Thai dinner for 10 ... in 30 minutes
This was still ticking in my mind waiting to prompt an idea for a posting of
a recipe, when two of my wife's sisters "dropped in" with their husband's
and children, so completely unexpectedly we had 6 adults and 5 children
ranging from 3 to 12 years old to feed. Unlike Chef Caprial we don't have
a multiring cooking hob and a double oven, but nonetheless we forgot the
simple meal we'd intended to have that evening and put plan B into effect.
The menu would be
- steamed rice
- muoi's salad talay (a seafood salad)
- tom yum koong suki (that is to say a tom yum shrimp soup cooked in a suki pot)
- chicken stew (well it has a Thai name and is quite traditional, but this makes more sense.)
- yum moo ( a spicy pork dish)
- pad nuea nam man hoy: spicy stir fried beef
Now I've posted a yum nuea (beef) version of the yum dish - but this variation
was made in a hurry, and is different. Also I've dealt with a tom yum before,
but this version is essentially done as a tabletop quicky. A suki pot is the Thai
version of the device I've seen referred to in America as a Mongolian Hot Pot
or fire pot: a copper vessel with a central chimney that can be heated on the
table top. Traditional Thai pots use charcoal, but modern ones use solid fuel
or gas (ours is a butane model).
The last three dishes can all be made with beef, but together they should each
be made around a different meat for contrast. The stew is relatively bland, by
Thai standards, the yum is hot, the stir fried beef in oyster suace is spicy, rather
The salad is only a traditional Thai dish in the sense that it is my wife's invention,
and she's Thai :-)
This meal took 30 minutes from start to finish to prepare: however the veggies
were all ready cleaned and ready to use. We took the meat out of the freezer
when the guests arrived and used a microwave to make sure they were defrosted.Rice
OK: I'm not really going to tell you how to steam rice: 10 cups of washed Thai
Jasmine rice was placed in an automatic rice steamer with the appropriate
amount of water and placed on the dining table. Fifteen minutes later somebody
stirred the rice to fluff it and after thirty minutes it was ready for us to eat.Muoi's salad talay
('talay' means seafood, and salad is the Thai word for, well, salad, actually :-)
You need two cups of mixed salad veggies, to which you add a cup of fresh
bean sprouts, and a cup of chopped onion (we use scallions/green onions,
but whatever takes your fancy).
Steam enough clams, mussels and other shellfish to yield 2 cups of cooked fish.
2 cups of parboiled potatoe. (Using Thai sweet potatoes, I split two large
potatoes in half lengthwise, and place them in the microwave for 5 minutes on
high, then peel them. The surface of the potatoe exposed to the air turns white,
and is cut off and discarded. The potatoe is then cut into bite sized chunks).
The potatoe is then deep fried in an electric frier for a couple of minutes (Thai
potatoe floats when it is cooked, and you scoop it out and place it on paper
towels to drain the oil).
Toss the veggies, potatoe and the shellfish together in a salad bowl and salt
and pepper to taste.
The dressing consists of one cup of mayonnaise, half a cup of tomato ketchup,
two table spoons of oyster sauce, one tablespoon of worcestershire sauce
and two tablespoons of hot Thai Chilli Sauce. If you can't get the Thai chilli
sauce you could use Tobasco, but it isn't as hot, and is somewhat more salty,
so be careful). You then add enough of the dressing to the salad to coat it
thoroughly when tossed. The remaining dressing is placed on the table as a
dipping sauce, together with a few plates of raw sliced veggies (cucumbers,
carrots, etc...)Tom Yum Koong
Place about a litre (or a quart) of fish stock in the hot pot (if you haven't got one,
you could use a small "deep fryer" or a fondue pot as a replacement).
Bring it to a boil and add:-
2 stalks of lemon grass, bruised (this isn't eaten, but is an essential
2-3 "kaffir" lime leaves (use lime zest if you can't get it)
2 coriander [cilantro] plants, chopped.
