Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bamboo Shoot and Pork Soup (Naw Mai Moo Nam)

Thai Translation - Naw Mai = Bamboo Shoot, Moo = Pork, Nam = Water

This soup is a distinctly northern dish. It is made with fresh bamboo shoots that are cut from the base of certain types of bamboo plants. The shoots are then shredded and boiled with pork bones to make a delicate soup with soft pork meat.

Bamboo shoots can be purchased in jars or tins from Asian grocery stores. You should endevour to buy whole bamboo shoots rather than the pre-cut ones as they will have a better flavour for the soup. Some Asian grocery stores will also have the fresh ones which are much better to use though!

Stir Fried Chinese Broccoli with Crispy Pork (Pad Khana Moo Grob)

Thai Translation - Pad = Stir Fried, Khana = Chinese Broccoli, Moo Grob = Crispy Pork

This delicious dish with a hint of the Chinese influence on thai cooking is super easy and super yummy. Made with only a couple of ingredients, it can be quickly whipped up and served with steamed rice. This is a dish I fell in love with at Spice I Am restaurant in Sydney. The flavours were amazing and I had never eaten Thai food like it before. This recipe will definitely have you wanting more!

Crispy Pork (Moo Grob)

Thai Translation: Moo = Pork, Grob = Crispy

Moo Grob is an ingredient that is used in a number of different stir fries. It is made from pork belly that is fatty meat with layers of skin and fat. When it is fried in this way the fat will become soft and the flavour of the meat enhanced. When this is made, you will only need to use a small amount of it for your dish. It can be sliced and served with rice and thick sweet soy sauce or used in soups and stir fries. In Thailand, you can buy this pork ready made from markets or street vendors.

Pad Thai with Chicken (Pad Thai Gai)

Arguably the most famous Thai dish of them all, Pad Thai is a favourite in both Thailand and abroad. Its ribbons of rice noodles that are stir fried with soy sauce, egg, vegetables and meat. Typically, this is a dish that is sold by street vendors or in pad thai shops.

This particular version uses chicken but this can easily be substituted with prawns, tofu or pork. The dish is usually made with 'pad thai' tofu which is hard tofu that is coloured bright yellow on the outside with tumeric. Peanuts and mung beans are add a delicious depth to the flavour of the pad thai and also provide extra nutrients and are high in vitamins too.

Penang Curry with Chicken (Gaeng Penang Gai)

Thai Translation – Gaeng= Curry, Penang = Penang, Gai = Chicken

This creamy chicken curry will be a favourite in no time. Its very easy to make and tastes amazing when you make your own curry paste too! Adding extra vegetables like pumpkin, eggplant or potato will not only stretch the dish further, but will make it that little bit more nutritious too.

Chicken with Lemongrass (Gai Sai Takrai)

Thai Translation – Gai = Chicken, Sai = Add, Takrai = Lemongrass

Gai sa takrai is a deliciously spicy and herb laden dish. It has an unusual taste, unlike other Thai dishes but you wont be dissatisfied if you take the plunge and eat it. If you prefer your dishes on the mild end of the scale, leave out some of the chilli, but add a little just for taste.

Satay Sauce

Satay sauce is a creamy and nutty sauce that goes very well with grilled meats. It is highly addictive, tastes great on its own and is ridiculously easy to make. You wont ever buy a store-made version of this sauce again!

Chicken Satay (Satay Gai)

Thai Translation – Gai = Chicken, Satay = Type of Sauce

Chicken Satay is a really popular dish all over the world. Its creamy and nutty flavour combined with a small amount of spice means that it is a favourite of many. Serve this with rice so that you can eat the creamy nutty sauce, and you can even make these into a barbeque staple for something a little special.

Red Curry with Beef (Gaeng Phed Neua)

Thai Translation – Gaeng = Curry, Phed = Spicy, Neua = Beef

Red curry is a fragrant and creamy curry, hearty and tempting. It is best served with fluffy white rice or sticky rice. You can purchase pre-made curry pastes in most supermarkets which are very good. But they are no substitute for a freshly made paste of your own that can be whipped up in minutes.

Lean beef is an excellent source of protein and other minerals. It is delicious in a curry and when cooked well, it has a delicate mineral taste that goes superbly with a hearty creamy flavours in the curry. The eggplants in this curry are Thai eggplants that are small and round and often described as bitter. There are three main varieties you can use for this recipe –egg size and shaped eggplants (makhue prot), the pea sized eggplant ( makhue puang) which are crunchy and bitter in taste or the purple eggplants or aubergine. Look for the Thai eggplants in Asian supermarkets, but you can use aubergine for this recipe – just be careful about overcooking the eggplant as it can turn to mush.

