Tag Archives: fish sauce

Lobster with Ginger Sauce

This was yummy, but quite spicy. The ingredients were:

  • Lobster, 2 pounds, cooked
  • Oil
  • Garlic, 4 cloves, minced
  • Sugar, 1 tablespoon
  • Fish sauce, 1 tablespoon
  • Oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Egg, 1, scrambled
  • Black pepper, 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger, 2 tablespoons
  • Jalapeno peppers, 2, sliced
  • Scallions, 1/2 cup, diced
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The ingredients.

This was my first time cooking with lobster. It was a bit intimidating, but a lot less so with the help of the internets. I was told that I had a few choices about how to cook the thing, and I chose to steam it. Notice how the color of the shell changed, indicating the lobster was ready? That’s a sign that God exists.

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The place I’d love to be.

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Who doesn’t want to be steamed and scalded?

The recipe called for the lobster to be retained in the shell at this stage, but I disagreed. I thought I’d prefer to remove the shell now, while it was relatively easy and clean, instead of later on. So, being an independent-minded sort, that’s exactly what I did.

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All that lobster yields so little lobster.

The rest of the cooking is pretty straightforward. Add the oil and everything except the lobster and cook for a while, until you like the look of the egg and the scallions.

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The next stage of the cooking process.

Then add in the lobster.

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The best part.

Cook for just long enough to warm the lobster and you’re done.

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Lobster is so good.

If I had it to do again, I’d probably use one less hot pepper, but you do you!

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Crispy Pork with Spinach

This one was delicious. AW bit salty, but so, so good – how can you go wrong with pork belly? The ingredients:

  • Oil
  • Pork belly, 2 lbs, thinly sliced
  • Spinach, about a bag worth, chopped
  • Kaffir lime leaves, 10
  • Sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Red curry paste, 6 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

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Not the same as bacon.

Not many ingredients in this one – but it has pork belly, and sometimes, that’s all you need. Cut it up like so, then fry it in the oil until the pork is crispy. Remove the bacon, get rid of the bacon grease, and melt some fresh oil in the pan.

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But just as delicious.

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Doesn’t it look good?

That didn’t take long! Then add the curry paste, mix it all together, and dump in all the other ingredients except for the lime leaves.

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The spinach was a perfect complement.

Cook down for a while. THEN add in the kaffir lime leaves, as well as that already-crispy pork. And you’re done!

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Don’t eat the lime leaves! You know what happens if you do.

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Green Curry with Chicken

This one was an awful lot of work – but it was good! The ingredients were:

For the custom-made Green Curry Paste:

  • Cumin, 2 teaspoons
  • Garlic, 16 cloves
  • Galangal, 2 tablespoons, sliced
  • Lemon grass, 4 stalks, chopped
  • Shrimp paste, 2 teaspoons
  • Kaffir lime skin, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cilantro root, 1 cup
  • Thai chili peppers, 10
  • Jalapeno, 3
  • Shallot, 1

And for the rest:

  • Chicken, 2 pounds, cubed
  • Thai eggplant, 2 cups, quartered
  • Thai basil, 1/2 cup
  • Kaffir lime leaves, 12
  • Sugar, 6 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Coconut milk, 2 cans
  • Coconut cream, 1 can
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The ingredients.

More exotic ingredients! If you’re a longtime blog reader, as many are, you may remember this post, in which I purchased an entire case of kaffir limes, just to harvest the skin.

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Blending.

A bit of that skin is a key ingredient in the green curry you’re supposed to make. As is a cup – an entire cup! – of chopped cilantro root. When I started this Thai cookbook project, I looked everywhere I could for cilantro root. I couldn’t find it anywhere locally, and while I found a small vial of dried and powdered cilantro root online, it wasn’t that cheap. A cup of it would cost me a small fortune. So instead I spent this summer growing more cilantro than I had any right to. Of course I tried to make use of the tops whenever I could, but the real prize were the roots, which I cleaned, chopped, and froze for later use.

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Blending.

Blend all the green curry ingredients together, and it looks like this.

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Coconut-ing.

Add that to the coconut milk, and turn on the heat.

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Stuff.

Put the meat in there, and cook until the meat is ready.

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Hot stuff.

Oh, add the eggplant too. Cook until that’s to your desired level of tenderness.

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Good stuff.

Add the rest – the coconut cream, the basil, the kaffir lime leaves. Cook for another couple of minutes, then enjoy.

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Mixed Curry

Yes, I’ve still been cooking, even if I haven’t been posting about it. But November is National Thai Homecooking Foodblogging Month, so I couldn’t let that pass without posting at least a few of the recipes I’ve tried. Therefore, the ingredients!

  • Oil
  • Pork, 1/2 pound, cubed
  • Chicken, 1/2 pound, cubed
  • Tomato, 2, cut as you like
  • Bamboo shoots, 1 can
  • Straw mushrooms, 1 can
  • Green beans, in 1-inch lengths, about a cup or two
  • Thai eggplant, quartered, about a cup or two
  • Garlic, 5 cloves, minced
  • Red curry paste, 4 tablespoons
  • Yellow bean sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Pickled mustard greens, sliced, about 1 cup
  • Curry powder, 2 teaspoons
  • Turmeric, 1 teaspoon
  • Brown sugar, 6 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Cellophane noodles, about half a package
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The ingredients

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Pickled mustard

This recipe calls for a few unusual ingredients – the most unusual of which is pickled mustard greens. Or maybe not so original – they were easily found at an Asian market, once I knew what to look for. They are what they sound like – the greens of a mustard plant, pickled.

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Cubed

You may want to spend some time preparing your ingredients, to start with. Cube the pork and the chicken, for example.

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Chopped.

And cut up your veggies.

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Bathing noodles

Oh, and the noodles – you’ll want to soak them for about 15 minutes in hot water.

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Frying meat.

The first step is what you might guess – cook the meat in the oil until it’s pretty close to done.

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Adding the garlic.

Then add the minced garlic.

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Adding more stuff.

Then the curry paste and yellow bean sauce.

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…And still more stuff (will it never end?!)

And then still more stuff – the noodles; curry powder and turmeric; fish sauce and sugar.

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Almost ready…

Oh, and the veggies, too.

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Voila!

Lastly, once stuff has cooked down and softened to your satisfaction, the pickled mustard. Then enjoy!

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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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