Spicy Thai lemongrass and mint lamb chops


Lamb is an acquired taste , it can have a strong , overwhelming aroma , if not allowed to marinate in the right herbs and spices for at least 4 to 6 hours . This marinade is so flavorful and lends itself beautifully to this succulent piece of meat . I serve 4 pieces per person with a flavorful and simple Gado Gado salad with peanut sauce and a stir fried vegetable rice noodle . This is perfect food for summer and grills up to perfection . If the chilis are too much for you simply omit or tone down the amount.

Serves 2

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

8 lamb rib chops

2 sticks lemongrass , inner tender portion only

1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves

1 large clove fresh garlic , peeled

juice of 1 medium sized lime

2 red Thai chilis , minced ( optional )

2 tbs palm or brown sugar

2 tbs fish sauce

2 tbs vegetable oil

Clean and defat the lamb , place in a plastic freezer bag. Set aside.

Combine in a food processor the rest of the ingredients to blend well . Pour over the chops in the bag and massage well to distribute evenly making sure each rib is coated . Seal bag and rest in refridgerator for at least 4 to 12 hours .

Light grill to about 450*F . Oil grill or spray with non stick cooking spray . Place chops on grill removing excess marinade . Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side , depending on how well done you prefer your ribs .

Remove to a platter and serve . I have often taken the excess marinade , boiled it in a small saucepan and serve it along side the rigs as a dipping sauce .

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Broiled Cod in Chile -Tamarind sauce


This is a great alternative to fish that is typically deep fried in many asian recipes. The light cod pairs remarkably well with the delightful combination of the sweet and spicy tamarind sauce , a family favorite.

Serves 4

Christina Arokiasamy

1 lb skinless cod fillet

1 tbs canola or peanut oil

2 Garlic cloves , minced

2 Fresh red chiles , minced

2 small shallots , chopped

3 tbs Fish sauce

3 tbs Tamarind Liquid

3 tbs palm sugar or brown sugar

Preheat the broiler. Place the fish on a baking sheet and drizzle with the oil. Carefully place the baking sheet on the top rack under the broiler and broil for 10 minutes , or until light golden and cooked through.

Meanwhile combine the garlic , chiles , shallots , fish sauce , tamarind liquid and palm sugar in a small pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat , then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.

Carefully remove the fish from the broiler and transfer to a serving platter. Pour sauce over fish and serve immediately.

Fresh Rice noodles with Seafood and basil


This dish known as pad kee mao , in Thailand has the perfect balace of Thai flaqvors . sweet , sour , salty and spicy. You do need fresh rice noodles , also known as kway teow , for this dish . Floow these easy steps and you are in for a real treat.

1 lb fresh rice noodles (kway Teow)

3 tbs peanut oil

4 garlic cloves , minced

2 large shallots , sliced

1 fresh red chili , sliced

8 oz large shrimp , peeled and deveined

8 oz squid , cut into rings

3 tbs fish sauce or to taste

3 tbs sweet soy sauce

1/8 tsp freshly ground white pepper

1 tsp roasted chili paste

1 cup firmly packed fresh Asian basil leaves.

Gently seperate the rice noodles into individual strands , as they are quite sticky , set aside.

Heat a wok over medium heat for 40 seconds and then add oil around the perimeter of the wok so that it coats the sides and  bottom. when the surface shimmers slightly , about 30 seconds , and the garlic , shallots , and chile and cook , stirring constantly , until the garlic appeas golden brown and fragrant….., 3 to 4 minutes. The chili should have transferred some of its natural red color to the oil by now. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring , about 2 minutes. Add the squid and cook about 1 minute.

Add the noodles , fish sauce , sweet soy sauce , white pepper and roasted chili paste. Raise the heat to medium high and cook , spreading the noodles evenly, around the wok and placing the seafood over the noodles to avoid over cooking, until all the liquid has been absorbed by the noodles , 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with fish sauce for desired saltiness.

Toss in the basil leaves and cook for 30 seconds until the basil is wilted. Serve immediately.

Stir fried shrimp with crispy basil


Crispy Basil turns your dish from ordinary to professional looking. It is a very simple process but requires bone dry basil for deep frying or you will have a kitchen splattered with oil. This recipe calls for spicy Thai rec curry paste , home made or store bought, I use Mae Ploy brand , it is consistently great.

Source Gourmet

Serves 4

FOR CRISPY BASIL

Several cups peanut oil for deep frying

1 cup firmly packed Thai basil leaves , washed , spun dry and patted very dry

2 tbs peanut oil

1 lb large shrimp , shelled , leaving tail and first shell section intact and deveined

1 small onion , halved lengthwise and sliced thin5 tsp Thai red curry paste

1 red bell pepper , cut into thin strips

1 medium vine ripened tomato , seeded and chopped

2 tbs Asian fish sauce

1 1/2 tsp palm sugar or firmly packed light brown sugar

Make crispy basil

In a large saucepan at least 4 inches deep heat 1 inch oil over moderately high heat to 350*F. Working in small batches, briefly fry small handfuls of basil until translucent  and crisp , 5 to 15 seconds. Transfer basil with a slotted spoon as fried to paper towels to drain.

Heat a wok over high heat until hot and add 2 tsp oil. Heat oil ,swirling to coat wok, until it begins to smoke and stir fry shrimp until pink and just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp with slotted spoon to a bowl.

