarind, palm sugar and fish sauce. Continue to cook over low heat to reduce a bit to a jam consistency.

Store in the refridgerator. It’ll last for a really long time.

It's very important you are careful to slice the garlic & shallots the same size. Burned garlic or shallots will ruin the flavor.
It's also really important on the 2nd frying not to burn the mixture, or the naam prik pao will taste bitter.

Some people dry roast the chilies, feel free to try either way.
I'm not sure if roasting the shrimp paste prior to frying really does anything. If you're feeling lazy I think it wouldn't hurt to skip this step.

วันอาทิตย์ที่ 7 ธันวาคม พ.ศ. 2551

Breaded Fried Fish with Spicy Dipping Sauce (PLA CHUP PAENG THOT)

Breaded Fried Fish with Spicy Dipping Sauce (PLA CHUP PAENG THOT)

INGREDIENTS : Breaded Fried Fish

Vegetable oil for frying 3 cups

Whole fish, flounder or similar white flesh 1 -1 1/2 lbs.

Eggs (whole) 2

Flour 1 cup

Bread crumbs1 1/2 cups (2 servings)

INGREDIENTS : Spicy Dipping Sauce

Fish sauce 1/4 cup

Sugar 2 tbsp.

Lime juice 3 tbsp.

Water 1/4 cup

Bird's eye chili peppers 1 tbsp.

Julienne raw mango or

green apples 1/2 cup

Breaded Fried Fish

1. Clean and gut the fish. Using a sharp knife score each side of the fish into large diamond shapes. Wash and pat dry.

2. Immerse the whole fish in flour and roll the fish in egg white, then dunk in bread crumbs.

3. Once the bread crumbs stick firmly onto the fish, place the fish in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before frying.

4. Heat up oil in a frying pan and fry the breaded fish over a medium heat until it is golden brown and cooked. Take the fish out of the hot oil and drain on absorbent paper and serve the fish with julienne raw mango dipping sauce.

Spicy Dipping Sauce lnstructions
1. Melt the sugar in the rest of the liquid ingredients of the dipping sauce. Taste the sauce to see if it is sour and slightly sweet. If not, correct seasoning with sugar, lime juice and fish sauce.

2. Once you have a sauce, add the julienne raw mango or julienne green apple and chili peppers.

3. Spoon this sauce over the pieces of fish.

Slow Cooked Pork Ribs & Pineapple ( Mu Op Sapparod )

Slow Cooked Pork Ribs & Pineapple

A wonderful dish of slow cooked pork ribs in a pineapple & wine sauce. The pineapple does more than flavour this dish, the acidity of the pineapple softens the ribs as they cook, so the meat practically falls off the bone. Mirin sake is a brand of japanese spirit, if you can’t get hold of it, use white wine.


300 gms Pineapple

500 gms Pork Ribs

3 Tablespoons Oil

2 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce

3 Tablespoons White Wine Or Mirin Sake

2 Tablespoons Sugar

2 Tablespoons Ketchup

600 ml Water


1. Clean the pork ribs, chop into 4-5cms pieces, if you don’t have a cleaver, get your butcher to do this.

2. Cut the pineapple into similar sized pieces.

3. Put the oil in a pan and preheat.

4. Fry the ribs just to brown the outside and make the fat a little crispy.

5. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan, bring to the boil, then simmer over a low heat until the water has reduced by more than half. This takes an hour or so.

Chicken Satay and Peanul Sauce (SATAY KAI AND NAM JIM SATAY)

Chicken Satay and Peanul Sauce (SATAY KAI AND NAM JIM SATAY)

INGREDIENTS: Chicken Satay (Satay Kai)

Chicken Breast 8 oz.


Coconut milk 2 fl. Oz.

Coriander roots, chopped 2 tbsp.

Curry powder 1/2 tsp.

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp.

Sugar 2 tsp.

Fish sauce 1/2 tbsp.

Vegetable oil 2 tbsp. (2-4 servings)

Chicken Satay (Satay kai)

1. Slice the chicken into thin strips ready to be skewered.

2. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together and mix the sliced chicken with the
marinade. Allow the chicken to marinade for at least 3 hours or over night.

3. Skewer each slice of marinaded chicken onto a bamboo skewer which has been soakeb in water.

4. Grill or pan sear the skewered chicken until done and still moist. Serve hot with cucumber salad.

Chicken Satay and Peanul Sauce (SATAY KAI AND NAM JIM SATAY)

INGREDIENTS: Peanut Sauce for Satay (Nam jim Satay)

Vegetable oil 3 tbsp.

