Handful Of Thai Recipes

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.

Thai Eggplant
Thai Eggplant

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.

Nam Prik Pow - Chili Jam
Nam Prik Pow – Chili Jam

100g garlic – peeled and roasted

100g shallots – peeled and roasted

15 big, red dried chilies – roasted and rough chopped

250ml oil

40g palm sugar

10g 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.

Tom Yam Goong
Tom Yam Goong

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.

Making Green Curry Paste
Making Green Curry Paste

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.

Pea Eggplant
Pea Eggplant

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

Sweet and Sour Vegetables
Sweet and Sour Vegetables

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.

Som Tam - Papaya Salad
Som Tam – Papaya Salad

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!

Steamed Banana Cake
Steamed Banana Cake

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.

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