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Thai Recipes > Salads > Pomelo 12 March 2006

Posted by cath in Info and Cooks Notes, ingredients, preparing thai ingredients, Recipes, Thai food, thai salad, very spicy.
3 comments

SpicySpicy Pomelo Salad
(Dtam Somoh)

Serves 4 as a lunch with sticky rice or as a dish in a main meal
Ingredients:
1 pomelo – prepared into shreds (see instructions below)
2 cloves garlic -– finely chopped
1 stalk lemongrass -– thinly sliced
3-10 bird’s eye chillies
a generous bunch of coriander -– split into stalk (finely chop) and leaves (roughly chopped)
a handful of cashew nuts (plain) or peanuts -– roughly chopped
4 tomatoes -– quartered
2 snake beans (or several fine beans) -– cut into 2cm lengths
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice (roughly the juice of 1 lime)
A selection of fresh vegetables e.g. white cabbage or Chinese leaf, green beans (or snake beans), cucumber, celery

Preparation:
1. Take the washed pomelo and cut a slice off the top. The peel and pith is quite thick and can be cut off in fairly thick slices. Quarter the pomelo as shown below and begin cutting off the peel and pith.

prepare pomelo 1

prepare pomelo 2

prepare pomelo 3

2. Now peel away the rest of the tough pith around the pomelo segments and shred them roughly into smaller segments, as shown below.

prepare pomelo 4

prepare pomelo 5

prepare pomelo 6

prepare pomelo 7

Finishing the Dish:

  1. In a large bowl, pound the garlic, lemongrass, coriander stalks and bird’s eye chillies together with the end of a rolling pin, aiming to bruise them slightly but not crush them.
  2. Add the chopped cashew nuts, tomatoes and beans and mix thoroughly, again bruising slightly but being careful not to crush the tomatoes.
  3. Add the shredded pomelo and mix well with a spoon, be careful not to crush the pomelo segments. Then add the chopped coriander leaves and stir through.
  4. Mix the fish sauce and lime juice and pour over the salad, mix again and serve immediately.

Serve with the cabbage leaves and other raw vegetables and with steamed white Sticky Rice.

Notes:
Thai fruit salads are typically served very spicy, with lots of fresh herbs and crunchy vegetables on the side.

What it looks like…

pomelo salad

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Easy Dinners > Chicken in the Oven 6 March 2006

Posted by cath in easy, mildly spicy, Recipes, Thai food, variations.
6 comments

Mildly SpicyThai Chicken in the Oven
(and some other variants)

A really easy way of cooking joints of chicken on the bone. The flavours can be adapted to almost anything from Thai (shown here) to Indian, Mexican, Italian by adding different herbs, spices, oils and liquids.

Follow the instructions and you will get both tender, succulent chicken and a golden, crispy skin – yum!

Serves 4 as a snack or starter on it’s own or as a main meal served with steamed rice, stir-fried vegetables and a tomato and mint sauce.

Ingredients:
8 Chicken Thighs, Legs or similar, on the bone (leave the skin on)
5 cloves of Garlic, crushed slightly and roughly chopped
1 small red onion or shallot, halved and thinly sliced
2 stalks Lemongrass, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1-2 inches of Ginza (Galangal) or Ginger, shredded or grated
Kaffir lime leaves, shredded
4 crushed dried birds-eye chillies, or finely chopped fresh chillies – to taste
Handful of coriander – stalk, finely chopped; leaves, roughly chopped and set aside
1 teaspoon palm sugar (or dark brown sugar)
2-3 tbsp Fish Sauce
1-2 limes or lemons, halved and juiced, then chopped into chunks
A splash of groundnut oil
Salt, freshly ground pepper, coriander seed and/or cumin seed

Method:

  1. Using a large roasting dish, place a large piece of tin foil inside and brush with a bit of oil. Make sure you have enough foil to create a closed pocket around the chicken for the first stage of cooking.
  2. Place the chicken into the foil-covered dish. Then add chopped ingredients except the coriander leaves (reserve for later).
  3. Add the liquids, oil and sugar. Mix well, ensuring each chicken joint is well covered and the lime chunks are spread out in the tin.
  4. You are aiming for a moist, chunky marinade, do not add too much liquid at this stage.
  5. Fold the tin foil into a loose fitting parcel and twist the edges together to form a tight seal.
  6. The mixture can be left to marinate for a short period (30 mins) or a few hours as desired.
  7. When you are ready to cook, heat the oven to 180 degees C, then add the chicken parcel and bake for 30 mins. During this stage, the chicken is steaming, rather than roasting in the oven.
  8. If you’ve left the skin on the chicken, you’ll definitely want to brown the dish before serving. Remove from the oven, turn the oven up to 190 or 200 degrees C and open up the top of the parcel. The chicken should be cooked, so you just need to place it back in the oven uncovered to brown, this may take up to 15 minutes, this also reduces the juices down to a delicious spicy sauce.
  9. Serve hot from the oven, drizzled with the sauce and garnished with coriander leaves. Alternatively, serve cold with salad or in sandwiches.

Spicy Chicken

Here’s what it looks like after marinating, just seal up the foil and its ready to cook.

Notes:
Serving this as a main meal it goes well with rice or noodles and with stir-fried vegetables such as broccoli with sesame seeds on the side. For those who like it spicy, a mint and tomato sauce can be made as a cooling accompaniment. Simply add some chopped tin tomatoes or peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes to a small pan or frying pan, add some finely chopped mint and a sprinkling of sugar and heat through.

Mexican flavours: lime, garlic, fresh/ground coriander, spring onion, chillies, dark chocolate, lots of crushed cumin seeds, peppers, etc.

Italian flavours: aromatic herbs (i.e. thyme, rosemary), lemon, peppers, tomatoes, bay leaf, chillies etc.

Indian flavours: coriander seeds, cumin seeds, tumeric, cloves, cinnamon, fresh coriander, chillies lemon, peppercorns etc.

Other ideas: Simply use your favorite flavours, herbs and spices to create your own version.

Thai Recipes > Stir-Fry > Spicy Sweet & Sour Vegetables 1 March 2006

Posted by cath in mildly spicy, Recipes, stir-fry, Thai food, variations.
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Mildly SpicySpicy Sweet & Sour Vegetables

Serves 4 as a lunch or main meal with steamed rice

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons oil
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 onion, sliced
½ cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into strips
1 courgette, cut into strips
8 baby corn, cut in half lengthways
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 handful beansprouts
150g tin pineapple cubes/chunks in natural juice
Big red chillies, use as many as required for desired spiciness, sliced (remove the seeds for a gentle heat)

For the Sauce:
1-2 tablespoons lime juice (roughly the juice of one plump lime)
3 level tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2-3 tablespoons pineapple juice from the tinned pineapple

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and set aside.
  2. Put the oil in a wok and fry the garlic for a minute or two until golden, add the onion and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the cauliflower and carrot and stir-fry for about 3 minutes, then add the courgette, baby corn and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chillies, tomato and continue to stir until the vegetables are cooked (doesn’t take long).
  5. Add the pineapple, the sweet and sour sauce and stir to combine and heat until bubbling (this won’t take long in a hot wok).
  6. Then add the beansprouts and stir well again.

Serve immediately with steamed rice or noodles.

Tip!
Keep some of the pineapple juice or a cup of water by the wok. Use this instead of more oil to add to the ingredients to keep them loose in the wok. This allows the vegetables to steam-fry and reduces the oil content of the finished dish.

To get the most lime juice from a lime, just give it a quick roll on a chopping board with gentle pressure before cutting and squeezing it…this really works!

Variations:
This dish can also be made by adding strips of meat to the vegetables, stir-fry the strips of chicken, pork or beef in the garlic and onions and remove from the pan but keep warm. Then adding any seasonal vegetables and stir-fry as above. Return the cooked meat to the pan to combine at the end.

You can also use up pre-cooked meat in this dish, left-over roast chicken works well. Try marinading the cold chicken for half an hour or so in a little soy sauce, sesame oil and add a sprinkle of sesame seeds, before adding to the stir-fry to heat through.

You can use any vegetables that you like (or that are in season) in a stir fry. Simply cut a selection of veg into similar sizes and shapes. Start with the hardest, crunchiest vegetables as these tend to be the longest to cook (e.g. carrots, cauliflower, jerusalem artichokes) and add the more delicate vegetables towards the end (such as finely shredded cabbage, green beans, peas).

