Tag Archives: fish sauce

Waterfall Beef

This was…salty. Tasty, but very very salty. The ingredients are:

  • Beef, steak, 2 pounds
  • Scallion, diced, 4 tablespoons
  • Mint, 1/2 cup
  • Cilantro leaves, 4 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 2/3 cup
  • Lime juice, 1/2 cup
  • Sesame seeds, toasted, 2 tablespoons
  • Ground thai chilis, 1 teaspoon
  • Ground roasted sticky rice, 3 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

Let’s start with the meat. The recipe calls for you to marinate it in about two tablespoons of the fish sauce. Make sure it coats both sides, and gets at least 5 minutes of marination time.

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Marination.

Next, the rice. “Ground, roasted sticky rice” – what the heck is that? Well, it’s sticky rice (which you can usually find at the normal supermarket, and if not, an Asian one) roasted in oil, and then ground. As the name suggests. You may want to add a bit of water to the pan every once in a while as you roast the rice. Make sure it ends up with that beautiful, golden-brown color.

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Roasting…

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…and roasted.

Then, you know, grind it – I used a spice grinder.

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Then ground.

Okay, back to the meat again. Place it on your grill, and grill for about 3 minutes on either side. You want it to still be a bit rare in the middle – medium rare.

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Grilling.

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Grillt.

Then bring it back inside, slice it up, and heat it in your wok.

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Wokking.

Add the fish sauce and the lime juice, and then everything else. This secondary cooking process shouldn’t take too long – anywhere from 1-5 minutes, depending on how well you like your meat cooked.

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To be wokked.

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Wokked.

And voila. Again, it was salty – for a less salty version, try using less fish sauce.

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Gai Pad Bai Gaprow

This is my favorite Thai takeout dish, so why not try to make it myself? Well, it’s been a long journey, hamstrung by a lack of certain ingredients, but I finally managed. Those ingredients, by the way, are:

  • Chicken, minced, 2 pounds
  • Bell peppers, 1-2
  • Mushrooms, 1-2 cartons
  • Onions, 1-2
  • Jalapeno peppers, 3-12 (depending on how hot you want it!)
  • Hot basil leaves, 2 cups
  • Sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Oil
  • Canned green peppercorns, 2 teaspoons
  • Shallots, 8, minced
  • Garlic, 12 cloves, minced
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The ingredients.

The first one you may have trouble locating is canned green peppercorns. I had to go to an Asian market to obtain mine.

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Peppercorns.

But the other was harder still – hot basil, otherwise known as holy basil, or tulsi. I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I ultimately bought some seeds and grew my own. Which, you know, took a while, but the results were delicious.

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Happy hot basil.

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The prunings.

Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, the first step is to blend. Some recipes alternately call for mashing with a mortar and pestle, but I decided to blend instead. Blend what, you ask? The shallots, the hot peppers, the garlic, and the peppercorns.

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Pre-blend.

When you do you’ll get a paste like this:

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Post-blend.

Add that paste to your wok, after you’ve heated some oil.

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In the wok.

After you’ve warmed the paste for a minute or so, add in the chicken, sugar, and fish sauce.

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Adding the chicken.

Heat until the chicken is cooked.

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Chicken, cooked.

Then add in the veggies you’ve prepared.

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Veggies!

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Veggies!

When they’ve cooked down to your desired level of tenderness, add the basil leaves.

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So, so delicious.

Finally, serve over rice – with a fried egg on top, if you wish.

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Still not as good as takeout – but yummy nonetheless.

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Spicy Catfish

My note for this recipe is one word: “yummy.” The ingredients are:

  • Catfish, 2 lbs
  • Thai Eggplant, 1-2 cups, cut into wedges
  • Thai basil leaves, 1 cup or so
  • Lemon grass, 4 stalks
  • Garlic, 12 cloves, minced
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Lesser Ginger, 1/2 cup, thinly sliced
  • Oil
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The ingredients.

I have to say, I looked at the local Asian markets and couldn’t find fresh lesser ginger. So I bought it dried, online.

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Lesser ginger.

When you get it dried, you should soak it before you cook with it. I soaked it for half an hour or so, but I’d actually recommend 2-3 times as long.

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Soaking.

The cooking instructions are so simple, that you may find (like I did) that your first step should simply be to prepare the ingredients. This is the eggplant, basil, lemongrass.

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Prepped.

Oh, and garlic.

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Pre-mince.

