Taste of Thai
For the Appeal
I am thrilled about this month’s recipes for two reasons. The first is that the very talented Asian cuisine artist, Joyce Jue, is coming to present some of her recipes to us at Molly’s Catering on Nov. 9-10. She is also the author of many prize-winning cookbooks, and you may register for a spot in the class by calling the shop at 841-5511. The second reason for excitement is that all of the necessary ingredients for the Tokyo cuisine are available at the new Tokyo Market at the Crossroads Shopping center in Carson City, behind Safeway. I was able to get all of the ingredients needed for the recipes there. Tokyo Market is now here to supply all your Asian and Thai food needs.
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In northeastern Thailand, refreshing salads are made with ground meats, fresh herbs, and the traditional lime juice and fish sauce vinaigrette. Laab is an ancient salad traditionally made with ground, raw beef cured with lime juice like steak tartar. Toasted ground rice serves as a binder for this mixture. Ready-made rice powder packed in a jar may be purchased at Tokyo Market. Although not traditional, you may use lettuce leaves as a wrap.
The three ingredients essential to the classic Thai Tom Yam Goong soup are lemongrass, galangal (also known as Siamese ginger), and Kaffir lime leaves. These necessities may be found at Tokyo Market. In recent years, Kaffir lime leaf’s popularity has grown immensely with western cooks.
Thai -Laab kai- Northeastern Spicy Minced Chicken Salad
2 tablespoons toasted rice powder *
1 pound ground chicken breast
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 glove garlic, finely chopped (optional)
2 large shallots, thinly sliced (about a half cup)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1/2 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoons chopped green onions (about one fourth cup)
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes, or to taste
1 head butter leaf, endive, or iceberg lettuce
In a wok or skillet over medium-high heat, combine the chicken, optional garlic, and chicken broth. Cook together, breaking down large clumps into smaller morsels. Remove from heat and add the rice powder, shallots, lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar; mix thoroughly. Add the cilantro, mint, green onion, and chili flakes and combine thoroughly.
To serve: Gently remove whole lettuce leaves from head and keep the leaves intact. Fill them with a tablespoon or two of the salad. Serve at room temperature. Makes about eight small appetizer servings.
* Prepare Toasted Rice powder: Put one-fourth cup raw long grain rice, preferably jasmine rice, in a small, dry skillet over medium high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice turns golden brown. Listen for a crackling sound which indicates the rice is cooked long enough. When the rice is cool, pound in a mortar or grind in a blender or spice grinder until it turns to a powder. Store at room temperature. It keeps for a few weeks, makes about two tablespoons.
Thai Tom Yam Goong
3/4 pound large shrimp
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 stalks fresh lemongrass, cut into two-inch lengths, and lightly bruised
6 quarter-sized slices of fresh galangal, or three dried galangal pieces
8 green serrano chilies, cut in half, or Thai chilies
6 cups chicken stock or canned low salt chicken broth
8 fresh, frozen, or dried Kaffir lime leaves, spines removed
1 tablespoon roasted chili paste
1/2 cup canned whole straw mushrooms, drained or fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste
1 red serrano chili, cut into rounds, for garnish
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Peel and devein shrimp; reserve the shells and seasoning ingredients and discard. Add chili paste and mushrooms to stock; bring to boil. Add shrimp and remaining lime leaves; cook until the shrimp turn bright orange, about 1 minute. Stir in lime juice, adjust chili paste and fish sauce to taste. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with red serrano chilies and cilantro. Serves six.
• Molly Gingell is the owner of Molly’s Gourmet Catering, takeout and cooking school at 220 W. John St. in Carson City.