Red curry paste 2 tbsp.

Ground coriander 1/2 tsp.

Ground cumin 1/2 tsp.

Coconut milk 2 cups

Coarsely ground peanuts 3/4 cup

Sugar 2 tbsp.

Tamarind juice or lime juice 2 tbsp.

Salt 1 tsp.

Peanut Sauce for Satay (Nam jim Satay)

1. Put the oil in a saucepan and heat up. Add the curry paste when the oil is hot and fry until
fragrant, being careful not to burn the curry. (Use medium heat)

2. After a minute or so add the dry spices and continue frying for another one or two minutes.

3. Add coconut milk and the rest of the ingredients except the tamarind juice and salt. Bring the ingredients in the pot back to the boil for a few minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.

4. Adjust the seasoning with tamarind juice and salt. The sauce should taste slightly sweet followed by a touch of tartness and saltiness. The main scent of this sauce is the combination of
curry and coconut.

Green Beef Curry with Thai Noodles (KAENG KHIAO WAN NUEA - KHANOM CHIN)

Green Beef Curry with Thai Noodles (KAENG KHIAO WAN NUEA - KHANOM CHIN)


Vegetable oil 4 tbsp.

Coconut milk 2 cups or 16 fl.oz.

Green curry paste, (Kaeng khiao wan paste) 3 - 4 heaped tbsp.

Beef, sliced 1 1/2 lbs/ 24 oz.

Fish sauce 3 - 4 tbsp.

Granulated sugar 1 tbsp.

Sweet basil leaves, (bai horapha) 1/2 cup

Red spur chili peppers, sliced 4 - 6 (4 servings)

1. Heat up the oil in a pan large enough to hold the curry. Once the oil is hot, lower the heat and
add the curry paste and fry the paste over a low heat, separating the lumps as much as possible. Stir constantly and do not let the curry burn.

2. Add a little of the coconut milk to the curry paste to soften the paste making it more spreadable. Add more coconut milk saving about half for later use. Bring the sauce to the boil, scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent scorching.

3. Add the sliced beef and stir. Bring the curry back to a boil and cook the beef until done. Add the rest of the coconut milk, bring the curry back. to boil and season with fish sauce and sugar. Before serving, add Thai basi leaves and garnish with red spur chili peppers.

4. Serve this dish with rice or spooned over cooked khanom chin, which is Thai spaghetti sold dry in a box under the name of nguan soon.

Green curry paste is available in most Asian grocery stores and comes vacuum packed or in cans. The amount of chili paste used has to be adjusted depending on the saltiness of the particular paste. Conseguently all your seasonings have to be adjusted accordingly. Taste your curry before seasoning with fish sauce or sugar.

All Thai curry pastes contain most of the amazing Thai herbs. They differ from other curries as Thai curry pastes have fresh ingredients rather that dry herbs and spices.

Tried Spring Rolls (PO PIA THOT)

Tried Spring Rolls (PO PIA THOT)


Spring roll wrappers 12 oz.

Ground pork 1 cup

Egg 1 whole

Mung bean noodle (or beanthread) 2 oz.

Green cabbage, sliced thin 1 cup

Bean sprouts 1 cup

Garlic, chopped 1 tbsp.

Flour and water paste 1/2 cup

Ground pepper 1 - 2 tsp.

Soy Sauce 2 tbsp.

Frying oil 4 cups. (4 servings)

1. Soak the beanthread in water until soft, drain and cut into short lengths.

2. Mix together ground pork, egg, cabbage, bean sprouts, ground pepper, soy sauce and
beanthread and put aside.

3. In a pan heat up a little oil and fry the chopped garlic until aromatic, then add the mixture and fry until cooked and well seasoned. Take this mixture off heat and allow to cool.

4. Once cooled, stuff this filling into the spring roll wrappers and seal with flour paste.

5. Fry spring rolls in hot oil until golden brown and drain. Served hot with plum sauce.

This dish originates in Vietnam and the dipping sauces vary from region to region. Most likely the sauce that you would easily find in your country is plum sauce which comes bottled and ready made. Should the plum sauce be too sweet and not spicy enough simply warm it up and add a little vinegar with chopped hot chili peppers.

Stuffed Crab Shells (PU CHA)

Stuffed Crab Shells (PU CHA)

INGREDIENTS : The stuffing

Ground pork 5 oz.

Crab meat 4 oz.

Garlic, chopped 1 tbsp.

Onion, chopped1 1/2 tbsp.

Spring onion, chopped1 1/2 tbsp.

