Tag Archives: Thailand

Thai Banana Blossom Salad

We have spent a lot of the last four years in Thailand, therefore I do cook many Thai style meals. I usually shop at the local SuperCheap (a Thai supermarket) and consequently use mostly Thai vegetables and fruits in our meals.

For over a year now I have regularly seen banana flowers in the veggie section and finally decided to make a banana blossom salad. Using the traditional flavours of Thai cuisine this what I came up with…

Banana Blossom Salad

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
1 Tablespoon palm sugar*
1 Tablespoon chilli paste or chilli jam
3 Tablespoons coconut cream

1 banana blossom
1 large red chilli
1 large green chilli
1 small carrot (or 1/2 a large carrot)
2 spring onions
bean shoots
4 Tablespoons of Asian fried shallots
2 Tablespoons of crushed peanuts**

Method

Mix the lime sauce, fish sauce, palm sugar and chilli paste in a bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add coconut cream and blend well. Check for the right balance of salty, sweet, sour and spicy. Adjust as needed (fish sauce – salty, sugar – sweet, lime juice – sour and chilli paste – spicy). Set aside.

Cut the chillies lengthwise, remove the seeds and pith. Slice the chillies thinly and add to a large mixing bowl. Grate the carrot and add to the mixing bowl. Finely slice the spring onion and, along with the bean shoots, add to the dish. Set aside.

Thai food

Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze some lemon or lime juice into it. Remove the outer leaves of the banana blossom until all dark leaves have been removed. Keep the best two outer leaves for serving. Cut the blossom lengthwise and remove inner core. Finely slice the blossom and place each slice in the water as you do so, to stop it going black.

Thai food cooking

Strain the blossom and add to the mixing bowl, add the dressing and two tablespoons of the fried onion and mix well.

To serve

Place two clean banana blossom leaves on plates and heap with the salad. Garnish with a tablespoon each of fried onion and peanuts.

Banana Blossom Salad1

Bon appetite

Notes

*Use soft brown sugar instead of palm sugar

**I didn’t have peanuts so used a seed mix with the salad in the photos. Peanuts would definitely suit the taste better.

Chilli paste, chilli jam and Asian fried shallots found in Asian grocery stores.

This recipe will serve two as a meal or four to six as a side dish.

Add cooked prawns to make it a meal.

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Thai Banana Blossom Salad

Larb Moo Tod

Larb Moo Tod are Thai-style fried pork balls. Made with similar flavours like 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.

 
Tourradar

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.

Like this recipe? Share with friends and family and pin using the image below… Thank you!

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

Som Tam

Som Tam is a Thai-style Green Papaya Salad. A popular street food, Som Tam can be found in roadside 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 a pinky orange on the inside. It was still firm enough to grate, however, and very yummy.

Cooking Thai food is always about 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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Som Tam - Thai papaya salad #papaya #beansprouts #springonions #capsicum #pepper  #recipe #salad #lunch #dinner #thai

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 lemongrass – 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 me, 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!

Why don’t you pin this recipe so you will always know where to find it!

Tom Kha Gai  - Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup. #chicken #coconut #coriander #galangal #thai #asian #dinner #lunch #lemongrass #mushroom #chilli #soup #recipe

 

 

 

Huge Prawns Fresh From The Fishing Boat!

We were anchored in Thailand off a lovely island called Koh Phayam, just below the Myanmar (Burma) border. It was high season in Thailand at the time but even then, Koh Phayam was a quiet, idyllic place. Nowhere was too busy. There are no cars on Koh Phayam, just motorbikes, bicycles and the odd tractor.

We spent our days watching the brahminy kites and white belly sea eagles soaring overhead in search for their dinner, and we would catch sight of the hornbill birds as they flew amongst the trees on the nearby shoreline.  From the advantageous location of our comfy hammocks we watched the bait fish jumping out of the water as the predators close in on them. How peaceful… could it get any better than this?… Seafood lunch perhaps?

P1040263

On one of these “peaceful idyllic” days Dwayne visited a local fishing boat that had dropped its anchor nearby. He returned with a large bag of school prawns and some baby squid. The fishermen wouldn’t accept any money, so Dwayne took some beers over to them. They must have been impressed with the beers as they then presented him with two good sized cuttlefish, some crabs and a pile of huge prawns!

Dwayne cooked the crabs and prawns in salt water. We then chilled them before we devoured them, for lunch, with a little homemade seafood sauce.

For the seafood sauce… I simply mixed Kewpie mayonnaise with tomato ketchup. I didn’t measure the ingredients, I just did it to taste. It’s simple but delicious and the prawns were sooooo fresh!

P1040264

 

Pina Colada

This Pina Colada was the celebratory drink that I made on our first afternoon in Thailand waters. We had arrived at a little island called Koh Chuku and the water was crystal clear.  As soon as we dropped anchor we jumped into the water for a snorkel. It was beautiful, clear and full of fish. Heaps of them; big fish, small fish, barracudas, parrotfish, wrasse, you name it we saw it… we even swam through schools of tiny baitfish. Then we got to work scrubbing the bottom of the boat. After our swim and our scrubbing, this Pina Colada was just perfect!

PINA COLADA, fresh pineapple, malibu, white rum, coconut milk, pineapple juice
Pina Colada

For two tasty Pina Coladas I blended the following;

2 shots of Malibu Rum
2 shots of Bacardi Rum
fresh pineapple (a thick slice of pineapple)
coconut cream
pineapple juice
ice

Poured into two tall glasses, garnished with pineapple and a lime slice and voila…. yummy!