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Thai Cooking at Home, 2005 - 2006


Susan in FL
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Since I last posted on this thread, I finally made chicken-coconut soup. I am coming along as a coconut convert, and really liked this. I used True Thai's recipe for Tom Kha Kai. The next "new" soup I make might be a hot and sour shrimp soup. On this particular night I also made rolls again, and after reading the discussion here about beef salad :smile: , a larb-like beef salad.

Now most of my Thai attention has turned to making Pad Thai again, given the cook-off thread. Fun!

Edited by Susan in FL (log)

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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I'll admit first off that I took no photos.

It was a killer pot of red curry, which chicken and bamboo shoots and a few of those little eggplants that needed to be used. And, I'll also admit that I used Maesri curry paste (from a tub). I boned some thighs, chopped then into hunks and included some of the bones. For the first time in a long while, I also added some kaffir lime leaves from my plant. I made an extra huge batch, using two of the bigger cans of coconut milk. And, an extra huge pot of rice.

So, with all of those leftovers, I sent some home with our guest (my cousin), and made myself two containers of rice and curry. I love leftover rice and curry for breakfast. I put rice and curry in bowls, plates on top, fridge, for nuking the next morning. I didn't have time to get to the Asian market today, so didn't get fresh Thai basil. But, last summer, as the first frost was upon our doorstep, I whizzed the last of the leaves off the plant in the food processor, added a bit of oil, and froze it in a log. This is the best way to preserve this basil. It added just the right touch.

Reminder to self. Always add a couple of lime leaves to the curry, plus a tidge of palm sugar. The tidge of palm sugar just set everything off.

We also had some stir-fried veg. Some asparagus and some broccoli. Lots of big hunks of garlic, some fish sauce, and a dried chili scrunched in my hand and added to the oil before I added the veg.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Sounds good, Susan! This Susan used up leftovers last night, too, and made an Asian-of-some-sort style soup. I had some pork to make a stock with, so I cleaned out the produce bin and threw in lemongrass and galangal and herbs and stuff like that, along with the usual stock stuff. After straining it, I seasoned it with fish sauce and dried shrimp, etc. and at the last minute added in soaked rice noodles, fried tofu, daikon, bean sprouts, scallions.... threw some herbs on top... Great way to use up the leftover Pad Thai ingredients!

Those beautiful pot stickers of yours in the dinner thread drove me so nuts as to eat some store-bought ones last night, to satisfy my craving. We snacked on them as an appetizer while we cooked the rest of dinner. We used good soy sauce and a plum sauce I made for summer rolls as the dipping sauces. They were so good, I can hardly imagine how good your homemade must have tasted.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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That leftover curry was outstanding this morning. What I do is put servings of rice, topped with curry into bowls and nuke when ready to eat. It does reheat beautifully, although it's better if the vegetable is more like a bamboo shoot and less like a Thai eggplant which tend to fall apart.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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  • 3 weeks later...

Had a great Thai meal tonight for friends: a red curry with chicken thighs (instead of duck) and potatoes from David Thompson, the pomelo salad in the Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet cookbook, and some sticky rice. We also had the green mango and smoked fish recipe in HSSS, which was simple, absolutely outstanding, and necessary for you to make as soon as possible!

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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That leftover curry was outstanding this morning.  What I do is put servings of rice, topped with curry into bowls and nuke when ready to eat.  It does reheat beautifully, although it's better if the vegetable is more like a bamboo shoot and less like a Thai eggplant which tend to fall apart.

Do you mean those little round green and white buggers? I have a few in the fridge to cook this week with some long beans in a jungle curry.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Does anyone here have Cracking the Coconut: Classic Thai Home Cooking by Su-Mei Yu? I just got it as a gift and I'm wondering what some good recipes are. Thanks in advance!

Yep.

I've enjoyed the 5 or 6 dishes that I've made from it.

I made the Bangkok style Padd Thai for the cook-off, but never got around to posting pictures. The larb recipe makes for an interesting contrast when you compare it to Snowangel's (which is my mainstay). Some truly excellent salads.

It's best use though, IMHO, is as an instructional manual in home-style Thai cooking. How to make ingredients (for example, chili water) and dressings.

THe only drawback is that most of the recipes are VERY involved. Definitely for weekend cooking, especially at first.

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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I made the tom yum gung from Thompson's book this weekend. It has to be one of the easiest recipes in this book and came out great as well. The soup is not cloudy in the picture, it's just the steam :biggrin:

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E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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I'm a newbie to Thai cooking and I'm really confused about the red, yellow, green, panang and 'm" something or other curry pastes. Are they really that different tasting? Which would the restaurant dishes such as chicken or beef with basil use? The ingredients seem to be similar except for the color of the chiles used. Would someone be able to describe the differences? Which are the most popular to start with? Thanks!

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Does anyone here have Cracking the Coconut: Classic Thai Home Cooking by Su-Mei Yu? I just got it as a gift and I'm wondering what some good recipes are. Thanks in advance!

