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Thai Cooking at Home, 2007 – 2012


Jen Keenan
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I agree with Heidih. Only soak the noodles until they are firm but pliable, like rubber bands. Are you tossing the noodles with a spatula? Try tossing them a little less. As I've learned from sad experience, overhandling will cause the noodles to break. Also, remember that stirfrying isn't really about stirring. The best technique is to scrape the bottom of the wok with your spatula, lifting the mass of noodles, then flipping the mass over so that the bottom noodles are on top. Let the food cook some more on the bottom, then flip over again.

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I had the same problem (noodles breaking) - less soaking time did the trick too. For the wide noodles (about 1/2 inch) I pour boiling water on them and soak 15 minutes, with an initial stir and then every 5 minutes. Drain but don't rinse. I put them back in the bowl and toss with some peanut oil to get them coated before stir-frying. Makes them less likely to stick together and requires less tossing while cooking.

I use a 10 minute soak for the thinner noodles (about 1/4 inch).

Mark

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www.markiscooking.com

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I was out of town on a girls' weekend for the recent long weekend, and for the first time in years, I made Tort Man Pla from Thai Food by David Thompson (page 494). Drop dead easy (I used my food processor instead of a mortal and pestal) and I'd forgotten how wonderful this is.

My only deviation was to pan fry them instead of deep frying them. I used catfish instead of whiting or orange roughy because that's what I had.

If you use a food processor, this dish can be on the table in about 10 minutes, excepting cutting the stuff for the Cuke Relish.

I can see making this dish with almost any fish excepting tuna, swordfish or salmon. Shrimp would be great.

Edited by snowangel (log)
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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  • 1 month later...

Now that holiday meals are done, let's see some Thai food! A month without a new post here is way too long.

Tonight we fried red curry paste and yellow curry powder in butter, added chicken thighs, and then simmered in a gravy of milk, water, fish sauce, chopped tomatoes, and a little sugar. Served with jasmine rice and a topping of shallots fried in butter. Another good weeknight recipe from Thailand the Beautiful Cookbook.

Burmese chicken curry

BurmeseChix10-01.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

We welcomed Mrs. C back with a simple meal (believe it or not) mostly from David Thompson’s Thai Food.

Soup of minced pork and scallions: Super-simple and quite good. Chicken stock, soy sauce, a pinch of sugar, minced pork, oyster mushrooms, and sliced scallions, finished with cilantro and white pepper.

Stir-fried beef with spices: Strips of sirloin marinated with fish sauce, cumin, and coriander, and then stir-fried with roasted chile paste, fried shallots, chile powder, white pepper.

Cucumber salad (from Cracking the Coconut): Cukes and minced scallions tossed with a dressing of lime juice, fish sauce, and palm sugar.

Edited to eliminate redundancy eliminate redundancy.

PorkScallionSoup.jpg

SFbeefSpices.jpg

Edited by C. sapidus (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Pad ped moo paa (spicy pork), served with jasmine rice and jicama. Another weeknight gem from Thailand the Beautiful Cookbook. Fry red curry paste in oil, mix in thinly-sliced pork loin, canned green peppercorns, fish sauce, palm sugar, and lots of sliced chiles (I used a mix of jalapeno and ancho chiles). Cook everything gently until the pork is just done, adjust seasoning, top with coconut cream, serve and enjoy.

SpicyPork10-02.jpg

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Hi there - novice at Thai cookery here. I have planned to make Rick Stein's version of massaman curry after coming across a couple of recipes on the web. As I'm attempting it for the first time, so decided to buy the ready made massaman paste. However, just looked at the recipe again and it doesn't state just how much of the paste to put in!! (the measurement is 'a quantity' - really helpful, eh?)

