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*August 2010 COTM - COMPLETE ASIAN: Thailand

Our cookbook for August is The Complete Asian Cookbook, by Charmaine Solomon.

Please use this thread to discuss recipes from the chapter THAILAND

There are a variety of editions and publishers of The Complete Asian Cookbook, although it appears that the recipes for the most part are unchanged between them. Please mention the edition you are using along with the page number when you report on recipes.

The Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

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  1. Khao Phat Prik (Chili-Fried Rice), p. 299, 1992 ed.

    This was really good and I learned a new tip of red curry paste to season fried rice (I usually use sambal). I used canned Maesri brand for this recipe, though next time would add a bit more.

    Onion and sliced chiles (I used serranos) are cooked in oil, add red curry paste (since I used canned, I added a bit of water), diced pork, shrimp (I used leftover grilled shrimp), and then the rice to combine. Next, add beaten egg, season with fish sauce, and then scallions and cilantro. I added extra fish sauce and more sliced serranos to garnish.

    Both E and I liked this version of Thai fried rice - spicy, lots of flavor, and perfect for lunch one day.

     
    1. Kaeng Khieu Wan Pla (Greeny curry of fish) p. 300, 2005 ed.

      I loved this, and it was easy too (very helpful as I'm in the midst of a summer cold). It calls for fish steaks, but I used basa fillets. I also used a store bought green curry paste. Maybe that is why it seemed so easy. Anyway, you cook the green curry paste with coconut milk, then add the fish, citrus leaves, salt and fish sauce (I'm disturbed by how much I actually *like* the smell of fish sauce these days) and simmer until almost done, then add chopped basil and green chilies (mine home grown by friend and fellow local chowhound romansperson - thanks!) and simmer a few more minutes. Nice and warm and tasty. Husband was traumatized by fish in cream sauces as a child, which I'd somehow forgotten, and at first looked at his plate in horror. But he had seconds, and admitted it didn't actually taste like what he was served as a child. A hit with me, and pretty darned good with husband and Lulu. Served over rice with the asian slaw from Fish without a Doubt.

      1. Khao Phat Prik (Chilli Fried Rice) 296 2005 ed.
        I omitted pork and shrimp since I used this as a side to a Thai Beef Salad from elsewhere. I also garnished with some cherry tomatoes that had to get used. Really enjoyed it, and it had a nice heat level for me (who loves the spice) and B who doesn't so much.

        Khao Nieo Kaeo (Sweet coconut rice) pg 317
        Recipe say to soak glutinous rice overnight and then steam it. I just rinsed and steamed short grain rice. When it no longer has a hard center it goes into a pot with coconut milk and sugar and is cooked over low until the rice drink all the liquid. Recommends serving with bananas or Na Kachik (coconut and palm sugar sweet), I had bought a mango so we used that. It was good but rich. I cut the recipe (that serves 6-8) in fourth, but it was still a lot more than we ate. It felt weird to cook 2 different kinds of rice for the same meal. Nothing wrong with this, but I won't make it often. It does seem like a nice idea in the middle of winter when I want a tropical vacation.

        1. Kai Yang (Garlic Chicken), Pg. 308, 1992 Edition

          It was a toss up yesterday: Garlic Chicken or the Indian Saffron Chicken on pg. 52. Six cloves of garlic won. Crush peeled garlic with salt, crush 2 tablespoons black peppercorns (I used Penzey's Tellicherry), wash and finely chop 4 small cilantro/coriander plants with roots. Add lemon juice, mix it all together and rub all over chicken pieces. I had a 4 lb. chicken which I cut into 8 pieces. Cover and marinate for an hour or more. The recipe says to broil in the oven or grill over coals. Since DH was handling the cooking phase he heated the oven to 425F and roasted the chicken. I was really hoping the chicken would be grilled on the Weber but he didn't want to stand at the grill and turn the pieces every 5 minutes. Of course we missed the nice smoky char coals would have made but all in all the chicken was delicious: juicy and spicy. I served it with the recommended sliced tomatoes seasoned with chili powder, salt and lemon juice, And an additional dish of caramelized onion slices. Instead of boiled rice I had some leftover tabbouleh so served that. Very nice... I must make it again when TDB doesn't mind manning the grill.

          14 Replies
          1. re: Gio

            Oh, sounds so fabulous. Must add this to my must do list. We are always looking for things to grill this time of year, but it's also nice to know it would work indoors, too.

            Again, I'm surprised by the use of lemon juice when I would expect lime juice to be more authentic.

            ~TDQ

            1. re: Gio

              Gio,

              This is on my list for this week. I'm glad to hear it was a success. About how many ounces/cups of cilantro did you use? Thanks!

              Sally

              1. re: BigSal

                Hey Sally... I didn't measure the cilantro because the recipe actually calls for 4 "plants." My local supermarket, of all places, has recently been stocking unpotted cilantro plants in the veggie section, that is a small clump of maybe 6 - 8 stems with leaves and the roots attached. I washed the roots and entire clump very well then finely chopped the whole thing. I think ultimately I had about a little less than 1 cup of chopped leaves/stems/roots.

                I've been buying cilantro for a long time and these past weeks are the time I've seen roots attached...and recipes utilizing them

                1. re: Gio

                  Thai food often uses the roots, eg for curry pastes etc. Luckily, the bunches I buy locally often have the roots attached.

                  1. re: Gio

                    FYI, The Hmong stands at area farmer's markets usually have cilantro with the roots attached.