Remember when I said the cooking instructions were simple? Well, they are. Heat the oil in a skillet, then add the catfish.

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The catfish.

And then, you know, everything else.

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In the skillet.

Cook until the catfish is done, and then the meal is done.

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Done.

We ate ours over rice!

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Yum!

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Beef Curry in Peanut Sauce

This one turned out pretty well. The ingredients are:

  • Beef (obviously), 2 pounds
  • Peanuts, unsalted and ground, 6 oz
  • Chilies, 4 sliced
  • Kaffir lime leaves, 10
  • Tomatoes, several, chunked
  • Coconut milk, 2-3 cans
  • Red curry paste, 6 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 6 tablespoons
  • Palm sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Thai basil, to taste
  • Lemon grass, 2 stalks, minced
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The ingredients.

The first step is simple: add the red curry paste to a can of coconut milk in your wok, and warm until boiling.

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The first step.

Then add a few more items: the fish sauce, the palm sugar, and the lemongrass.

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The next step.

Next, the beef – although you may want to slice it first.

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The step after that.

You can add the ground peanuts at this stage, too (I used a spice grinder to grind them, but if you want to use a spice buffer or a spice elevator, that’s your prerogative).

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Adding the ground peanuts.

Then the tomatoes, chilies, and Kaffir lime leaves.

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Adding more stuff.

Cook for just a while longer, and then it’s done. It should look something like this:

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If your dish doesn’t look exactly like this, it’s not done.

And this, over rice:

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It was yummy!

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Lemon Grass Pork Chops

These were so yummy. The ingredients:

  • Pork chops, about 4 or so
  • Garlic, 2 cloves, minced
  • Lemon grass, 2 tablespoons, chopped
  • Scallion, 1 tablespoon, chopped
  • White pepper, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Sesame oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Whiskey, 1 tablespoon
  • Coconut milk, 2 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

The first step is to make the marinade, which combines all the ingredients except the pork (although, ultimately as you can guess, the pork goes in as well).

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The marinade.

Yup, you guessed it: then add the pork.

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Marinading.

Marinade for at leats 10 minutes, and then grill – perhaps for about 8 minutes on each side, although your experience may differ.

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Grilling.

And then it’s done and – believe me – delicious.

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These were great. Have I said that enough?

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Surat Baked Chicken

Catchphrase: “It’s just okay.” With that enthusiastic endorsement, the ingredients are:

  • Chicken, whole
  • Red curry paste, 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic, 3 cloves, minced
  • White pepper, 1/4 teaspoon, ground
  • Fish sauce, 1/4 cup
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Coconut milk, 3 tablespoons
  • lemongrass, chopped, 2 tablespoons
  • whiskey, 2 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

The good news is that it’s fairly easy to make. First, mix everything except the chicken – this is your marinade.

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Pre-marinade.

Then, put the chicken in the marinade, and leave it. I know it may be tempting to cuddle that poor, headless chicken carcass, but don’t – just leave it alone to marinate on how it arrived at such a pass.

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Marinading.

Once it’s done marinating (for 15 minutes or so), bake for an hour, or until done (which in our case was longer) at 325 degrees. Then, it’s done – and you may find that the drippings add an immense amount of flavor. Feel free to eat with rice.

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This chicken is done.

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Calamari That’s Spicy (But Not Really)

Another Thai adventure; here’s the ingredients:

  • Cleaned Squid, 2 lbs
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Garlic, 10 cloves, minced
  • Cornstarch, 2 tablespoons
  • White pepper, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 4 tablespoons
  • White wine, 4 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

This was my first time cooking with squid, and it was fun. The first step is to create the marinade, by mixing all of the ingredients with the exception of the garnishes (cucumber and tomato) and the squid. When you do, it looks like this:

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The marinade.

The squid itself requires a bit more work. This is what a mantle looks like:

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The mantle.

After it’s been washed and whatnot, you should do a bunch of scoring – hatch marks diagonally in both directions. This will help soften the squid as it cooks, and allow the flavors of the marinade to more deeply penetrate and infuse the flesh.

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The mantle, scored.

Then slice it up into strips or rings or whatever you like. You may also have some tentacle bits, as we did. Again, you’ll wash these.

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Tentacles!

Then add everything into the marinade and let it steep for at least 10 minutes.

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Marinading.

Then stir-fry on the stove, in some oil (I separated the squid from the marinade because it was, after all, just a marinade).

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Saute!

When the squid is firm and curled, you’ll know you’re done cooking.

