Thai Curry | Thai Cooks! - Part 2

Category Archives: Thai Curry

Red curry Lunch

We had a relatives visit today and they love Thai food. So I thought to myself, “What should I cook for them?”

I realized that I haven’t made red curry since we came back from Thailand. So I made a red curry with sliced chicken, Thai eggplant, yellow bell peppers and sweet Thai basil leaves.

I put some chunks of pumpkin in there just because I absolutely love pumpkin, and it goes very well with red or green curry. I served it hot, in these cute little serving bowls, with jasmine rice of course.

And for a little extra kick I used some of my frozen red curry paste that I brought back from Thailand. It came out delicious and smooth and just the right amount of spicy!!!

Thai Cooking: Hor Mok

hor mok“ห่อหมก” or Hor Mok (steamed red curry cake with fish or mixed seafood in banana leaf bowl). These were made of red curry paste, Thai spices, a mixed of seabass & snake-head fishes, sweet basil leaves and kaffir lime leaves. Usually served with warm white rice. Aroi Maak ka <3

Street food: pork soup & grilled sticky rice

One of the most enjoyable parts of my day is waking up early in the morning to offer alms to the local monks. This is a cultural tradition here that I really enjoy.

Then off to grab some breakfast nearby. Today my mom and me got Guay Chab noodles w/ pork blood and liver for breakfast and grabs “Kao Niew Ping” (grilled sticky rice stuffed w/banana or taro wrapped in banana leaves) for snack.

Guay Chab Noodles

grilled snack right from the grill

First Thai Cooking Class

Patti making a fresh batch of Larb (Ground Pork Salad)

Patti making a fresh batch of Larb

How did it go? It was more fun than bobbing for Thai chilies in a barrel of fish sauce!

After a boring introduction, Patti jumped right into it with Thai tea. She had some made ahead of time so everyone could drink some while she demonstrated making some. So far – perfect!

She made the tea using a strainer, and amused everyone by claiming you can make this by straining it through a sock. Of course the students were all impressed by the bold color of the tea.

Patti explains about making Thai sticky riceNext came the sticky rice. Patti had a large metal container with water that looks like it should hold a potted plant of some sort. On top was a bamboo weave basket, lined with a banana leaf, and filled with uncooked sticky rice. She explained that you need to get the Thai long grained glutenous rice and showed a bag so that people could see.

“Is this the same as sushi rice?” always gets asked, and the answer is always no. Sushi rice is short grained, roundish rice that you rinse and soak so that it comes out tender. Thai sticky rice should be firm and big; it’s finger food!

Now the fun really got started as Patti demonstrated making Som Tam. Armed with garlic and Thai chili freshly picked from her garden, she headed straight for the mortar and pestle.

Patti explained that you should use a nice tall “cloak” (mortar) for a couple reasons. After she makes the initial paste, she added a healthy amount of liquids, lime juice and fish sauce, and you should be able to mix that together easily without spilling.

You don’t want to worry as you add green beans and tomatoes after that. They only need to be “bruised” to mix the flavors, but there is already liquid , so the tall mortar is a must-have. Also you need the vertical room so you can add the shredded papaya and carrot, and have enough space to finish the dish entirely in that mortar.

Making Larb

Making Larb

Next came the larb. This dish is just so easy for Americans to love, and she explained that we would eat it in lettuce wraps and accompanied by sticky rice.

People commented on the healthy nature of this pork dish, compared to most. Patti pretty much steamed the ground pork in a saute pan, then added the other ingredients.

Here, as with the Som Tam we noticed her adjusting her recipe on the fly, adding sourness and saltiness as necessary after a couple key tastings. As if to placate the terrified crowd she explained that the limes here were just not as sour as she had become accustomed to in Thailand.

Now came the making of green curry. Nobody was expecting to see her cooking green curry paste in a frying pan, and then with the creamy top of a can of coconut juice, but that’s exactly what she did.

Making Som Tam with Thai Mortar

Making Som Tam (Papaya Salad) with Thai Mortar

Patti explained that you want to patiently wait until the coconut cream begins to separate before proceeding. She also said you should use the brand with a real thick cream if in fact you can’t get the real frozen coconut product.

People were visibly relieved when more ingredients were added, as it started to take on a restaurant-like appearance. Patti made a relatively spicy version, for green curry that is, and talked about the less ordinary ingredients like kaffir lime leaves and Thai sweet basil.

But things got raucous when the Pad Kee Mao (drunken noodles) was made. This is one of those pan fried noodle dishes that starts out with bold hot flavors and stays that way. Into a hot pan went garlic and Thai chili and the smoke began filling the kitchen!

Vanessa shows off a beautiful plate of Pad Kee MaoLuckily for all, the dish does not take long to complete. The remaining ingredients were added and the finished dish was plated in just about three minutes. Patti explained that the time required was really all devoted to the prep work.

“If you can’t get fresh noodles,” Patti explained, “soak these dry noodles in warm water while doing your prep work” and held up a pack of medium or large dry noodles as an example. She said not to overcook them into mushiness, but don’t make the mistake of trying to make them al dente like spaghetti; they should be soft!


