Monday, January 31, 2011

Kai-Jeaw :Thai omelet

For me this menu is so common to everyone in Thailand and everybody knows it through memory, but you do not really see it in American restaurant menus.  I don’t know why, maybe because American people just assume that egg means breakfast so nobody orders them and it gets cut out of from the menu….Who knows?
Anyway Kai-Jeaw is very easy to make and everyone (that I know) loves it.  One day I cooked Kai Jeaw for my baby girl and my father in law who came to pick up something at my garage.  He smelled it.  He then walked to me and asked me to make it for him for lunch.  He loved it!! (He is a pretty picky eater just like my hubby).
For the recipe main ingredients of Kai-Jeaw is egg (Kai-mean egg), you can put anything in it just like omelets in America.  However, the most famous thing to put in it in Thailand is ground pork, onion and my favorite one is fermented ground pork (Nham), but when I’m in America sometimes it is hard to find Nham, that makes me miss Thailand very much.  One day I ate salami …oh my god !! I found a new treasure, since that day I have substituted my favorite for salami in any menu that calls for Nham …So let’s make it!!
Kai-Jeaw Salami : modern Thai food style
5-7 slice Salami quarter
Note: if you don’t like it just use ground meat or don’t put anything just leave it plain it’s fine with me!
3 eggs
1 1/2  tsp. fish sauce (soy sauce)
¼ cup of vegetable oil
1 tsp. chop fresh Thai chili or jalapeno (optional for make it spicy)
Cooking Instructions:
1.       In medium bowl beat egg add fish sauce(soy sauce), salami, chili (option)
2.       In the big pan heat oil in high heat until it is very hot (a little smoke comes up) reduce heat to medium high.

3.       Pour egg mixture in the hot oil wait about 1-2 minutes peak on one side if golden brown turn over the egg and cook the other side until golden brown. Take it off from the pan.
4.       Serve with steamed rice and siracha sauce( for me I also like to eat it with any kind of Thai spicy soup or curry.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thai Basil stir fried

Pad: Pad Ka Prow


          For this blog modern Thai food brought you Pad Ka Prow…. This dish is another common Thai fast food served with rice, also some people (like me) add fried egg too.  Me and my friend always make fun of this dish, we call it “no thinking dish”, because when we are very busy at work we don’t think about food, so when we order lunch we always end up with Ka prow gai-kai dow (it’s rhyme) meaning chicken basil stir fried with fried egg.  Sometimes the whole table orders just the same thing that’s how common a dish this is.  I don’t know why, maybe because the rhyme of the name or the tasty and spiciness of the dish.  But one thing I know is the recipe… This recipe is very easy and you can use any kind of meat like beef, chicken, pork, shrimp or frog (I mean it !!) the weirdest kind of meat I have eaten is snake in Basil stir fried (amm.. taste like chicken and fish).  You can use grounded, slice or thick cut.  It’s up to you, for me I like grounded because it makes the flavor mix well together (in my VDO I use thick slice).  Also, you can put in vegetables like bell pepper, eggplant, green bean, long bean, bamboo or onion.  The most important part is “Basil” just like I said in herb blog.  Actually in Thailand we use just holly basil only, because Ka-prow means holly basil just like the name of the food.  My mom she never cooks Thai basil stir fried without it.
Anyway in America and especially in Georgia most of the Thai restaurants use Thai basil not Holly basil, because it is too hard to find holly basil.  My recipe calls for Thai basil, if you cannot find Thai Basil use sweet basil.  I have tried sweet basil one time. It worked OK in the dish, but you need to use it 2X more than Thai basil.  Now are you hungry? Let’s start cooking.

2 gloves of garlic (minced)
1-7 chopped Thai chili (up to your hot level, 3 for medium)
½ pound meat (slice or ground)
¼ cup bell pepper (for the color)
Thai Basil

 ¼ cup slice green bean
¼ cup Thai Basil (If sweet basil use ½  cup)
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
½ tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
Cooking Instruction
1.       In the pan heat up oil till hot, add garlic and chili stir it until you smell the aroma (Whenever you sneeze that’s it!)
Note: If you can’t handle the sneeze and aroma all over the house just add chili after adding meat (like VDO)
2.       Add meat, stir, add sugar and all the sauce, stir until meat cooked
3.       Add vegetable stir till cooked
4.       At the end add basil turn the heat off and stir till mixed well
5.       Serve with steamed rice fried egg (sunny side up or upside down that’s up to you)
If you want to make it just like in Thailand have lime, fish sauce and fresh chili dipping sauce (recipe follow) on the side. Now it’s complete!!!

