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Tried and True Recipes from David Thompson's "Thai Food" #2

The original thread was reaching the 400 posts mark, time to start #2.

Hoping we can all continue to post our successes and challenges and share the techniques and sources for ingredients that have been so helpful in the past.

The discussion has centered around recipes from any of D.Thompson's three published cookbooks;"Thai Food", "Thai Street Food" and "Classic Thai Cuisine", however, it looks like there's a fourth one due to be published soon, so maybe we'll add experiences with that later this year. Not to mention that ideas for other non-Thompson sources for great Thai recipes are always welcome.

Here's a link to the original thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/669671

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  1. Stir Fried Bitter Melon Tendrils, Thai Street Food, pg 284

    I don't think I've ever had bitter melon tendrils before, and I'm sure I've never cooked them.

    As it turns out the only difficult part is prepping them, as the vines get quite tangled, and separating out the tender parts from the woody parts takes a few minutes, but nothing major. from there it is a very straightforward veg stir fry--heat oil, add leaves and aromatics (fresh chili, garlic), add moisture (soy sauce, stock), that's it.

    If you like bitter greens, really bitter greens, these are fantastic. If not you might be like Mr. QN and ask "Does this have medicinal properties?" Hope the answer to that is yes, as two other components of the meal were crispy fried pork belly. and beer...

     
    1. Here is the index list of recipes tried from the first thread ever so thoughtfully written out by wew/wewwew/wewever:

      "And this thread now has its own recipe index. The dishes in the double parentheses were tried cited but not really loved.

      Massaman Curry of Chicken
      Green curry of Fish Dumplings and Eggplant
      Steamed Fish with Ginger, Celery, and Sour Plum
      Stir fried Pork with Bean and Green Peppercorns
      Red Curry of Scallops - Chu Chi
      Mussels with Chili Jam
      Aromatic Curry of Duck
      Fish Curry With Cucumber
      Beef Panaeng
      Yellow Curry of Clams and Pineapple
      Chaing Mai Curry Pork
      Mackerel Braised with Green Papaya
      Pork and Green Peppercorn Curry
      Green Papaya Salad
      Mussels and Ginger Soup
      Chicken and Galangal Soup
      Southern Fish Curry Thai Street Food
      ((Yellow Curry of Clams and Pineapple))
      Green Curry of Chicken and Pea Aubergine
      Pork and Green Curry
      Mussels with Holy Basil
      Grilled Chicken with chilli sauce
      Mussels with Chili Jam pg 502 and the Nam Prik Pao, from TSF pg 354
      Grilled Chicken - Gai Yan- from pg. 503 of "Thai Food" or pg 102 of "Classic Thai Cuisine" and
      Cucumber and Prawn Salad - yam dtaeng gwa - from pg. 350 of Thai Food.
      Stir-fried minced beef with chillies and holy basil p 507 Thai Food
      Chicken Curry with Holy Basil, Ginger and Peanuts
      ((Egg Mousse))
      Chicken Curry with Ginger and Holy Basil-p.442 Thai Food
      Kanom Jin from the Shans pg 575
      Southern curry of mud crab
      Stir-Fried Asparagus p. 419
      Deep Fried Whole Fish with Garlic and Peppercorns, pg 278 Thai Street Food,
      Pomelo Salad
      Stir Fried Water Mimosa w/ minced Pork and Peanuts, Thai Food pg. 508
      ((green curry of chicken with baby corn bamboo shoot pg 318 thai food....
      a pretty good green curry))
      grilled eggplant salad, pg. 354.
      ((Grilled Beef pg 504, This is a pretty standard))
      Roasted Duck & Lychee Salad, pg. 352
      Southern Fish Curry from Thai Street Food
      Pat prik king from pag[e] 297
      Stir Fried Siamese Watercress w/ Yellow Beans
      Mangosteen and Shellfish Curry
      Chilli Jam - nam prik pao-
      Kaffir Lime Juice Dressing with Grilled Prawns on pg 218
      Pork Satay, - Muu Satay - pg 178 Thai Street Food.
      Cucumber Salad recipe from Thai Food
      ((Grilled Pork Skewers - Muu Bing - pg 112 Thai Street Food))
      Chicken Curry W/ Ginger and Peanut
      ((green curry chicken with baby corn))
      ((Crab with Curry Powder from Street Food))
      Fish, Turmeric, and, Coconut Soup Thai Food page 266
      Green curry a few times following the basic recipe starting on p. 318 of Thai Food. I've used different meats and vegetables
      Braised Mackerel from Thai Street Food"

      and some more since then:

      -Chiang Mai Curried Noodle and Chicken Soup [Thai Food]
      -Pat Thai p.562 Thai Food
      -Charred Rice Noodles and Chicken with Thickened 'Gravy' p.140 Thai Street Food
      Green Curry of Fish Dumplings, Bamboo, and Basil with Kanom Jin Noodles pg.62 Thai Street Food
      -Red Chicken Curry with Ginger and Green Beans, pg. 431 Thai Food.
      -Pork Hocks Braised with Five-Spice Powder, pg. 292 Thai Street Food
      -Laksa from Street Food
      -Green Papaya Salad with Sweet Crispy Pork
      -Pomelo Salad
      -Beansprout Salad
      -Barumandi, Ginger, Green Mango Soup from Thai Food
      -Grilled Prawn Curry, Thai Food-Pg.315
      -Deep-Fried Spring Rolls (Thai Street Food)

      1. Crispy Pork, Thai Food pg. 399

        DT calls this "naughty", and it is. Well, anything with pork belly is, but it is also rather delightful in the same way as salt and vinegar chips are naughty and delightful.

        I had defrosted a piece of pork belly for something else, and then not used it, so this multistage four day technique was something of a godsend, but otherwise plan ahead. It is easy enough, though. Marinate the meat in soy, & tiny amount sugar/salt for 2 days then steam for 1/2 hour, then rub with salt and white vinegar, air dry 2 days, deep fry.

        Thompson says serve as a relish/titbit cut in thin slices at room temperature, but we both thought it tasted better warm. I have quite a bit left, and it can be used as a component in some other dishes....I'll report back when I get to them.

        Here it is after air drying but before frying, and then after frying.

         
         
        4 Replies
        1. re: qianning

          So did you end up drying this in the fridge or out at room temperature?

          1. re: Allegra_K

            room temp....I figured pork fat that was a) already marinated b) already cooked c)smothered in vinegar and salt d)about to be deep fried, could kill me, but probably not due to bacteria.

          2. re: qianning

            Is it the quiet hour after eating self fermented meat for the first time, interrogating each internal squig and twinge or is it later when just going to bed and in the first darkness remembering the lighting pattern in your local emergency room"s triage area that makes you wonder why you had to be so brave? I under went the same with Sour Pork Nubbins from Thai food. Neither is anything in macho bravery compared to severing a long thread and starting part two. Hats off.

            1. re: wewwew

              oh wewwew, so glad you found the severed half, life in Thai Food land would just not be the same without you.

          3. And what's this I read? Another book? Do tell!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Allegra_K

              saw it on Amazon.....but now that I look more closely, perhaps he's only writing the preface.....
              http://www.amazon.com/Pok-Stories-Roa...

              1. re: qianning

                Yes, that's Andy Ricker's book with recipes from his Pok Pok restaurants.

            2. Green Mango and Squid Salad, pg. 37 Classic Thai Cuisine

              The green mangoes in our Indian markets right now are perfect--small, firm and tart. So I bought some thinking I'd make the green mango salad in Thai Food, but that one requires never been frozen shrimp, which I couldn't track down. Hmmm, could it be that I've never made that salad because good green mangoes and fresh shrimp never happen in the same season around here?

              So what to do with my green mango? I've made this salad before, but never with the squid. Foolish me, the squid really works in this dish. We ate every scrap, including spooning the bottom-of-the bowl sauce over rice. A lovely easy salad, that by the way went perfectly with the first Gai Yang of the grilling season. Do try it while the green mangoes are still green!

              1. So folks, here's my burning Thai Food question of the moment, how do you measure palm sugar?

                4 Replies
                1. re: qianning

                  Gee, I'm interested to see what the proper way is for this. I scrape and loosely scoop, maybe give the mound a gentle pat. Most of Thompson's recipes lean towards the sweeter side of things, even for me.....(or maybe I shouldn't be doing any patting at all!)

                  1. re: Allegra_K

                    I'd love to know what's "proper" too. I've only recently stumbled on a good way to scrape--my cheese grater---and before this I always eye balled the measurement. Actually measuring, and not patting, has made for a great reduction in the sugar, which we prefer. Funny thing is before I always thought I was low-balling it, but now I wonder...

                    1. re: qianning

                      A cheese grater; genius! Tho this may prove difficult for the ones that come packed in a plastic tub....in which case I throw it in the microwave for a bit and then attack it with a spoon.

                      1. re: Allegra_K

                        No microwave here....necessity is the mother of invention and all that....

                        But I am blown away by how big a difference there is in the amount depending on form.

                2. Kind of a long shot, but, does anyone have a recipe for Thai-style Pennywort Salad? (Yam Bai Bua Bok)?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: qianning

                    Pennywort Salad----

                    So there are teasers out there on the web about Mr. Thompson's version, http://www.jetsetter.hk/newsdetail622..., but I can't find a recipe. So using this description, http://www.jetsetter.hk/newsdetail622..., of a simpler salad and DT's general description of Thai salads in Thai Food,I improvised a bit. Not bad.

                    I'd still like to have Thompson's recipe, though...

