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Jen Keenan

Thai Cooking at Home, 2007 – 2012

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[Manager note: This topic continues the conversation from Thai Cooking at Home, 2005 - 2006]

I did it I did it I did it! I knew I was going to have leftover beef from the Christmas roast, so I planned to make a Thai Beef Salad. I read and planned and shopped and found myself paralyzed - new territory! New cuisine! In my house??? But I finally got it together and did it and it was delicious. I didn't photograph it though - partially because I didn't feel like it, and partially because I didn't want any of you telling me how inaccurate it was huh.gif My thanks go to everyone on this thread for sharing both your trepidation and your techniques!

I'll tell you one thing - it sure did make me think differently about salad. I grew up eating salad all the time and it was always the same - vegetables for the base, dressing for the flavor. But the herbs and aromatics are so important here!

Now I gotta go get me some of them there tiny eggplants cool.gif


To hell with poverty! We'll get drunk on cheap wine - Gang of Four

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first post and I am a total technophobe so fingers crossed.

today was my husb.'s birthday and he requested Thai.

Som tam

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Larb moo with sticky rice

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Tom yam gung gathi the little guy looks like he's trying to escape.

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Haw mok pla

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Gaeng kiew wan gai

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Couldn't find any Thai beer in rural Somerset so got the nearest sounding one, Ti..ger :rolleyes:

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He really appreciated the food as this is what he gets for breakfast at work :shock:

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Red Thai Curry - with Chicken and Eggplant, and oh, that lovely Thai Basil

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Thai dinner, all recipes are from Thompson’s “Thai Food”:

Pad Thai. I’m guessing no explanation is necessary here.

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Duck and Tofu Curry. I pounded the paste for this curry the day before so I can have less work to do on Sunday. This was absolutely divine, although the original recipe is called RED Duck Curry, mine looked more brown. Probably my dried chilies were more brown than red. The tofu was my addition as well, since I had a bunch left after frying them for the pad thai.

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Fish Soup with Caramel broth and Chinese Celery. This was also delicious and very simple to make. The caramel here is of course caramelized palm sugar. I used sea bass fillets rather than trout.

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For dessert we had coconut sweet sticky rice with canned mango…the canned mango were not too bad. Sorry, no pic.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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oh my, your thai meals look fabulous. i hesitated to post my thai throw together dinner from this weekend... but not all good food is planned ahead :wink: and this one was good.

i rediscovered a bit of green curry paste i'd stuck away in a canning jar and had to have it. so... digging around the fridge and pantry i ended up with green curry cooked in coconut milk, nam pla, crabmeat, sliced onion and carrot sauteed and tossed with chunked pineapple in chicken stock with bean thread noodles. no pics, although it was actually pretty in a large soup bowl.

i do miss growing and eating those little eggplants now that it's winter and we've relocated from central tx to wisconsin. :sad:


Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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Octaveman: Doing a little searching, I didn't find anything specific for choo chee duck but I did find two "chuu chii" recipes in David thompson's Thai food. Maybe someone who speaks thai or knows more might be able to chime in on the particular meaning of choo chee or chuu chii?

In Thai food both recipes are for seafood red curries, one with lobster and one with scallops. In fact, in the lobster recipe Thompson mentions that this kind of curry is mainly used for seafood. The basic foundation for the paste seems to be dried red chili, red shallot, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, coriander root and shrimp paste (gapi/kapi). If you specify a little more about the details of what sort of choo chee duck you are looking for I might be able to provide you with a recipe that should replicate it. The biggest thing I guess would be was it a coconut based curry?

Myself I am hoping someone can help me identify some herbs I bought the other day at the market. I have long been on a search for holy basil (bai gkaprow). One herb I bought seems to match the description of one type of holy basil as it has slightly hairy ridged leaves, with something a peppery taste (sort of like peppermint), and purplish undersides and stems. This is the picture:

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I am not sure though as I think it may have been sold under the name Tito at the store, which I understand to be another herb commonly used in vietnam.