Egg 1 whole

Fish sauce 1 tbsp.

White pepper, ground 1 tsp.


Crab shells 2

Egg 1 whole

Vegetable oil for frying 2 cups (2-4 servings)

1. In a bowl, mix together all the stuffing ingredients but not to the point where the mixture
becomes a sticky ball of paste.

2. Stuff the crab shells with this mixture. If you do not empty crab shells, you can use large scallop shells and pack the stuffing in tightly.

3. Steam these stuffed shells in a steamer until done (20 minutes). Lift the shells from the steamer and let cool.

4. Pour excess juice off the shells. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan. Dip the whole shells in beaten whole egg to cover then fry the whole shells face down first until golden brown then turn to finish the other side. This frying process is merely to give the stuffed shells color and heat.

5. Serve hot.

Thais eat meals in a totally different way from Westerners. Many main dishes are served at the same time at the center of the table and are eaten with rice. Everyone shares all the dishes.

Stirfried Mixed Uegetables with Prawns or Chicken (PHAT PHAK RUAMMIT KUNG OR KAI)

Stirfried Mixed Uegetables with Prawns or Chicken (PHAT PHAK RUAMMIT KUNG OR KAI)


Vegetable oil 3 tbsp.

Chicken or prawns 5 oz.

Fresh mushrooms, sliced 1/2 cup

Asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces 1/2 cup

Carrots, peeled, sliced and blanched 1/2 cup

Cauliflower, cut into small flowerettes 1/2 cup

Garlic, chopped 2 tbsp.

Sugar 1/2 tbsp.

Fish Sauce 2 tbsp.

Water 3 tbsp. (2 servings)

1. Heat oil in a saute pan or wok. Add garlic, chicken or prawns and fry until almost golden.

2. Add cauliflower, water, mushrooms, then stirfry until cauliflower is almost done.

3. Add asparagus, carrots and season with sugar and fish sauce. Stir to mix well and serve on a plate. (You can use other kinds of vegetables if available.)

This dish is another favorite with most tourists because it is simple yet very tasty and mild. This usually accompanies main dishes that are eaten with rice.

Sweet and Sour Prawns (PRIAO WAN KUNG)

Sweet and Sour Prawns (PRIAO WAN KUNG)


Vegetable oil 3 tbsp.

Prawns, peeled and cleaned 8 oz.

Green bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces 1/2

Onion, cut into bite sized pieces 1/2 head

Cucumber, cut into bite sized pieces 1/2 cup

Pineapple 1/2 cup

Tomato cut into wedges 2

Sugar 2 tbsp.

Vinegar 2 tbsp.

Soy sauce or fish sauce 1 - 2 tbsp. (2 servings)

1. Heat oil in a saute pan or wok, then add onion pieces and bell pepper. Stirfry until hot.

2. Add prawns and toss quickly. Immediately add cucumber and tomato and pineapple. Cook
everything over a very high heat.

3. Season with sugar and vinegar. Add fish sauce or soy sauce for a touch of saltiness as this dish is usually sweet and sour.

4. Spoon this dish onto a plate and serve hot with other main dishes.

This Thai sweet and sour dish differs from the Chinese variety in that the sauce has no starch thus the dish is much lighter and more delicate. It also does not have tomato ketchup in it.
Thai cooking can sometimes prove difficult due to the fact that Thai ingredients vary in taste and intensity. One bottle of fish sauce tastes different to another and may also be saltier. So, when cooking Thai food, you have to taste your food as you cook, season it bit by bit and correct the taste as you go along.




Vegetable oils 3 - 4 tbsp.

Chu chee curry paste 3 heaped tbsp.

Coconut milk 2 cups.

Salmon fillets 5 oz. each 4 pieces

Coconut sugars 2 tsp.

Fish sauce 1 tbsp.


Red spur chili, julienne 4 peppers

Kaffir lime leaves, shredded 1 leaf (4 servings)

1. Heat vegetable oil in a shallow sauce pan or in a frying pan until hot.

2. Add the chu chee curry paste and cook for 3 - 5 minutes over a medium heat, stirring
constantly. Should the curry paste be lumpy, add a little coconut milk to loosen the lumps and make it more manageable.

3. Add coconut milk to the cooked curry paste, stir to mix well and bring the liquid back to the boil.

4. Once boiling, add pieces of salmon and cook in the curry sauce, turning once to ensure even cooking on both sides. The length of time it takes to cook the salmon depends on the thickness of the fish.