                     
                  2. Roasted Duck & Lychee Salad, pg. 352

                    Lychee's are starting to show up in our markets now, and as has become usual the past couple of years, the first batch went straight into this salad. Goodness, I love this salad.

                     
                    1. Fried Rice
                      As written subbing separately stir fried pork.
                      Just soso

                      1. Pigeon and Herb Curry Thai Food page I don't know
                        I had lots of herbs and some Thai eggplants. The head note indicated pork would be a substitute, and is that which I used. This is a non coconut fried curry, a victory of the basic ingredients - lemongrass, galangal, garlic, shallot, gapi, chilies. I added long leaf coriander, thai basil, vietnamese mint. A zippy hit.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: wewwew

                          wewwew--did you see this?
                          http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/din...&

                          I'm dying to try them (mail order perhaps, a trip through NYC en-route to DC later this month is another possibility).

                          1. re: qianning

                            I called D&D and All Good Things. D&D is no longer carrying them and All Good Things has them, but they are black. You might have luck with http://freshgreenpeppercorn.com/ . I will try them locally tomorrow in a phirk king and report. Thank you so so so much.

                            1. re: wewwew

                              Good luck! I'm not sure how reliable this lead is, I didn't see the article until recently, and it was published back in October, so don't go too far out of your way, since who knows how "fresh" they really are.

                              A few weeks back I e-mailed the link you copied above, but never got a response....was hoping he had a vendor in Boston, or perhaps was willing to ship direct.

                              Anyway, looking forward to your report on the pat phrik king...we recently found a source for wild boar, so I'd love to try making the real deal.

                              1. re: qianning

                                All Good Things does not have them either. I bought a jar of brine cured peppercorns, Three Chef's lable. This is currently the only brand I could find in Manhattan,or Elmwood. They were next to tasteless. My usual brined pepper corns were not to be found. I will continue to look for them to get the name for posting.
                                I changed to Curry Pork with Green Pepper Corns, follow the tumric stained finger nails to

                                1. re: wewwew

                                  Drat. I am so sorry for to have given you bum advice.

                        2. Chicken with Vegetables Curry, pg. 291

                          No oil, no coconut cream, no coconut milk, and you can count the paste ingredients on one hand. Really? Yes, really, this was fabulous, we were both floored by how good it tasted.

                          My vegetables were 2/3 C snake beans, 1/4 C sliced cremini mushrooms, 1C Thai basil. Upped the chicken to 3 b-less/s-less thighs, and added a last minute infusion of 1 tsp fish sauce to adjust the salt/umami. Good home-made stock is, I think, key.

                          This combination and others like it will be making frequent appearances at our house--it is like being instantly transported to Chiang Mai, and who can resist that?

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: qianning

                            This sounds perfect for me, as I have a bunch of Thai basil to use up but don't feel like spending the time sweating over a mortar with an involved curry paste. I completely overlooked this one, so I'll have to give it a thorough look-over!

                            1. re: Allegra_K

                              If you try it I'd love to hear what you think. It is a bit "soupier" than many of his curries, but we liked it for that. It really did taste like something from a little hole in the wall place in N. Thailand. I've tried a similar recipe from "Cracking the Coconut" (she calls it "Heavenly Chicken" or some such) sometime back, and we liked it, but this one was, for us anyway, much much better.

                            2. re: qianning

                              Chicken & Veg Curry

                              I concur with you, qianning, about everything for this one, from the last minute addition of fish sauce right down to the Chiang Mai time-warp.....errr fantasy, for me at least. Used 3 chx thighs, about 1c long eggplant, 1 c snake beans, and for good measure, a huge handful of Thai basil along with some shredded sawtooth herb. Not the most stunning in appearance, but what it lacks in presentation it more than makes up for in flavour! This may be my first coconut milk-free curry, and you can bet it won't be my last. It was still nose-drippingly spicy without the fat to temper the heat, so although I wasn't perspiring whilst pounding the speedy paste, the consumption of the finished product was indeed a brow-wiping affair. Thanks for pointing this one out, it was definitely better than the sum of its parts!

                              1. re: Allegra_K

                                So glad you enjoyed it. We had the leftovers for lunch today, and while not quite as pert as it was the night we made it, still wonderful.

                              2. re: qianning

                                I've picked up some ingredients to try my first non-pad thai Thai recipe. I've just ordered some shrimp paste online, but don't want to wait to make this. Can I use fish sauce instead? If so how much should I use? Should this recipe be eaten as a soup or do I serve it over rice? Thank you.

                                1. re: BigSal

                                  FWIW-I think fish sauce would work, probably start at 1TBS, taste and add more if needed. If you have any dried shrimp on hand, you might consider adding a few, 1 TBS?, to the broth for added depth of flavor (assuming you like the flavor of dried shrimp....). The key for this curry is, imo, a good rich homemade stock.