The other one I am fairly sure is also another herb known as Vietnamese mint, or Kinh Gioi, but it would be nice to be sure.

gallery_44574_3991_1086261.jpg

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Help! I've been searching but can't seem to find the recipe for the Best Eggplant Dish Ever referenced here... Could someone either post it or email it to me? Many thanks -- looking forward to trying it!

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Octaveman: Doing a little searching, I didn't find anything specific for choo chee duck but I did find two "chuu chii" recipes in David thompson's Thai food. Maybe someone who speaks thai or knows more might be able to chime in on the particular meaning of choo chee or chuu chii?

In Thai food both recipes are for seafood red curries, one with lobster and one with scallops. In fact, in the lobster recipe Thompson mentions that this kind of curry is mainly used for seafood. The basic foundation for the paste seems to be dried red chili, red shallot, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, coriander root and shrimp paste (gapi/kapi). If you specify a little more about the details of what sort of choo chee duck you are looking for I might be able to provide you with a recipe that should replicate it. The biggest thing I guess would be was it a coconut based curry?

Myself I am hoping someone can help me identify some herbs I bought the other day at the market. I have long been on a search for holy basil (bai gkaprow). One herb I bought seems to match the description of one type of holy basil as it has slightly hairy ridged leaves, with something a peppery taste (sort of like peppermint), and purplish undersides and stems. This is the picture:

gallery_44574_3991_1243480.jpg

I am not sure though as I think it may have been sold under the name Tito at the store, which I understand to be another herb commonly used in vietnam.

The other one I am fairly sure is also another herb known as Vietnamese mint, or Kinh Gioi, but it would be nice to be sure.

gallery_44574_3991_1086261.jpg

It looks like perilla leaf or how it is called in korean: gae nnip. I can tell, because the tops of the leaves are green, but the undersides are a bright purple. Its pretty similar to shiso too, so you can use it in korean or japanese food applications. koreans like to take the leaf and wrap up sliced grilled pork belly or sashimi in it. Its quite good. I have no idea how to use it in a thai application

eta: the top pic looks like korean shiso, and the bottom one looks like japanese shiso? i'm not sure about the bottom one


Edited by SheenaGreena (log)

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

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Help! I've been searching but can't seem to find the recipe for the Best Eggplant Dish Ever referenced here... Could someone either post it or email it to me? Many thanks -- looking forward to trying it!

I just finished Thursday night's leftover Best Eggplant for breakfast! It is a wonderful recipe--I'll PM it to you.


Life is short. Eat the roasted cauliflower first.

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Hi all!

Just made the Best Eggplant Dish Ever recipe tonight, many thanks to onehsancare for sending along the recipe. It was quite good, and seemed to taste better the more I ate of it! I can see it being best the next day, after the flavors have had a chance to sit... My only thoughts for next time are 1) double the pork, which I thought was a critical piece of the dish and 2) that it needed a little something tart -- maybe a squeeze of lime.

Also, Octaveman, I noticed when I was at the asian grocery, that maesri makes a chuu chii (spelling? sorry!) curry paste...

Ooof. Very full now, as I kept picking at the eggplant left in the pot long after I was full...

Emily

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I have been meaning to post some pics of the things I've been making for a while now, and I finally got around to it.

gwip sen mii muu sap (rice noodle and minced pork soup)

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The noodles are buried under the other stuff here, but they were very tasty. I'm not sure that I was super pleased with the minced pork; I may try seasoning it before cooking or making balls next time.

Geng Dtaeng Bpet (Red Duck Curry, T312)

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This was a rich red duck curry with a fair amount of spices. The flavor was spot on but it was the first time I made a curry with my own coconut milk, it seemed to lack some body that my curries normally have.

Nahm Dtok (Grilled Beef Salad, T377)

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This is a very different way of eating beef than western methods I am accustomed to, but I quite like it. Especially like the crunch added from the toasted rice.