I do. I've made her claypot rice (P. 177) and it's delicious. I'm not sure but I think I've made one of her Pad Thai with salted Tienjin Cabbage and dried shrimp...that was before I got her book and as I recall it was very good. If you use Tienjin cabbage, make sure to rinse it really well. First time I used it I didn't know and while I was eating I thought I had lost a filling - I chewed on a big piece of coarse salt. I have a few more bookmarked to try...One of these days... :rolleyes::wink:

Let me know if you try anything from this book, I'd be interested to hear what you think.

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I'm a newbie to Thai cooking and I'm really confused about the red, yellow, green, panang and 'm" something or other curry pastes. Are they really that different tasting? Which would the restaurant dishes such as chicken or beef with basil use? The ingredients seem to be similar except for the color of the chiles used. Would someone be able to describe the differences? Which are the most popular to start with? Thanks!

Those are really good questions, and I don't have succinct answers on the tip of my tongue. If somebody else with more Thai expertise and more ability to put it into words doesn't come along, I'll do a little research and note-taking and get back to you.

Does anyone here have Cracking the Coconut: Classic Thai Home Cooking by Su-Mei Yu? I just got it as a gift and I'm wondering what some good recipes are. Thanks in advance!

...Let me know if you try anything from this book, I'd be interested to hear what you think.

Yes, please do let us know what you try. I have been thinking about buying it. I keep telling myself that I'll go to the library and check it out, but I keep not getting around to it.

Hey chris, when you cook your sticky rice, how long do you soak it for before cooking? I've heard anything from 1 hour to overnight! I havn't cooked any, as i always forget to soak it before using it, and i never have time.

jason

Not Chris, but I'll give some input. I do soak it overnight. I often forget too, so I end up having Jasmine rice instead, for a Thai dinner, if I didn't remember to soak the sticky rice the night before. I love it, and that just reminded me... I want to have sticky rice with something tomorrow night. I'll set the bag out now, so I remember.

I wonder if there is an amount of time ahead that is too long to soak it... ?

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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I'm a newbie to Thai cooking and I'm really confused about the red, yellow, green, panang and 'm" something or other curry pastes. Are they really that different tasting? Which would the restaurant dishes such as chicken or beef with basil use? The ingredients seem to be similar except for the color of the chiles used. Would someone be able to describe the differences? Which are the most popular to start with? Thanks!

At th risk of oversimplification, here is my take on this question. Red, green yellow, panag and mussaman curries are all different. They taste distinctly different, although share many of the same ingredients. One good experiment is to make identical red curry and a green curry dishes simultaneously.

I usually see green curry with basil with chicken, red curry with duck, mussaman with beef and panang with a choice of meat on the typical thai menus around here, but that hasn't stopped me from using meats and curries interchangaebly.

For me, red and green curries are a good starting point, the dishes are common at every thai restaurant which would give you a good baseline of evaluating your final dish. Buy a commercial paste, making paste is fun and rewarding but often inconsistent when you are trying to dial in the ingredianets and cooking technique.

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let me rain on the kaffir lime parade. (puts armor on). my wife and i purchased a kaffir lime tree (bush is more like it) and used it for several years in our thai cooking before it died of neglect this winter. maybe its just the california climate but:

1. i found that the leaves were no more aromatic than my 'normal' lime bushes,

2. i found that i really didn't even care for the taste of lime leaves that much. to my taste, it imparts a slightly 'soapy' flavor to food

3. and worst of all, the limes were useless for margaritas :laugh::laugh::laugh:

anyone else have this experience or am i just a barbarian?

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I'm a newbie to Thai cooking and I'm really confused about the red, yellow, green, panang and 'm" something or other curry pastes. Are they really that different tasting? Which would the restaurant dishes such as chicken or beef with basil use? The ingredients seem to be similar except for the color of the chiles used. Would someone be able to describe the differences? Which are the most popular to start with? Thanks!

They definitely do not taste the same. Although the ingredients are similar, the proportions are different.

If you're a beginner to Thai curries, in general, I would suggest starting out with Massaman and yellow curries. These two curries are generally easiest for beginners--yellow is especially easy to make, while Massaman is often the easiest (for those who have not tried Thai before) to eat. Yellow curry is most often made with chicken, while Massaman with beef. Neither are made with pork, since both are curries from the (predominantly Islamic) south of Thailand. But you could do whatever suits you best.

Of the other two, I prefer red curry with pork, green curry with beef. I do like red curry with beef, as well, but for some reason, I just prefer it with pork. Perhaps those are the meats my dad usually used.

There is some disagreement on which is traditionally hotter--red or green. I think they're both about the same, but my Thai friends say green. It all depends on the chef, I suppose.

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Thanks everyone for al the help. I might just get one jar of each and play. The dish I usually order is called beef panang, so I might like that one as I've had it several times. The recipes look pretty easy. I'm looking forward to experimenting. I enjoy highly flavored food, and the pre mixed curry really makes it all seem easy. If they really are different I want to taste them all...lol! Thanks again!