Instead of long white beansprouts – I’ve also used mixed sprouts such as lentils, chickpeas, aduki beans. You can make these easily yourself or buy them ready-sprouted from some supermarkets and health food shops.

Need more ideas?

If you like this, try my recipe for sweet and sour pork, with more ideas and variations for stir frying.

Notes > Thai Ingredients Part 2 > Addition 1 March 2006

Posted by cath in general info, help, Info and Cooks Notes, ingredients, shopping notes, Thai food.
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InformationAnother few notes on Thai Ingredients

Sticky or glutinous rice can be bought in small and large quantities at most Chinese supermarkets, and comes in black and white varieties.

  • Black sticky rice is mainly used to make a sweet coconut rice pudding desert.
  • White sticky rice is used steamed for salads and also mixed with coconut and sugar to accompany deserts, such as mango and sticky rice.

White Sticky Rice

White Sticky Rice

 

Black Sticky Rice

Black Sticky Rice


Thai shallots or purple onions are very small onions with a purple skin, they are available in some Chinese supermarkets and some Asian grocers shops. European shallots, red onion or other onions can be used as a substitute.

Purple Shallots

 

Peeled Shallots

purple shallots 

Thai Recipes > Rice > Steamed White Sticky Rice 1 March 2006

Posted by cath in help, Info and Cooks Notes, not spicy, Recipes, Thai food, thai salad.
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Not SpicyKhaaw Neow
White Sticky (Glutinous) Rice

Serves 4-6

    
You will need:
1 scoop (i.e. a small cup or a yogurt pot) of white sticky rice per person
A large bowl for soaking
A steamer or equivalent
A large plate or tray for serving

Preparation and Cooking:

  1. Begin by washing the sticky rice in the bowl until the water runs clear
  2. Soak the sticky rice in water for at least 8 hours (this is best to do overnight, changing the water in the morning)
  3. Once soaked, drain the sticky rice and place it in the top part of the steamer (if the steamer has very large holes and the rice easily falls through, then use a muslin cloth under the rice to hold it in)
  4. Bring the water in the bottom of the steamer to the boil, once it is boiling it will start to cook the rice
  5. When steam comes through the sticky rice put the lid on the steamer
  6. Steam for about 20-30 minutes
  7. Remove lid and carefully after about 20-25 minutes, lift off the top layer of rice and test some rice from the centre – if it is not hard in the middle then it is cooked
  8. If the rice is still hard in the middle, replace the lid and cook for another 5-10 minutes until it’s done (the time will vary depending on the amount of soaking, and the amount of rice being cooked)
  9. Once cooked, turn the heat off and turn out the sticky rice onto a large plate or tray
  10. Using a spoon or fork, move the rice around, spread it out and turn it over, you are aiming to get rid of all the hot steam, if you do not do this the rice will go soggy
  11. The rice is now ready to serve warm or can be kept covered by a tea towel to serve later.

How to eat:
Sticky rice is traditionally eaten using your hands. A small amount is picked up and squeezed to form a small shovel about the size of teaspoon, which is held between the thumb and forefinger and used to scoop up some salad into a bite-sized portion of rice and salad

Steaming Equipment:
If you don't have a steamer, you can use a metal sieve fitted (closely) over a pan of water with a close fitting lid.

Tip! Steaming the rice requires that the steam is forced up through the rice ‘cake’, so any gaps between the pan and the steamer will slow down this cooking process.

Thai Recipes > Salads > Laab 1 March 2006

Posted by cath in Info and Cooks Notes, ingredients, Recipes, Thai food, thai salad, very spicy.
10 comments

SpicyLaab
(Spicy Minced Meat Salad)

Serves 4 as a lunch with sticky rice or as a dish in a main meal

Ingredients:
500g minced meat – beef, pork, chicken or lamb
4 shallots – thinly sliced
2 slices ginza – finely chopped
4 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp lime juice (roughly the juice of 2 limes)
1½ tbsp chilli powder
a generous bunch of coriander – split into stalk (finely chop) and leaves (roughly chopped)
2 spring onions – chopped
a generous bunch of mint – roughly chop the leaves
3 tbsp sticky rice – roasted and ground
10 finely chopped small birds-eye chillies (Optional)
A selection of fresh vegetables e.g. white cabbage or Chinese leaf green beans (or snake beans) cucumber celery sweet basil leaves