Yam Dtaeng Gwa (Cucumber and Prawn Salad, T350)

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This was really good. It did end up getting kind of obscured by the ground dried prawns though, and I only used half the prescribed amount. Can't wait to dry it with some better dried prawns.

Tommorow I am planning on making Austin's Pumpkin with egg recipe, and hopefully I'll get to a mussel curry with pineapple later this weekend.

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I have been meaning to post some pics of the things I've been making for a while now, and I finally got around to it.

gwip sen mii muu sap (rice noodle and minced pork soup)

gallery_44574_3991_191154.jpg

The noodles are buried under the other stuff here, but they were very tasty. I'm not sure that I was super pleased with the minced pork; I may try seasoning it  before cooking or making balls next time.

Geng Dtaeng Bpet (Red Duck Curry, T312)

gallery_44574_3991_775864.jpg

This was a rich red duck curry with a fair amount of spices. The flavor was spot on but it was the first time I made a curry with my own coconut milk, it seemed to lack some body that my curries normally have.

Nahm Dtok (Grilled Beef Salad, T377)

gallery_44574_3991_156671.jpg

This is a very different way of eating beef than western methods I am accustomed to, but I quite like it. Especially like the crunch added from the toasted rice.

Yam Dtaeng Gwa (Cucumber and Prawn Salad, T350)

gallery_44574_3991_244667.jpg

This was really good. It did end up getting kind of obscured by the ground dried prawns though, and I only used half the prescribed amount. Can't wait to dry it with some better dried prawns.

Tommorow I am planning on making Austin's Pumpkin with egg recipe, and hopefully I'll get to a mussel curry with pineapple later this weekend.

It's 0650 am where I am but I would sit down NOW and eat the lot.....cheers Gabriel oh, interesting to see the ground dry cooked rice so pale on the yam nuea...mine is normally golden. How does it taste??

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Insomniac Although the rice looks pretty white in the picture (the flash i think), my container of it is actually light brown. I made it myself by dry roasting it on low heat for about 10-20mins until it was golden and it seemed to fit Thompson's description of doneness. I don't have anything to compare it to though, maybe it could have gone longer.

It tastes... toasty and crunchy.

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Insomniac Although the rice looks pretty white in the picture (the flash i think), my container of it is actually light brown. I made it myself by dry roasting it on low heat for about 10-20mins until it was golden and it seemed to fit Thompson's description of doneness. I don't have anything to compare it to though, maybe it could have gone longer.

It tastes... toasty and crunchy.

hehehe the dreaded flash strikes again :smile:

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Tonight we made spicy fish curry with coconut milk (pa sousi haeng), from Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet. This is a dry curry from Laos and NE Thailand. The spice paste contained dried chiles, shallots, and scallion bulbs, and we finished the dish with Kaffir lime leaves and chopped scallion greens. The scallions gave the curry a refreshing and unusual flavor – we will definitely make this again.

ETA: With minor modifications, this recipe should also work nicely with shrimp, scallops, chicken . . .

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Edited by C. sapidus (log)

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In the process of trying to help Octaveman recreate a Chuu Chii duck dish some questions came up about paste making, so I offered to document one of the pastes I'd make next.

I think paste making is a fairly simple process, but it can be intimidating and something of a mystery at first. It's also bloody hard work. However, the results are outstanding, and in my opinion are well worth the effort.

I remember the first time I tried to make a paste I added way too many ingredients and ended up with an unruly coarse blob that resisted my best attempts to reduce it to a paste. Since than I have learned that to start with, it's important to get out all your ingredients and assemble them properly. This means finely chopping/mincing things like lemongrass, galangal, garlic, etc; roasting the shrimp paste; toasting and grinding the spices if any; grating the kaffir lime zest. At first you many want to finely chop everything as this reduces the work involved in pounding, but later on you may find yourself only slicing the shallots, or leaving the cloves of garlic whole.