Anyway, I've got friends coming over tomorrow on the promise of this and am asking all you kind foodies out there to guide me on just how much ready made paste i should put in.... recipe is for 1.5 kilograms of blade/chuck steak and 600 ml of coconut milk....is it the sort of thing i can do to taste or does the flavour develop over cooking? thanks in advance

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For homemade curry pastes, typical ratios seem to be about 1 cup of massaman curry paste to 3 cups of coconut milk. Commercial curry paste may be saltier (go easy on the fish sauce at first) and more concentrated (so you may want to use a bit less paste). Commercial curry paste cans or (better) tubs should include a suggested ratio that you can use.

The problem with adding curry paste to taste is that frying the curry paste in cracked coconut cream is typically one of the first steps. Frying the paste mellows and improves the flavor, so simply adding more curry paste later would not be ideal. What you can do, however, is add coconut milk towards the end to modify intensity (especially that of the chile heat).

Remember that the final adjustment of salty, sweet, and sour (typically with fish sauce, palm sugar, and tamarind juice) is a key step in Thai curries.

Good luck!

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Another tip is that, initially, the sauce will taste slightly harsh and one dimensional. As the beef cooks and the flavors marry, the sauce will become more rounded & nuanced. Experienced curry cookers can easily extrapolate what the finished product will taste like from the initial test but, if this is your first time, don't be alarmed that it's not as flavoured as you imagined and try and doctor it at the beginning.

PS: I am a guy.

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hello there - just wanted to say a big thank you for all your tips....Shalmanese when I first tasted the paste I panicked as it tasted SO strong and quite unpleasant. And very salty, too. But I took the tips from chris and C.sapidus to fry the paste into the cream and, after adding the tamarind water, meat, etc and cooking for about 40-50 mins (i probably overcooked but hey) all i have to say it that it was delicious! what a boost to my confidence. Bet, though, it would taste so much better with home-made paste! thanks again guys!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Laotian Chicken and potato curry (khoua kai), from Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet. Yes, I know that Laos is not Thailand, but this thread seemed like the closest fit. Served with jasmine rice and raw vegetables.

To make the curry, chop chicken legs through the bone and toss with salt and pepper. Parboil Yukon Gold potatoes and reserve the potato water. Fry a paste of shallots, garlic, and soaked chiles, and then brown the chicken in the paste with fish sauce. Deglaze with potato water and coconut milk, add the potatoes, and simmer until tender. Add coconut cream, lime leaves, chopped scallions, and chopped cilantro, adjust seasoning, and finish with a grinding of black pepper.

I am looking forward to leftovers at lunch tomorrow.

KhouaKai10-03.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Cashew shrimp (gkong pad med mamauang himapahn), from Dancing Shrimp: Marinate shrimp with tapioca starch, fish sauce, black soy, and peanut oil. Slowly fry raw cashews and remove. Fry dried chiles and remove. Stir-fry two minced heads of garlic(!) and sliced shallots, and then add the shrimp and marinade. When the shrimp is nearly done, add oyster sauce, white pepper, and the cashews and fried chiles.

Satay beef (nuea satay), from Thailand the Beautiful: Slice flank steak thinly and marinate with coconut milk, sugar, curry powder, fish sauce, and oil. The grill was uncooperative, so Mrs. C cooked the satay under the broiler.

Peanut sauce (nam jim satay): Very simple and very good – coconut milk, red curry paste, fish sauce, sugar, and ground roasted peanuts, combined and simmered. I could make a satisfying meal of peanut sauce and jasmine rice.

Edamame with sesame oil: Made by Mrs. C.

CashewShrimp10-05.jpg

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  • 10 months later...

OK, this thread has been dead for nearly a year, but let's try to revive it. patrickamory, I'm talking to you (among others) - anyone who makes his own coconut milk should be posting here. :wink:

Tom kha gai (coconut chicken soup): Coconut milk and chicken stock, simmered with galangal, lime leaves, cilantro stems (no roots available), and bruised lemongrass, shallots, and bird chiles. Add sliced chicken breasts and mushrooms, simmer until done, and season with cilantro, roasted chile paste, palm sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice.

