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Feb 1, 2007 01:29 PM

Hot Sour Salty Sweet: salads/ rice and rice dishes

February 2007 Cookbook of the Month: Hot Sour Salty Sweet by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. Please post your full-length reviews of recipes from the sections on salads and on rice and rice dishes here. Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing as well as any modifications you made to the recipe.

A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Thanks for participating.

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  1. Aromatic Jasmine Rice, p. 90 – followed the instructions exactly (which matched the instructions on the Kalyustan bag – let sit for 10 minutes – next time might do 5 – seemed a little sticky to me. I did wonder if it is supposed to be somewhat sticky – I was surprised at the low water to rice ratio (I cooked 2 cups and so used 2.5 cups of water).

    Thai Fried Rice (p. 110) - I didn’t have any boneless pork, so I just used a couple of slices of bacon I had. The recipe calls for 2 cups of rice and says it is one serving, but I think it was plenty for two along with the other leftovers. The garlic started to get brown v. quickly, but I wanted the pan hot so that I would get that "smoky" taste.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      We love that Thai fried rice. So simple, so good. Make sure to use cold cooked rice. And definitely try a runny fried egg on top, it's so good.

      1. re: uptown jimmy

        What I want to try next time is adding tomato wedges - may sound strange, but that is how it was made by the cook in our house when I was a child and lived in Bangkok. She also added a little ketchup - heresy, I know.

        1. re: MMRuth

          Our Wei Chuan Chinese cookbook is full of recipes that call for tiny amounts of ketchup.

          Ketchup is a whipping boy for far too many people. It is just as ligitimate a condiment/ingredient as oyster sauce or black bean paste or anything else.

    2. Luang Prabang Fusion Salad (salat luan prabang - Laos, p. 78)

      Link to recipe online:

      I don't know why I picked this unique dish as the first one to try from the book, but what a combination of flavors. Really different from anything I've had before - I guess it's a variation of a traditional dish from Luang Prabang. It's a salad involving hard-boiled eggs and mixed greens and herbs tossed with two different dressings, a classic lime-chili-fish sauce with ginger and garlic, and a warm garlicky ground pork and vinegar dressing. I used a mix of bibb lettuce, slivered scallions, cilantro, and watercress. The fresh ingredients are tossed with first the still-warm cooked pork and vinegar dressing, and then with the lime juice dressing. Eggs are hard-boiled, with the whites used for garnish and the yolks mashed and added to the ground pork mixture. As I was making this, I was a bit leery (especially tasting the two dressings separately), but all the flavors really came together. Bright and tangy with a hint of heat from one sliced Thai bird chile. The dressing combo was tasty, but I don't think I was a fan of the texture of the wilted greens. If I made this again, I think I'd skip the lettuce, and serve it tossed with bean thread noodles instead. It's finished with slices of egg white and chopped peanuts. I know it's not the most appetizing picture (ha - I really have to buy some white plates, and the thick slices of egg whites look like calamari!), but here you go!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Rubee

        OMG don't let this picture or Luang Prabang Fusion Salad deter you from making this fantastic dish :) Hubs and I devoured almost an entire recipe last night. This explosion of flavorful ingredients will land on my permanent rotation of healthy evening suppers. I've been cooking from this book every weekend and lovin' it.

        1. re: Rubee

          I love eating Salat Lao (aka Salat Luang Prabang) and it's especially easy to make! I'm not positive, but I believe the reason why it's called "Luang Prabang Fusion Salad" is because it's a fusion of various ingredients and greens. The ingredients look pretty typical of a Luang Prabang salad.

          Since you don't like wilted greens, you can omit the pork from the recipe and then lightly toss the ingredients together (without "squeezing" or massaging the ingredients into the greens, which is the traditional Lao way).

        2. Simple Cucumber Salad (huanggua liangban - China), p. 72.

          It really is simple. I was running late, so I saved even more time by skipping the technique mentioned in the book, and just halving and slicing a hothouse cucumber. Tossed with both black and white rice vinegar and a bit of sugar and salt. Finish by sprinkling with fresh grated ginger. It was a great side dish to dinner tonight - served along with Thai jasmine rice and Aromatic Lemongrass Patties (p. 251) with Rich Lao Salsa (p. 39).

          2 Replies
          1. re: Rubee

            Oh, thanks for posting the reminder about that dish! I've got some cukes sitting in the fridge waiting for a home, and this may be just the ticket!

            1. re: Rubee

              (Noticed all my original pics are gone so reposting)

            2. Thai Fried Rice (khao pad - Thailand) p. 110

              We really liked this, will definitely be making it again. Much better than other attempts I've made at Thai fried rice, I think because of the balance of flavors and condiments. I used all the optional ingredients listed - stir-frying garlic (I used eight cloves for two of us and doubled everything else), and then adding thinly sliced boneless pork, leftover Thai jasmine rice, slivered scallions, and fish sauce. Served it with sliced cucumber and lime wedges, and garnished with chopped cilantro. I topped off our plates with a fried egg, and made use of fresh lime juice and spoonfuls of Thai Fish Sauce with Hot Chiles (prick nam pla), which I thought was key. I loved the whole combination, while my husband liked it with everything except the cucumbers.

              Pic of prik nam pla:


              Pic of Thai fried rice:

              1 Reply
              1. Carrot and Daikon Pickled Salad (dau chua - Vietnam), p. 85.

                A simple pickled condiment. I used two carrots and one daikon radish, and a Benriner Japanese mandoline to slice them. Salt and drain, and soak in a rice vinegar and sugar bath. Sweet and crunchy, I made these to use in other recipes later this week, perhaps banh mi (p. 287), the Vietnamese noodle combo (p. 131), or goi cuon (summer rolls, p.177).