5. Reduce heat and cook slowly to allow the sauce to evaporate and thicken. Season with coconut sugar and fish sauce. Serve with curry sauce spooned over the fish and garnished with julienne of red spur chili peppers and shredded kaffir lime leaves.

The spiciness of the curry is controlled by the amount of curry paste you use. If you like your curry hot and spicy, simply increase the amount of curry paste. Coconut sugar can be found in most Asian grocery stores. It comes in round patties the size of cookies; Use a knife to cut shavings from this sugar when seasoning curries. Other fish that hold together well can be used for this dish. Cod or snapper are excellent.

Spicy Salmon Salad, Thai Style (LAP SALMON)

Spicy Salmon Salad, Thai Style (LAP SALMON)


Grilled salmon 1.5 lbs.

Shallots, peeled and sliced thin 1 cup

Onion, sliced thin 2 tbsp.

Mint leaves 1/2 cup

Toasted raw rice kernels, ground 3 - 4 tbsp.

Red chili powder 1 - 2 tbsp.

Fish sauce 1/4 cup

Fresh lime juice 1/3 cup

Red spur chili peppers, sliced 2 tbsp.

Chopped fresh galangal (optional) 3 tbsp. (4 servings)

1. Baste the pieces of salmon lightly with vegetable oil and grill until cooked. Take off heat and let cool.

2. With a fork break salmon pieces into a crumble. Add the rest of the salad garnishes except the fresh lime juice. Toss all the ingredients together, then add fresh lime juice to taste. It should be tart enough at first taste but not overpowering.

3. Spoon this salad over decorative lettuce cups and garnish with fresh mint leaves and julienne red spur chili peppers.

Egg Fried Rice (KHAO PHAT KHAI)

Egg Fried Rice (KHAO PHAT KHAI)


Left over rice, at room temperature 1 1/2 cup

Vegetable oil 1/2 cup

Egg 1 whole

Spring onions, chopped 6

Fish sauce 2 - 3 tbsp.

Ground white pepper 1 tbsp. (1 servings)

1. Heat oil in a wok or saute pan. While the oil is heating, beat the egg in a bowl.

2. Add the beaten eggs to the hot oil and scramble to a soft scramble stage by stirring constantly.
3. Add cold (left over) rice to the wok or saute pan and stirfry to heat up the rice and spread the scrambled egg evenly over the rice.

4. Once the rice is hot, add chopped spring onions. Toss and season with fish sauce and pepper. Serve this fried rice with sliced cucumber and spring onions. This dish usually accompanies other main dishes which are eaten Thai style.

Fried rice tastes better when the rice kernels are allowed to scorch a little at the bottom or the side of the wok or pan. This gives the rice a toasted flavor and is very tasty. At all times use a high heat when making fried rice.

Do not use freshly cooked rice for fried rice because it will be too soggy as it has too much moisture.

Phat Thai (PHAT THAI)

Phat Thai (PHAT THAI)

Vegetable oil 1/3 cup

Garlic, chopped 1 tbsp.

Pressed beancurd, sliced into small pieces 1/4 cup

Prawns, fresh and peeled 6 oz

Chanburi rice linguini, soaked in water and drained 2 cups (packed)

Fish sauce 1 - 2 tbsp.

Coconut sugar 1 - 2 tsp.

Unsalted, toasted peanuts, chopped 2 tbsp.

Thai chili flakes (prik pon) 1 tsp.

White vinegar or tamarind pulp juice 1 - 2 tbsp.

Bean sprouts, roots picked 1 cup


Omelet julienne 1

Fresh red spur chili peppers, julienne 1 tbsp.

Spring onion, julienne 1 tbsp.

Fresh lime wedges 2 (2 servings)

1. For best results, this dish should be cooked in a wok, Prepare all your ingredients in advance and have them ready beside you. Heat up the oil in a wok until almost smoking.

2. Add the chopped garlic and pressed beancurd to the wok. Stirfry until cooked but not browned; add the prawns and stir quickly.

3. Prawns cook very fast so do not over cook them. Once the prawns are slightly white add the flat thin rice noodle from Chanburi province. This noodle has to be soaked in water to make it pliable but not soggy, and drained before use.

4. While stirfrying the noodles, season this dish with fish sauce, coconut sugar, chili flakes and vinegar. The liquid from the prawns and seasoning sauces will make the noodle soft yet " al dente" . Add peanuts and toss to mix well.

5. Finally add the bean sprouts and quickly toss in the hot wok to warm them up but do not over cook them. Garnish the dish on top with a julienne thin omelet, red spur chili peppers and julienne spring onions with a few fresh bean sprouts and a lime wedge on the side.