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Curly bits.

Then garnish and you’re done. Yum!

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Done!

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Pork and Beans, But Thai

This recipe was delicious, and would have been a lot less arduous if I hadn’t misunderstood the instructions. The ingredients:

  • Ground pork, 1 pound
  • Shrimp, peeled, 8 oz to 1 pound
  • Snake beans, 1 pound
  • Thai chili peppers, 6-10
  • Bell peppers, 1-2
  • Garlic, 16 cloves, minced
  • Shrimp paste, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 6 tablespoons
  • Lime juice, 6 tablespoons
  • Brown sugar, 4 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

These are snake beans, by the way. They taste more or less like green beans do; they’re just extraordinarily long. I found these at an asian market.

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Snake beans, before.

My misunderstanding was this: the instructions said that I should remove the beans from their pods. So I did so. But that’s not necessary with snake beans. Whoops.

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Snake beans, after.

These are the beans that resulted. But again, it would have been fine if I’d just used them like green beans.

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Snake beans, after.

The next step is to crush the garlic, shrimp paste, and chili peppers together, until they’re well-mashed. Using a mortar and pestle would be appropriate, here.

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Crushing things is fun.

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Crushed.

Next, add in the sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice. Let that stew for a while.

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Stewing.

In a pan, start to stir-fry the ground pork in some oil.

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Ground pork is ground.

Then start to add everything else. First, the bell peppers.

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With bell peppers.

Then the shrimp and the paste mixture. Cook until everything seems done to you, and enjoy.

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And all the rest. Enjoy!

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Jungle Catfish Curry

This dish was good, but not exceptional. Be forewarned. The ingredients:

  • Catfish, 1.5 pounds, cut into cubes or 1-inch slices
  • Thai eggplant, 1 cup
  • Jalapeno pepper, sliced, 1/4 cup
  • Thai basil, 1/2 cup
  • Kaffir lime leaves, 10
  • Fish sauce, 1/4 cup
  • Water, 3 cups

And for the paste:

  • Shallots, 8
  • Garlic, 6 cloves
  • Jalapeno peppers, 4-6
  • Canned peppercorns, 1 teaspoon
  • Shrimp paste, 1 teaspoon
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Lesser ginger, 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Lemongrass, 2 tablespoons, chopped
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The ingredients.

Some of the ingredients are a little unusual, or hard to find. The Thai eggplants I found at an asian market.

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Thai eggplants. They’re like American eggplants, but different.

The lesser ginger I couldn’t find fresh, and so I had to order it dried, and online. When you use it, be sure to soak it in water for at least 30 minutes beforehand.

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The lesser ginger.

Finally, I found the canned peppercorns at an asian market, as well. They look like this:

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Canned peppercorns.

Blend together all the ingredients for the paste, until it looks something like this:

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The paste.

Then add the paste to a pan with some oil and fry for about a minute. Then, add in the fish, vegetables, kaffir lime leaves, water, and fish sauce.

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Into the pot it goes.

While they’re cooking, you can prepare some of the remaining ingredients: the jalapeno and thai basil.

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Slicing and washing.

Once everything else is cooked down to your satisfaction, add in the basil and jalapeno, and dinner is served!

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Enjoy.

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Seafood with Lemongrass

Oh my, this was delicious. Delicious!!! The ingredients:

  • Shrimp, shelled, about 8 oz
  • Scallops, about 8 oz
  • Fish fillets, about 8 oz
  • Mussels, about 8 oz
  • Bamboo shoots, 1 can
  • Mushrooms, 8 oz
  • Green bell pepper, sliced
  • Thai basil, 2/3 cup
  • Lemongrass, copped, about 2 stalks’ worth
  • Sugar, 1 tablespoon
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Coconut milk, 1 can
  • Green curry paste, 1/2 cup
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The ingredients.

First, you’ll want to prep the ingredients. I used fresh mussels, but you don’t have to. But if you do, you may want to wash them, and possibly debeard them.

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Mussel prep.

The other seafood is easier to prepare.

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Seafood prep.

Put the seafood in the pan, along with some oil, and saute on high heat for 2 minutes or so.

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Seafood in the pan.

This should be enough time for you to cut and slice the mushrooms and peppers.

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Veggie prep.

Then add them to the pan as well, along with all the other ingredients.

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Veggies in the pan.

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Along with everything else.

Cook until everything is done and the vegetables are at your desired texture. Enjoy! This dish is amazing.

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Seriously: yum.

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