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  
than hot.  

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  
heated through. 

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. 

--a jad

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:
gratiem dong

4 tablespoons vinegar 
1 teaspoon sugar 
4 tablespoons garlic
pickled shallots

4 tablespoon vinegar 
1 teaspoon sugar 
4 tablespoons sliced shallots
Special thanks to - Muoi Khuntilanont.