This dish is very famous in Thailand and the world over. It's a great lunch item and our national pasta dish. Chanburi noodles are easily found in most Asian grocery stores, they come dry packed in a bundle wrapped in plastic. Ask your Thai or Asian grocer for phat thai noodles.

Eating and seasoning tips: Westerners usually season their pasta dishes with salt, pepper and parmesan cheese but each phat thai dish is seasoned by the diner with fish sauce for saltiness, sugar for sweetness, lime juice for sourness, chili flakes for spiciness and peanuts for crunchiness.

Thai vermicelli Salad with Prawns [Yum Woon Sen]

Thai vermicelli Salad with Prawns Ingredients

1. 10 medium size shrimps

2. 100 grams ground pork

3. 40 grams mushroom

4. 20 grams chinese celery, cut into 1" long

5. 1 onion, sliced

6. 2 tomatoes, sliced

7. 20 grams shallot, sliced

8. 6 chilies, coarsely chopped

9. 40 g glass noodle

10. 4 tablespoons fish sauce

11. 1 tablespoon sugar

12. 5 tablespoons lime juice

Thai vermicelli Salad with Prawns Preparations
1. blanch pork and shrimp in boiling water, drain

2. blanch mushroom and glass noodle until soft, set aside

3. Mix all ingredients in a big bowl, then season with fish sauce, sugar and lime juice . Transfer to a serving dish. Serve immediately with fresh vegetable such as cabbage, cucumber, string bean, etc.

Stir-Fried Rice Noodle with Shrimp Ingredients

Stir-Fried Rice Noodle with Shrimp Ingredients

1. 12 fresh Shrimp

2. 90 gram Dry Rice Noodle (3 - 5 m.m.)

3. 50 gram Fresh Bean Sprouts

4. 2 tablespoons Chopped (1") Green Onion

5. 6 tablespoons Fish Sauce

6. 6 tablespoons Oyster Sauce

7. 3 teaspoons Vinegar

8. 2 tablespoons Sugar

9. 2 Tablespoons Preserved Turnip

10. 2 Tablespoons Crushed Peanuts

11. 1 Tablespoon Paprika

12. 2 Eggs

13. 1 Teaspoon Red Chili (for Spicy lover)

14. 1/2 Lemon

Stir-Fried Rice Noodle with Shrimp Preparations

1. Soak the noodles about 30 minutes in room temperature water.

2. Heat and season the wok. Add the Shrimp and grill for 90 seconds. Add the Eggs. When the eggs are not quite finished, add the Noodles, Sugar, Peanuts, Turnips and Paprika. Stir Fry until all ingredients are mixed well and the noodles are wilted.

3. Season with the Fish Sauce, Oyster Sauce and vinegar. Then add Bean Sprouts, Green Onions and Red Chili. Stir fry quickly ensuring everything is well combined. If you like wet noodle dishes de glaze with 5 oz. water stock. If you like firmer dry noddles de glaze with only 2 oz. water stock. Place on Serving plate and garnish with more Bean Sprouts and a Lemon wedge.

วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 11 กันยายน พ.ศ. 2551

Papaya Salad

One of my favourite meals, which is definately in my Top 10, is Som Tam, otherwise known as Papaya Salad.

The meal is quite simple to make. The main ingredients are shredded green papaya, chopped green beans, tomoato, dried prawns, unsalted roasted peanuts, chillies, garlic and lime juice. These are all pounded together in a mortar using a pestle. The sound it makes is "pok pok". Whenever I hear that sound while walking down the street I always turnaround to look for the som tam stall.

The papaya salad is best served with sticky rice (khao neow) and grilled chicken. That is the way I like it. But you can have fish instead. There is also a recipe which has crab.

When you come to buy Papaya Salad, it is nearly always prepared in front of you. This way you can tell them how many chillies you want! I like mine hot. Papaya Salad with sticky rice from a roadside stall will cost you about 20 baht.


1 medium dark green papaya
4 garlic cloves (kratiem)
6 green Thai chilies (prik khee noo)
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 cup chopped green beans, in 1-in (2.5-cm) pieces
2 tablespoons anchovy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sauce
1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) lime juice or tamarind juice (ma-kaam piag)

How to make:

1. Peel the papaya and rinse with running water to remove the acid. Remove the seeds and shred the papaya with a grater. Set aside.
2. Place the garlic cloves and the chilies in a mortar and mash with a pestle until crushed into chunks. Place the papaya and the remaining ingredients in the mortar and gently combine all ingredients by mixing with the pestle and a spoon. Serve cold.

