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Jen Keenan

Thai Cooking at Home, 2007 – 2012

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Khao Soi is a very rich dish with a mixture of dark/roasted flavors and sour freshness added by the side condiments. To me, it pairs perfectly with beer both before and after the meal. If you insist on going with a cocktail I would think you'd want something strong enough to stand up Khao Soi and to cut through its richness. I would echo bruce's suggestion for something sour and fresh, but intense; like the condiments used in khai soi.

You could also seek out Modern Thai Food by Martin Boetz. He's an australian chef who trained under David Thompson, and he has a large section on thai inspired cocktials in his book. You also might want to try posting your question in the cocktail section of the boards, as I don't think too many of our local cocktail afficionados poke their heads in here. You can use this this link to explain what khao soi is.

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That looks so yummy, is the apple eggplant raw or cooked beforehand?

Thanks, Doddie. The apple eggplant is sliced thinly and mixed with the cooked ingredients just before serving. The eggplant softens a bit, but retains most of its crunch. Thicker slices would remain crunchier; thinner slices would soften more.

We like this salad a lot.

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Over the last couple of weeks, I've made the pat prik king muu bpaa from Thai Food (except I used ground venison since I'm prohibited from purchasing meat; I have three and a half milk crates of the stuff in the freezer :shock: ). The first time I used regular green beans, the second time snake or long beans. Absolutely no comparison. The green beans get too soft and have a sweetness that just isn't right. But, my local Asian market has been carrying absolutely beautiful long beans. A person, but cutting way down (or omitting) on the meat could easily make this into a veg dish. Oh, and I didn't have any fresh green peppercorns.

And, I will add that the second time I made this, I used tinned Maesri prik king curry paste, augmented with lime leaves and lemongrass. If time is a barrier, this works, and well.

I've had a horrid head cold, and have found myself craving jungle curries. Time to explore more of them from this book.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Over the last couple of weeks, I've made the pat prik king muu bpaa from Thai Food . . .

I have had my eye on that recipe, but haven't tried it yet. Can you get grachai, or do you substitute ginger or something else?

I've had a horrid head cold, and have found myself craving jungle curries.  Time to explore more of them from this book.

That ought to cure a head cold. :biggrin: Jungle curry was the first Thai food that I fell in love with, but I have never tried to make any at home. Do you have a favorite?

Tonight we made pomelo and grilled shrimp salad (yam som-o) and sweet pork (mu wan), both from True Thai. The pork was really simple - thin tenderloin medallions stir-fried with garlic, white pepper, fish sauce, and palm sugar. The boys loved it. Jasmine rice to sop up the sauce.

The salad had an intoxicating mix of flavors, with pomelo supremes, grilled shrimp, fresh mint, crushed peanuts, cucumber, tomato, and shrimp powder with chile (kung phrik pon). The dressing was a simple mix of lime juice, salt, white pepper, and palm sugar. We forgot to add fried shallots, fried garlic, and cilantro. Probably would have been better, but it was pretty dang good anyway.

Yam som-o, mu wan, jasmine rice

gallery_42956_2536_6178.jpg

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Bruce, I quite frankly think of pat prik king muu bpaa as a jungle curry, and it is probably my favorite, so if you don't have access to long or snake beans, you need to think about setting in a few plants in the garden next summer.

Oh, and yes, I have access to both grachai and greenpeppercorns (usually fresh, but if you can't find the former fresh, look for the jars of grachai in brine and follow Thompson's instructions).

Tonight for dinner was a red curry with vension and potatoes. The kids really like potatoes in curry, and the biggest coup tonight was that the boy (now 12) cracked the coconut cream and got things rolling!

But, your salad looks spectacular. Appears that I am going to be home alone (!!! :shock: ) for three or four days between Xmas and NY -- perhaps with my best friend coming over and spending the night for a women's get-together, and I'm thinking it's an idea opportunity for me to explore the salads in my copy of Thai Food. Any suggestions along this line are more than welcome!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Appears that I am going to be home alone (!!!  :shock: ) for three or four days between Xmas and NY -- perhaps with my best friend coming over and spending the night for a women's get-together, and I'm thinking it's an idea opportunity for me to explore the salads in my copy of Thai Food.  Any suggestions along this line are more than welcome!

