Tag Archives: som tam
First they served us som tam, that classic Thai papaya salad. We got some spicy and some that was not spicy, for those who like it hot!Everyone got a choice of entrees: panang curry, Siam chicken, pad thai with chicken and/or shrimp or vegetarian dish.
Looking forwad to the next Thai Meetup.
I’m going to do another Ft. Lauderdale Thai cooking class next week. The last one was fun and successful, so I’m returning to Chef Jean-Pierre’s cooking studio in Fort Lauderdale with yet another Thai curry.
Come see us next week for the next installment on April 21st. I’m so excited to share a new recipe for “Choo Chee Curry” and one of my old favorite recipes for Pad Kee Mao (drunken noodles) People usually love both of these classic Thai dishes, so I’m pretty confident about how it’s gonna turn out 🙂
Here’s the menu:
– Som Tam ( Papaya Salad)
– Choo Chee Curry with salmon
– Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodle)
– Thai Tea
This week I feel like eating sour spicy food so let’s make Papaya Salad! This classic Thai papaya salad has such a healthy, rich flavor and requires only few main ingredients:
– fish sauce
– Thai chilis
– dry shrimps
Papaya Salad called “Som Tam” in Thai language, is an iconic dish of Thai Cuisine. Its usually made with unripe papaya, but sometime I used green mango, or even granny smith apples instead. It’s just important to get that crunchy base for the dish.
Som tam is popular throughout the entire country of Thailand, although there are several variations that are typically found in certain areas. Usually it’s eaten with sticky rice and grilled chicken. And som tam is a perfect choice for a meal for person who wants diet like me 🙂
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.
Next 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.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.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!
Luckily 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!
Due to high demand the first Thai cooking class sold out right away. As the waiting list formed, we decided to add another Thai cooking class on Saturday, Nov. 6th at 5pm with Chef Jorge & Vanessa Montes . The signup is here: homemade chefs.
We’re going to use the same menu, to give others a chance to get the same dishes. Early next year we’ll probably start a second menu, to give people a chance to learn different dishes. The upcoming classes are featuring these foods:
- Larb – ground pork salad seasoned with lime juice, fish sauce, roasted rice powder
- Thai Tea
- Fresh green papaya salad (Som Tam) with sticky rice, popular throughout Thailand
- Green Curry with coconut milk. You can eat with white rice or Kanom Jeen
(round rice noodles)
- Pad Kee Mao (Drunken noodles). “Pad” means “stir-fry” and “Kee Mao” means “drunkard”- made with chicken, garlic, fresh thai chili and basil.
- Thai Donuts dipping w/condensed milk and ground peanuts.
The class length is approximately 2 and 1/2 hrs, as we really dig in and make some great food. Oh yea, we’ll be eating all our creations!
The class is filling up fast, so signup if you want to attend. Let’s do it now!!!
I grew up in the family that was passionate about Thai culture and Thai cuisine. But I took it for granted growing up, because I was raised in Bangkok, where food is absolutely everywhere.
But after I graduated from university, I started living abroad. I had to practice cooking Thai food because it was no longer available on every street corner! And since then I’ve had the chance to cook and experience Thai cuisine using local ingredients too.
Now, in South Florida I can pretty much get all the real ingredients since the weather here allows Thai grocery owners to grow the same herbs and vegetables. But I think it’s fun and interesting to experiment with the classics!
And I love to share Thai culture and my love of Thai food! So come and join in the fun and food on Oct 22nd!
- Thai Tea
- Larb – is a type of meat salad, made with ground pork, chicken or duck and favored with fish sauce, lime juice, fresh herbs. Served with fresh veggies.
- Som Tam – fresh green papaya salad with carrots, tomatoes, green beans, garlic seasoned with lime juice, fish sauce and chili. Served with fresh veggies
- Sticky Rice – eat with Larb and Somtam
- Green Curry Shrimp with coconut milk, chili paste, fresh shrimp, thai eggplant, basil. Served with rice or noodles
- Drunken Noodles or Pad Kee Mao made with rice noodles, pork, shrimp, veggies, garlic and seasonings
- Thai Donuts dipping w/condense milk and ground peanuts
Class length: Approx. 2 1/2 hrs
Can’t wait to meet you all and come hungry!!! See details >>
I’m so glad that the Thai chili seeds I planted early this year grew so well. Now some of them have turned red and green, and are ready to use cooking my Thai dishes.
There are many types of Thai chili used in Thai cooking.
- Bird’s eye chili (Prik Kee Noo) – 1 inch, the hottest one in Chili family
- Chilli Spur Pepper (Prik Chee Fah) – 3-5 inches, it’s not hot, but used its for coloring and for decoration
- Sweet Pepper (Prik Yuak)
- Green Pepper Chili (Prik Noom)
- Dried Chili
Thai chili is also know as พริกขี้หนู (Prik Kee Noo) or Bird’s eye chili. It’s commonly found in South East Asian countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore.
These Thai chilis look small but they pack lots of heat inside the seeds. Please be careful if you’re not use to with the fresh chili heat. It’s more spicy than Mexico’s Habanero chili.
Thai gourmets commonly use fresh chili to cook many dishes such as yum (Thai spicy salad), namprik (น้ำพริก), som tam (green papaya salad), pad thai, spicy & sour soup (Tom Yam), pad thai, tom kha gai, green curry, red curry, chicken basil, etc.
Actually Thai chili is rich in vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and has numerous other health benefits. For example:
- Helps stimulate the appetite of the stomach. If eating in a small volume reduces the occurrence of ulcers in the stomach.
- Prevents from cancer, heart disease and stroke.
- Helps relieve pain from muscles, shoulders, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
- Help burn fat and lose weights
- Help clear mucus and reduce sinusities
- Resolve pain, vomiting, tired
- Help fight inflammation
- Help Soothe Intestinal Diseases
We should all eat more Thai chili! If you don’t have a strong tolerance for the heat, avoid using the seeds in your food. Thai chili will give your food a kick, and make your life more spicy 🙂