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The Siamese Cook Booklet


Introduction

I have been living (and eating) in Thailand for a long time.  Among the many attractions that keep me here include the friendly people, warm climate, exotic culture, and of course the fantastic food.  Each day leads to new culinary treats, whether they be at fancy restaurants, outdoor markets, road-side push carts, or in our own kitchen.  We have included here 10 of our favorite dishes from Thailand.  They have been chosen for their attractiveness to the westerner's palate as well as their ease in preparation, especially in the western kitchen.

In our recipes we have included the ingredients in English, Thai, and Thai phonetics.  Sometimes these ingredients will not be available to those living in the west (unless there is a nearby Chinatown).  Because of these we give substitutes that can be made with ingredients and spices that any western cook could easily pick up at the supermarket.

When a Thai cook tells you how to make something she will usually not give exact amounts.  She may say something like, "Use as much garlic as you should."  Westerners are used to being given exact quantities in their recipes.  Because of this we have given "suggested" amounts.  Feel free to use as much of any ingredient "as you should".

If you are in Thailand and don't speak much Thai simply copy off the recipes with its list of ingredients (with the Thai translations) and bring that with you to the market.  If you tell the food sellers what you are making they will be happy to get you what you need.

 

 

Recipes

Chicken with Cashews

Pork with Garlic and Black Pepper

Stuffed Tomatoes

Fried Pumpkin

Sweet and Sour

Barbecued Spare Ribs

 

More to come...


 

Chicken with Cashews

ไก่ผัดเม็ดมะม่วงหิมพานต์

gai phat met ma muaang him-a phaan

 

Cashew nuts are grown in the southern part of Thailand and this dish is very popular all around the country (and increasingly in Thai restaurants around the world).  It is not uncommon for a westerner, upon tasting this dish for the first time, to swoon with delight. 

What you need 

1/2lb diced chicken

ไก่

gai

 

1 cup roasted cashews

เม็ดมะม่วงหิมพานต์

met ma muaang him phaan

 

A few large dried peppers

พริกแห้ง

phrik haaeng

 

1 clove garlic

กระเทียม

gra thiiam

 

3 tbls vegetable oil

น้ำมันพืช

nahm man pheuut 

 

1 tbls soy sauce

ซีอิ๊ว

see iu   

 

  

What you do

 Heat the oil in a frying pan, or a wok until very hot.  Into the hot oil toss the minced garlic and wait until it becomes golden brown.  Then quickly add the chicken and stir fry until it also is brown.  Add the cashews, peppers, and soy sauce until the cashews are hot.  Serves two, as a side dish or over rice as a complete meal.

Often in Thailand you will not be able to find roasted cashews but the raw ones are available in most places.  To roast them yourself, get some raw cashews, take a pan or wok, add some oil and fry up the cashews adding some salt to taste.  Make sure the cashews don’t get too brown or they will be bitter.

 

Language note:

 The Thai word for “cashew” (met ma muaang him-a phaan) is made up of the words

met                            

seed, nut

 

ma muaang                

mango

 

him-a                                

snow, derived from the same root as Himalaya

 

him-a phaan 

 

a snow covered forest in northern India where many

 

            The cashew “nut” or seed comes from a pseudo fruit (called a cashew apple) that in shape resembles a mango but comes in different colors.  The real fruit and the seeds grow out of the bottom.  The words “him-a phaan” indicate the foreign origin of the cashew tree.  Its true origin is Brazil but there are lots of cashews in India which may have been the origins of the Thai cashews.

 

 

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Pork with Garlic and Black Pepper

หมูทอดกระเทียมพริกไทย

muu thaawt gra thiiam phrik thai

 

This is my personal favorite.  If you have never been into garlic before, you will now.  The oil, pepper, and garlic alone is great with rice.

What you need

½ lb sliced pork

หมูแผ่น

 

mu phaen

2 cloves minced garlic

กระเทียม

gra thiiam

 

3 tbls vegetable oil

น้ำมันพืช

nahm man pheuut 

 

3-4 shakes black pepper

 พริกไทย

 phrik thai

 

½ tbls fish sauce (or salt to taste)

 น้ำปลา

 naaam bplaa

 

 

What you do

Fry the pork in the oil until thoroughly cooked.  Then add the garlic.  When the garlic is brown stir in the black pepper and fish sauce.  Serve with or over rice.

 

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Stuffed Tomatoes

มะเขือเทศไส้

ma kheuua thaeht sai

This is an “old family recipe”.  It is an easy, tasty combination that goes just as well with rice as it does with western food. 