                                  We always eat these jungle curries with rice--I serve the curry family style in a bowl on the table, and the rice on individual plates, and each diner adds curry as they like a little at a time.

                                  1. re: qianning

                                    @qianning, thanks for the reply. I have one more place I'll try locally to get paste today...if not I'll try fish sauce and dried shrimp.

                                    1. re: BigSal

                                      Good luck! Kinda surprised shrimp paste is a hard get...all of our Southeast Asian stores have it, and most of our Chinese groceries too. It is so fluky what can be easy/hard to find in different regions. Anyway, if you have options the various Thai brands are the best, and the ingredients should be shrimp and salt, period the end.

                                2. re: qianning

                                  Chicken with Vegetables Curry p. 291

                                  I finally got around making a Thai dish from Thompson's book! Yeah!!The recipe seemed very approachable, but leave it to me to be stumped with the most basic of recipes. The recipe calls for simmering the chicken and paste, but doesn't indicate how much water and later has you add the stock. I ended up cooking it in the stock and adding a bit of water and then followed the rest of the instructions. Even so, the results were delicious (with the addition of fish sauce). It was light and spicy and fragrant.

                                  I found pounding the paste to be very cathartic after a long work day. I really liked the depth of flavor the shrimp paste added even though I warned my husband not to come into the kitchen once I opened the lid...P.U. Can't wait to try more recipes.

                                  1. re: BigSal

                                    Welcome to the club! Looking forward to your reports.

                                3. Chu Chi Scallops from Thai Food
                                  One of the standards I have at restos but this version is quite rich. It would be really fine with a Mango or Pomelo Salad salad and the Stir Fried Siamese Watercress. The head note suggests using deep fried fish which is what I used. As with many of the Thompson recipes the result equals or surpasses your favorite Thai restaurant.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: wewwew

                                    "As with many of the Thompson recipes the result equals or surpasses your favorite Thai restaurant", there's the rub, I never want to go out for Thai food around here anymore!

                                    1. re: qianning

                                      If you do swing around to New York here are some dishes that stand out for those who want eat at or near the Thompson standard. These recommendations will yield a wildly unbalanced table.
                                      Choa Thai - Northern Sausage, E-San Sausage, Northern Pork and Liver Laap, Salad of Pork crystal Noodle and Preserved Bamboo (On the board or on the wall)
                                      Sripraphai - Southern Curry, Sour Fish Curry with Perserved Bamboo, Tom Zap with offal , Khai Jiao Mussel Omelet, Krua gling neua (not on the menu and must be asked for) POWERFULLY HOT and more than a touch salty

                                    2. re: wewwew

                                      I steamed a crab and made a batch of Chu Chi as the paste prep makes for two dishes. This turned out to be a bad idea, just didn't work.

                                    3. Okay, so I know this isn't about Thompson's books, but for those of you who have cooked out of McDermott's "Real Thai", what are some of the 'can't miss' dishes in there, if any? I bought the book last year but still haven't cooked anything out of it, mainly because I make the mistake of paging through both her and Thompson's books at the same time, and Thompson always wins. I need to make this purchase worthwhile--gotta get my $4 worth!

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Allegra_K

                                        I confess that I don't use McDermont's book as much as I used to, but there are a few of her recipes that I prefer over Thompson's versions or that Thompson doesn't have. There are also a few that are just quicker, and that I use to save time. Some examples:

                                        Moo Paht Peht, pg. 27 --I like the eggplant in it, and can't get good green peppercorns--yet--so usually use this recipe over Thompson's.

                                        Tom Yum Goong, pg 39 - I like her version much better than Thompson's--I often use fish rather than chicken stock, and fresh mushrooms rather than straw mushrooms.

                                        Kanom Jeen Nahm Ngiow, pg 85 -a bit quicker than the Thompson version.

                                        Som Tum, pg. 125, we like her proportions.

                                        Seua Rong Hai/Yum Neua Yahng Toke, pg 127/129, Does Thompson even stoop so low as to have a recipe for yum neua?

                                        Plah Pao Ubon, pg. 131, probably my favorite dish from this book. I usually substitute a bream or sea bass for the trout. The dipping sauce is key.

                                        Plah Tote Laht Nahm Prik Makahm, pg. 156--Not in frequent rotation, but we've had it several times and like it. However, reduce the soy and fish sauce by about a third, or else it is too salty.

                                        Red Curry Paste, pg. 171, just a good well balance red curry paste--I usually make extra when I make the Moo Paht Peht, and have it in my fridge to use when making a paste from sratch isn't an option.

                                        Nam Prik Pao, pg. 177, very different from most Nahm Prik Pao recipes, I love that it isn't sweet and that the chili, garli and shallots are grilled. (see also the shrimp recipe on pg. 153) I almost always have some in the fridge.

                                        Nahm Jeem Gratiem, pg 189, it is quicker and a bit easier than Thompson's version--we like it with grilled Issan/Lao sausages, and also fried spring rolls. For the chili I use sambal olec.