Add remaining 4 tsp oil to wok and heat until hot but not smoking.Add onion and curry paste and stir fry for 1 1/2 minutes. Add bell pepper and stirfry until almost tender 2 to 3 minutes. Add shrimp and tomato and stir fry 1 minute. Add fish sauce and sugar and stir fry 30 seconds , or until combined well.

Remove wok or skillet from heat and add one third crispy basil to shrimp mixture , tossing to combine well. Transfer mixture to a platter and garnish with remaining crispy basil.

Thai Panang Duck Curry


This sumptious recipe comes a fabulous restaurant in Thailand called Sala Rim Naam. This recipe uses prepared thai curry paste and canned coconut milk, as you can imagine in the restaurant they make their own. My favorite brand of curry paste is Mae Ploy and for coconut milk its Chef’s Choice. I also buy prepared tamarind paste , no soaking necessary ,also available from Asian markets. Please do not  avoid making this dish for the ingredients ,it is well worth a trip to the asian markets.

Two 14 oz cans unsweetened coconut milk, refridgerated for at least 4 hours, to help coconut cream rise to the top.

about 2/3 cup cold water

1/4 cup tamarind pulp

3 fresh or thawed kaffir lime leaves

1 small fresh red or green Thai or Serrano chile

a 1 lb whole boneless Long Island duck breast

3 tbs Panang curry paste

2 tbs Asian fish sauce

1/2 tsp palm sugar or packed brown sugar

1/2 cup Thai basil leaves

Scoop cream from tops of  coconut milk cans , reserve. Combine the balance liquid from the cans and combine with cold water to measure 2 cups.

Cut lime leaves crosswise into very thin strips. Remove seeds from chile and cut lenthwise into thin strips.

Discard skin from duck and half breast. Cut breast meat cross wise  into 1/4 thick slices. In a 3 quart saucepan bring watered down coconut milk to a boil. Add duck and cook at a bare simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

In a 10 inch heavy skillet boil reserved coconut cream over moderate heat, stirring ,until thickened and oil begins to seperate from cream, about 5 minutes. Add curry paste and cook , stirring , over moderately low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in duck mixture , fish sauce , sugar and 3 tbs tamarind pulp. Bring just to simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally.

Transfer curry to shallow serving bowl and sprinkle with lime leaves ,chili and basil.. Serve with steamed Jasmine rice.

Straw Mushroom soup with lemon grass and chili


Strawmushrooms grow abundantly in Thailand. However substituting with canned or thinly sliced white mushrooms works very well. I use a home made Asian vegetable stock and substitute Fish sauce for soy sauce, however if you wish you could use chicken stock and fish sauce ,both ways work equally well.

Source Wendy Hutton

1 to 2 tbs Roasted Thai Chili paste (available in Asian groceries)

1 stem lemon grass ,bottom 7 inch only ,bruised and cut into 4 to 5 pieces

3 kaffir lime leaves ,torn

3 tbs fresh lime or lemon juice

4 tsp Fish sauce or Soy sauce

1 tsp sugar

3 1/2 oz fresh straw mushrooms or canned or white mushrooms, halved if large

1 medium ripe tomato , quartered

2 -3 bird’s eye chilis ,lightly bruised

sprigs of coriander leaf ,to garnish.

3 -4 cups vegetable or chicken stock

Put stock in a medium saucepan .Stir in chili paste ,lemon grass and lime leaves . Bring to a boil. Lower hear and simmer uncovered for 3 minutes. Add the lime juice ,soy sauce, sugar ,mushrooms and chili, reduce heat and simmer for 3  minutes.

Transfer to a serving bowland garnish with fresh coriander. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Peanut crusted chicken with Thai Hot and sweet Sauce


This recipe was originally served at the Authentic Cafe ,Los Angeles. The restaurant has since closed ,but the recipe lives on. It is delicious and really is more ,in my opinion, a American Thai flavor. Try it ,I hope you enjoy it.

1 cup dry roasted peanuts ,ground fine

1/3 cup yellow cornmeal

4  1/2 tbs minced garlic

1 tbs minced peeled fresh ginger root

2 stalks of fresh lemongrass, outer leaves discarded, and mashed to a fine paste.

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tbs coarse salt

1  1/3 cups rice flour

2 cups buttermilk

a 3 1/2 lb chicken , quartered

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

 2 fresh red chilies ,crushed

1 1/2 tbs fish sauce

1/2 cup water

In a shallow bowl stir together the peanuts, cornmeal , 2 tbs of the garlic ,gingerroot,lemongrass ,pepper ,salt and 1/3 cup of flour. Have ready in 2 seperate bowls the remaining 1 cup flour and the buttermilk.

Dredge the chicken pieces well in the flour, shaking off the excess, dip them in the buttermilk, letting the excess drip off, and roll them in the peanut mixture, transferring them as they are coated to an oiled shallow baking dish. Bake the chicken , covered tightly with foil, in the middle of a preheated 350*F oven, remove the foil carefully, and bake the chicken for 20 to 25 minutes more,or until it is golden.

SAUCE

In a small saucepan combine the vinegar ,the sugar , the remaining 2 1/2 tbs garlic ,the chilies and fish sauce and the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer till it is reduced by half. Serve the chicken with the sauce.