I'm a newbie to Thai cooking and I'm really confused about the red, yellow, green, panang and 'm" something or other curry pastes. Are they really that different tasting? Which would the restaurant dishes such as chicken or beef with basil use? The ingredients seem to be similar except for the color of the chiles used. Would someone be able to describe the differences? Which are the most popular to start with? Thanks!

They definitely do not taste the same. Although the ingredients are similar, the proportions are different.

If you're a beginner to Thai curries, in general, I would suggest starting out with Massaman and yellow curries. These two curries are generally easiest for beginners--yellow is especially easy to make, while Massaman is often the easiest (for those who have not tried Thai before) to eat. Yellow curry is most often made with chicken, while Massaman with beef. Neither are made with pork, since both are curries from the (predominantly Islamic) south of Thailand. But you could do whatever suits you best.

Of the other two, I prefer red curry with pork, green curry with beef. I do like red curry with beef, as well, but for some reason, I just prefer it with pork. Perhaps those are the meats my dad usually used.

There is some disagreement on which is traditionally hotter--red or green. I think they're both about the same, but my Thai friends say green. It all depends on the chef, I suppose.

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One night last week we had one of our best Thai dinners yet: Savory Stir-fried Pork with Yard-long Beans, sticky rice with two or three table sauces, spicy cucumber relish, a platter of lettuces and raw vegetables, and Riesling. Sorry my camera was still out of commission... it was as usual for Thai, beautiful food as well as full of wonderful flavors.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Hey chris, when you cook your sticky rice, how long do you soak it for before cooking? I've heard anything from 1 hour to overnight! I havn't cooked any, as i always forget to soak it before using it, and i never have time.

Not Chris, but I'll give some input. I do soak it overnight. I often forget too, so I end up having Jasmine rice instead, for a Thai dinner, if I didn't remember to soak the sticky rice the night before. I love it, and that just reminded me... I want to have sticky rice with something tomorrow night. I'll set the bag out now, so I remember.

I wonder if there is an amount of time ahead that is too long to soak it... ?

Hi Jason and Susan,

Just so happens that, using half of the pork butt I ground to make homemade breakfast sausages for Mothers' Day, I made a bunch of really amazing sausages from (of course) Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet this weekend, using the Northern Thailand recipe in there as a base. I screwed around with the recipe some -- added aromatic rice powder, extra bird peppers, this and that -- and then just fried them in their own fat. Served them with a cucumber salad, some fried scallions, and sticky rice. Which brings me to the question at hand (ahem):

I had soaked the rice for about 30 hours, more than I had in the past, and when cooked the rice had lost that wonderful toothy quality I get when I soak it more like 8-12 hours. More than that, I think, is too much.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Yellow curry is most often made with chicken, while Massaman with beef.  Neither are made with pork, since both are curries from the (predominantly Islamic) south of Thailand.  But you could do whatever suits you best.

We ate a ton of yellow curries with all sorts of little oily fishes, skate, a few with water buffalo and mutton, in addition to the ubiquitous chicken, when we were in southern Thailand (but no pork)! For the fish yellow curries, there was usually a lot of kaffir lime leaf added.

regards,

trillium

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Yellow curry is most often made with chicken, while Massaman with beef.  Neither are made with pork, since both are curries from the (predominantly Islamic) south of Thailand.  But you could do whatever suits you best.

We ate a ton of yellow curries with all sorts of little oily fishes, skate, a few with water buffalo and mutton, in addition to the ubiquitous chicken, when we were in southern Thailand (but no pork)! For the fish yellow curries, there was usually a lot of kaffir lime leaf added.

regards,

trillium

hmmmm... some yellow curry with a bit of the leg o' lamb we just picked up sounds good. possibly with some garden basil (even a touch mint) for garnish.... and a bit of just ripened thai chilies. thanks for the inspiration... :cool:

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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Here's a semi-stupid question for you. I've never used sticky rice before, but since I want to include it in my Thai repertoir I decided to pick some up from my local Asian store during lunch break today. All I could find is what was labeled as "Sweet Rice (glutinous)" in both brown and white variations. I did buy a bag of the stuff but I am not sure if it is the same thing. Is it?

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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Here's a semi-stupid question for you. I've never used sticky rice before, but since I want to include it in my Thai repertoir I decided to pick some up from my local Asian store during lunch break today. All I could find is what was labeled as "Sweet Rice (glutinous)" in both brown and white variations. I did buy a bag of the stuff but I am not sure if it is the same thing. Is it?

Elie

Yes! Did you get white or brown?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Here's a semi-stupid question for you. I've never used sticky rice before, but since I want to include it in my Thai repertoir I decided to pick some up from my local Asian store during lunch break today. All I could find is what was labeled as "Sweet Rice (glutinous)" in both brown and white variations. I did buy a bag of the stuff but I am not sure if it is the same thing. Is it?

Elie

Yes! Did you get white or brown?

hah! I knew the color is supposed to be white, so I bought the white. I think they had a third variety that said "no talic" also. I'm glad I spent my money on the right item though. Thanks.

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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