                                        1. re: qianning

                                          Wow, thanks for all the suggestions--now I have a good jumping-off point!

                                          1. re: qianning

                                            Thanks - I've printed your list to tuck in my copy, which I haven't cooked from yet. Do you have Cracking the Coconut - if so, how do think it compares to McDermott and Thompson?

                                            1. re: emily

                                              I do have Cracking the Coconut, and I like the recipes I've tried, but I don't use it very often. There is something about the way it is organized that drives me nuts.

                                        2. Pork and Peppercorn Curry Form Thai Food
                                          On another thead a poster complained that a preperation featured lemongrass in its title but the result didn't have much lemongrass flavor. Try this curry. Lots of lemongrass and lime zest comes across in the finished curry, so much so that next time I will sub snapper or mackerel for the pork.
                                          As the headnote indicates this is an a strange curry, no garlic or shrimp paste and that six tablespoons of lemon grass and a large bit of cumin and corriander. The result was another winner even without good enough fresh peppercorns.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: wewwew

                                            That sounds super! I love lots of lemongrass flavour, so it would be perfect. In fact I always think of this recipe when I see fresh peppercorns but have never gotten around to making it...it's moved up the list now, though!

                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                              when you see fresh peppercorns to buy or pictures of fresh peppercorns?

                                              1. re: wewwew

                                                Hah, well I guess a bit of both but I'll give the edge to the ones that I can actually eat!

                                                And isn't it funny that I can source fresh peppercorns (sometimes) in my dusty honky-tonk prairie city and you in your thriving culinary metropolis must resort to salty pickled jars?
                                                But don't fret about it too much--cilantro roots around here are merely an out-of-reach fantasy(tho I'm sure you've heard me lament that fact already)...

                                          2. I found a re-release edition of Thai Street Food on amazon that just came out--it looks like the price is more manageable (even from the Canadian website!) and maybe the size has been scaled down a bit, so it could even fit on bookshelves. If the dimensions are correct, anyway. Finally, I can bite the bullet and add it to my collection!
                                            http://www.amazon.com/Thai-Street-Foo...

                                            ETA: it looks like this is a British release, but the measurements seem to be in metric and imperial. Plus, on the UK website, it's called the "compact" edition, so it really is smaller!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                              I own this version in paperback:

                                              http://www.booktopia.com.au/thai-stre...

                                              As well as the larger hardback. The paperback is much smaller and easier to manage, and doesn't suffer the binding issues of the larger hardcover.

                                            2. Red Curry of Chicken and Ginger from Thai Food
                                              This is the non peanut one with 1/2 t. coriander and lime zest, sub reg lime and kaffir lime leaves for kaffir zest.
                                              Mine came out lush and full which is just what I wanted on a sultry evening. As the weather was tropical humid I waited an hour before seconds and the coconut flavors came forward which changed the dish around. Both were just right.

                                              1. Anyone use Stir: Christine Manfield's Stir? I saw it in a book store and was curious.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: wewwew

                                                  Never even heard of it.....did you succumb and buy it?

                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                    No, which was probably a mistake. It was organized by significant flavor compound. The first chapter started with a day slow cook chili jam recipe followed by dishes in which chili jam figures. Same with green curry paste etc. Some of the preps were classic some were takes on ingredients and methods. Sadly the book was marked OP, but I had blown my discretionary funds on fresh rice water.

                                                2. Stir fried Minced Beef w/ Chiles and Holy Basil Thai Food p. 507
                                                  The head note suggests serving with dipping sauce of fish sauce, chilies, garlic, and lime juice. The sauce really focused the stir fry,it is an example of how essential accompaniments and garnishes are in Thai, Vietnamese, and Indonesian dishes. I found that it good to reduce the salt components a touch as the dipping sauce offers a saline wack.
                                                  The second time I made the dish I put in a tablespoon plus of chopped lemongrass into the paste which worked out very well.
                                                  A fine middle range dish, would be nice with shrimp in coconut milk.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: wewwew

                                                    You know, that dipping sauce sounds very similar to the one in McDermott's book for the fish grilled in banana leaf, Plah Pao Ubon, which I love.

