Here is a simple titbit
that is fun to make. You need shallots,
ginger, lemon or lime, lemon grass, roasted peanuts
and red phrik khi nu chilies. Peeled shallots and ginger
should be cut into small fingertip sizes.
Diced lime and slices of lemon grass should be
cut to the same size. Roasted peanut
should be left in halves. Chilies should be thinly sliced.
Combinations of such ingredients should be wrapped
in fresh lettuce leaves and laced with a sweet-salty
sauce made from fish sauce, sugar, dried shrimps
and lime juice.
Mixing crushed fresh chilies with fish sauce and a dash
of lime juice makes a general accompanying sauce
for any Thai dish. Adding some crushed garlic
and a tiny amount of roasted or raw shrimp paste
transforms it into an all-purpose dip (nam phrik).
Some pulverised dried shrimp and julienned egg-plant
with sugar makes this dip more complete. Serve
it with steamed rice, an omelette and some vegetables.
Salad dressings have similar base ingredients. Add
fish sauce, lime juice and sugar to enhance saltiness, sourness and
sweetness. Crushed chilies, garlic and
shallots add spiciness and herbal fragrance.
Lemon grass and galanga can be added for
additional flavour. Employ this mix with any
boiled, grilled or fried meat. Lettuce leaves,
sliced cucumber, cut spring onions and coriander
leaves help top off a salad dressing.
Soups generally need good stock. Add to boiling water
crushed peppercorns, salt, garlic, shallots,
coriander roots, and the meats or cuts of one's choice.
After prolonged boiling and simmering , you
have the basic stock of common Thai soups. Additional
galanga, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, crushed
fresh chilies, fish sauce and lime juice create
the basic stock for a Tom Yam.
To make a quick curry,
fry curry or chili paste in heated oil
or thick coconut milk. Stir and fry until the
paste is well cooked and add meats of one's
with fish sauce or sugar to taste. Add water
or thin coconut milk to make curry go further.
Add sliced eggplant with a garnish of basil
and kaffir lime leaves. Make your own curry
paste by blending fresh (preferably dried) chillies,
garlic, shallots, galanga, lemon grass, coriander
roots, ground pepper, kaffir lime peels and
Heat the cooking oil, fry in a mixture
of crushed chilies, minced garlic, ground
pepper and chopped chicken meat. When nearly
cooked, add vegetables such as cut beans or
with fish sauce and garnish with kaffir lime
leaves, basil or balsam leaves. Cooked rice
or fresh noodles added to the frying would
make this a substantial meal.