Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why Thai?

Why NOT Thai?!  I absolutely love Thai food as the dishes are often lightly prepared but have very complex flavors - a balance of sweet, spicy, salty and sour. 

To bring a little taste of Thailand into my kitchen, I made a spicy pot of Tom Yum Goong, a hot and sour prawn soup.  As I wanted to make it very spicy, I needed a side to take some of the heat off my tongue so I could get threw the bowl.  I did my own take on khao dome, coconut rice sticky rice in banana leaves.  I've seen this made by steaming plantains in with the rice, but I had picked up some beautiful ripe mangos at the market and wanted to incorporate these into the dish.

Everything turned out great and I look forward to more experimentation on my next culinary trip to Thailand!  Check out the recipes below!

Tom Yum Goong

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined, skins intact *
6 cups water or stock
1/3 fresh galangal, peeled and chopped
2 stalks lemongrass, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
4 kaffir lime leaves, stem removed and quartered
1 can straw mushrooms, halved
1 1/2 tbsp roasted red chili paste
2 tsp fish sauce
3 thai chilis, sliced
1/3 cup cilantro chopped
1/3 cup green onion, sliced
2 tsp lime juice

* if you have time, buy shell-on shrimp, simmer shells in water for 1 hour and strain to make broth for step 1


1.  In medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil and add galangal, lemongrass, and lime leaves.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Strain and discard solids and return broth to saucepan.
2. Add mushrooms, chili paste, fish sauce and chilis and bring to boil.
3. Stir in shrimp, green onion, and cilantro and cook for 3 minutes until shrimp are done.  Stir in lime juice and serve immediately.

Khao Dome with Mango


1 cup glutinous rice (sticky rice)
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 package banana leaves, washed, trimmed
1 ripe mango,  sliced


1. Rinse and drain 1 cup rice several times to remove any debris.  Add cold water to cover and let sit overnight (or at least 4 hours).
2. Add coconut milk and sugar to saucepan over medium heat.  Stir until dissolved.
3. Stir in rice and cook until it resembles a porridge, stirring throughout.  Remove from heat and cool.

4. Take sheet of banana leaf sliced to about the size of a sheet of paper and place a heaping spoonful of rice inthe center.  Fold as you would wrap a gift and place seam side down into bamboo steamer.  Repeat with all leaves.  Steam for 40 minutes

5. To serve, open leaves to expose rice and topped with mango slices


  1. Wow, that looks gourmet. What is galangal and where can we get banana leaves in the States?

  2. Galangal is a relative of ginger, and looks very similar. You can get it fresh, dried or ground. It's easy to find around here but probably more difficult in the States. I would imagine the best places to get these things are in an Asian grocery store. If you don't see fresh banana leaves, they sell frozen packs as well. Let me know if you have luck!

  3. galangal is sold at wegmans! jackie that soup looks delicious! yum!!

  4. Mango + sticky rice is actually a very common dessert in Thailand - my favorite Thai place here in the states serves it when mangos are in season, and when I took a cooking class in Chiang Mai they taught us how to make it!

  5. Yes, it was a bit sweet for dinner but worked because the soup was so spicy... cooking class in Chiang Mai, that sounds great!



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