                    I've made a similar recipe for "cilantro pesto" many times - the one from Nancie McDermott's Real Thai. Hers differes from Charmaine's in the garlic to cilantro ratio - Nancie she uses equal parts chopped garlic and cilantro. Nancie recommends it for chicken as well, and also stir-fried with shrimp which is just to die for.

                    1. re: Gio

                      Thank you. Just started looking for cilantro with roots and struck out at the first market. Will try a couple more before I just use stems and leaves.

                      1. re: BigSal

                        I'll be honest... I really couldn't tell the difference when just the stems and leaves were used and when cilantro roots were included in the last few recipes I've made that called for the roots. It's probably a good use of all the parts of the plant, so I might have to do some sort of taste test to see why a recipe would include the cilantro roots.

                        I wonder if Hannaone has an insight about this.

                        1. re: Gio

                          Just saw this -
                          I'm one of those that experiences an intense dish soap taste from cilantro, so the only time I pay attention to it is when I suspect it might be in a restaurant dish.

                          1. re: hannaone

                            Thanks Hannaone. I love cilantro so I don't mind using it in any way. And, thankfully, so does DH. I'll just pay closer attention the next time I use the entire plant in a recipe.

                  2. re: Gio

                    I LOVE "six cloves of garlic won." Sounds wonderful.

                    1. re: Gio

                      We made this tonight with 2 thighs and 1 breast split in half and used lime instead of lemon. We marinated it overnight and cooked on the grill after work. Simple to make and big on flavor! We really liked this and glad to know this can be done in the oven come fall/winter with good results.

                      1. re: BigSal

                        I never seem to have the time to prepare dinner And marinate meat for the next night's dinner. Plus, I'm always leery of marinating meats overnight. I mean... one doesn't cook the meat in the morning for serving at night. So, in effect the meat is marinating for 24 hours. Unless, of course, it's taken out of the marinade in the AM and left in the fridge till time to cook. Even then it's still marinating in a sense. Who's on first?

                        1. re: Gio

                          I am also leery of marinating too long. I try to prep the ingredients and add the protein in the morning if I can. I gave this one a shot because there was only a small amount of lime juice and the rest was merely salt, garlic and cilantro.

                      2. re: Gio

                        Kai Yang (Garlic Chicken), p. 308

                        My turn to make this. I marinated overnight and used it for a whole roasted chicken (with a lemon in the cavity). I crushed the peppercorns (also used Penzey's Tellicherry) in a mortar, and then added it to the other ingredients in a food processor. I ended up using a big handful of cilantro with stems - probably a little over a cup. I served it with steamed rice and a cucumber salad. Delicious, juicy and spicy, though in hindsight I would put the rub underneath the skin the next time I do a whole chicken. Looking forward to making this on the grill next.

                        Recipe link:

                        http://www.cooksrecipes.com/poultry/t...

                         
                         
                      3. Green Curry of Chicken - Kaeng Khieu Wan Kai p.301

                        I don't know why it's taken me so long to cook from the Thailand chapter as I love Thai food. This was a really simple dish to do, especially as I cheated and used a pre-prepared green curry paste and boneless, skinless thighs rather than a whole chicken cut into pieces. This does require that you make your own coconut milk but that is very quick to do. The first squeezing of milk (thick) is refrigerated for an hour then a cup of the thickest cream off the top is simmered down until thick and oily. Green curry paste is added then the chicken pieces are fried in the paste for 15 mins. More coconut milk, fish sauce and citrus leaves (didn't have any so used lemongrass) are added then simmered uncovered for 30 minutes. Chopped cilantro and green chiles were added a few mins before serving. There was a lot of sauce which was quite liquid so it definitely needed rice. I served it with coconut rice from the Burma chapter, which I like so much more now I make it with home-made coconut milk rather than canned.

                        I also served it with Chile-fried Cauliflower p. 232 from the Malaysia chapter (jumped around Asia for this meal) which I liked a lot, and it went well with the chicken.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: JaneEYB

                          I cheated with pre-prepared green curry paste too. Makes life a LOT easier, doesn't it?

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            Hope this isn't too off topic, but here is an interesting pro - store bought curry blog entry. It made me ALOT more willing to use the canned kind.

                            http://www.shesimmers.com/2010/06/eas...

                            1. re: corneygirl

                              Thank you for that link - a very interesting explanation of why prepared Thai curry pastes are OK. If Kasma Loha-unchit says its fine, I won't feel the need to apologize in future.

                              1. re: JaneEYB

                                I've done two Thai cooking classes in Thailand, and in the first one we used commercial prepared pastes. I think a lot of Thais use them in their day-to-day cooking, and you can also buy ready-prepared pastes in markets, a bit like buying fresh pesto in a deli.

                              2. re: corneygirl

                                Thanks cg. I feel like I've been lucky - the ones I've bought have tasted great. Guilt begone!

                            2. re: JaneEYB

                              I made this last night also using a commercial green curry paste. We loved it - as good as any green curry we've had in Thailand. The technique was very sound and could be used with any coconut-based Thai curry (Penang, Red). The only thing I'd say is that you don't need to fry the paste for as long as she says - I went to Thai cooking school earlier this year and was told to fry it until it "smells", ie until fragrant.

                              I used a can of coconut milk, about half of which was thick cream, and then added water along with the rest of the milk to dilute it somewhat. I served this with a pork and green bean dish from Maddhur Jaffrey's Eastern Cooking, which I picked up for next to nothing the other day. Delicious.