Nam Jim Thale – Spicy Seafood Dipping Sauce
Nam Jim refers to dipping sauce in Thai, and there are many different ones, this one used primarily for seafood but is great with fresh rolls as well. Traditionally done with a mortar and pestle, it can easily be done in a blender. As with a lot of Thai dishes, there should be a balance between salt, spice, sour and sweet.
10 cl garlic, chopped
10 small green chilies, chopped
1-2 bunches coriander, chopped, the roots chopped as well
60ml fish sauce
60ml lime juice
1 tbsp palm sugar
In a mortar and pestle pound the garlic, chilies and coriander roots to a paste. Add fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar, mix until sugar is dissolved. Adjust to your tastes so it is balanced.
Nam Prik Pow – Chili Jam
Chili jam is added to numerous Thai dishes such as salads and soups. Can be used in stir-fries or as a condiment.
100g garlic – peeled and roasted
100g shallots – peeled and roasted
15 big, red dried chilies – roasted and rough chopped
40g palm sugar
Pinch of salt
In a mortar and pestle, pound the chilies until a powder, then add the garlic and shallots. Continue to pound until smooth. Heat the oil in a wok and cook the chili paste for about 5 minutes. Add the sugars and salt. Let cool and store in the fridge for up to 6 months.
Tom Yam Goong – Thai Hot and Sour Prawn Soup, serves 4
This soup is famous and is a great example of the bright flavours of Thailand. This version is quite spicy so depending on your spice tolerance you can definitely cut back on some of the chilies. Adding a spoonful of the chili jam from above is a great addition to this soup.
300g prawns, washed, peeled and deveined. Keep peelings and heads
750ml water or chicken stock
6 cl garlic, crushed
6 shallots, sliced
2 stalks lemongrass, lower 1/3 only, 1 inch pieces
10 thin slices ginza (galangal), ginger can be used
200g straw mushrooms, halved, can be replaced with other mushrooms
2 tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
20 small green chilies, whole for less heat, halved or minced for more
45ml fish sauce
5 kaffir lime leaves, stem removed, torn into pieces
30ml lime juice
10g coriander, chopped
Place prawn heads and peelings in stock or water in a pot and bring to the boil, simmer 5 minutes. Remove prawns, then add the garlic, shallots, lemongrass, and ginza, simmer 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, chilies, kaffir and fish sauce, simmer 2 minutes. Add prawns, simmer 1 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in lime juice. Garnish with coriander.
Nam Prik Gaeng Kheo Wan – Green Curry Paste, makes 100-130g (4-5 tbsp)
Something you rarely see done properly or fresh anymore, it really makes a difference. A blender can be used, but the mortar and pestle is traditional and more stress relieving.
Dry – 1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted
½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted
½ tsp black peppercorns, toasted
½ tsp salt
Fresh – 5g ginza (galangal), chopped, ginger can be used
15g (1 tsp) lemongrass, lower 1/3 only, chopped
5g (3 tbsp) kaffir lime peel, chopped
20g (1 tsp) coriander root, chopped
10g (2 tbsp) shallots, chopped
5g (1 tbsp) garlic, chopped
5g (1 tsp) shrimp paste
5g (1 tsp) turmeric, chopped
20 small green chilies, chopped
30g (1 cup) sweet basil leaves
Put dry ingredients into a mortar and pestle and grind until a powder. Add fresh ingredients and pound for about 10 minutes until the paste is smooth.
Gaeng Kheo Wan Gai – Green Curry with Chicken, serves 4
One of the most spicy and well known dishes of Thailand. This dish can be made as thick or thin as you like it. Often it is served thinner almost as a soup. A couple things that make this dish stand above others is the use of fresh coconut cream and fresh green curry paste.
Tip – To make your own coconut cream is the most expensive method, but you also end up with the coconut water to drink and the best flavour. Open 2-3 coconuts, scrape the meat from the shell and place in a food processor. Press through a sieve to remove any bits left. If you don’t want to go to these extremes for the natural separation that occurs in the wok, any oil can be used, but the flavour won’t quite be the same.
300g chicken breast, thinly sliced
250ml coconut cream, keep 30mls aside
250ml coconut milk
100g (4 tbsp) green curry paste
3 large Thai eggplant, cut into ½ slices
50g pea eggplants
40g (2 tbsp) palm sugar
30ml (2 tbsp) fish sauce
2 kaffir lime leaves, torn into pieces discarding the stem
30g (1 cup) sweet basil leaves, save some for garnish
1 large red chili, sliced
Put the coconut cream into a wok and fry for 3-5 minutes, continuously stirring until the oil begins to separate. Then add the green curry paste and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook until the outside has turned white. Add the coconut milk and bring to the boil, then adding the eggplants. Simmer for 4 minutes. Add the palm sugar, fish sauce, kaffir and basil leaves. Turn of the heat once well combined and garnish with slice chilies, basil and a drizzle of the remaining coconut cream.
Pad Prio Wan Phak – Sweet and Sour Vegetables, serves 4
45ml (3tbsp) oil
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, cut into bite size pieces
100g cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into thin slices
1 cucumber, cut into 1 inch pieces
8 baby corn, halved lengthwise
220g pineapple, cut into bite size pieces
1 large red chili, seeds removed, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into bite size pieces
70g snow peas
60ml (1/4 cup) water or stock
Sauce – 15ml (1 tbsp) lime juice
30g (3 tbsp) sugar
15ml (1 tbsp) fish sauce
15ml (1 tbsp) oyster sauce
15ml (1 tbsp) soy sauce
45ml (3 tbsp) tomato sauce or ketchup (might need less sugar if using prepared ketchup)
Heat the oil in a wok and fry the garlic and onions. Add the cauliflower and carrot followed by the cucumber, baby corn, and pineapple. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, snow peas and stir-fry 1 minute longer. Add water or stock, bring to a simmer. Add the sauce ingredients and stir to combine. Adjust if necessary, serve.
Som Tam – Papaya Salad
Very popular among both Thai people and foreigners. This can be made as spicy as you like it and is traditionally prepared with a mortar and pestle. Locals generally eat this with sticky rice.
200g green papaya (unripe mango could be used), peeled and grated into thin strips
3 cloves garlic
10 small green chilies
2 long beans (green beans can be used), cut into 1 inch pieces
5g (2 tbsp) dried shrimp
30ml (2 tbsp) fish sauce
30ml (2 tbsp) lime juice
10g (1 tsp) palm sugar
1 tomato, slice into thin wedges
30g (2 tbsp) peanuts, roasted
Place the garlic, chilies and long beans in the mortar and pestle and pound roughly. Add the green papaya pounding again to bruise the ingredients. Then add the dried shrimp, fish sauce, lime juice, palm sugar and stir together with the pestle and spoon until palm sugar is combined. Add the peanuts and mix together. Serve with sticky rice.
Khanom Kluay – Steamed Banana Cake, serves 6
A very simple cake to prepare and a nice alternative to the traditional banana bread everyone is used to. These can be steamed in banana leaf boats or little individual bowls. If you don’t want to grate your own fresh coconut, you can used unsweetened desiccated coconut, just soak for 10 minutes before hand. This is also gluten free!
5 bananas, mashed
120g (1 cup) rice flour
30g (1/4 cup) tapioca flour
130g (1 ½ cup) sugar
½ tsp salt
125ml (½ cup) coconut cream
100g (3 cups) grated coconut
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined, saving ¼ of the grated coconut. Place into banana leaf boats or bowls, sprinkle remaining grated coconut on top and steam for 30 minutes. Can be served warm or room temperature.