Category Archives: Thailand

Thai Fish Cakes

I have been making these for years. They are quick and easy to make, and very tasty when served hot with a nice salad. I have also used this recipe to make finger food which I can serve cold at picnics or when out sailing, and they have been well received. Swap your dipping sauce flavours to add variety and get creative with garnishes. Spriggs of coriander look pretty or add different texture by sprinkling with deep fried basil leaves.

Thai style fish cakes - white fish, rice flour, coriander, egg, fish sauce, red curry paste - easy to ensure gluten-free (choose gluten-free curry paste)

Ingredients
500g firm white fish fillets
1 egg
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
3 Tablespoons white rice flour
½ cup fresh coriander leaves
3 teaspoons red curry paste
4 – 5 green beans, very thinly sliced
2 spring onions, very thinly sliced
oil for cooking

Method
Process fish in a food processor until well minced and then scoop it into a mixing bowl.

Next place the egg, fish sauce, rice flour, coriander leaves, and curry paste into the food processor and process until well combined. Add this mix to the fish along with the beans and the spring onion. Mix well.

Form one heaped tablespoon of fish mixture into small patties (use damp hands). Heat cooking oil in a frypan over medium heat and cook the fishcakes in batches, for a few minutes each side or until golden brown.

Drain on a paper towel and serve with a dipping sauce such as sweet chilli sauce or Nam Jim

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Thai Fish Cakes - white fish, rice flour, coriander, fish sauce, spring onions, beans, red curry paste...


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Larb Moo Tod

Larb Moo Tod are Thai-style fried pork balls. Made with similar flavours as the popular larb moo which is a Thai (or initially a Laos) salad made with pork mince and herbs, they are delicious. We first tried these pork balls at “The Deck” which is the restaurant/bar at Phuket Yacht Haven Marina. We both love these tasty morsels, so I set to work decoding the Larb Moo Tod ingredients. Below is the recipe I created, and Dwayne and I both think it tastes as good as the original.

Larb Moo Tod - Fried Pork Balls Thai style. Displayed in a white bowl. They are being served on a boat and the background has a red and black headsail furler rope in it.

Ingredients

3 Tbsp raw glutinous or sticky rice
4 lemongrass stems (soft white part only)
1 clove of garlic
1 small red onion, finely diced
8 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced and diced
1 red chilli, finely diced
2 spring onions, finely sliced
500g pork
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp Lime
1 tsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
Oil for deep-frying

Larb Moo Tod - Fried Pork Balls Thai style. Displayed in a white bowl. They are being served on a boat and the background has the headsail furler rope in it.

Method

Firstly you need to roast and grind the rice (Khao Khua). Heat a wok to medium heat and add the rice. Cook while frequently stirring until the grains are toasted and golden; this will take about 5 minutes and might smoke a little. Let the rice cool down for a few minutes before grinding it, with a mortar and pestle, into a coarse powder (or you can use a spice grinder).

Using a mortar and pestle (or a food processor) mince up lemongrass and garlic and transfer it to a large mixing bowl.

Add to mixing bowl all remaining ingredients (apart from the oil) and mix well to combine.

 
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With wet hands, shape the mixture into small balls (don’t be fussy any shape will do!). Heat enough oil in a wok to deep-fry the balls in batches.

Fry the lab moo balls for approximately 5 – 7 minutes, until crispy, browned and cooked through.

Remove with a slotted spoon or tongs and place on paper towels to drain.

Serve with or Nam Jim or sweet chilli sauce.

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Larb Moo Tod - Thai style fried pork balls - easy to make, savoury snack. Delicious, bursting with flavour and full of texture.

Som Tam

Som Tam is a Thai style Green Papaya Salad. A popular street food, Som Tam can be found in road side stalls, markets and many restaurants in Thailand. There are many styles of Som Tam and it is believed to have originated in Laos. Isaan Som Tam is made by crushing small crabs  (Som Tam Pu) and is always very very hot! My Som Tam is more like Som Tam Thai which contains peanuts.

