Recipes

Clear Soup

Clear soups (gaeng jood ) are a favourite at the curry stall. Contrary to any impressions you may have about Thai cuisine, it's not all about heat. A Thai meal is a balance between spicy, salty, sweet and sour. Clear soups provide the perfect middle ground when there are other highly seasoned dishes on the table. Clear Soup (gaeng jood) This is a very basic recipe for clear soup. The pork, which will usually be chopped rather than ground is typically added for flavour rather than fill. The tofu and the glass noodles are the real fillers. The tofu … More

Glass Noodles Stir-fried with Mushrooms

Glass noodle stir-fries are a frequent feature of the curry stall. They are almost always vegetarian dishes with no meat. This recipe makes use of both shiitake and cloud ear mushrooms. Glass Noodles Stir-fried with Mushrooms To make this dish completely vegetarian, just leave out the fish sauce. I usually do anyway, since the soy sauce makes it salty enough for my taste. … More

Green Beans Stir-fried with Red Curry and Italian Sausage

I'm not a very consistent chef. I will cook according to the recipe once or twice, but then I'll most likely start fiddling with it. I can't help wondering if a dish would taste better with more of one thing, or this instead of that. Cooking for me is a constant process of experimentation. Sometimes the results of my experiments are good. Sometimes, not so much. And sometimes, the experiments work very well, surprising even me. Stir-fried green Beans with Thai red curry and Italian sausage Such is the case with this dish. I was in the supermarket, and had already picked … More

Holy Basil Stir-Fry

Pat krapao, as it's called in Thai, is a rather 'standard' dish that you'll find available in just about every restaurant and road-side stall in Thailand. My Thai friends sometimes smile at my frequent orders for this dish, since many Thais consider it a bit pedestrian - what they order when they just can't think of anything else. I like to order pat krapao frequently not only because I like the flavor, but also because it's a remarkably flexible recipe. Every cook seems to have their own variation. Some put in more garlic, some more holy … More

Instant Noodle Salad

In Thai: Som Tam Mama Instant noodles - often called Ramen noodles in the US - are a very popular light meal or snack in Thailand. While they may be something you thought you left behind when you left college, chances are you never ate this well back in school. This is not a very common dish, but I have seen it on the menu of some Thai restaurants, although not those that cater to westerners. The Thai-language version I translated this recipe from called for shrimp paste and fermented fish sauce (and by 'fermented' they mean rotten). Since I'm not a … More

Jungle Curry

Thais who are surprised that I enjoy their spicy foods such as som tam and lahb are positively shocked when I list jungle curry (gaeng ba) among my favourites. This is one dish even some Thais find too spicy. Consider yourself warned! This is one of the few Thai dishes that's most often made with beef rather than pork. That, and the fiery spiciness points to southern origins. While beef is the most common meat, it can be made with pork or chicken. Jungle Curry made with beef Due to its 'extreme' nature, jungle curry is not as common as many … More

Khmer Chicken with Lemongrass and Holy Basil

This recipe marks a significant departure for me. Not only is it my first Khmer / Cambodian dish, but this is also the first recipe I've had to "reverse engineer" from a couple of tastings of the dish. Although I've been to Cambodia several times now, I haven't had many opportunities to sample Khmer cuisine. The trouble is, there are just too many good restaurants in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, serving just about every kind of cuisine, so I haven't had too many opportunities to sample Cambodian foods. So, it wasn't until October of 2009 … More

Lemongrass Pork

Grilled meats with lemongrass are rather less common on the street than a similar looking dish using only garlic and pepper. Still, the lemongrass adds a special flavour that makes this recipe a bit more interesting than what you will normally find. This recipe works well with pork or chicken, and could also be used with beef. I've shown this as a main dish, which you might serve in a more western style, with vegetables, potatoes, etc. But you could just as easily cut the pork into small strips and serve this as an appetizer or one of many … More

Mussaman Curry

Mussaman curry is probably the most 'un-Thai' style of Thai curries. It's more like a stew than other Thai curries. The word mussaman has no meaning in Thai, other than as the name of this curry. It may be, like several words in the modern Thai language, a corruption of a foreign word, probably Persian if the stories around this recipe are to be believed. The legend of the dish's origin is that it is derived from a recipe bought by the first Persian ambassador to the Court of Ayutthaya (the capital of old Siam). The envoy remained … More

Pad Thai Noodles

Although pad Thai is well known to tourists, and so expected on the menu at every Thai restaurant in the west, the dish is actually not all that common in Thailand. You will find stalls that sell it and Thais do enjoy pad Thai once in a while, but the dish is not nearly as common as many westerners think. It is very much a street food, and perhaps a good example of a strange sort of snobbishness about food. Some things, it seems, just belong on the streets, and are almost never found in restaurants. The recipe most typically … More

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