1 tablespoon fresh ground ginger
ground chili powder (prok phom) to taste
4 tablespoons red chillis in vinegar (prik dong)
4 tablespoons green chilis in fish sauce (prik nam pla)
the juice of 3 or 4 limes
2 or 3 tablespoons of sliced bamboo shoots or coconut shoots
2-3 tablespoons "chilis in oil" (prik nam pao)
raw shrimp (about 15 to the pound in size) are placed on the table (in Thailand
we don't bother cleaning them - you might want to remove the heads, legs and
shells, and devein them), together with fresh mushrooms. The guests then cook
these by placing them in small bronze-wire baskets and dipping them in the suki
pot. If you are using fondue forks, you might want to add the mushrooms to the
soup liquor just before everyone starts to dine.Chicken Stew
It occasionally gets cold in Thailand (the temperature recently has been below 30
at midday, and has even gone as low as 16 celsius at night... :-)) and this dish
is traditional in the Isan region
Note if done with beef, the meat is simmered slowly, for several hours. Quite
unusual in Thai food. However chicken cooks quite quickly and is tender.
Remember my slogan: you cook it until it is cooked!"
Take the meat from a medium chicken, and cut it into bite sized chunks.
Place it in a large stewpan, and add:-
- a piece of cinnamom,
- about a tablespoon of grated galangal,
- the chopped roots of three coriander plants,
- about half a cup of fish sauce,
- 2 tablespoons of dark sweet soy,
- a tablespoon of worcestershire sauce
- a cup of chopped celery (preferably Chinese celery)
- about two cups of chopped veggies (cabbage, kale, ...)
- 2 - 3 tablespoons of fried garlic
Cover with water, and simmer until the meat is cooked. Stir in some rice flour or
corn starch to thicken the sauce.Yum Moo
Barbeque, grill, fry, or braise about two pounds of pork steak. Cut into thin strips,
and then cut the strips into bites sized pieces.
Place it in a salad mixing bowl, and add
- 2 cups of diced or thinly sliced onions
- 15-20 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 25-30 red prik ki nu (birdseye chilis) thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce
- 4 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon khao koor (ground toasted rice)
- sugar to taste
- 1 tablespoon pickled shallots
- 1 tablespoon pickled garlic
(these last two ingredients can be simply made at home. Pickled garlic can also
be bought in asian markets)
Place the meat, sliced onion, and a sliced cucmber on a bed of lettuce.
Mix the remaining ingredients and taste for seasoning balance, place in a small
bowl for use as a dipping sauce. Nuea pad nam man hoy
This is a simple stir fry dish: nam man hoy is oyster suace.
Put a little oil in a wok and saute a couple of tablespoons of garlic, and a couple
of tablespoons of shallots (purple onions).
Add about two pounds of beef, cut into bite sized pieces.
You then add a sauce consisting of
- 1 cup of oyster sauce
- 3 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
and stir it until it begins to simmer. If it is a little dry, add a little water. Cover and
leave to simmer for five minutes.
Then add about a tablespoon of chilli powder (prik phom), fresh black pepper,
a tablespoon of fresh ground ginger, and some chopped onions, and stir until
Incidentally we used a 24" wok for this - but for a smaller dinner party a 14" wok
would be safe enough. If you want to cook a lot in a small wok, divide it into safe
portions or you'll stir it all over the cook top!
The basic meal is now ready. Serve it with the basic condiments (green chillis in
fish sauce [prik nam pla], red chilis in vinegar [prik dong], ground chilis [prik phom],
and sugar), together with pickled cucumber [a jad], pickled shallots, pickled garlic,
You could also use any other vegetable pickles.
4 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoon sliced cucumber
2 tablespoon shallots, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped green chillis
mix, bootle and keep for a few days before using.
For table condiments you can do a pickled garlic and shallots similarly:
4 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons garlic
4 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons sliced shallots
Special thanks to - Muoi Khuntilanont.