Thank you, Susan. I really liked the grilled banana chile salad with poached chicken and shrimp (scroll down a bit), the salad of Murray trout (we substituted shrimp) and apple eggplant, and just about any grilled beef salad. If you plug “salad” into the “search topic” box on the lower left of the page, you will see a whole bunch of interesting salads (probably more salads than days :smile: ).

Pla pla lom kwan sounds delectable, especially if you are up for smoking fish over grated coconut, palm sugar, and jasmine rice.

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Belated thanks to all for khao soi friendly cocktail ideas. I especially like people explaining the principles at work, and "showing the math" of their thinking. In the end, I jettisoned cocktails altogether, as I got way behind: the morning of, as I went to pound the curry paste for 16 people, I discovered I was out of shrimp paste. Time consuming run into Chinatown on a sleety, rainy day just to get the little tub.... But it was all worth it, the khao soi came out well, perfect for a sleety day.

Next up: roast duck curry for a crowd. What would you serve with it? It's rich and has some sweetness (I put in some pineapple and sometimes some grapes), so I want another dish, other than greens (which I usually do) that goes towards tart/fresh/bitter. I'm thinking that shrimp/apple eggplant salad may be the ticket -- I'll try a go-round this weekend -- but was open to other suggestions.

It's especially helpful to have things I can do a little in advance, as I hate to be working right up until service. Has anyone tried a vegetarian sort of haw mok? Maybe steaming something is a good way to manage time... will have to sit with Thai Food this weekend to see.

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Next up: roast duck curry for a crowd.  What would you serve with it? It's rich and has some sweetness (I put in some pineapple and sometimes some grapes), so I want another dish, other than greens (which I usually do) that goes towards tart/fresh/bitter.  I'm thinking that shrimp/apple eggplant salad may be the ticket -- I'll try a go-round this weekend -- but was open to other suggestions. 

It's especially helpful to have things I can do a little in advance, as I hate to be working right up until service.  Has anyone tried a vegetarian sort of haw mok?  Maybe steaming something is a good way to manage time...  will have to sit with Thai Food this weekend to see.

To feed four, Thompson recommends rice and four dishes – soup, salad, relish (with accompaniments), and a curry (possibly with a side dish). You may want to check out the relish section of Thai Food. Cucumber relish (classified as a side dish, despite the name), accompanies curries nicely. You can slice the cucumbers and make the syrup ahead of time, and mix everything together at the last minute.

Good luck with your crowd, and please do let us know how it goes. I haven’t made Thai food for nearly a month. Must do something about that. :smile:

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Finally got my hands on Thai basil, so tonight we had curry shrimp with basil. I got the gist of a recipe from google, and I can't find it again!

However, I cooked 1/2 can coconut milk until a little fat rose to the top. Added a tsp pf Mae Ploy red curry paste and fried that for acouple of minutes. Once well blended, I add the remainder of the coconut milk plus 1/3 cup of water, 1 tbsp brown sugar, and grated zest of one lime. This was left on med-low heat to reduce and thicken before I added a pound of shrimp and 1/2 cup finely sliced basil leaves.

Once done, I served it over steamed jasmin rice. It was wonderful and quick! :wub:


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Sounds good, Dejah! I hope to get a coconut milk fix this weekend.

Tonight we grilled and rested two NY strip steaks. One we left naked for the carnivores. The other steak we sliced thinly and sauteed briefly with garlic, palm sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, and black pepper. We then tossed the meat and sauce with lettuce, shallots, cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, mint, cilantro, chiles, and roasted rice powder.

The boys missed out – they were off snow tubing.

