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Main Dish Recipes

basic Thai cooking techniques

Grilled Catfish, The Issan Way
(bplaa dook yaang ; ปลาดุกย่าง)

Catfish are not too fussy about the waters in which they swim. They can even flourish in stagnant waters and flooded rice fields. Farmed widely, Catfish is an inexpensive, accessible, nutritional and delicious food source.

Grilled catfish is a delicacy, the yellowish mildly fatty flesh goes well with sticky rice and chili-limejuice-fish-sauce sauce, or sweet fish-sauce dip and fresh vegetables.

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Northern Thai Cuisine (Lanna)

Northern Style Hang Lay Curry (gaaeng hang laeh muu ; แกงฮังเลหมู)

This recipe comes all the way from India through the northern Burmese border. The masala spice mix is still sold in small packages with retro looking prints that seem to forever exist.

There is no way in a recipe to communicate what’s going on in here; a thick red chili paste marinate, that bursts in orange turmeric color, provides the perfect seen to the tender, almost falling apart, pork meat.

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Traditional Recipes

Rice Noodles with Shrimp and Aromatic Coconut Sauce
(khanohm jeen naam phrik goong; ขนมจีนน้ำพริกกุ้งสูตรมหาเด็ด)

The sweet leading sour coconut cream based sauce, enriched and thickened with fragrant freshly roasted peanuts and golden beans are a wonderful coat to dress the sweet shrimp meat. The aromatics are being extracted in every possible way, by roasting, and frying, boiling and reducing, pounding and grounding. All the culinary methods are being fully employed to guarantee an absolute real first class dish.

If you want to start some real Thai cooking going at your home, have the time and access to all the ingredients, than I really want you to try this dish. The building blocks of flavors work so well here and it will open you a great window to see the beginning of what is possible in Thai cuisine.

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Laap, Luu, Saa, Koy, Nam Dtohk

Snakehead Fish Nam Tok Recipe ; Spicy Issan Style Deep Fried Snakehead Fish Dressed with Fresh Herbs
(naam dtohk bplaa chaawn)
สูตรทำน้ำตกปลาช่อน

Here is a wonderful spicy Nam Tok recipe; you may as well go for it! A crispy fried fish dressed with plenty of fresh herbs, plenty of chilies than some lime juice and fragrant ground roasted rice as a textural binder. It is an unpretentious dish, that is just about what is around and what is available; there is some sort of truth about it, which makes it so wonderful.

If you are trying your first Issan style recipe, than this is the one to go for. It is not complicated to prepare and will show off beautifully the hearty and rustic flavors of Issan.

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Stir-Fried Squid with Salted Duck Eggs ; ปลาหมึกผัดไข่เค็ม ; bplaa meuk phat khai khem
Traditional Recipes

Stir-Fried Squid with Salted Duck Eggs
(ปลาหมึกผัดไข่เค็ม ; bplaa meuk phat khai khem)

In this straightforward and rewarding stir-fried dish, I am using boiled salted duck egg, available from Asian markets, as my flavoring assistant. During stir-frying, the egg yolk dissolves to a velvety sauce that softly coats the squids, and complimenting their ocean’s flavor. The alternate reds and greens strips of the vegetables emerged from the buttery yellow sauce are tempting for a taste.

The original version uses three egg yolks – a bit too much for a health conscious person like me. Therefore, I am using only one whole egg, both the egg white and the egg yolk. I tune down the white’s sharp saltiness with an additional portion of sugar, and compensate for the color lost by adding a spoon of commercial chili sauce to improve. The resulting is a well-balanced dish with the right texture that stands up in this healthy version against its original with a winning smile….

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Boiled, Stewed, Braised, Sautéd and Poached

Moo Palo Recipe – Thai Eggs and Pork Chinese Five-Spice Fragrant Stew (สูตรทำไข่พะโล้หมูสามชั้นเห็ดหอม ; khai phalo muu saam chan het haawm)

This is an aromatic stew that leans into the sweet spectrum of the palate. An all-time Thai favorite, moo palo was introduced locally by the Chinese-Cantonese and Tae Chiew immigrants who flocked to the Kingdom in the early nineteenth century.
The name of this dish originates from two Chinese words: pah ziah and lou.

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