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Yam pla gap makreua (fish salad with apple eggplants): Mash garlic cloves, fry until golden, add chicken stock and sliced fish (we used tilapia), and simmer until done. Toss with thinly-sliced apple eggplants and lemongrass, torn mint, shredded flat-leaf coriander, chile powder, sugar, lime juice, and fish sauce.

Cucumber salad: with chopped scallions and a simple dressing of fish sauce, palm sugar, and lime juice.

396170166.jpg

Edited by C. sapidus (log)
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a chicken vegetable curry for dinner last night - carrots, onions, garlic, tomatoes, the eggplants and a lonely chicken breast. for me some peppadew peppers cut up and tossed in. i used a commercial mild curry brick i have now found two places and it is one john will actually eat since it isn't too HOT.

unfortunately johnnybird emailed me that the curry paste, though mild, gave him a lot of intestinal distress this morning. guess i'll have to just go to my local thai place for their killer curry puffs and tom yam gai.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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OK OK! You twisted my arm Bruce! :raz:

Here are some dishes I've made recently:

jungle_curry.jpg

Jungle curry of chicken. The recipe is from David Thompson. Once you've made the paste, it is one of the easiest Thai curries - because you fry it in oil rather than coconut cream. Vegetables are Thai eggplant (apple eggplant) and snake beans.

sticky_rice.jpg

Sticky rice. I recently got a sticky rice steamer basket and am bowled over by how easy it is to make. In general I prefer jasmine rice, for its ability to soak up the sauce, but if I remember to soak the sticky rice overnight, it's literally 15 minutes to make this. I love the little serving baskets too, as do guests.

nahm_prik.jpg

Shrimp paste nahm prik. This is my first successful nahm prik - the first in the relishes section in Thompson. I tried the second one (the tamarind relish) once and it had virtually no takers. This is just as unappetizing looking, but it was rapidly demolished. Raw apple eggplants and snake beans for dipping.

larb.jpg

Chicken larb. Not much to say here, probably the most popular eG Thai dish!

seur_rong_hai.jpg

Seur rong hai or crying tiger, a truly explosive and unusual dish that everyone loves. This is based on Soo-mei Yu's recipe. I highly, highly recommend it. The basic paste is an old-fashioned Thai mixture of green peppercorns, white peppercorns, coriander root and coriander seeds with salt, and is very versatile and can be used for many recipes.

deep_fried_dried_beef.jpg

Deep fried dried beef. A David Thompson recipe from the street food section of Thai Food. The beef sticks (round) marinate in a paste and then sun-dry (or in my case, oven-dry) for a day and then get deep-fried. They are as delectable as they look.

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patrickamory - I am so glad that you were amenable to arm-twisting. :wink: Your food looks absolutely delicious, but I do have one question: Is your "deep-fried beef" the "semi-dried beef" (neua dtaet dtiaw, p. 505) in Thai Food? How did you oven-dry the beef?

I have to try that recipe for crying tiger, it sounds killer.

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Hi Bruce,

It's actually "heavenly beef," neua sawarn, directly below it on the same page. I put it in the oven at just below 200 until it seemed dry enough.

Edit: the crying tiger uses supermarket pork rinds, crumbled over it at the very end!

Edited by patrickamory (log)
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Just ate for the third time at Jitlada on Sunset Blvd in LA. Hands down the best Thai restaurant I've ever eaten at. They key is the southern menu on the final two pages.

We had morning glory salad with shrimp, a dry pumpkin of curry with lamb (uber spicy), green curry of chicken with flat egg noodles, pork crying tiger, and a whole crispy fish with mango salad on top (terrifyingly spicy).

ABSOLUTELy superb.

(Edit: I realize this does not fit the Thai Cooking at Home thread - but I've been obsessing over the fact that my amateur Thai home cooking blows away every Thai restaurant in NYC, including the recently opened branch of Lotus of Siam, so it's an eye-opener to see what the real expert Thai chefs can actually do.)

Edited by patrickamory (log)
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