Lime-fish sauce and chili dipping sauce
In Thai you can see this sauce everywhere.  Some Thai folk cannot leave without it (my grandpa).  It’s a common sauce on the table, because some people like it tastier than others, so they can fix food up to their own taste buds.  Here is the recipe.
1 lime juice
1tbsp. fish sauce
2-4 chopped chili
No cooking required just mix it together and it’s done.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Curry : Green Curry

        Kang Khew Whean : Green Curry 
        Green curry is one of the most common curries in Thailand.  We serve with steamed rice and rice noodle, but this kind of rice noodle is different from the one I used in stir fried.  This rice noodle is called “Ka-Nom-Jean”.  Ka-Nom-Jean is made from fermented rice flour and looks just like angel hair, but have a softer texture.  Green curry and ka-nom-jean is a central Thailand food.  Some Thai folk believe that if you have a ceremony like a house warming, wedding. We need to have this food for good luck.  But if it is a funeral, don’t serve any noodle food, because it is bad luck and it will bring death to the family.
        Just like I said in my blog Basic Thai Cooking the key to curry is the paste and when I worked at the Thai restaurant a lot of people asked me how about the differences between green curry and red curry?  Are they just adding different food colors in it?  The answer is the paste.  Green curry paste is made from fresh green Thai chili not like red curry paste which is made from dry red Thai chili and a bunch of ingredients.  I have 2 green curry paste recipes from Original recipes from my family.  Another one I created it in America that uses most of (not all) ingredients that are easy to find here.  I will call this recipe modern.  Also, if you don’t want to make the paste you can find it in Asian or Thai markets or sometimes in a special aisle at a normal grocery store.  They have a lot of green curry pastes that taste good also*** it has to be a paste not a powder*** and after the paste is done.  All instructions are the same.

green curry paste
Green Curry paste: original
2 ½ tbsp.  Lemon grass.
1 tbsp. Kaffir peel.
1 ½ tsp. coriander.
1 ½ tbsp.  garlic.
½ tbsp. shallot.
1 tbsp. galangal.
1 tsp. turmeric.
2 tsb. Shrimp paste (it’s a fermented plankton looks like very small shrimp with salt.  Also it smells very strong)
1.       In pestle mash all ingredients except shrimp paste about 1-2 hours or until it becomes paste (I know this sounds crazy, but that’s how my mom did it!!)
2.       Add Shrimp paste and still mash and mix it until mixed well

Green curry paste :modern 
11 Fresh green chilies.
2 ½ tbsp.  Lemon grass.
1 tbsp.lime peel.
1 ½ tsp. coriander.
1 ½ tbsp.  garlic.
½ tbsp. shallot.
1 tbsp. galangal. (I cannot find any substitute)
1 tsp. turmeric.
2 oz. Anchovies.
1.       In the blender(make it a lot easier) add all of the ingredients except anchovies.  Blend about 1 minute or until it becomes paste
2.       Add Anchovies push blender a couple time.
Note: All homemade curry pastes can be stored in zip lock bag lasting about 2 weeks.
Guideline to use curry paste (depend on your taste buds)
1 tsp. for mild
2 tsp. for medium spicy
3 tsp. for hot spicy
5 tsp. for Thai original spicy

Green curry
½  pound of meat (chicken, pork, beef)
2 tsp. Green curry paste (medium spicy)
1/2  cup eggplant (Japanese or Thai)

Eggplant (Green-Thai,Purple-Japanese)

1/2 cup bamboo shoot
1 (14 OZ) can of coconut milk
½ to 1 of water or milk (optional for less spicy)
1 1/2  Tsp. Fish sauce
2 Tsp. sugar
¼ cup of Thai basil leave (if you cannot find it use sweet basil)
3-4 thin slices of red bell pepper

Cooking Instructions:
1.       In the pot add ¼ cup of coconut milk and bring it to boil.  Then add green curry paste, stir it about 1-2 minute.
2.       Add meat, stir until meat cooked and the rest of coconut milk
3.       Add fish sauce and sugar, taste it if it is too spicy add more milk or water (start by ¼ cup)
4.       Add eggplant or bamboo shoot and bring it to boil
5.       Turn off heat sprinkle red bell pepper and Thai basil
Green curry