                                                  2. Southern Thai Curry of Mashed Prawns (Aaeng Gait Gung)
                                                    From SBS Food

                                                    This is a version of the Thai Street Food prep I've made and loved.
                                                    Make a paste of 6 dried chilies, 3 birds eye chilies, 1 T
                                                    galangal, 1T lemongrass, 1T garlic, 1t turmeric, 1T krachai, 1T shrimp paste (can be reduced to 1 plus t).
                                                    Heat 1c chicken stock plus 1/2c coconut cream and add 1 piece lemongrass, 5 slices galangal, 2 lime leaves, 1t sugar. Cook prawns in this liquid till just done. Remove them and mash the shrimp. To the cooking liquid add 1/2 c coconut milk and 2T paste and cook a minute. Add the mashed prawns 1t sugar,2T fish sauce, 1T lime juice and chopped 2 or three red birds eye chillies (sub long chilies for somewhat milder result). Cook till near dry. Set off the heat for 30 plus minutes and finish with bit of coconut cream and lime juice.
                                                    The curry is pungent, rich, and hot with base notes from the shrimp paste and the citrus accents on top.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                      1. re: qianning

                                                        "The Special Broadcasting Service is a hybrid-funded Australian public broadcasting radio and television network." www.sbs.com.au/‎
                                                        Maybe a hometown connection for Thompson? Hope the summer was good

                                                        1. re: wewwew

                                                          Ah, thanks for the explanation, I was clueless.

                                                          Summer's been great, but too short, and not enough Thai food. We've been on a Spanish food kick for some reason. Just starting to get back to Burmese food, Thai to follow soon, if I get organized! Hope you're well.

                                                    1. Minced Pork w/ Celery Soup, pg. 232

                                                      We love this type of South East Asian soup, so flavorful and so simple, and easy too. DT's head note give a bunch of plausible flavor combinations. Mine was pork, spring onion (which is at its best around here in the fall), and the kernels from a small ear of left over steamed corn. Wonderful!

                                                      Two points, hand mincing the pork was worth it, especially as this is one case where you don't want to increase DT's recommended amount of meat. And good stock, a must.

                                                      1. Duck and Lychee Salad That Qianning Recommended

                                                        There are reasons I waited two years after repeated praise from the most reliable recommender, they, the reasons are all piffle. This salad is great, easy to make, had it two day running, and I will be making it lots in the future. Following is the recipe with my mods in brackets. For best results use a fresh roasted Ctown duck. Day old is great, fresh profound.

                                                        salad: 1/4 [1/3] duck, 15 lychees peeled & seeded, 3 scallion whites juliennned, 1 [1 1/2] tbs ginger julienned, 1 tsp deep fried garlic, cilantro leaves, 2 tbs roasted peanuts lightly crushed.
                                                        sauce [make all and use half or half all ingredients]: 1tbs plum sauce, 1 tbs palm sugar (less or none if using plum sauce), 1 tbs jinjiang vinegar, 3 tbs l. soy, 2 tbs stock or duck jus.
                                                        garnish: sesame seed [I omited and used a few drops of sesame oil], scallion greens chopped.[as Qinnaing does I serve it on lettuce]

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: wewwew

                                                          So glad you liked it!

                                                          Whenever we buy a whole Ctown duck, I now stash the "jus" in the freezer in little packets, just in case I want to make this salad with a half duck.

                                                          1. re: qianning

                                                            I would see the salad as a natural party dish with a cold shell fish plate (hand me a few Belons and the Stanley), a matsutaki/ porchini/ truffle risotto, and velvet cooked sole.
                                                            I posted on this Thompson so that both threads have the duck salad.

                                                            1. re: wewwew

                                                              The stanley? Do you really open oysters with a screwdriver? Wow, wewwew, that is hard core. However, Belons....no wonder we get along, I love Belons!

                                                                1. re: wewwew

                                                                  You always make me laugh out loud.....on the other hand an oyster knife has, more than once, made me curse out loud, so who knows maybe I should switch tools.

                                                        2. Omelette Soup, pg. 70, Classic Thai Cuisine

                                                          Thought this soup had been written up before, but can't find it in this thread or the old one, maybe because it is from the Classic book. I've made it several times, and we really love it. Plus it is super fast and easy (assuming you have stock on hand, and buy the pre-washed bean sprouts). It is a great counter point to spicy food, and very homey.

                                                          1. Shrimp Paste Relish, page 191 Thai Food

                                                            This won't be for everyone. But for a really down home relish, this recipe is spot on. We had it with cabbage; perfect.

                                                            1. Made his tom yam goong on Friday - it was good (even better on Saturday), but I prefer previous versions I've made that include galangal, nam prik pow, and a bit of tamarind juice. The only change I made from his instruction was I put the chillies in to steep with the aromatics, rather than at serving as he suggests.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: ARenko

                                                                I have to agree, his tom yum goong isn't very exciting. Have you ever tried N. McDermott's version? For some reason I particularly like it, especially if made with good fish stock.

                                                                1. re: qianning

                                                                  Haven't tried McDermott's. My usual is Kasma's from It Rains Fishes. If I recall correctly she says it's a country style version (or maybe she says that in Dancing Shrimp, but I think the recipes are basically the same).

                                                              2. Seasoned Rice - Thai Food p.539
                                                                There you will find outline directions for these dishes:
                                                                a) Mix warm rice with a nam prik minus the aromatics
                                                                b) Add the aromatics
                                                                c) Serve with raw, cooked veggies, leaf herbs, pork rinds and maybe small fried fish.

