With the weather starting to behave itself for BBQ’s I decided the time is right to give you my favourite chicken recipe. I hope you like it. In Thailand it’s called Gai Yang and it is usually served on the street in little plastic bags with the scrumptious sweet chilli sauce drizzled on top with a little stick to eat it with. I hope you enjoy it too X
You need to use chicken on the bone for this – you can either chop up a whole chicken or use chicken thighs on the bone which is a great way to do it as they cook all at the same time. Keep the skin on though you need it to keep the meat juicy.
In a pestle and mortar pound 10 white peppercorns, three coriander roots with a pinch of salt and four garlic cloves. Add in 3 tablespoons of fish sauce and 2 teaspoons of palm sugar.
Coat the chicken with the paste and put on one side to marinate for two to four hours.
Sauce Preaw Wan – Sweet and Sour S
This is the sauce to serve with Gai Yang chicken but it works well with any grilled meat.
2 teaspoons of salt – 1 tablespoon of long red chillies – 1 teaspoon of medium red chillies – 1 tablesoon of garlic – 3/4 cup of sugar – 1 cup of water – 3/4 cup of white rice vinegar
- In a pestle and mortar pound the two types of chillies, garlic and salt and set aside.
- Bring the water and vinegar to the boil then add the sugar and allow it to dissolve fully and thicken slightly. The liquid will have reduced by about a half by the time this happens.
- Reduce the heat and add in the paste.
- Season with another pinch of salt to sharpen the taste.
- Put into a serving dish and allow to cool before serving
This fermented soybean dip is perfect with any seafood but the best is steamed fish and boiled rice.
Just mix all the ingredients and adjust to taste. You are looking for a salty/sour balance.
4 tablespoons fermented soybean – mashed
1 tablespoon finely sliced birds eye chillies
1 tablespoons of coriander leaves and stems
1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon of caster sugar
2-3 tablespoons of lime juice
1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger
This is the simplest thing but gives a great result. Simply slowly dry fry large dried chillies. Allow them to cool and grind them – so va va boom! Really great and super hot chilli powder X
I just love making this sausage as a canape as guests arrive at my supper clubs because it showcases all the classic Thai ingredients and gives them a hint of things to come.
Nowadays there are so many horribly thick man made sausage casings that can taste like cardboard and ruin all your hard work. I find it’s best if you find a local butcher who can sell you some natural casings or if not they sell some great salted ones on Amazon that last for ages in the fridge.
First you need to make some red curry paste. I am going to blog the paste because next week because it is long winded process and you could use a pre-made paste or take a red curry paste recipe from a cookbook to make these sausages.
You will need:
500g pork – buy some with about 20% fat like spare rib and chop it by hand with a chopper because the texture of this makes a huge difference.
2 stalks of lemongrass – very very very finely sliced!
1 1/2 piece of galangal peeled and very finely chopped
4 red shallots very finely chopped
10 lime leaves stalks removed and finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons of red curry paste
1 1/2 teaspoons of turmeric
4 tablespoons of cooked Thai Jasmine rice
3 Garlic cloves finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
5 coriander roots scraped and chopped very finely
Simply mix all the ingredients together very well and then stuff the sausage casings with them. When the sausages are all stuffed deep fry them for about five minutes until cooked at a medium heat. Don’t go too high on the temperature or they will burst.
I tend to pierce them with a bamboo skewer as they cook in the oil and that helps to take the pressure off them. Check that the pork is cooked by using a thermapen then remove them from the fryer.
Allow them to cool a little before slicing diagonally and serving on a pretty platter. Sprinkle with some coriander leaves if you’re feeling flashy X Enjoy…….
I was really pleased to come across these photos from my trip earlier this year showing a stall selling the delicious and elusive Khao Chae dish. (pronounced Cow Chair so easy to remember but not to find).
Khao Chae is an ancient Royal recipe created to cool the palate in the hot season and it is rumoured that it was served on the boats when the Royal family moved between palaces in the summer.
Traditionally it is only served in March and April and during this period you do see in in more restaurants but i wasn’t expecting to stumble on it in a street in Dusit in January.
What is great as well as the stall is so close to Khao San Road is that it takes little time and effort to find and you can experience some real old fashioned cooking even if you are just using Bangkok as a quick pitstop or as a base for other adventures.
Although the name Khao Chae simply means rice in water it’s all the bits and bobs that are served with it that are time consuming and complex to make, which is why, although I always mean to I am ashamed to say I have still not cooked it.
But hey it’s at the top of my to do list next time I visit Bangkok – and if you have time to learn it before me – nip over to Bangkok Bold and ask Ann to teach you!
For a newbie to the dish it looks complicated to buy – but here’s a quick guide to encourage to to give this divine treat a go.
Firstly there will be a little bag of water which looks plain but in fact is jasmine scented, secondly there will be a little bag of rice which is par- boiled but left al dente they say in Italy.
Then there is the crushed ice which may be separate or in the water
Simple eh? But here come the complex and fascinating components – gently flavoured steamed minced pork stuffed in young green peppers wrapped in an egg net and fried. Deep fried shrimp paste balls which sound savoury but are actually sweet as they are rolled in ground coconut, battered and deep fried till crispy. Next is shredded sweetened pork and caramelised Chinese radish.
