Friday, 28 September 2012
Tom Yum can be considered the national dish of Thailand. It is eaten everywhere by every person, and is a firm favourite with tourists as well. Tom Yum is usually ordered with shrimp (Tom Yum Kung) but can also be made with other types of seafood, chicken, pork, or even tofu.
The soup is thin, and has a hot and sour flavour.
It is eaten with rice, and will often be accompanied by a variety of side dishes. One of the most popular side dishes ordered with Tom Yum Kung is Tod Num Kung (friend shrimp cakes), which are then dipped into the soup itself and eaten.
Tom Yum shares almost all ingredients with Tom Kha, another popular Thai soup dish, although unlike Tom Kha, Tom Yam does not have coconut milk added to the soup to thicken it and give it a creamier taste.
Herbs and spices added to the broth include chilli, fish sauce, galangal, kaffir lime and lemon grass, and these each add to the distinctive Tom Yum flavour in their own way.
The real trick to making the best Tom Yum is to use only the very freshest ingredients, and in the case of prawn or shrimp, this means as close to straight from the sea as is possible. Local fish markets would be the best place to find these, do not be tempted to use pre-frozen supermarket produce, the prawns need to be very fresh so that their taste creeps into the soup.
There are two slight variants to Tom Yum, the first of these being Tom Yum Nam Khon. In this version, milk is added to the soup to make it taste creamier. The second different version of Tom Yam is Tom Klong, where Thai chilli jam is added to the broth, this produces an orange coloured soup with a much stronger chilli taste.
The most different version of Tom Yum is made in Laos, and is often named Royal Laos Tom Yum. This type of Tom Yum is seldom eaten outside of Laos. The only difference between Laos Tom Yum and Thai Tom Yum is that in the Laos version a small quantity of rice is added to the soup whilst it cooks.
Overall, Tom Yum is one of the tastiest Thai dishes, as well as one of the easiest to cook. The ingredients are simple to prepare, and as long as they are used in the right quantities, then perfect results should be achieved every time.
Sunday, 10 June 2012
A trip to the Khaosan Road in Bangkok will prove just how popular Pad Thai is with foreign visitors, and the reason for this is very simple. It is an entirely non-threating dish in every way, no chillies, no strong herbs or spices, just simple fresh ingredients, blended together with that classic Thai attention to flavour. No other dish is eaten more frequently by visitors to Thailand.
Fortunately, for those who find themselves craving this classic take on fried noodles once they leave the Kingdom of Thailand, the dish is extremely easy to prepare, and all ingredients required should be easy to find anywhere in the world.
Pad Thai is always eaten as a meal in its own right, with no extra side dishes, it is very filling, and no other food is required to turn it into a major meal. It is always served with a portion of fresh salad and a handful of fresh bamboo shoots. In many restaurants it will be served in a basket, which has been woven from a type of large turnip which has been shredded, and then deep fried to form the basket, this is then eaten once the Pad Thai has been finished.
The major variation on Pad Thai is in regards of the shrimps used. Traditionally, dried shrimps are added, which re-hydrate whilst being cooked. Whilst this is an excellent way of preparing Pad Thai, many cooks believe that fresh shrimp is a far better option. Instead of adding a profusion of small dried shrimp, they will add half a dozen large prawns, which adds a far heavier flavour to the dish of Pad Thai.
Pad Thai is one of the few dishes that Thai people will eat with chopsticks. Many visitors to Thailand make the mistake of presuming that Thai people eat everything with chopsticks, yet this is not the case, there are very few uses for chopsticks with Thai food.
For those who are going to attempt to prepare Pad Thai for themselves, please note that Pad Thai preparation differs from most Thai foods in a major way. Instead of being cooked quickly at a high heat, Pad Thai is cooked more slowly, allowing the noodles to soften fully before being served. If you should find that your noodles are still a little raw once you have finished cooking, just let the Pad Thai stand for a few minutes to allow them to soften up.
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
We are re-designing our recipe pages. Have a preview of the first recipe to undergo a makeover! Thai Green Curry Recipe
Gaeng Khiao Wan Gai or to give it an English name, Green Curry with Chicken, is one of the most popular dishes in Thailand. Almost every visiting tourist will encounter Green Curry, as it is found on every restaurant menu in one form or another.
Green Curry tends to be one of the more fiery curries cooked in Thailand, on par with Red Curry (Gaeng Phed), but not as spicy as Wild Curry (Gaeng Pa). The spiciness is derived from both the chilies used in the dish, and the Green Curry Paste which forms the basis of the preparation. Usually the curry paste will be purchased pre-made, although the paste itself will have been made fresh by the person selling it, and the overall taste of the curry depends very much on how this paste was made. A good curry paste makes a good curry; it’s as simple as that.
The major difference between Green Curry and other curries is its sweetness. Due to the fact it contains coconut cream, as well as coconut milk, it has a very thick, creamy taste, which is slightly sweet.
When it comes to raw ingredients, Green Curry shares many with other types of curry, including basil, kaffir lime leaves, galangal and fish sauce. Where it differs in the fact that several other vegetables are often added which are not found in other curries, such as peas and aubergine, although these are optional.
As part of a table spread, Thai Green Curry will tend to be the centre dish, being supported by other dishes such as Pad Phat (stir friend vegetables) and Yam Winsen Talay (spicy seafood salad with noodles), and it is eaten with plain white rice.
Just how the Green Curry is served tends to depend upon which region you are eating it in. In some areas, especially the Southern parts of Thailand, the curry will first be served into individual small bowls to each person from the main bowl, before being transferred a spoon at a time to a plate of rice. In other areas, a simple large bowl is set in the centre of the table, with people using a serving spoon to add it to their own plates straight from the rice serving bowl.
All in all, Gaeng Khiao Wan Gai is one of the tastiest of all Thai curries, and well worth the effort involved in preparing it.