Or try other tips :

Papaya Salad Ingredients
1. 2 cups shredded green papaya
2. 1/2 cup shredded carrot
3. 1/2 cup sting bean (cut into 1" long)
4. 2 tablespoons fish sauce
5. 1 1/2 tablespoons palm sugar
6. 3 tablespoons lime juice
7. 1/2 cup tomato (wedged)
8. 1/3 cup dried shrimps
9. 1/4 cup peanuts
10. 10 green chilies
11. 5 cloves fresh garlic

Papaya Salad Preparations
1. Use motar and prestle to crush the chilli and garlic, add shrimps, continue crushing.
2. Add sugar, continue beating with the prestle, then add the papaya, carrot, sting bean, fish sauce, lime juice, tomato, and peanuts. Continue beating until all ingredients mixed well.
3. Finally, season with sugar, fish sauce, or lime. The original taste this dish should be the balance taste between sweet, (pepper) hot, salty, and sour.
4. Serve with vegetables (e.g. cabbage, string bean, napa, etc.). Thai people love to eat Sticky Rice with Papaya Salad. In this case, sticky rice can be served together with finished Papaya Salad.

Chicken with yellow rice

There used to be a guy at the top of our soi selling khao mun gai. I used to go there quite often to buy my chicken and rice. He was always quite friendly and was keen to practice his English with me. Then, one day, he was no longer there any more. As this was at the height of the "bird flu" scare I guessed he closed his stall because of dwindling customers. Or, maybe he just wheeled it elsewhere because of the fierce competition from the "chicken guy". This is the muslim man I told you about before who sells fried chicken which not only tastes better than KFC but is also half the price.

Nearly a year has passed now and most people are not so worried about bird flu. You do hear reports about it in the newspapers every now and then, but people tend to ingore it now. After all, it would seem that the majority of people that have died had direct contact with the birds. Either they reared chickens or they were a butcher. So, I was quite excited last week to see a new food shop open around the corner. This not only sold khao mun gai, but also another of my favourites, khao mok gai. It is owned by a muslim family. Their daughter used to be one of my students. This dish is similiar to the chicken and rice I told you about before. However, the rice in this meal has been coloured yellow with the use of turmeric. To cook khao mok gai, you fry some garlic in a pan until golden brown. You then stir in the rice, curry powder, salt and chicken pieces. You then transfer this mixture to an electric rice cooker. You add the chicken stock and cook for about 20 minutes. Quite simple really.

You don't really need to be able to read Thai to buy food on the streets. You can usually work out what they are selling by looking at the ingredients in the glass display cabinet. However, it wouldn't hurt if you could read! In this picture, the top line says khao mun gai tod and khao mun gai. The first one is fried chicken (tod means fried) and the second one is boiled. The second line says khao mok gai tod and khao mok gai. The last line is obviously telling you that a normal plate is only 20 baht (50 cents) and a bit of extra meat (called piset in Thai) is 25 baht.

Spicy Stir-fried pork with long beans

One of my favourite school lunches is similar to this one. It is called spicy stir-fried pork and long beans, or pat prik king moo in Thai. I took this picture at Pornsiri Kitchen in Samut Prakan where I recently spent the afternoon making Thai cooking videos. I didn’t actually eat this one as it was for a customer. (Even other people have to wait these days while I photograph their food first!) It looks a lot spicier than the version we have at school. The recipe in one of my cook books is slightly different. It calls for 300 grams of pork, a quarter of a cup of prik king chili paste, 200 grams of long beans, 1 red spur chili, 3 shredded kaffir lime leaves, 1 tablespoon of palm sugar and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce. You need to cut the pork up into small pieces and then marinate it for 5 minutes in fish sauce. Cut the long beans up into one inch lengths. Blanch them in hot boiling water until nearly cooked. Then loosely tie them. Heat the oil in the wok and then saute the chili paste until fragrant. Add the pork and keep stirring until it is done. Season to taste with sugar and fish sauce. Add the beans and stir well. Garnish with shredded kaffir lime leaves and red chili.

The local food shop version is a little different. After all, it only costs 25 baht (about 60 cents) so you cannot expect too much preparation. First heated up the wok and then add the pieces of pork. Give it a good stir. Add the chili paste and then some chicken stock. Let it cook for a while longer while continually stirring. Season with some sugar and fish sauce. Most food shops will add a touch of MSG. Add more chicken stock if needed. Then add the long beans. Keep stirring. Make sure you don’t over cook them as they are better if still crunchy. And that is about it! If you like, you can download the cooking video of this meal being cooked.