Coconut Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

Thai Translation – Tom = Spicy Soup, Kha = Galangal, Gai = Chicken

Tom Kha Gai is a warm, creamy and aromatic soup that is a crowd favourite. It is made with coconut milk and the essential ingredient that must be used in it is galangal. This is a root spice that is similar to ginger, but very different. You should not attempt to make this with ginger instead of galangal as the flavours will be all wrong. Tom Kha Gai can be served in small bowls with a side dish of rice and when eating it you should avoid the woody lemongrass, galangal and lime leaf. You can also add a few drops of chilli oil to the surface of the soup for taste and presentation and a small dish of fish sauce to add a saltiness to the soup if desired.

Thai Beef Salad (Yum Neua)

Thai translation – Yum = Spicy Salad; Neua = Beef

This is a fresh and tasty healthy salad that will get your table and tastebuds talking. Made with the freshest of ingredients, its packed with protein and vitamins and will give you long lasting energy. This dish is a favourite of the health concious. Lean veal or a beef tenderloin steak is the perfect meat for this scrumptious and spicy salad but any lean cut of meat is fine. An alternative option is to serve this on a crunchy baguette for a meal on the run or a tasty lunch option. Just leave the dressing off until you are ready to eat or you'll end up with soggy bread!

Chicken with Cashew Nut (Gai Pad Met Mamuang)

Thai Translation – Gai = Chicken, Pad = Stir Fry, Mamuang = Cashew Nut

This is a really tasty dish that is a popular introduction into Thai food. It is very popular in Thai restaurants and has virtually no chilli so its perfect for all kinds of eaters. It comprises of chicken, cashew nuts and vegetables combined with a delicious sauce that coats all the ingredients perfectly.

Chu Chee Curry with Tofu (Gaeng Chu Chee Tao Hu)

Gaeng = Curry, Chu Chee = Curry Type, Tao Hu = Tofu

Chu Chee curry is a dish that is often served with seafood but this version uses hard tofu. It is based on a red curry sauce and distinguished by the use of kaffir lime leaves and basil. It is a thick spicy sauce that is different from other thai curries because of the texture.

Chicken with Green Peppercorns (Gai Pad Prik Thai On)

Thai Translation – Gai = Chicken, Pad = Stir Fry, Prik = Chilli, Thai On = Green Peppercorns

This delightfully fresh dish is easy to prepare and cook any day of the week. The key ingredient, green peppercorns, can be bought fresh or preserved in brine. They have a zesty and fresh smell, nothing like dried black peppercorns. They are easy to crunch down into and only have a very mild spice.

Pork with Basil (Pad Krapow Moo)

Thai Translation – Pad = Stir Fried, Kaprow = Holy Basil, Moo = Pork

This dish is a quick and tasty meal that has a spicy earthy flavour in it thanks to the holy basil which is used in the dish. It is a great beginner dish to try and even kids will have fun helping in the kitchen. It has only a few ingredients which are the basis of most Thai dishes.

Stir Fried Wide Rice Noodles with Soy Sauce (Pad See Ew)

Thai Translation – Pad = Stir Fried, See Ew = Dark Soy Sauce

Pad See Ew is as popular as Pad Thai and is a very delicious noodle dish, often eaten for lunch. It can be made with any type of meat or vegetables. The key to the flavour is the use of dark soy sauce. This caramel-flavoured soy sauce can be found in most supermarkets or asian grocery stores.

Tom Yum Soup with Prawns

Thai Translation – Tom Yum= Sour Spicy Soup, Goong = Prawn

Sour, sweet and spicy are words that can be used to describe this unique and full-flavoured soup. Made with lemongrass, kaffir lime and galangal, this soup will heat you up and freshen your senses. The best thing about this soup is that it is really easy to make so it is a great introduction to Thai cooking.

Yellow Curry with Beef (Gaeng Kari Neua)

Thai Translation – Gaeng = Curry, Kari = Yellow, Neua = Beef

Yellow curry is a creamy and mild curry that is a great introductory into Thai curries. It can be cooked from a store-bought paste or you can easily make your own paste. Yellow curry can also be made with any type of meat or vegetables and is the basis for Khao Soi, a northern Thai dish which is made with noodles and served with pickled vegetables. Yellow curry is similar to curries that come from Burma, Malaysia and Cambodia.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pork Noodle Soup (Gway Tiao Moo Nam)

Thai Translation – Gway Tiao = Rice Noodles, Moo = Pork, Nam = Water

Noodle soups are a very common dish.They are usually sold by street vendors and typically consist of a  simple soup stock that is flavoured with a range of meats and seasoned to taste with fish sauce, ground and fresh chilli's and sometimes vinegar or sugar. This meal can be served in small portions as an entree to a Thai feast, or is just a quick and easy meal.