                                                                I made half recipes of two relishes, Lon of Semi Dried Salmon (p. 216) and Grilled Prawns With Green Mango (p. 203). The Lon turned out to be very rich and full, excellent as a dip and as rice seasoning. Due to its richness a bit of the Lon flavored rice goes a long way.
                                                                The grilled Prawn and Mango relish is pungent and sharp. I found that a leaf or two of Thai basil rounded out the dish.
                                                                Used for seasoned rice both are really excellent.

                                                                1. Crunchy Omelette of Mussels [Oysters], pg. 116 Thai Street Food.

                                                                  Other than switching oysters for the mussels, I followed the recipe exactly. Which actually raises a question, anyone know what dear Mr. Thompson means by "Mung Bean Flour"? what I had on hand was the Swad brand of Indian style moong flour, which is decidedly whole-grain and made from the greenish colored bean. Somehow I doubt this is what is right for this recipe.

                                                                  Anywhoo, it still worked, but in the furure I'd added the shucked (standard oyster knife, not a stanley, sorry wewwew) shellfish to the batter before adding to the hot pan--my first batch didn't spread enough in the hot oil, and the oyster flavor didn't quite penetrate the batter as well as it could have.

                                                                  Meanwhile, at the same time I made a batch of the Hoi Thwat from "Pok Pok", you'll have to wait until the April COTM threads go up to hear about those results. But wanted to mention that over in COTM land we are actually cooking from a Thai book for April, so hope some of the diehard Thai cooks will be joining in.

                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                                    What a cruel cliffhanger! Ha Ha! I just went shopping for some Thai ingredients this weekend and purchased the dry ingredients for hoi thwat. Did you make it with oysters rather than mussels? I prefer oysters to mussels. If you made it with oysters, did you poach the oysters ahead of time or any other changes that might help me with this venture? Thanks!

                                                                    1. re: BigSal

                                                                      Ha! But really, I didn't mean to be cruel. Will say, yes I used oysters (had a bunch to shuck and use up in the fridge which was a main reason for the project), and yes I poached them lightly, after shucking them, and using their own liquor.

                                                                      And on a completely off thread subject, can you recommend any good Japanese oyster dishes? I still have quite few more in shell oysters in the fridge, and I'm running out of ideas.

                                                                      1. re: qianning

                                                                        Thank you! I may try the recipe with oysters instead.

                                                                        The Japanese oyster recipes that come to mind are... Kaki furai (oysters dredged in flour, egg and panko just like tonkatsu, deep-fried and served with an eggy tartar sauce. Kaki gohan (mixed rice with oysters). Kaki nabe (oyster hotpot). I also remember enjoying the oyster- egg drop donburi (rice bowl) from Cooking with Dog.

                                                                        1. re: BigSal

                                                                          Thank you! I see one of those Kaki dishes on the menu tomorrow.

                                                                    2. re: qianning

                                                                      I know it is only a few days away, but did you try th Pok Pok salt fish/gappi?

                                                                      1. re: wewwew

                                                                        still getting my ducks, um shrimp, in a row, so to speak.

                                                                        do you have Pok Pok?

                                                                        1. re: qianning

                                                                          I bought it yesterday. I found Korean Salted Shrimp today. Nice set of regional recipes, a fine complement to Thompson. The beef soup looks like a good place to start then I will try the Northern Pork Laap. I very fond of the version at Chao Thai (Elmwood, NY).

                                                                          1. re: wewwew

                                                                            Really looking forward to hearing what you think of the results!

                                                                            1. re: qianning

                                                                              I've made four dishes to including the Northern Duck Laab to loosen up my chopping muscles.
                                                                              Side to side recipe comparison of the same dish is interesting. Pok Pok's Green Curry is, more fundamental than Thai Food's, and the Pok Pok's Boat Noodle has extras that TF lacks.

                                                                              1. re: wewwew

                                                                                Exercise through cleaver?

                                                                                It is interesting to compare the Thompson vs. the Ricker recipes isn't is? At chez QN it has also been interesting to compare the Mr. QN (grew up in SEA) vs. the QN (grew up in Yankee-dom) response to the results.

                                                                                1. re: qianning

                                                                                  As a result of comparing the books I found in TF more interesting recipes, esp from the snack and outside food section, that I will try concurrent to Pok Pok cooking, further enlarging this already plump thread (R.O.!!).
                                                                                  On Comp. Lit.: Is at least part of the appeal of Pok Pok its manageable length and scope? TF could seem a bit forbidding, like War and Peace or General Hospital. Pok Pok benefits from the current interest in regional foods, can't wait until Jitlada comes out with a southern Thai book.

                                                                                  1. re: wewwew

                                                                                    Wewwew, you are so hip. Me, i had to google Jitlada.