6.       Serve with Thai jasmine rice or cook rice roman noodle (this kind my Thai friends told me taste like Thai rice noodle)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Start cooking!!! Pad Thai

Pad Thai

        Why I picked Pad Thai 1st?  The answer is Pad Thai is the most famous of all Thai foods because it has Thai in the name, so it’s easy to figure it out.  It’s Thai food for sure!  Pad Thai was born after world war 2 when the Thai Prime minister at that time named it because he wanted Thai people to be proud of their selves and bring Thailand to be known internationally.   Also, my American friend always is begging me to teach her how to cook it, so it’s time to put it together.  I have to be honest with you, I have never cooked Pad Thai in Thailand (ha ha).  In Thailand we havePadthai food venders everywhere and Pad Thai is one of the most popular Thai foods that all of the venders sell.  Plus Pad Thai needs a lot of ingredients to prepare it.  That’s why I never make it myself in my home country, because it is easier to buy rather than make it.  Pad Thai in Thailand usually uses tofu or shrimp.  We don’t have Pad Thai with chicken or beef like in America.  Anyway after my friend continued begging me to make Pad Thai, I decided to call my mom and ask her for the recipe and it came out like this.
Note: If you cannot find some ingredients around your local grocery store.  Don’t worry, I have a substitute option for you.
Pad Thai Shrimp
½ pound of shrimp (peeled, de-veined)
7 oz dry thin rice noodle ( about 1/2 package)
Thin rice noodle

½  cup pad Thai sauce or more up to you taste bud!!(recipe follow)
½  cup super firm tofu (small cut)
4 tbsp  vegetable oil
1 cup water
1/4 cup a garlic chive cut into 1 inch (or green onion)
Bean Sprouts
2 eggs
1 cup bean sprouts
1 tbsp. sliced Shallot
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. roasted peanut (crushed)
Dried Shrimp
Sweet&salted Radish
3 tbsp. dried shrimp (if you cannot find it don’t worry about that)
2 tbsp. minced Thai sweet & salted  radish (if you cannot find it don’t worry about that)
2 slice lime
1 tsp. dry chili (optional)

Pad Thai Sauce or Tamarind sauce
1/2 cup of tamarind juice
Note : Tamarind juice comes from adding hot water on tamarind fruit and let it sit for 5-10 min. and squid the seed and fiber out.  In the USA I found some tamarind juice concentrated.  If you cannot find it use vinegar, but I highly recommend you use tamarind juice.
Tamarind juice

 ¾  cup of palm sugar (or brown sugar)
¼ cup of fish sauce (or soy sauce, but I highly recommend fish sauce)
2 shallots minced (about 3 tbsp)
1 tsp. chili (optional)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
Cooking Instructions:
1.       Heat up the small sauce pan and add vegetable oil.  When it’s hot add shallot stirred until golden. (don’t burn)
2.       Add Tamarind juice, brown or palm sugar, fish sauce and chili (optional)
3.       Boil until it gets thick (about 10 minute)
4.       Remove from stove
Note: If you don’t use it all keep it in refrigerator up to 3 months.  Also I use it for another recipe like crunchy noodle and Chicken tamarind sauce.

Cooking Instructions:
1.       Soak dry noodle with hot water about 5 minute, drain it set aside.
2.       In the pan heat 2 tbsp. of oil until hot add shrimp stir until cook set aside.
3.       In the same pan add the rest of oil add shallot, garlic cook until golden add tofu, radish and dried shrimp (If you can find them)
4.       Add egg, scramble egg, when it has cooked add Pad Thai sauce and 2 tbsp. water
5.       Add soaked noodle, stir it until noodle has absorbed sauce.  If noodle is too dry add remaining water.
6.       Add cooked Shrimp, stir it till mixed well
7.       At the end add ½ cup of bean sprout and garlic chive (or green onion).  Turn off the heat
8.       Serve with fresh bean sprout, crushed peanut, a slice lime, dried chili (optional)

How do you eat it? (Don’t think this is a silly question, some folks ask me this question for real!!) For me, I squeeze lime over noodle mix fresh bean sprout, crushed peanut and dried chili together. Now dig in!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Basic Thai Cooking