Fried Mackerel with Shrimp Paste Sauce

Fried Mackerel with Shrimp Paste Sauce

As you probably know by now, I live in Paknam which borders the Gulf of Thailand. As you can imagine, seafood features quite heavily in menus at numerous restaurants in this area. Even the roadside stalls sell plenty of dishes which have seafood as their main ingredients. Today I want to tell you about a popular dish in this area called "nam prik pla too". This basically translates as Fried Mackerel with Shrimp Paste Sauce.

As you can see from the above pictures, the meal is served ready cooked. You choose your fish, which raw vegetables you want and even the spicy sauce. This meal costs 15-30 baht depending on the size of your helping. The "nam prik pla too" sauce is made up from dried shrimp paste, garlic, green chili, shrimp paste, fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar.

Massaman Curry

Massaman Curry

In Thailand we are blessed with a variety of curries such as green curry, red curry, yellow curry, massaman curry and panaeng curry. The two former curries are probably the most popular and what most people would label as genuine Thai food. The other curries are more influenced by Indian and Muslim food as they contain spices such as cassia, cumin and cardamon.

I usually eat these mulsim curries at the weekend when I go to watch a movie or do some computer shopping at Seri Center on Srinakarin Road. In the food market in the basement, there is a food stall run by some muslim ladies. They have four or five different curries for sale. You can choose to eat the curry with either rice or a fresh roti. I usually go for the latter just to make a change from the rice I normally eat during the week. This meal is relatively expensive at 40 baht (about US$1). I don't usually spend so much money on meals but these curries are really filling. And of course they are all really delicious.

Normally I would eat this meal at Seri but today I thought I would do it as a take-away so I could share it with you. I don't mean I am going to let you taste any. I just wanted to share with you the pictures of my lunch today! By the way, to take food home, you just tell them to "sai toong" which means put in a bag. So, they poured the massaman curry into a plastic bag and tied it up with a rubber band. The cucumber relish was put in another and then the roti in a third bag.

Thai Muslims of course usually eat this dish with beef. But today, I decided to eat gang masaman gai which is with chicken. There are different recipes for this dish, but some of the main ingredients include: coconut milk, potatoes, roasted peanuts and onions. It is seasoned with cardamon pods, cinnamon sticks, palm sugar, tamarind juice and lemon juice.

Of course, it is the massaman curry paste which gives it is distinctive taste. The ingredients for this include: red chilies, roasted shallots, roasted garlic, sliced galangal, sliced lemon grass, roasted coriander seeds, roasted cumin, roasted cloves, white pepper, salt and shrimp paste. This is all then pounded together to make the paste. Of course, you have a choice to do all this yourself or just buy a packet of massaman paste for about 5 baht! I bought some today at Foodland and will try to cook some massaman curry later this week.

This curry has a side dish of cucumber relish. You may remember me talking about this a few months back in my blog about satay pork as they both use the same relish. As you can see, this is made up with red chili, sliced cucumbers and sliced shallots. it is then mixed in a sauce of vinegar, salt and sugar.

Chicken Yellow Curry

Chicken Yellow Curry

You may remember me sharing you pictures last week of the Massaman Curry that I ate for lunch. I bought this at Seri Center where I quite often go at the weekend. This week I bought gang gari gai otherwise known as Chicken Yellow Curry.You might be interested to note that "gari" is actually a Tamil word which gave us the English word "curry". Like before, I ordered this meal with a roti. A few readers pointed out that I should really call it a "Parantha" as roti is a single layer and is cooked without oil. That might be true, but Thai people still call it "roti"!

The main ingredients include: coconut milk, potatoes, onion, palm sugar, fish sauce and deep-fried shallots. You could also add cherry tomatoes which I quite like to do in my curries. The meat here can either be chicken or beef. The ingredients for the yellow curry paste include: red spur chilies, roasted shallots, roasted garlic, galangal, ginger, lemon grass, coriander seeds, roasted cumin, curry powder, salt and shrimp paste.

Chicken Yellow Curry

Chicken Yellow Curry

You may remember me sharing you pictures last week of the Massaman Curry that I ate for lunch. I bought this at Seri Center where I quite often go at the weekend. This week I bought gang gari gai otherwise known as Chicken Yellow Curry.You might be interested to note that "gari" is actually a Tamil word which gave us the English word "curry". Like before, I ordered this meal with a roti. A few readers pointed out that I should really call it a "Parantha" as roti is a single layer and is cooked without oil. That might be true, but Thai people still call it "roti"!