Basil Clams (Hoi Lai Pad)

Thai Translation – Hoi Lai = Clam, Pad = stir fry

Basil clams are a healthy, tasty and always popular dish that are very easy to cook. This dish can be made as spicy or as mild depending on your own preference.. The sauce is particularly tasty when it is soaked up with some steamed rice or you could even serve with some fresh bread too. This dish can be cooked in under 10 minutes and very little preparation is required. You should cook the clams over a very hot heat and for not too long otherwise you will find they will become tough and chewy.

Thai Omelette (Kai Jiaow)

Thai Translation – Kai = Egg, Jiaow = Crisp Fry

Omelettes are a common "comfort food" dish that are often stuffed with meat, seafood, plain or with vegetables. Omelettes are a cheap and convenient meal which pack protein and other vitamins. Thai omelettes are light, fluffy and crispy – basic but delicious comfort food.

Fried Rice with Pork and Prawns (Kao Pad Goong Moo)

Thai Translation – Kao = Rice, Pad = Fried, Goong = Prawn, Moo = Pork

Fried rice is a staple dish in Thailand and is enjoyed at any time of the day. There are many variations of the dish – from meat only, to egg to herbs and spices. Fried rice is at its best when cooked over a very hot heat and with day-old rice. Newly cooked rice will be too moist and you may end up with a rice-pancake when cooking with this type. If you only have new rice to cook with, place it on a plate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Pork with Garlic and Pepper (Moo Pad Gratiem Prig Thai)

Thai Translation – Moo = Pork, Pad = Stirfry, Gratiem = Garlic, Prig Thai = White Pepper

Garlic and pepper pork is a delicious and spice-free dish that will be enjoyed by everyone. It does not contain any chilli so is perfect for children or those who do not enjoy spicy food. It is also delicious when eaten as a leftover meal, or as a packed lunch.

Beef Massuman (Gaeng Massuman Neua)

Thai Translation – Gaeng = Curry, Matsuman = Muslim ,  Neua = Beef 

This curry originates from Southern Thailand and is influenced by Indian curries. It is distinct from other Thai curries as it has an earthy, heavily aromatic and spiced curry paste which is different to the usual fiery and fresh red and green curries. It is most commonly cooked with beef which again is different to the usual Thai curries. The paste can be found in supermarkets but it is a lot more flavoursome when made from scratch.

Stir Fried Morning Glory (Pad Pak Boong)

Thai Translation – Pad = Stir fried, Pak Boong = Morning Glory/Water Spinach

Pad Pak Boong is a healthy and flavoursome dish that is made up of only a few ingredients. Morning glory is a delicious green vegetable that is found throughout Asia and when quickly fried with some garlic and chilli makes a great dish on its own or is perfect as a side. I love to eat it for breakfast as its quick, healthy and a perfect way to start the day. Its best cooked and eaten straight away as the morning glory can go a little soft and it changes the flavour.

Fish Cakes (Tod Mun Pla)

Thai Translation - Tod = Fried, Mun = Oil, Pla = Fish

Thai fish cakes are one of the most famous and well loved of thai dishes. The flavour is aromatic, light and very addictive. They are often served with a side of nam jim kai (sweet chilli sauce) and can be found sold by street vendors, in markets and restaurants all over Thailand. Depending on the region, ocean or river fish is used but the taste remains the same.

Penang Curry with Tofu (Gaeng Penang To Hu)

Thai Translation – Gaeng = Curry, Penang = Penang Curry, To Hu = Tofu

This delicious vegetarian penang curry is packed with eggplant and tofu. It is creamy, nutty and filling. Perfect for dinner or lunch and can be altered to include other vegetables or meat. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Penang Curry Paste (Krueang Kaeng Penang)

Thai Translation – Krueang = Paste, Gaeng = Curry, Penang = Penang

Penang curry, sometimes spelt “panang”, is a flavoursome and creamy mild curry that is perfect for many types of meat or vegetarian. It takes its name from the island off peninsula Malaysia, Penang curry has a different flavour to more traditional thai curries. The paste is based on the red curry paste but peanuts are added which give it a delicious nutty flavour. 