This blog is about basic cooking. In Thailand we start the name of food from how it is cooked like Tom-Kha-Gai is coconut chicken soup which “Tom” mean soup for example. So I will tell you about all of the basic Thai cooking that we use the most. Starting with

-          Tom : it means boil or soup.  Most of this category of food have liquids as the main ingredient.  We have a lot of menu from this category of cooking Ex. Tom Kha Gai is coconut chicken soup, Tom yum kung is famous Thai spicy shrimp soup, Tom Hed Hom is dry shitake mushroom soup and anything else that starts with the word Tom you can expect that it is a soup in Thai food.
-          Pad : it’s mean stir fried, This is my favorite category of cooking, because I can stir fried anything(I mean anything!!).  Thai folk stir fried everything  vegetable , rice, noodle, meat or anything you can think of the key of Pad is you have to wait until the oil is really hot to start cooking to get the best result. Example of Pad food is “Pad Thai” it is a Thai rice noodle with a special sauce with bean sprout and peanut. “Pad ka prow” is Thai Basil stir fried and a lot of Pad that I will tell you about will be in the Pad menu later.


-          Kang: It’s mean curry, In Thailand we have a lot of curry.  The main ingredient of curry is the paste, differences in pastes will make a curry taste different.  For me I separate curry into 2 kinds.

1.       Curry with coconut milk; this kind of curry is the most famous around the world. Sometimes people think that every curry has coconut milk, but actually this is not true. Example of this category of curry is Green curry, Red curry, Panang curry.
2.       Curry without coconut milk; this kind of curry not to many people(non-Thai) know about but it is also famous in Thailand too.  We use paste and water boil it, add meat, vegetable and season it with fish sauce (I’ll talk about fish sauce later) sugar etc. depending on the recipe and the kind of curry.  Example:  “Kang Som” it means sour curry, but actually tastes spicy and sour (in the good way) and a little bit sweet (my family recipe).  Usually we use fish or seafood to be the main meat with a lot of vegetable. :”Kang Ped” means spicy curry made from red curry paste with added water, meat and herb, also season it with fish sauce.
We still have more I’ll tell you next time.
-          Tod : It means fried any kind, deep fried, pan fried  EX. “tod mon Pra” is Fried Fish Cakes ground fish mix with curry paste, thin slice green beans and deep fired. “Gai tod  Kartaim prik Thai” Fried chicken with pepper garlic .  I still have a lot more to tell you about Tod recipes in the future.
-          Yum : Yum in Thai means spicy salad.  Usually this category will cook the meat first (Some time not even cook the meat) and season with chili, lime juice and fish sauce.  Also in this menu I included labb, som-tom, Num tok and anything else that uses the same category. Ex. “Yum won sen” is a spicy clear noodle salad.
Grill Chicken
-           Ping-Yang : It means grill.  This is my grandma’s favorite category of cooking (She loves to grill), because Thai food has to have a lot of flavor.  So the key to our grilled food is marinade.  We have different kinds of marinades that make the food amazing like “Satay”.  This is used to marinate meat (Pork or chicken) with coconut and spices.  "Gai yang” is a grilled chicken marinated with garlic and peppers.  I will deliver the entire recipe from my grandma to you.
-          Nung : It means Steam.  We steam everything from main course foods to dessert. Ex. “Pra nung ma now” is a steamed fish with spicy and sour sauce. “Khaw neaw  and ma mong” is steamed sticky rice with coconut milk served with mango.  This is one of our Thai Famous desserts.

-          Tum: It means pound.  In this category we have a special tool call “Krok and  Sahk” in English it is a mortar or grinding bowl and a Pestle.  In Thailand we have 2 kinds to use in the house.  One is made from the rock and another kind is made from a clay bowl and a wood pestle (this is the one I have in USA).  Usually Tum is used to make pastes and make “Num-prick” or Thai spicy dip.  Also we use “Krock and Sahk” to make “Som Tum” or papaya salad.  That’s right we make salad with a mortar and it makes it very juicy and tasty…Yummy    

 Krok and  Sahk

-          Anything else:  it means anything else that I cannot put it in any category of cooking or a new style of cooking discovered, so I will put it in this category.
That’s all I can think of right now, if I have more I will post it later. I'll see you next time for Pad-Thai recipe!!!