My Papaya was green on the outside but getting quite pinky orange on the inside. It was still firm enough to grate however, and very yummy.

Cooking Thai food is always about the taste. I don’t follow recipes I just do it to taste. What follows is what I did the last time I made Papaya salad but when making the dressing remember to mix it, then taste it and add the salt, sour and sweet flavours to taste as needed.

Papaya-salad

Ingredients

Dressing
2 Tbs fish sauce
3 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs palm sugar (or brown sugar)
3 cloves of garlic
2 small hot chillies

Salad
1 small papaya, peeled and grated
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely julienne
6 beans, very finely sliced
1 tomato, chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced
a handful of bean sprouts
5 Tbs tiny dried shrimp (crushed a little in the mortar)
Roasted peanuts (or crushed nuts*)

Green-Papaya-Salad

Method

For the dressing
In a jar I mixed the first three ingredients of the dressing. I gave the jar a really good shake and then tasted the dressing. You should be able to taste the salt of the fish sauce, sourness of the lime and sweetness of the sugar. Adjust your dressing until you are happy with it by adding more of what is needed i.e. sour, sweet or salty.

With a mortar and pestle I crushed the garlic and red chillies and added them to the jar with the dressing. I gave it a really good shake and set it aside in the refrigerator until needed.

For the salad
In a bowl I mixed the papaya, carrot, chilli, beans, tomato, spring onion and shrimp. Then I added a couple of tablespoons of crushed nuts because I didn’t have any roasted peanuts. The peanuts in this salad are usually chunky.

I added the dressing and mixed the salad well before serving with a sprinkling of crushed nuts.

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Tom Kha Gai

Sawadee Ka!

Tom Kha Gai, aka Thai Chicken Coconut Soup, is one of my absolute favourites! Now that we are back in Phuket I thought it was about time I made it. I first discovered this soup when Dwayne and I visited Phuket in 2007. I gotta say, I was a little reserved about trying a coconut soup… it didn’t look that appetising, but it was delicious! So flavoursome in fact, that I sat there tasting it and deciphering the flavours so I would be able to make it myself when I got back home. I think my tastebuds did a good job of recognising the ingredients and my Tom Kha Gai is delicious….. if I do say so myself! However, I don’t have a recipe to share with you as I cook it by taste every time I make it, and I forgot to write it down as I cooked it this time for the blog… doh! But I do remember what goes in it and what I did so I will explain it the best I can.

Tom Kha Gai
Tom Kha Gai

This is what I did….

I heated 1 cup of chicken stock and added about 8 kaffir lime leaves bruised and ripped apart, two sticks of lemon grass – the hard part remove and the inner white part bashed with a mallet; a couple of crushed garlic cloves, a 2cm piece of galangal, thinly sliced, a 2cm piece of ginger, thinly sliced and some chopped chilli.

I simmered it for 1/2 hour, then I added some chopped chicken and simmered for 10 minutes before adding the coconut milk (approx 250ml) and a handful of enoki mushrooms*. I simmered the soup for another 5 minutes and then added fish sauce, to taste, and a handful of coriander.

To serve, I ladled the soup into two large deep bowls and garnished with some more chopped coriander.

It is so easy to make and delicious!

Tom Kha Gai
Tom Kha Gai

Notes:

When I make Tom Kha Gai for Dwayne and I, I do not remove the chunks of ginger, galangal etc when I serve it, as this is how I have had it served to me most of the time in Thailand. However, when I have prepared this soup for guests I have strained the soup before I add the coconut milk, chicken, mushrooms, fish sauce and coriander.

*Shitake, or oyster mushrooms are more often used in Tom Kha Gai but enoki mushrooms were what I had at the time.

Enjoy!

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Tom Kha Gai - Thai Chicken Coconut Soup