And finally – fresh vegetables such as spring onion or cucumber or whatever is in season.
There could also be egg or chilli – it varies a bit.
Now to the best bit – the eating! Place the rice water and ice in a soup bowl and put everything else on a side plate.
Take sips from the soup between trying each tasty morsel and in your own way you balance the tastes as you go to personal preference and to counter balance the sweet with sour.
To find it you are staying in Khao San Road just turn right at the end of the road and walk along Samsen staying on the right hand side of the road – look closely at the stalls until you see the sign because there lots of food gems along the way. You will find this just before the intersection with Prah Ahtit Road.
It should take you five minutes if you don’t get sidetracked……..
If you are not visiting in the summer season try Khao Chae on the ground floor at The Old Siam Plaza, on the corner of Burapha Road and Phahuratm Road, Old Town Bangkok. They have a stall serving it all year round and you can see many old fashioned desserts being made and best of all you can stuff your face with them.
Its very close to Chinatown and the night flower market which are both worth a visit too.
(Ann Kanarak – Bangkok Bold 503 Th Phra Sumen
Telephone: +66 98 829 4310).
I just came across this old recipe that I actually won a prize for in a Potato Council competition so I thought I would share it with you today.
Its not my normal style – not purist enough for me but the competition called for a quick dish so I compromised and I thought you might find it handy for a cheap midweek Thai hit.
This is an adaptation of an ancient Thai dish. You can use raw potatoes as I have here, or for a richer result, you can use leftover Sunday roast potatoes.
Make up a paste in a food processor using as little water as possible – perhaps a tablespoon will do.
For the paste:
5 long dried red chillies soaked and deseeded
1 tablespoon root ginger – replace with 1 teaspoon of ginger powder if you don’t have it
1 stalk of lemongrass
3 shallots or one small red onion
2 cloves of garlic peeled
1 teaspoon shrimp paste or yellow bean paste for a vegetarian alternative
2 teaspoons of ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon of ground cumin seeds
3 teaspoons of Chinese curry powder
You will also need:
500g potatoes cut into large cubes
500 ml can of coconut milk
250 ml water
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Coriander and chilli to garnish
- First make the paste and set aside.
- Open the can of coconut without shaking it. The top half should be creamy and thick. Spoon this into a small pan and bring to the boil for five minutes, stirring occasionally. You will see the oil separating out and rising to the top.
- Stir in all of the paste and fry it in this oil for a few minutes.
- Add the potato, the rest of the coconut milk and half a can of water.
- Simmer and add the fish sauce and sugar. Taste and adjust accordingly.
- Simmer until the potatoes are just cooked but still firm and serve immediately with a sprinkling of coriander to decorate.
Prep time 10 minutes
Cooking time 15 mins
PC Amy Freeman Former chef Amy’s surprising project is based in Aston and Newtown and grew from a small and successful project at The Lighthouse.
Amy works with gang members using baking as a vehicle to foster improved relationships with young people and give them a positive view of themselves. The aim is to help signpost the youngsters into eduction and employment and help them back onto a better path. www.west-midlands.police.uk twitter amyalice7
On a recent quest to search out some strange but wonderful Bangkok eateries I came across these little beasties in Chinatown!
This was a simple family affair – fundamentally a cart and a pile of cockles.
A tiny space taking advantage of the front of a closed shop for the evening, but the offer was appealing enough to draw a crowd who queue non stop to grab a bowl of this gruesome delicacy.
From early evening till midnight a young man deftly splits and lightly boils batches of blood clams which eerily yield a red haemoglobin substance as you eat giving your plate a gruesome hue. Mother provides busy back up supplying you with a delicious bowl of Nahm Jim Seafood or hot and sour peanut dip and collecting 100 baht per plate.
I noticed they also do mussels but they are not the star of the show.
Sadly when researching the blood clam which is actually known as the ark clam Wikipedia informed me that they carry hepatitis A, E typhoid and dysentry – but hey nothing delicious is any good for you right? And I’m still here to tell the tale….Hoy Kraeng Pa Jeen is on Soi Texas in Chinatown nest to the Lim Meng Kee shop.
Every Halloween my mind turns to Loy Krathong in Thailand because they are always close together.
This year its going to be on the 24th of November and once again everyone will gather around and create little rafts of floating lotus flowers adorned with incense and candles and float them off on rivers and lakes to pay respects to the water goddess. Granted sometimes they are polystyrene and tinfoil these days, but nothing beats the sublime beauty of thousands of rafts twinkling away as they make their way down the Chaophraya river.
It struck me that stewed fruit is a mainstay in Thailand and so I thought I would suggest a great way to use up those pumpkins. These instructions are for a kilo of pumpkin so adjust accordingly depending on size. Simply peel the pumpkin, discard the seeds and cut into 2 inch pieces. Bring 750ml of coconut milk to the boil and add 175g caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Add the pumpkin and simmer until the fruit is tender which should take about ten minutes.
Pour into bowls and decorate with some pumpkin seed – or mint – or both – to serve.