The main ingredients include: coconut milk, potatoes, onion, palm sugar, fish sauce and deep-fried shallots. You could also add cherry tomatoes which I quite like to do in my curries. The meat here can either be chicken or beef. The ingredients for the yellow curry paste include: red spur chilies, roasted shallots, roasted garlic, galangal, ginger, lemon grass, coriander seeds, roasted cumin, curry powder, salt and shrimp paste.

Chicken Coconut Soup

Chicken Coconut Soup

I read in the newspaper the other day, that a research team from the UK had proved that an extract of galangal can both kill cancer cells and protect healthy ones from the disease. As this is a common ingredient in Thai stir-fries and soups I was intrigued to learn more. I went onto the Internet and googled "galangal". I eventually found a recipe for Tom Kha Gai (chicken coconut soup). As this is on my favourites list I decided to have a go at cooking it.

My first stop was my collection of cookery books. I soon discovered that although each book had a recipe for Tom Kha Gai they were quite different from each other. From my memory of eating this dish I decided to use the recipe from "Thailand The Beautiful Cookbook". I made a list of the ingredients before setting off to the supermarket. I needed: coconut milk, galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, coriander leaves and some chili. They wanted green but I wanted red.

(Left): galangal (Right): lemon grass

On the left is the galangal (kha). As you can see, it is similar in appearance to ginger. It is pinkish and has a peppery flavour. The label on the pack said it cost 45 baht per kilo. This pack cost 5.75 baht. More than enough. On the next shelf I noticed another pack with both lemon grass (right), galangal and kaffir lime leaves (below right). These are the ingredients for Lemon Grass Soup (more famously known as Tom Yum). As this was only 7 baht I decided to go for that. (1 US$ is presently 38 baht.) As far as I understand, although these two dishes have similar ingredients, Tom Yum focuses more on the lemon grass and Tom Kha Gai focuses more on the galangal. If you are wondering at this stage what "tom" means then I will tell you that it means "boiled".

(Left): coriander (Right): kaffir lime leaves

Next I needed the coriander or "pak chee" in Thai. There were two varieties on the shelf. One was "pak chee tai" and the other "pak chee jeen". I guess the former was Thai and the latter Chinese. As "pak chee jeen" was translated into "coriander" on the label I knew which one to pick. This only cost 4 baht. Next on my list was the small green limes, coconunt milk, chilis and of course the chicken. Oh yes, did you know that the red chilis that are labelled in English as "red bird chili peppers" are called in Thai "mouse shit chilis"! I wonder why they didn't translate that properly in the supermarket?

Tom Kha Gai - Chicken coconut Soup

2 cups of coconut milk
6 thin slices of galangal
2 stalks of lemon grass (cut into 1 inch strips and crush with cleaver)
5 fresh kaffir lime leaves (torn in half, not cut)
250 g of boneless chicken
5 tablespoons of fish sauce (naam blaa)
2 tablespoons of sugar
Half a cup of lime juice
1 teaspoon of black chili paste (nam prik pow)
Quarter cup of coriander leaves
5 green chili peppers (I will use red chilis)

Method 1:
(1) Combine half the coconut milk with the galangal, lemon grass and lime leaves in a large saucepan and heat to boiling. Add the chicken, fish sauce and sugar.
(2) Simmer for about 4 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Add the remaining coconut milk to the saucepan and heat just to boiling.
(3) Place the lime juice and chili paste in a serving bowl then pour the soup into the serving bowl.
(4) Garnish with the torn coriander leaves and chili pepers, and serve.

Other recipes I have read don't include the lemon grass. I also saw another one that said add the chili at the same time as the chicken. I will do that. This next version of the same recipe comes from a book called "Simply Thai Cooking". I am thinking I will go for a mixture of the two. However, they say add lemon juice which I don't have!

Method 2:
(1) Slice the chicken into thin strips.
(2) Smash lemon grass with the flat side of a chef's knife once and then cut into 1 inch pieces; slice galangal into thin rounds; tear lime leaves into thirds; cut chilis in half.
(3) Heat coconut milk and water in a saucepan for 2-3 minutes. Don't let it boil. Reduce heat to a medium and add lemon grass, galangal, lime leaves, chilies and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring continuously and not letting it boil.
(4) Add chicken strips and cook for 5 minutes, stirring over medium heat, until the chicken is cooked.
(5) Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and quarter tablespoon of sugar. stir, and continue cooking for another minute or two/
(6) Transfer to a soup bowl and serve immediately, garnished with fresh corriander leaves.