                                                                                    Meanwhile Mr. QN continues to tell me how much the Pok Pok recipes remind him of the food from Moulmein, which made more sense once I looked at a map. Without looking at a map, I would have sworn Moulmein was closer to say, Hat Yai. Shows what I know.

                                                                                    I think the Pok Pok book is organized in a way that is more accessible, and as you point out has a more manageable length & scope. Plus, "Pok Pok" the soon to be issued "She Simmers" book, and all of the Thompson books are published by the same house, 10 Speed, so it looks like they are trying to corner the market in all niches of Thai cooking.....except maybe southern Thai?

                                                                                    For the most part we are really enjoying the dishes from Pok Pok. However, I really really miss Thompson's more exact and rigorous spicing. "Mild Indian Curry Powder" is a major let down after Thai Food/Thai Street Food.

                                                                                    By the way, the Pok Pok COTM threads are now up.

                                                                    3. Deep-Fried Chinese Bread, pg. 40 Thai Street Food

                                                                      Made these a few weeks back, with the baking ammonia. They were pretty good, and definitely one of the best batches I've ever concocted (left handed compliment that), but still not quite the ne plus ultra of You Tiao. The search continues here at chez QN for a recipe that replicates the lightness and crispy exterior of a really good Chinese cruller.

                                                                      1. Salad of Deep Fried Rice W/Minced Pork TF p.510
                                                                        This is laap over curry paste rice balls that have been deep fried, and yes this is in the bar food section. Get your friends, a warm, humid night, you remember, when the ice is in the glass not the sidewalk, and the brown of your choice (maybe Blanton's and water, rum and Coke, a smokey single on the rocks) and chow down. Compulsion making food.
                                                                        This is a great recipe to using up that left over curry paste you've made weeks earlier, for me it was some Khao Soi paste. The only change I made was to add a pinch of sugar to counter the fish sauce.

                                                                        1. Grilled Coconut Relish TF p.199
                                                                          This is a shredded coconut not coconut milk affair. I would recommend reserving judgement until you taste it with a foil. It came alive with sauteed fish lime (you remember them?) and lots of holy basil, and was realy fine with cooked greens and a leaf of sawtooth.Less successful with cucumber or thai eggplant.

                                                                          1. A Mash up of: Curry of Black Chicken and Green Melon from TSF AND Curry of Minced Rabbit from TF p284
                                                                            I used the paste for Rabbit curry with the addition of Thai ashplant from Black Chicken and fried the curry paste in oil. The result was a fine non coconut curry, light and pungent. Recommended for an accompanying dish.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: wewwew

                                                                              there's a rabbit curry in TF how'd I miss that.....

                                                                              meanwhile, leave it to you to find the bar section of TF, you locate the best stuff wewwew!

                                                                            2. Fermented Fish Relish TF p.211
                                                                              This is a coconut based rich salsa that I had to modify because of the huge salt component.I increased the coconut cream and lime. The final result was very rich and strong full flavor dip for cooked and raw veggies.

                                                                              1. Coconut Soup W/Fermented Bamboo Shoots TF p.417
                                                                                Smooth with mild flavors, a good dish to have with a water based curry or grilled fish of meat.
                                                                                Salt caution: This is made with naam plaa raa and the brand I have is really saline. I tasted the soup when I added half the amount called for in the recipe and was tempted to stop. I rinse the bamboo shoots lightly because I like the assertive flavor, prolonged soaking can take out the zing I love.

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: wewwew

                                                                                  Another one I missed, we love fermented bamboo shoots. Have you ever tried the Burmese curry with Pork and Fermented Bamboo? Really good stuff!

                                                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                                                    Do you have a recipe, I'd love to try? I usually have it in the Thai sour curry with catfish.

                                                                                2. Noodles w/Pineapple and Dried Prawns served with Fish Balls in Coconut Cream TF p.?
                                                                                  A winner, loved ingredients rejigged for a great result with the contrasting coconut cream and fish balls as just so complements. The two dishes would be naturals for summer Barbequing - ribs, chicken, sausages, corn, eggplant etc.
                                                                                  Thompson includes this in Street Food.I subbed Somen noodles for the Thai version, and I included the optional shredded ginger. Recipe calls for a range of 10 - 20 fresh scuds chilies, and from experience I used ten deseeded chilies, after a while I was sorry I hadn't use twelve. Next time I will make the fish balls first and let them set as time improve their flavor and I will use less fish sauce in the coconut cream.
                                                                                  Even with making the fish balls these are are quick prep dishes. To save even more time I could see using sliced fish fillets in place of the fish balls.

                                                                                  1. Mushroom Soup with Chillies, TF, pg 262

                                                                                    It isn't much to look at, but this soup packs a wallop. We had it with an equally robust yam neua and boy the tears were flowing. The closest equivalent that I can think to compare the effect to is a rasam, but this was less salty, and not tart, and very, very chili.