Red Curry Paste (Krueang Kaeng Phed)

Thai Translation – Krueang = Paste, Gaeng = Curry ; Phed = Spicy

This simple curry paste is so easy to make and is so fresh and fragrant. It can be made in advance and stored with a layer of oil to preserve it. Red curry paste is the basis of other curries and other dishes including penang curry, khao soi (a northern noodle soup dish) and thai fish cakes. This recipe does not contain shrimp paste and makes it a suitable dish for vegetarians.

Fish with Thai Herbs (Pla Pad Cha)

Thai Translation: Pla = Fish, Pad = Stir Fry, Cha = Sizzle

This spicy and fragrant dish is one of my favourite dishes to eat and cook. It is one dish that is bound to impress even the pickiest of eaters. Made with fresh fish that is carefully stir-fried with a fantastic mix of galangal, green peppercorns, lemongrass and chilli. A touch of chilli paste, some eggplants and some rice make this dish just incredible to make, look at and of course eat!

Stir Fried Prawns with Snow Peas (Pad Thua Lin Tao Goong)

Thai Translation – Thua Lin Tao = Snow Peas, Pad = Stir Fry, Goong = Prawn

This is a fresh and very tasty dish that is cooked in a chinese-style. The influence of Chinese cooking on Thai cuisine is quite important and many different dishes are cooked in this way. The dishes are usually not as spicy as regular thai food and can be distinguished by the presence of a thicker sauce.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sweet Chilli Sauce (Nam Jim Gai)

Thai Translation – Nam Jim = Sauce , Gai = Chicken

Nam jim gai is a condiment commonly served with chicken, hence 'gai' in the name. The sauce  can be used as a condiment for many dishes such as barbecue or spring rolls. It is available in many different varieties in supermarkets, but a home made version is a lot tastier. It is popular served with non Thai food such as on hamburgers, fries, grilled chicken or fried fish.

Mango with Sticky Rice (Kao Niao Mumuang)

Thai Translation - Khao = Rice, Niao = Sticky, Mamuang = Mango

This traditional Thai dessert (desserts are called khanom in Thai) is very creamy and refreshing. The juicy sweet mango combined with a coconut sticky rice makes it a delight to eat and everyone will enjoy it. It is perfect to use with leftover sticky rice. This dish isparticularly popular with Thai people around Thai New Year which is in April. This is when the mangos are ripening and are in an abundance and are eaten every which way.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thai Spring Rolls (Pa Pia Tod)

Thai Translation – Pa Pia = Spring Roll Tod = Deep Fried

Spring rolls are a delicious appetiser that is very easy to make. They are sold in markets, street corners and in restaurants all over Thailand usually with a sweet chilli sauce. This version is made without meat so is perfect for vegetarians but you can use chicken, pork or seafood also.

Pork With Bean Shoots (Moo Pad Thua Ngok)

Thai Translation – Moo = Pork, Pad = Stir Fried, Thua Ngok = Mung Beans

Mung bean shoots are a super healthy food and when coupled with lean pork mince make for a filling and healthy meal. Served with steamed rice and a side of nam pla prik, it is perfect for lunch or a quick dinner meal.

Needle Mushroom & Prawn Salad (Yum Hed Khem)

Thai Translation – Yum = Spicy Salad, Hed Khem = Needle Mushroom, Goong = Prawn

Spicy, sour and sweet, this Thai salad is a perfect example of the flavours of Thai salads. Made with needle mushrooms (also known as enoki mushrooms), limes, prawns and chilli, it is perfect for a summers day. You can make this salad without prawns or substitute the prawn for minced pork or chicken for a different flavour.

Cucumber Salad (Yum Tang Gwa)

Thai Translation – Yum = Spicy Salad; Tang Gwa = Cucumber

Cucumbers are abundant and nutritious vegetable that are also a great option to have with anything spicy because of their cooling, watery taste. Thai food is often served with a few slices of cucumber to help cool a spicy mouth and it is also used in many dipping sauces to add a depth to the flavours. This is a dish that is commonly served with satay or other meat skewers to compliment the more subtle flavours of the barbeque meat. It can also be served as an entree salad to freshen the pallet before eating a thick curry or other strong flavoured dish.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Raad Na (Wide Rice Noodles with Gravy)

Raad Na is a delicious noodle dish made with ribbons of wide rice noodles, oyster sauce, chicken and vegetables. It has its roots in Chinese cooking and has a similar thickness to the sauce and flavour that is typical of chinese cooking.

The name “Raad Na” means “to pour on the face” in Thai. This is because the sauce is usually poured onto the face of the noodles.