Thai beef salad (yam nuea), grilled NY strip steak

gallery_42956_2536_13914.jpg

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I have been getting my "coconut milk fix" all week long. I've made curry twice; the temps have not hovered much above zero, so hearty and spicy has been in order. A massaman, and a green curry with chicken have been on the menu (the latter with an obscene amount of Thai Basil). Oh, my leftover curry makes for a most heart and body-warming breakfast ever.

Bruce, your deconstructed larb (for lack of a better couple of words) looks wonderful. The extreme carnivores lost out on this one, didn't they?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I have been getting my "coconut milk fix" all week long.  I've made curry twice; the temps have not hovered much above zero, so hearty and spicy has been in order.  A massaman, and a green curry with chicken have been on the menu (the latter with an obscene amount of Thai Basil).  Oh, my leftover curry makes for a most heart and body-warming breakfast ever.

Sounds like you are doing your part to keep Minnesota warm, and of course obscene amounts of Thai basil are just barely enough. We have Thai dinner planned for tomorrow, and coconut milk will be involved.

deconstructed larb

:laugh::laugh:

The extreme carnivores lost out on this one, didn't they?

Yep, da boyz missed out. Sounds like they had a great time, though. Keep warm!

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Great looking yum neua -- very jealous of ye with access to grills...

What was next up?


Edited by SuzanneW (log)

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Grachai is so wacky that I am tempted, but I can only get it frozen.  It thaws to a sort of rubbery, mushy texture, and I am not sure whether that works.....

Damn! I bought some fresh grachai this week and didn't have the opportunity to use it so i froze it thinking it would be fine :blink:

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Grachai is so wacky that I am tempted, but I can only get it frozen.  It thaws to a sort of rubbery, mushy texture, and I am not sure whether that works.....

Damn! I bought some fresh grachai this week and didn't have the opportunity to use it so i froze it thinking it would be fine :blink:

SuzanneW, I used thawed grachai in tonight's curry. It did have a watery, mushy texture when thawed. Tasted fine in a cooked dish, but I'm not sure how it would work in a salad.

Tonight's dinner was from Thai Food except for the salad.

The preliminaries: the Preethi did a great job of making a smooth curry paste. I added a few tablespoons of water to release the blades. Waaaaay easier than a mortar and pestle (which I still prefer for small jobs like the shrimp paste relish). The extra water evaporated when we fried the paste.

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Shrimp paste relish (nahm prik gapi): This turned out to be a fascinating exercise, following the flavors as they evolved from a mixture of roasted shrimp paste, garlic, and salt ( :shock: ) through the addition of crushed bird chiles ( :hmmm: ), and the final balancing with palm sugar and lime juice ( :smile: ). Despite its dodgy appearance, it added a lovely depth of flavor to the curry. I was the only fan of this relish, unfortunately.

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Stir-fried pork curry with green beans (pat prik king): I prefer long beans with this dish, but unfortunately none were available so we used green beans.

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Chicken and galangal soup (tom kha gai) with oyster mushrooms: I followed the recipe in Thai Food, giving the soup the barest whiff of bruised bird chiles. Each diner could add commercial chile jam or a mix of bruised chiles, cilantro, fish sauce, and lime juice to their bowls as desired. I adore the droplets of chile oil on tom kha gai – the contrast between chile spice and coconut milk richness was one of the things that first hooked me on Thai food.

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Spicy prawn salad (yaam goong), from Delightful Thai Cooking. Mrs. C and Grandma C did a great job on this. Yes I know we had Thai salad for dinner last night. What can I say – Thai salads are a force for good in the universe. :smile:

gallery_42956_2536_32301.jpg

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So in the last two nights, I tried both the egglant salad with shrimp substituting for trout, mentioned just above, and the shrimp/grachai ("wild ginger")/sour mango salad from Thai food.