Preparation:

  1. Begin by marinating the mince. Put the mince, shallots, ginza, fish sauce, lime juice, coriander stalks and chilli powder into a bowl and mix thoroughly
  2. Place the chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves and spring onion in a serving dish.
  3. Make the ground, roasted sticky rice by putting the rice grains (uncooked, not soaked) into a dry wok or small frying pan over a low heat and roast (no oil) for about ½ hour, agitating occasionally. When they are golden brown in colour, remove from the heat and grind in a pestle and mortar to a fairly fine powder (some larger grains will create a nice crunch to the salad).
  4. For an extra fresh and spicy laab, add the chopped birds-eye chillies to the finished dish.

To Cook:

  1. Heat a wok (or large saucepan/frying pan) on medium heat
  2. Stir fry the mince mixture for about 5 minutes or until the meat is cooked
  3. Transfer the hot cooked mince into the serving dish and mix with the spring onion, mint and coriander leaves
  4. Add the ground, roasted sticky rice and mix well

Serve immediately with the cabbage leaves and other raw vegetables and with steamed white Sticky Rice.

Notes:
Thai salads are typically served warm, very spicy, with lots of fresh herbs and crunchy vegetables on the side. You can substitute other herbs, such as Thai Sweet Basil, but I think mint gives the best flavour to this salad.

And the finished dish:

Laab Moo

Notes > Thai Ingredients Part 2 24 February 2006

Posted by cath in general info, Info and Cooks Notes, ingredients, shopping notes, Thai food.
1 comment so far

InformationDescription of Ingredients and Substitution Ideas

Ginza (or Galangal) is a sweet ginger, pale in colour (yellow and pinkish) and can be bought either fresh in season or dried in slices (which need to be re-hydrated) or in jars. You can also buy frozen ginza, or freeze chunks of fresh ginza to keep for another day.

Ginza or Galangal

Ginger can be used as a substitute – but it has a much sharper flavour

Chillies – several types of chillies are used in Thai cooking.
Mildly spicy dishes will usually be made with the large red and green chillies. Thai birds-eye chillies are used in many of the spicier dishes. Used whole (or pierced with a knife) they produce a mildly spicy flavour and can be easily removed from the dish. Chopped finely they will produce a tasty, very spicy dish.
Traditionally (I’m told) Thai chefs will use as many birds-eye chillies as they are years old – so the older chefs make much spicier food. A small handful will usually suffice for each dish.

Red Birds Eye Chillies

Green Birds Eye Chillies

Any type of chilli can be used as a substitute.

Notes about Chillies:

  • Green chillies (young) are usually hotter than red (ripened)
  • Small chillies usually have many more seeds and are therefore hotter than the larger, plumper chillies.
  • Large Dried chillies are usually soaked before use and chopped
  • Dried Birds-eye chillies can be crushed into a dish like chilli powder
  • Chilli powder is often used as well as fresh chillies, this typically adds more heat to the dish whilst fresh chillies give a clean chilli flavour.
  • You can remove the seeds from chillies to reduce the heat.

Mushrooms – Thais often use straw mushrooms in their cooking. These can be bought in tins – however they are usually soaked in salt water so need to be washed to remove the excess salt and cut. Any type of fresh mushroom can be used instead – try brown-cap mushrooms, oyster or shitake mushrooms, wild mushrooms. Large Flat and Portabella mushrooms have great flavour – but be careful of adding these to coconut milk soup for example, as they turn the soup base very brown and slightly unappealing (although the tastes is still great!).

Beans – Snake beans are very long, fairly thin green beans, they should be cut into bite-sized pieces.

Snake Beans

You can substitute any green bean (i.e. fine beans or dwarf beans) although remember that you’ll need to buy about 3 times more!

Kaffir lime leaves are an essential Thai ingredient. They can be bought fresh, frozen or dried. They are particularly good frozen as they keep their flavour better and can be stored for months. If you buy fresh leaves, pop the rest in the freezer for use in many Thai-style dishes.

Kaffir Lime Leaves

There is no real substitute for Kaffir Lime Leaves, but if you’re stuck you could try adding some lime zest instead.
Kaffir limes have a small amount of juice, but are mainly used for their zest, which has a strong lime flavour.