I will be featuring the paste for Austin's pineapple and mussel curry.

These is a picture of my assembled an prepared ingredients:

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I like to fold a tea towel in a plastic bag, put on an apron and possibly some goggles, and take my tray of ingredients/mortar to the table prior to starting the paste.

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Once you have all the ingredients assembled, add the toughest ingredient to the mortar with a coarse salt and smash it to a smooth paste until there are no discernible individual pieces. The salt acts as an abrasive, helping to break down the chiles; its early incorporation also seems to have a discernible effect on the finished curry. I often add a little salt as I go to help things along, but be careful not to add too much. This is a picture of the dried red chiles at this stage:

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For the actual pounding, its an up a down motion rather than a circular one. Typically, I start out with lighter pounding to break down the ingredients so that they don't fly out of the mortar. One they are broken up a bit I start pounding quite vigorously, more or less smashing as hard as I can from a given height above the mortar. This gets tiring pretty quickly, but if you pound enough pastes the muscles build up nicely.

After the red chiles, I added the lemon grass. I have a small mortar and pestle so I took up a lot of the chiles out before adding it. I like to have a bit of moist ingredient pounded before the lemongrass, as it has a strong tendency to fly out of the mortar, and something moist helps keep it in place (i.e. galangal). It's important not to overfill the mortar because if you have too much stuff in the mortar most of the force of your pounding goes into pushing the paste around, and unpulverized ingredients can hide in the already-pounded paste portion. Here is the paste after the lemongrass, ready for the next ingredient:

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At this point, most of the real work is done, as chiles/lemongrass are typically the biggest pain in the ass to pound done. Here is the paste after a few more ingredients (tumeric, kaffir lime zest, galangal):

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Because my mortar is so small I sometimes pound the garlic and shallots seperately and incorporate them. Here is the garlic:

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and the shallots:

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I should note at this point that my small mortar and pestle is a major pain in the ass; the bigger the better. I am planning on getting a fairly large one soon that should eliminate the need to take ingredients out as I go.

Here is the finished paste with all the ingredients incorporated:

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This paste took on the order of an hour and a half, including cleanup. This is a long time, but I think I could improve with a larger mortar and pestle, and to me it is worth it. Kasma Loha-Unchit I think writes that her mother had it down to 40 minutes, an impressive feat for any complex paste. It does take a fair bit out of you though, and if you are planning a dinner I would recommend pounding the paste a day ahead or well in advance of your prep time.

And here if the finished curry, which was unbelievably good. I'd highly recommend it.

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I'm going to attempt to make sum tom tonight but the problem is I don't have a special gaget to shred my green papaya. Does anyone have any helpful hints? I have the fish sauce, the palm sugar and the lime - am I missing anything else? Thanks in advance for your help!

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jmolinari: Hmm, that's not a bad idea actually. It might work well, especially if you pounded it in small batches after the intial whiz in the process. I can't see any reason why using a food processor at first would eliminate what the pounding contributes. At the very least one could use the processor for some of the intial chopping up.

Gastro888: As jmolinari said, a sharp knife will do you well. I haven't had great sucess with my papaya salads, but I suspect that was as my strands were too thick, and I haven't tried it in a while. I think it was on Austin's blog that I read a good strategy is to use a vegetable peeler to take off wide thin strips, and then cut these into long thin shreds. David thompson suggests a mandoline for this too. You might also try the coarse grating side of a cheese grater. I have been meaning to try this for a while and when I do I was planning on making a few shreds with all of these methods and then selecting whichever one made for the best texture.

Austin gives a recipe and some theory here (about halfway down. And Kasma Loha-Unchit's verison is here. I remember reading somewhere, I think it was Austin's blog, that there are actually two main types of green papaya salad; one closer to the original version from northern thailand and one adapted as a popular snack throughout the country. Aside from your ingredients I would say garlic is key, and cherry tomatoes, tamarind, peanuts, and dried shrimp are all common additions as well.

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