What you need

6 small tomatoes

 

มะเขือเทศ

ma kheuua thaeht

½ lb of ground pork

หมูสับ

 

muu sap

2 cloves minced garlic

กระเทียม

gra thiiam

¼ onion, chopped

 

หัวหอม

huaa haawm

Black pepper

 

 พริกไทย

 phrik thai

 

4 tbls fish sauce (or salt to taste)

 

 น้ำปลา

 naaam bplaa

 

Some sprigs of parsley

 

 ผักชีฝรั่ง  

 phak chee fa rang

 

What you do

With a sharp knife cut out the tops of the tomatoes and spoon out the pulp and seeds.  To the ground pork, add the minced garlic, chopped onion, pepper and fish sauce.  Mix together and stuff into the tomatoes.  Place the tomatoes in a ceramic plate or bowl and put into a steamer for about 15 minutes.  Be sure not to steam too long or the tomatoes will break down.  Garnish with parsley and serve as a side dish.

 

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Fried Pumpkin

ฟักทองทอด 

fak thaawng thaawt

 

The pumpkin is more than jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin pie.  In Asia, it is one of the staples in the people's diet. With its wealth of vitamins A and C, the pumpkin (as well as many related squashes and gourds) is prepared in many ways.  We feel that this recipe is the tastiest as well as the easiest to make.

What you need

one pound section of pumpkin

 

ฟักทอง fak thaawng

1 clove minced garlic

กระเทียม

gra thiiam

1/4 cup vegetable oil

น้ำมันพืช

nahm man pheuut 

 

2 eggs

 

ไข่  khai
1 tbls sugar (or honey)

 

น้ำตาล, น้ำผึ้ง nam dtaan, nam pheung

2 tbls fish sauce (or salt to taste)

 

 น้ำปลา

 naaam bplaa

 

 

What you do

First take the pumpkin and cut it into slices about 1/4" thick.  It will then be easy to cut off the skin.  After that, slice the pumpkin into 1" squares.  Pour the oil into a frying pan or wok.  Wait until the oil is very hot and then toss in the minced garlic.  The garlic will bubble up and turn brown.  Then add the pumpkin, sugar, and fish sauce.

Now add enough water so that it comes up to the top of the pumpkin.  Cover and let boil until the water has almost evaporated.  Finally, break the eggs into the center of the mixture and gently fold them in.  When the eggs are done, so is your pumpkin.  Serve as a side dish or over rice.

 

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Sweet and Sour (Pork, Chicken, Shrimp, etc.)

เปรี้ยวหวาน

bpriaao waan

 

This popular Chinese restaurant dish has also been adopted by the Thais.  The Thais of course have changed the recipe to suit their own taste buds.  I like them both but they are quite different.

What you need

1/2 lb of pork, diced

You can also use chicken or shrimp

 

หมู mu

1/2 large onion

หัวหอม

huaa haawm

2 tomatoes

มะเขือเทศ

ma kheuua thaeht

 

1 cucumber

 

แตงกวา   dtaaeng gwaa
1 clove minced garlic

 

กระเทียม

gra thiiam

 

2 tbls fish sauce (or salt to taste)

 

 น้ำปลา

 naaam bplaa

 

1 teaspoon vinegar

 

น้ำส้ม nam sohm
1 teaspoon tomato paste

 

   
1 tbls corn starch

 

   
3 tbls vegetable oil

 

น้ำมันพืช

nahm man pheuut 

 

 

What you do

Heat the oil in a pan or wok over high flame and fry the garlic in oil until brown.  Put in the pork (or chicken or shrimp).  When this is cooked add the onion and stir for 1 minute.  Add cucumber, fish sauce, soy sauce and pour in one cup of water.  As soon as this boils put in the corn starch that has been mixed with a little cold water.  Then add vinegar and tomato paste.  When the sauce thickens then your dish is ready.

 

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Barbecued Spare Ribs

ซี่โครงหมู

see khrohng muu

There is nothing I like better than chomping down on some good ribs.  And the Thais makes some good ribs.

What you need

1 lb spare ribs ซี่โครงหมู

see khrohng muu

 

1 tbs bean sauce or bean paste

(in the west you may have to go to a Chinatown to get this.  If you can't find it then double the amount of soy sauce.)

 

   

1 tbs sugar

น้ำตาล nam dtaan

 

2 cloves diced garlic

 

กระเทียม

gra thiiam

 

1 tbs black soy sauce

 

ซีอิ๊วดำ

see iu dam

black pepper

 พริกไทย

 phrik thai

 

 

What you do

Cut up the spare ribs.  Mix the bean sauce, sugar, garlic, soy sauce, and pepper together.  Cover the spare ribs with this mixture and spread evenly over each rib.  Put this all in a bowl and cover and let stand for about one hour.  Roast in medium oven fr about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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