Kaffir Limes

Thai sweet basil has a purple stem and darker, thicker leaves than European varieties; it has a strong aniseed flavour and smell. It is best bought fresh. Other varieties of basil can be used instead, but will not produce the same flavour of dish.

Thai Sweet Basil

Some supermarkets sell frozen Thai basil which is a good substitute for adding to curries.

Notes > Thai Ingredients Part 1 24 February 2006

Posted by cath in general info, shopping notes, Thai food.
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InformationWhere to Buy Thai Ingredients

Thai supermarkets have a wide selection of imported herbs, spices and speciality vegetables from Thailand. Also look in your local Chinese supermarket or Asian greengrocers for similar items or substitutions.

Shops In Edinburgh:

  • Nittiya Thai Market, Dalry Road
  • Aihua, West Crosscauseway
  • Hing Sing, Leith Walk
  • Pat’s Chung Ying Chinese Supermarket , Leith Walk
  • Global Fruit & Vegetables, Gillespie Place
  • Oriental Supermarket, Lauriston Place
  • Orient Thai Market, Bruntsfield Place

There are also several good shops along Argyle Place in Marchmont.

Thai Recipes > Soups > Tom Kha 24 February 2006

Posted by cath in freeze-friendly, mildly spicy, Recipes, Thai food, thai soups, variations.
6 comments

Mildly SpicyTom Kha Gaifreeze-friendly
(Coconut and Galangal Soup with Chicken)

Serves 4 as a lunch with steamed rice, or as a dish in a main meal

Ingredients:
400g (approx.) Chicken (skinned and boned) – cut into long, thin strips across the grain
Coconut milk – up to 2 tins (depends on how rich or fluid you like your soup)
Chicken or Vegetable Stock – approx. 250mls (half a pint)
3 stalks Lemongrass – lower third only, cut into 1-inch pieces
Galangal (Ginza, Pink Ginger) – peeled, at least 6 slices, approx. 5mm thick
Chillies – green or red, any size, any number (large slices or whole for a mild flavour, finely chopped for more heat)
Mushrooms – cut into segments/slices (oyster mushrooms
3 Snake Beans or a handful of long beans – cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves Garlic – crushed (optional)
1 Spring onion – sliced into diagonal chunks
5 Kaffir lime leaves – remove the stalk and tear roughly
Thai sweet basil – handful of leaves, roughly torn (optional)
Coriander – 1 small bunch, finely chop the root and stalk, roughly chop the leaves
Juice of 1 lime (to taste)
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce

Method:

  1. Shake the tins of coconut milk to mix, add 1 tin to the stock and bring to the boil.
  2. Add the mushrooms, ginza and lemongrass and simmer gently for a few minutes.
  3. Add the chillies, garlic (if using) and spring onion to the broth, this part of the broth can be simmered gently for a few minutes or as long as needed, add more coconut milk and/or stock or water to the broth to achieve the desired fluidity.
  4. Add the chicken, cook for 5 minutes on a fairly high heat, stirring as required until the chicken has turned white.
  5. Add the kaffir lime leaves and fish sauce; simmer gently for 5-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
  6. Add the chopped coriander stalk and root, bring back to a high boil to combine. Switch off the heat.
  7. Add the basil (if using) and coriander leaves and stir.
  8. Add lime juice to taste.
  9. Garnish with sliced large chillies, basil and coriander leaves.

Serve with fresh steamed thai fragrant rice and raw beansprouts.

Variations:

The dish can be made for vegetarians: use vegetable stock and varieties of mushroom (i.e oyster and shitake), asparagus, baby corn or other seasonal vegetables in place of chicken stock. Use soy instead of fish sauce.
Add the main vegetables to the finished broth (at stage 5) and simmer gently, before adding herbs and garnishing once the vegetables are cooked.

This dish is traditionally served mildly spicy, but spicier versions work really well too.

Italian-Style Variation: Try Tom Kha Gai as a sauce for pasta (e.g. linguine or tagliatelle). You will need to cut back on the liquid (stock and/or coconut milk) and reduce the sauce down or thicken it with a small spoon of cornflour mixed with a dash of water to achieve a creamy consistency. Stir into the cooked pasta and serve with the garnish.
Particularly good served spicy!