Excerpts from The Everything Thai Cookbook, by Jam Sanitchat (Copyright © 2012 and 2013 by F+W Media, Inc.
VIDEO: Watch Jam Sanitchat make Sriracha Sauce and Thai Omelet from scratch after the jump.
Yields 1 cup
Sriracha is the name of a town on the eastern seaboard of Thailand. This sauce is used in various dishes or as a dipping sauce.
10 dried long red Thai chilies (dried Serrano is a good substitution)
1 c. whole garlic cloves
1 t. salt
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. water
3 T. white vinegar
Combine chilies, garlic, salt, sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until chilies and garlic are tender, about 5-7 mintures. Let cool. Add vinegar to the mixture and purèe until smooth.
Lemongrass Soup with Shrimp (Tom Yum Kung)
Sometimes milk is added to this soup to make it thicker. Chili jam can also be added for a more complex flavor and color.
For the Sauce:
4 T. lime juice
2 or 3 Thai chilies, minced (about 1–2 t. minced chilies)
3 T. fish sauce
½ t. sugar
Handful of cilantro
For the Soup:
10 uncooked medium shrimp, unpeeled
4 c. water
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped and bruised
6 slices galangal, sliced and bruised
4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 T. fish sauce
¾ c. wild mushrooms
1/3 c. chopped tomatoes
Mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Peel and devein the shrimp. Save the shells to make stock. Bring water to boil and add shrimp shells. Boil for about 3 minutes and strain the stock. Add lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves to the stock and bring it back to boil. Season with fish sauce. Add mushrooms, and 3 to 4 minutes later, add shrimp and simmer over low heat until shrimp just change color, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer for another minute. Add the sauce to the hot soup and check seasoning. It should be salty, sour and spicy.
Green Papaya Salad (Som Tum)
This salad is the number one street food in Thailand. This is the simplest version of the salad, but you can dress it up by adding a few grilled shrimp to the mix. In Thailand, fermented fish or salted crab is often added. Green papayas are picked when they are young and green. Shred papaya using a mandoline or a small handheld shredder that you can purchase at Asian grocery stores. When papayas are not in season, you may use shredded carrots, julienned cucumbers, or mixed fruits like apples, peaches and mangoes.
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Pinch of salt
4–6 Thai chilies, to taste
2 T. dried shrimp
1 T. coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
4 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 snake beans* (optional)
2 T. palm sugar
1 T. water
2–3 c. shredded green papaya
1 T. lime juice
1 T. tamarind water
1–2 T. fish sauce
Pound garlic, salt and chilies using a mortar and pestle. Add dried shrimp and pound until dried shrimp is broken. Add peanuts, tomatoes and snake beans (if using) and the paste to a medium bowl and mix well. Set aside. Place sugar in a microwave-safe bowl with the water. Heat for 45 seconds to make a syrup. Set aside. Place shredded green papaya in the bowl with the shrimp paste/peanut mixture. Add palm sugar syrup, lime juice, tamarind water and fish sauce. Toss to coat the papaya and serve.
* Also known as Chinese longbeans
Green Curry Paste (Kaeng Kiew Wan)
Makes ½ cup
This paste is the base for the dish green curry, considered one of the spiciest coconut-milk based curries. It is a great curry for all kinds of meat and seafood.
15 green Thai chilies
1 t. roasted coriander seeds
1 t. roasted cumin seeds
1 t. white peppercorn
1 T. finely chopped galangal
1 T. finely chopped lemongrass (about 1 stalk)
1 t. chopped cilantro roots or stems
3 shallots, coarsely chopped
9 garlic cloves
½ t. kaffir lime zest (optional)
1 t. shrimp paste
1 t. salt
Make a paste using a mortar and pestle by adding ingredients one at a time in the order given. Pound one ingredient until it’s broken up in small pieces before adding the next one. When all ingredients are added, continue pounding until it forms a fine paste. Alternatively, place coarsely chopped ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, adding water as needed.