3 minute easy & healthy tofu dish

Hectic weekdays can seem to leave you with no time to prepare meals, but you need easy & healthy meals. Here’s a dish I recommend that’s simple and tasty, high protein and low fat. I really enjoy this dish and best of all – it only takes a few minutes to prepare.


Prep time: 3 mins | 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 package organic silken tofu
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp chopped scallion
  • 1 tbsp maggi sauce
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1.5 tsp white pepper

Directions:

  1. Warm silken tofu in microwave
  2. Heat up garlic with oil in microwave just until it browns
  3. Cut small cubes of tofu
  4. Season with white pepper, Meggi sauce, garlic and scallion

That’s it – just plate it and serve!

Some helpful hints –

Don’t overcook the tofu, you just want to warm it up. Same goes for the garlic, just heat the oil until your garlic changes color, you don’t want it to get bitter. I recommend using very soft tofu for this dish since it’s just going to be warmed. And as always, feel free to adjust the recipe to your personal tastes. Sawadee Ka!

Tokyo Blue in Fort Lauderdale, FL

We heard there was a hot new place to eat in Fort Lauderdale called Tokyo Blue, and this week we got a chance to try it out. Their menu contains a large variety of Thai dishes including soups, entrees, and desserts. We tried a bunch!

Executive Chef Mai runs the kitchen here, and oversees everything in the back of the house. Chef Mai hails from Thailand, but he spent the last several years sharpening his culinary skills working at Nobu. Now he is running the Asian kitchen in this terrific oceanside restaurant.

Pad Thai Shrimp at Tokyo Blue

Pad Thai Shrimp

Of course we tried the Pad Thaihere, it has a good taste. The flavor of the sauce perfectly matches the American palette.

Our Tom Ka Kaisoup was fiercely authentic in composition, yet this Thai classic is served with enoki mushrooms, a Japanese variety, as a garnish. We’ve not seen a restaurant outside Thailand serve Tom Ka Kai with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and galangal as the dish warrants.

Tom Kha Kai at Tokyo Blue

Tom Kha Kai

I thought it was just a bit too thick, and personally I liked to prepare it a bit more sour, but it had a wonderful depth of flavors. Few patrons will appreciate the mastery Chef Mai exhibits by preparing this dish with a purely classical approach. But take it from me, he pulls it off brilliantly!

Their Bali Lobsteris also an interesting dish. It’s basically Poo Pad Pong Garee, a Thai yellow curried crab dish, but done up with lobster and squid and other seafood and served in a lobster shell. It’s a crowd pleaser, and the quantity of food piled into that shell meant there was plenty to go around. The perfect one-word summary for this dish is simply “wow.”

Bali Lobster

Bali Lobster

We enjoyed Whole Fried Snapper with a ginger sauce. There was not enough sauce on ours, but the fish was cooked to perfection and was topped with shredded scallion and thin sliced red onion. It is also available in a Thai basil sauce that is probably the way to go here. We’ll let you know about the basil sauce next time!

The most impressive item is Green Curry. He makes a huge effort to get it right, even using Thai eggplants and bamboo shoots. Few dishes here make no attempt to add a twist or two to classic recipes but this dish is unsullied by western influence.

Green Curry w/Thai eggplants

Green Curry w/Thai eggplants

Thai people take this cuisine seriously, and Chef Mai apparently respects that time honored food too much to improvise. It is served in a coconut highlighting that rich favor profile. That even makes the food seems more authentic and fun. Chef Mai told me that he gets most of these Thai ingredients from New York.

Their Sweet Sticky Rice and Mango is an authentic classic, found everywhere in Thailand. They use the real Thai mango varieties too; pictures we’ve seen show this dessert served with Okrung mangoes, but when we tried this, it came with Nam doc mai, a heavenly mango that’s more tangy.

Tokyo Blue doesn’t sound like a Thai restaurant from the name, but the food says otherwise. Overall Tokyo Blue has to get a standing ovation for it’s great food. Chef Mai has the kitchen putting out some of the most delectable Thai cuisine this side of Bangkok. Aroi Maak Maak!

 


Wild Alaskan Salmon Red Curry

Wild alaskan salmon in Thai red curry sauce with thai eggplants, bell peppers, kaffir lime leaves, thai fresh basil leaves and krachai (fingerroots) . Not only food was delicious, but all these thai herbs are good for your health. I used soy milk to make curry sauce, but you can use You can use coconut milk .


Prep time: 30 mins | 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 pcs Wild Salmon Alaskan
  • 2 tbsp Red Curry Paste
  • 1 cup Soymilk/Coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Thai eggplants
  • 1/2 cup fresh/frozen krachai
  • 6-8 Kaffir lime leaves
  • 1/2 cup Red peppers
  • 1/2 Orange peppers
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Directions:
1. Heat non-stick fry pan over medium-high heat. Saute red curry paste, then add soy milk or coconut milk and saute together until smell is fragrant.
2.Add krachai, kaffir lime leaves, bell pepers and saute together.
3. Reduce heat to medium, then add salmon in to the pan then close the lid to poach until it cooks.
4. Season with fish sauce, brown sugar. Served over rice.

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