Main Dish Recipes

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.

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.

The food culture of Phuket, like its architecture, blends western colonial, Hokkien Chinese with Muslim and Thai motifs. The Hokkien Chinese who arrived from Singapore and Malaysia introduced Muu Haawng to the repertoire of the Phuket Thai style cuisine (bpoon dteh ; ปุ้นเต่).

It is very similar to the Teochew style Phalo, but here there is no use of Chinese five-spice powder, instead it is relaying only on soy sauce, sugar, garlic and black pepper to create a thick gravy that color the pork with a caramelized shiny red and tempting sheen.

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.

The whole point of salting fish as a preserving method to the Thais goes back way before refrigeration and that is why slated fish is so deeply rooted in the Thai cuisine.

The salting process produces a new ingredient that is different and equally good to the original. The method is simple, the clean fresh fishes are rubbed with plenty of salt and let to dry in the sun.

Best quality fish is the sole factor of a great final product. That is why I was so excited the other day to find at the market a rare offering of salted queenfish (ปลาสละเค็ม ; bplaa sala khem). These fast predators are not commercially fished. Praised for their superb quality meat this game fish offers a challenge to catch both to the fisherman and the foodie alike.

Curry shops are for the busy businessman and the hungry traveler a real must. They offer a selection of the most attractive and appetizing food you can think of. This is the Thai version of fast food, even faster than in the west.

So here is a wonderful little lunchtime dish that goes well with yet another bowl of steamy hot rice, that comes of directly from the curry shops common repertoire.

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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