Recent Articles - Page 12

  • posted on 10/12/2011

    Tom Yum Gai Recipe

    tom yum gai recipe

    The tom yum gai looks simple, but is packed with complex flavors of lemongrass, galangal, shallots and kaffir lime leaves that layer tightly on one another. The heat comes from toasted dry peppers and the holy basil makes that heat interesting. The lime juice keeps the soup sharp and interesting.

    Tom yum gai is easier to make than tom yum goong for a couple reasons. Quality shrimp is hard to come by in the US.  You can keep perfecting the tom yum gai’s flavors without impacting the chicken’s texture. Overcooked shrimp will turn hard.

    A couple weeks ago we went to a party and, an hour before we left, the host asked us to bring "something Thai".  We had these ingredients on hand or in the garden, so we whipped this up as a last minute dish.  The dish was a huge success and everyone asked for the recipe.

  • posted on 10/9/2011

    Pickled Mustard Recipe

    pickled mustard recipe

    Pickled mustard may not be a star in dishes, but it enhances other ingredients with its sour flavor. Without pickled mustard, kanom jeen namya is bland and curry noodles lack the sour punch that cuts through the rich sauce.

    You can easily buy pickled mustard at Asian markets, but I like the flavor of my homemade mustard green best. Another reason that I stopped buying pickled mustard is because many contain food coloring. There is no need for the additives, if you make it right.

    Follow the easy recipe below.

  • posted on 10/9/2011

    What should I make for dinner?

    Figuring out what to cook seems to always be the hardest part of meal.  Now, the thai ingredients list page helps you plan shopping and dinner by proposing what you can make with the ingredients you have on-hand.  As you click on the white check box next to each ingredient's name, a list on the right grows, telling you what you can make.  It also tells you what you can make if you pick up one or 2 or more things next time you're at the store.  This is particularly helpful when you're trying to figure out what you can do with that old bottle of something in the back of the fridge.  What you click stays in a cookie, so that as you go around the rest of the site and come back to that page, you don't have to re-enter it every time.

    Also our popularity sent us over the limit for Google custom search so you might have gotten an error when doing a search before today. Now we've released that limit and you can search all you want.

  • posted on 10/4/2011

    Kasma Loha-unchit's Thai Cooking School Review

    Khun Kasma has taught Thai cooking for over 25 years and written 2 popular cookbooks, It Rains Fishes: Legends, Traditions, and the Joys of Thai Cooking and Dancing Shrimp: Favorite Thai Recipes for Seafood. Her cooking school, which she operates with her husband, Michael, is located in their house in Oakland, California. I had the opportunity to visit Khun Kasma's advanced class, which revealed why teaching style matters.  In this class students cook, learn and laugh together.

    The Format of the Advanced Class

    After the meet and greet and a snack, the class settled down at a kitchen table discussing menu for the evening. An appetizer, two main courses, one soup and a dessert were to be put on the table. Khun Kasma went over the recipes in details, describing what needed to be done and sprinkling Thai food history in between.

    As soon as the last recipe was discussed, students started to put their chairs away. Everybody got really busy, pulling thing out of cabinets, pots, pans and bowls, like it was their own house.  Each team of 2-3 people worked from their notes and recipes, discussing and solving problems.  After several weeks of cooking beginning and intermediate, advanced class students had become good friends and knew each other really well.

  • posted on 10/2/2011

    Vegetarian Stir Fried Pumpkin Shoots Recipe

    vegetarian stir fried pumpkin shoots recipe

    Stir fried pumpkin shoots have a great a crunchy texture with a mild flavor.

    I often wonder if people know what to do with all the various shoots that you find at farmer's markets like pumpkin, pea, chayote or bitter melon. Asian cuisines seem to revel in these shoots, but they're non-existent in western cuisine.  

    For a dollar a bundle at my farmers market, I can make a great stir fried that costs $8 to $10 in a restaurant.  The catch is that it requires time to prepare the shoots. The fuzz along the stems and tendrils need to be removed. I used to impatiently rush the task, but now I look forward to it, liking the meditative act of peeling away the fuzzy skin.  Then I keep the shoots in the refrigerator, ready for a quick meal during the week.

  • posted on 9/30/2011

    Pumpkin Shoots

    pumpkin shoots

    Pumpkin shoots are available at farmers’ markets all summer long. For a bundle that weighs a pound to a pound and a half, it will set you back 1 whole dollar.  Pick bright green, plump shoots.

    One of the easiest dishes to prepare with pumpkin shoots is stir fry.

  • posted on 9/28/2011

    Green Curry with Chicken Recipe

    green curry with chicken recipe

    I love Google Translations, both because it's servicable, but also because it can be simply hilarious. After seeing so many Thai green curry recipes on the net with ingredients or methods that seem to have gone through an equivalent of a translation machine, let me offer how we do it. More important, this is the most requested recipe by you, our readers.  

    Thai green curry with chicken was a classic take-me-to-the-temple curry. Patrons would bring green curry with chicken (chicken with bones, chicken blood and gizzard) and eggplants to offer to the monks at temples. My family was not a big fan on chicken blood and gizzard, so I'll leave those out.

    Thai green curry is fiery hot with a hint of sweetness. The curry paste is made with fresh green Thai chili peppers.  Some people even add additional whole fresh pepper to the curry before serving. I'll stick with mild green curry, so I made my own curry paste.

  • posted on 9/27/2011

    Green Curry Paste Recipe

    green curry paste recipe

    Even though most people living in Bangkok buy store bought curry pastes, nothing compares to the scent of the curry paste being made.  It perfumes the whole kitchen.  The arduous process, from sourcing the ingredients to pounding out the paste, is daunting but the reward is grand. 

    Often store bought green curry paste is too spicy so that I can't put enough paste in without having the curry be too hot.  When you make it yourself, you will be able to control the heat in your own curry paste by adjusting the amount of green chili peppers you add.

    Green curry paste's ingredients are the same as red curry paste, except for the chilies.  The red in red curry paste comes from dried chili peppers, while the green in green curry paste comes from fresh green chili peppers.  Green chilies turn from red when ripe.

    Don't worry about making too much: you can store excess in your freezer for up to a year.

  • posted on 9/27/2011

    Green Thai Chili Peppers

    green thai chili peppers

    A Thai riddle goes; when I’m a child I’m white, when I become full grown, I’m green, and when I’m old, I’m red.  Green chili peppers are the young form of red chili peppers; similar to bell peppers. 

    Green chili peppers are mainly used in making green curry paste.  For most Thai dishes that call for chili peppers, either green or red will do.

  • posted on 9/27/2011

    Chili Leaves

    chili leaves

    Chili Leaves don’t play an important role like galangal or kaffir lime leaves in most Thai dishes but when it comes to green curry paste, they shine. They give green curry paste its beautiful bright green color without adding so many green chilies, the curry would be too hot to eat. The leaves themselves have no heat and little flavor; they can best be thought of as natural food coloring.  They are also used in many other dishes, soups and curries.

    It's convenient to have a chili plant, but if not, Asian farmers at farmers markets have just about the whole plant (chili with leaves attached on the branches) available mid to late summer. I pick off the leaves for my green curry paste then wash and freeze the rest of the chilies.