This shrimp-eggplant-lemongrass one is a definite keeper--very, very easy. The texture just works very nicely. I'd up the lemongrass some from the rough proportions Thompson gives, as my lemongrass tends not to be too pungent

I need to try the shrimp/grachai one a second try, because although it was good, it wasn't quite as fabulous as I hoped. First, the recipe calls for sweet shrimp--cooked in sugar, basically--and I don't think I let the sugar really caramelize down enough before I tossed in the shrimp. So they were a little overcooked and weren't as sweet as I hoped. To get around the soggy grachai problem, I used a frozen pack that came pre-shrdedded. It worked perfectly letting it thaw and then sit in the colander to dry out for a few hours--didn't seem soggy at all. But it changes the look of the salad to more of a som tam look, and I hadn't cut my green mango into similar slices, so the different pieces didn't quite hang together. Still, a big tangle of grachai makes for a very interesting flavor. I think the mango needs to be the same size as the grachai, and I think I needed to amplify the shrimp more -- probably more shrimp paste in the dressing would bring it out.


Edited by SuzanneW (log)

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Damn! I goofed again.

Never having eaten in a Thai restaurant, I was seduced by the Larb thread to try it out. I loved it! What I didn't get was it supposed to be served at room temp. I like it hot (temp not spice)! I can't do it any other way now.

Now I read (from the "Purist" thead):

Another one...no carrots in most Thai curries. Or broccoli florets. Or cauliflower.

and...

YES! Curry is not meant to be a stir fry of veggies + protein with a curry sauce. *shudder* just wrong.

Damn. That is my definition of my curries.

Shallots, carrots, green beans, peas, some protein (chicken, shrimp, pork), coconut milk, thats how I've been making my curries. Served on rice.

Oh my - am I beyond redeemtion?


Jamie Lee

Beauty fades, Dumb lasts forever. - Judge Judy

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These photos probably belong in the Anti-Dinner, but hey, you gotta start somewhere. I recently returned from my first trip to Bangkok, and it's a testament to what an amazing food city that is that I purchased Thai Food on the very day I got back.

A few days ago I started with something incredibly basic -- nahm prik gapi, or shrimp paste relish. I wasn't really sure what to expect from this, so I wanted to taste it with something pretty neutral. Steamed jasmine rice, sauteed bak choy, and sauteeed tofu did the trick. The condiment on the upper left is just fish sauce and Thai chilies. The verdict: I really loved it. Maybe not so much with the tofu I had with it the first night. But on the following days, when I used it as a dip for raw cauliflower, it was wonderful. Anyhoo, here's a (pretty bad) picture:

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Last night, I sort of improvised something based on something I tasted from a street cart in Bangkok's Chinatown. There I had a plate of simple steamed mussels with an amazing dipping sauce. So at home I simply took some New Zealand green-lipped mussels, steamed them, then bathed them in a condiment made with fish sauce, shrimp paste, palm sugar, lime juice, fresh mint, garlic and shallot. A little knob of butter swirled in at the last minute didn't hurt either. Authentic? I highly doubt it. But tasty? Oh yes. This will be repeated soon.

gallery_18974_1420_26582.jpg

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Damn!  I goofed again.

Never having eaten in a Thai restaurant, I was seduced by the Larb thread to try it out.  I loved it!  What I didn't get was it supposed to be served at room temp.  I like it hot (temp not spice)!  I can't do it any other way now.

Now I read (from the "Purist" thead):

Another one...no carrots in most Thai curries. Or broccoli florets. Or cauliflower.

and...

YES! Curry is not meant to be a stir fry of veggies + protein with a curry sauce. *shudder* just wrong.

Damn. That is my definition of my curries.

Shallots, carrots, green beans, peas, some protein (chicken, shrimp, pork), coconut milk, thats how I've been making my curries. Served on rice.

Oh my - am I beyond redeemtion?

Dear Jamie Lee,

Fear not. You can still call it curry or whatever you want. Just don't serve it to me or OnigiriFB and call it Thai curry. :raz:

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Damn!  I goofed again.

Never having eaten in a Thai restaurant, I was seduced by the Larb thread to try it out.  I loved it!  What I didn't get was it supposed to be served at room temp.  I like it hot (temp not spice)!  I can't do it any other way now.

