Papaya is a common fruit served on breakfast buffets in Thailand. Usually you will find some lime slices as well because papaya fits wonderful with lime juice and the sweetness is well balanced by the tangy and aroma of the lime.
This breakfast inspired me to serve papaya and lime in a new way. It was really amazing and much better than I’ve imagined!
First of all prepare your sorbet (if not using the readymade quality): place lime juice grated zest and powdered sugar in the blender. Pulse until smooth. Now add ice cubes one by one pulsing after adding each ice cube. Continue until you get a soft but not runny sorbet. Transfer to a container and place in the freezer immediately.
Wash the papaya, cut lengthways into quarters. Remove seed and part of the pulp (eat the pulpJ) in order to form a small hole in the papaya.
Place each quarter of papaya on a single plate, spoon the sorbet into the hole.
Garnish with lime slices and mint springs.
Suggestion: add some chopped mint leaves when you prepare the sorbet!
This delicious beef recipe is perhaps more similar to a beef salad than a steak.
I found out that his is sometimes called “Crying Tiger” (or Seua Tong Hai in Thai) and it is served with a dipping sauce called Nam Jim. The red bird chilis used for this recipes are quite strong, for this reason this recipe got its special name!
The rice used in the sauce gives a great consistency and a light roasted taste. I can remember I saw the roasted grinded rice in an Asian shop many years ago, but I could not imagine how this was used!
The grilled meat should be grilled on charcoals, as this adds the typical smoky flavor.
This is a perfect example how the combination of two recipes create something far greater than their individual parts.
400 g rib eye or New York strip steaks, about 2-3 cm thick or 400 g beef steak for grilling
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup tomato, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried ground chilli, to taste
2 tablespoons fish sauce (alternative light soy sauce)
2 tablespoons lime juice or Tamarind Purée
1 teaspoon palm sugar
1 teaspoon ground rice, if possible use toasted rice
1 tablespoon beef or vegetable stock
Thai sweet basil leaves
a few slices of red chilli (if possible red bird chilis)
Mix together the soy sauce,, brown sugar, and vegetable oil in a medium mixing bowl. Coat the meat with this mixture and let sit while you prepare the sauce.
For the sauce combine all the listed ingredients. Note: I used a mortar to grind the rice and I sieved it!
Put the steak under a preheated hot grill and cook, turning it once, according to your taste. Don’t overcook it; it’s better to stop before completely done, wrap in aluminum foil and wait 10 minutes before slicing it!
Slice the steak and arrange on a serving dish and garnish with the basil, coriander and chilli.
Thai curries are prepared with a lot of fresh ingredients as roots and herbs give them a special unique flavor. I use to keep most of this kind of ingredients in the freezer, it’s the easiest way for me especially for galangal, Thai basil, cilantro, lemon grass and so on.
If possible I have the fresh cilantro on hand, sometimes in a pot and sometimes well wrapped in the fridge and some stems in a glass of water. I use quite often ginger and I keep always some in the fridge.
In this case I have I have most of the ingredients ready and the preparation of this curry required less than 30 minutes.
It’s possible to prepare this curry skipping some of the ingredients, but I would use at least one of these ingredients: lemon grass, galangal and ginger. For the herbs I really recommend to use either cilantro or basil leaves or kaffir.
You may also add some veggies as for example peeled and diced taro; but cook until this is tender.
Eggplant roasted salad is a wonderful specialty which rarely is served in restaurants and seems disappear in front of more popular dishes as Pad Thai and so on.
In the villages food is still prepared on small clay ovens where eggplants, peppers and other veggies can be roasted and the used for further preparations.
Today we planned to grill our meat in the chimney over wood charcoal a great opportunity to roast our veggies. It’s not the first time we prepare the veggies over the fire, but it was the first time I used them for Thai recipes. And wow! How unexpected delicious was this salad! A real gem!
1 big eggplant (about 250 g), if possible the long kind
1 red pepper, optional
200 g shrimps
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce, alternative light soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon palm sugar, alternative brown sugar
1 fresh, chili if possible bird’s eye chili
1/2 green mango or 1 apple, peeled cut into thin wedges, optional
2 tablespoon thick coconut milk, optional
1 tablespoon grinded dried shrimp, alternative dry roasted coconut flakes
Roast the eggplant and the pepper over hot charcoals turning from time to time until the skin are completely roasted. If you don’t have this possibility, you can broil them in the oven, flipping from time to time. Remove from heat and set aside covered to cool down. When they are cooled enough but still warm, remove the skin. Set aside.
In the meantime heat little water and boil and cook the shrimps for 2-3 minutes until they turn pink. Drain, remove the skin (except of the tail) and set aside.
Combine lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and chili. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
Dice eggplant and peppers, prepare the shallot and peel and slice apple.
In a bowl combine eggplant, peppers, shallot, apple and shrimps. Pour sauce over this and toss gently. Transfer to a serving plate.
Top with coconut milk, sprinkle with dried shrimps and serve immediately.
White layer: Bring agar agar powder, water, sugar and coconut milk slowly to boil in a saucepan, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved stir in fresh coconut if desired. Remove and pour the mixture into a chilled mold (I used a 25 to 35 cm mold). When it is halfway chilled place into the fridge until completely set and cold.
Green layer: In the meanwhile bring the agar agar powder, sugar, salt, water and pandan extract to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved and mix well.
When it has cooled halfway (but still liquid) pour the mixture holding the pot as close to the surface over the bottom layer.
Chill to set in the fridge for at least hour.
Slice jelly into serving portions with a sharp knife and serve chilled.
Variations instead of pandan extract:
Fresh/chop pandan leaves: chop 6 pandan leaves and blend them with the 1 ½ cups water. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and use this liquid as the water described in the recipe. You may also add the pandan extract for more flavor.
Rose water: Instead of pandan extract you may use rose-water and if desired food coloring
Coffee: Instead of pandang extract and water you may use cooled coffee!