Carrot Som Tam

Shredded carrot most closely matches the texture, if not the colour or flavour, of green papaya. This recipe is similar to one that has proved successful at the restaurant chain in Thailand where I used to work, and also utilizes ingredients easily found outside of the country. You can of course substitute fresh string beans for the long beans. For the photo, I left out the dried shrimp, since I don't think they add anything to the dish and didn't want to buy a big bag of them for this one dish. By leaving out the shrimp and using … More

Garlic-Pepper Fried Pork

This has to be one of the most common dishes in Thailand, from food stalls to fancy restaurants. Some variation of this recipe will appear very regularly at the curry stalls, often several times a week. The dish is easy to prepare and can be made hours in advance, since it is quite acceptable to serve at room temperature. Garlic-pepper fried pork Fried garlic-pepper pork also does double duty. It can be eaten with a main meal, but is often ordered as a snack, especially at night, when the spicy meat makes a great accompaniment to beer and other … More

Glass Noodle Salad

Glass noodle salads (yum woon sen) are one of the most common yum salads you'll find in Thailand. They can be quite light, but with a sweet and tangy taste. A bit of ground pork is the most common meat, but you can also add a few shrimp or some cooked squid if you like. You can also leave out the meat entirely for a vegetarian version. Glass Noodle Yum Salad For this recipe, the peanuts are usually pan-roasted. Heat a heavy skillet and toss the peanuts in, shaking the skillet until the peanuts are darkened in spots. You can do this … More

Northern Thai Style Pork Salad

Minced meat salads called larb are a very popular "country" food among the Thais. The dish is mostly identified with the regional cuisine of north-eastern Thailand, which the Thais call Isan, but Chiang Mai has its own variation, which can be a bit more like a soupy curry than the Isan style, which is usually rather dry by comparison. Mint predominates the taste of the north-eastern style, but in this northern variation, two kinds coriander provides the taste. Like many northern Thai curries, this recipe calls for the chillies, shallots and garlic that make up the spice base of … More

Nutty Corn Cakes

One of my favorite Indonesian side dishes is corn cakes. They come in a lot of different types, since it seems almost every regional cuisine has some kind of them. I found this recipe in a small book of Indonesian favorites. It calls for peanuts, which I'm not sure I've had before. If you're allergic, just leave them out. Nutty Corn Cakes with dabu-dabu sambal … More

Pork Omelet

This "omelet" made with minced pork is a common accompaniment to many Thai meals. In Thai, it's called Kai Geeo Moo Sup. Its mild taste helps to balance a meal where many of the other dishes are quite spicy. You may wish to use a skillet instead of a wok to cook this recipe, since that will make it easier to make the omelette into a thin flat disc. It should be about the size of a dinner plate and about the thickness of your finger. The dish is invariably served with a spicy ketchup called Sri Racha sauce. Minced Pork … More

Pork with Lime Salad

This is one of my old favorites. The taste is rather unusual and quite extraordinarily spicy. I must admit to taking a bit of perverse pleasure in watching western visitors not familiar with Thai cuisine dig into moo manao on the assumption that a 'salad' - especially one served cool - will not be too spicy. This recipe is extremely easy to make. You can prepare it first and set it aside while cooking a curry or other dish that should be served hot. This dish should be served with some raw 'cooling' vegetables to help take … More

Spicy Pork Salad

The spicy minced meat salad known as larb is found in many different styles all over Thailand. Variations abound, as the dish can be prepared with just about any kind of meat, including duck, chicken, catfish, prawn, beef, and on and on. Sometimes referred to as Thailand's own version of steak tartar, the meat is almost always served cooked, although there are some regional variations that serve it almost raw. Unlike most contemporary Thai dishes, larb was traditionally made some hours in advance of when it would be consumed. The food would be prepared in the morning for … More

String Bean Som Tam

Thai name: Som Tam Tua Kaek There are those that would insist that som tam can only be made with green papaya, but in fact Thais have created an almost infinite number of variations on the dish, using a variety of fruits and vegetables. This one offers an interesting way to dress up a simple vegetable like fresh green beans. String Bean Som Tam … More