Now I read (from the "Purist" thead):

Another one...no carrots in most Thai curries. Or broccoli florets. Or cauliflower.

and...

YES! Curry is not meant to be a stir fry of veggies + protein with a curry sauce. *shudder* just wrong.

Damn. That is my definition of my curries.

Shallots, carrots, green beans, peas, some protein (chicken, shrimp, pork), coconut milk, thats how I've been making my curries. Served on rice.

Oh my - am I beyond redeemtion?

I do not think "goofing" is possible with food if you enjoyed what you ate. As to larb, I just don't eat it hot cuz it will wilt the lettuce and other things I wrap up with it. I saw someone on another thread (can't remember where) show a pic of it over tofu noodles- looked hot. As to the curry thing- that is again a very generic term. The vegetables mentioned are not standard Thai stuff so some might balk at them, but I think what the posters were referring to was pouring a curry powder flavored white sauce over some protein and vegetable. If it tastes good I do not quibble about authenticity. If I hold it out as a Thai or Vietnamese dish then I follow a good guide. Eat on!

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. . . I think what the posters were referring to was pouring a curry powder flavored white sauce over some protein and vegetable. If it tastes good I do not quibble about authenticity.

Well, being one of those posters, I really was saying that carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli don't belong in Thai curry, but that was in a discussion about authenticity, so I could quibble about it. :smile:

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OK, I'm an original! :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Heidih You must try it hot... or at least warm... I still wrap mine in a boston lettuce leaf, stuffed with cilantro, mint, and whatever other interesting herbs I find at the asian market. It's juicy, and a bit messy, but nothing really wilts if you make them "al a minute"... :biggrin:

I'm just going to call my curries - just curries - and not identify origion. Thanks to all of you for inspiring me my first feeble attempts at "asian curry". :wub:


Jamie Lee

Beauty fades, Dumb lasts forever. - Judge Judy

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This image has haunted me for more than a few days. It is a wonderful example of a "yam"" (let's excuse the nob of butter, ahem). It's my impressions that a larb is of minced meat, but a yam of bigger pieces of meat or seafood. But, I can think of not much better treatment of seafood or meat than a Thai salad. Quite addictive, and BTW, a yam or larb would be the breakfast of champions.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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. . . a yam or larb would be the breakfast of champions.

Words to live by. :smile:

The search for a basic red curry paste is officially over, and David Thompson’s recipe is the winner (Thai Food, page 149). Chopped ingredients, ready to be ground - clockwise from the top: lemongrass, galangal in brine, lime zest, garlic, and shallots, with salt and “goat chiles” (deseeded and soaked in hot water) in the center.

gallery_42956_2536_35353.jpg

The Preethi did a wonderful job of grinding ingredients to a smooth paste with assistance from a few tablespoons of the chile soaking water. I loosely followed the recipe for chuu chii hoi shenn, cracking the coconut cream, frying the paste with palm sugar, seasoning with fish sauce, adding more coconut milk, and simmering until reduced. Just before serving I added the scallops and slivered kaffir lime leaves. When the scallops were just cooked through I garnished with coconut cream and slivers of bird chiles and kaffir lime leaves. Rich, spicy, fragrant, and delicious.

The boys love stir-fried beef with spices (neua pat nahm prik pao kaek). This is quick and easy, but remarkably good. Roast and grind cumin and coriander seeds; marinate beef slices with the ground spices and fish sauce; and stir-fry with nahm prik pao, deep-fried shallots, and white pepper.

For the bean sprout salad, we roasted peanuts and grated coconut in a low oven until golden brown, and then pounded them to a paste in the mortar. We mixed the paste with coconut cream and rice vinegar, and tossed with bean sprouts, sliced shallots, and cilantro.

Red curry with bay scallops; stir-fried beef with spices; bean sprout salad; cucumbers; jasmine rice

gallery_42956_2536_43315.jpg

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