Sungkaya - Thai custard
This Thai dessert is called sungkaya and tastes a bit like a custard. The main ingredients are duck eggs, palm sugar, normal sugar, coconut cream, pandanus leaves and cassava flour. The toppings can vary. This one has pumpkin. But, you can also buy cocount meat, taro or foi thong toppings. It is usually served with sticky rice. Very delcious and worth eating.
Thong Yib and Thong Yod
I have already told you about Foi Thong (Golden Threads) which is a Thai dessert from ancient times that is served at auspicious ceremonies. For example, at weddings. There are two other desserst from this same family that I want to introduce to you today. Thong Yib, or Golden Pinch (above) and Thong Yod, or Golden Droplets (below). They all have the word “thong” in common which means “gold”. If you give these desserts to someone at a wedding, it means that you are wishing for them to have fabulous wealth in the future.
Thong Yib is made with the following ingredients: duck egg yolks, castor sugar, fresh water and pandanus leaves. The latter is for making the syrup. Like I showed you on the Foi Thong video, two kinds of syrup are made: thick syrup and light syrup. The egg mixture is dropped into the boiling thick syrup. Then later, dipped into the cooler light syrup. This gives it the glossy look.
Thong Yod uses the following ingredients: egg yolks and a mixture of wheat and rice flour. The two syrups are made with castor sugar and fresh water. All three of these desserts are delicious and worth eating.
Noodles Fried in Soy Sauce
A little while ago, I blogged about a favourite dish of mine called noodles in a gravy (rat naa). Well, today I want to introduce you to its twin! Usually, if a food stall is cooking rat naa, they will also cook noodles fried in soy sauce (pad see-eel). You could say that this is the dry version. The noodles here are the wide ones called sen yai, although you could use the small ones such as sen lek. It is quite simple to cook. First fry some garlic until golden brown. Then add pork or chicken and fry until it is almost cooked. Add the noodles together with some dark soy sauce, then kale (Chinese broccoli) and one egg. You then season with soy sauce, sugar, salt and white vinegar. As usual, I have a video of one of my local food shops cooking this dish. There is also a new video of rat naa being cooked by this same shop. The videos are numbers 22 and 23 on the list.
Khanom Chun - layered dessert
The other day, I was having a conversation with one of the teachers in the lift. As usual, she had bought some Thai desserts from the market to share with her fellow teachers. She asked what my favourites were and I had to admit that I had only eaten a few. What sprang to mind, were the delicious desserts khanom mor gaeng and also the equally delicious khao nieow dtut. Now, most people at the school know I am writing Thai Food blogs, so she immediately volunteered to educate me in Thai desserts! And so today, she came up to me with a bag full of Thai desserts for me to photograph and taste! She explained which ones I had to eat straight away and which ones I could save for a later day by putting in the refrigerator. I can tell you, I was really stuffed today. But, it was a really good introduction.
Today I am going to introduce you to khanom chun, or layered dessert. It is named like this because it has nine layers. As you may know, this is an auspicious number. So, it is often used for important ceremonies such as job promotion (representing going up levels) and at weddings. In the above example, each layer is a shade of green. I have seen ones before where it was green/white stripes. If you have read my previous blog about khanom thuay you might be able to guess where the green comes from. Yes, it is from the pandanus leaf. You make the liquid by putting it in a blender and then straining it though muslin.
To make this dessert, mix the coconut milk and sugar. Bring to boil and then set aside. Mix the topioca flour with the plain flour and add coconut milk. Knead the mixture. Add the coconut milk and sugar which you had set aside. Now separate them into two containers. in one add the green water from the pandanus leaves. Leave the other white. (In the case above, some pandanus water was added to the coconut milk before boiling. Then later, more was added to the second container to make a darker shade of green.) Grease the mould with some coconut milk and then heat it in a steamer. First, add some of the white mixture and steam for 5–10 minutes. Then repeat this with the green mixture, white mixture etc. Finish with a green layer. Leave in the mould for 3–4 hours before removing it. Sounds quite labour intensive, especially as they only sell for 10 baht! The result is quite tasty. I would eat it again for sure.
Fried Rice with pork
Probably one of the simplest meals to cook is fried rice. If you want to go down the path to cooking Thai food then this is a great one to start with. I cook this one every now and then as it is a good way to use up rice left over from the day before. You can use seafood or meat, it is up to you. In the above dish, pork was cooked in a frying pan first. Then an egg was broken into the pan and mixed up. Cooked rice was then added. It is important that this is rice left over and not fresh rice. You then add some fried garlic, chopped onion and tomato slices and then later season with soy sauce/fish sauce, sugar, salt and some chili sauce. When it is finally ready, garnish with coriander and sliced spring onion. Very simple and delicious.
You can watch the making of this meal on video. It is number 15 on the list of videos which you can download for free on this page:
Stir-fried Pork with holy basil
One of the most famous Thai dishes around the world is this one, stir-fried pork fried with chili and holy basil. You don’t have to use minced pork, as variations include chicken or beef. In Thai it is called moo pat ga-prao. The last part refers to the basil. It is quite simple to cook and the result is very delicious. Can you believe that the above was cooked a few days ago at my local food shop? It is one of those places with an open front with a minimum of decoration. There are thousands of these shops around Thailand. They are much cheaper than going to a restaurant. Believe it or not, this dish was only 25 baht which is about 60 cents. Most foreigners miss out on these meals as they think that they will get ill if they eat street food. So, they decide to pay three or four times as much in a restaurant for exactly the same dish. The ingredients probably came from the same market and were cooked in the same kind of kitchen. I am not saying you won’t ever get ill by eating street food. You just need to use some common sense. If you see a lot of Thai people eating at a food stall or food shop, then the chances are high that the food is not only delicious, but safe to eat too!
As usual, I have also shot a video showing how this was cooked. It is number 11 on the list. Thanks to Pornsiri Kitchen in Soi Sulao for giving us the demonstration.
Tom Yum Kung
Probably one of the most famous Thai dishes around the world is the one called tom yum kung. In English, it is sometimes called Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup or Lemongrass and Shrimp Soup. I took the above photograph at Pornsiri Kitchen in Samut Prakan this afternoon. This version has shrimp, but you could also cook it with chicken if you like. The basic ingredients are all the same. Shrimp, straw mushrooms, lightly crushed hot red chilis, sliced galangal, lemongrass stems, torn kaffir lime leaves, coriander, and seasoned with fish sauce, sugar and some lime juice. Use chicken stock to make up the soup. It is very quick and easy to make. In the supermarkets in Thailand, you can buy the starter kit with most ingredients for only about 8 baht!
If you would like to see how this dish was cooked, then visit our free downloads section:
This dish is number 21 in set 3. This video is 13 MB. If you have a slow internet connection or would like a better quality video clip you can now purchase CDs of the downloads. At the same time you will be helping to support the running cost of having so many free downloads! The pad thai video is the most popular one so far with over 1200 downloads in the last 7 days.
These blogs were originally published at thai-blogs.com