It has been remarked that most recipes in Thai cuisine are fast to
cook, and only require moderate preparation. In fact that does apply
to most foods except desserts. Traditionally a middle or upper class
lady would employ a number of khunchai -- household servants -- who
would do the "grunt work", including the cooking. The lady of the
house would only cook desserts, and having much leisure time could
prepare amazingly intricate and time consuming confections.
THERE IS ANOTHER EXCEPTION: traditionally Thai households made their
own sauces; fish sauce could take months, even years to mature to
full flavour in a clay pot buried in the garden.
This recipe doesn't go to such extremes, but it does take a long
time for some stages to mature before you can continue.
THIS CONSISTS OF A DRESSING THAT COMBINES ALL FOUR OF THE BASIC
FLAVOURS: salt, hot, sour, and sweet. The final salad uses nine
flavour ingredients, that are matched against each other in three
groups. As presented here the first of these groups, let us say the
"protein group" consists of a fin, fur and feather, that is to say a
fish, poultry and meat selection. This is offset by three "veggies"
and three fruits. You could however choose to use three more closely
related flavours in the protein group: three different sea food
flavours, three poultry flavours, or three meats.
Finally the salad dressing calls for two Thai chillis: prik chi fa
is a mild chilli, about finger sized, that is the Thai equivalent of
the Jalapeno. Prik Ki Nu (birdseye chilli) is a fiercely hot little
morsel, that can be replaced by Habaneros if you find them easier to
obtain or handle.
FINALLY THE BASIC COMPONENTS OF THE SALAD DRESSING: the sweet soy
component, the fish sauce component and the chilis in vinegar, can
all be used as basic table condiments. Thus, though this recipe is
for the quantity needed for this dish, you could easily make more,
and use them with other foods...
THE SALAD DRESSING
COMPONENT 1: PRIK NAM SIYU WAN
Place a quarter cup each of freshly grated ginger, chopped shallots
(purple onions) and sliced prik chi fa in a 1 cup container, and
fill with sweet dark soy. Stir to make sure there aren't any air
bubbles and top up if necesary. Seal and keep in the refridgerator
for a week.
COMPONENT 2: PAK NAM PLA
Place a quarter cup each of chopped onions, sliced celery and
julienned mooli (white Chinese raddish) in a 1 cup container, fill
with fish sauce, stir briefly and top up if needed. Keep in the
fridge for a week.
COMPONENT 3: PRIK DONG
Place a qurter cup of sliced red prik ki nu in a half cup container
and fill with white vinegar (rice vinegar if you can get it). Cover
and keep in the fridge for a week.
A couple of hours before you are ready to eat the salad, take some
tomatoes, and drop them briefly in boiling water, then skin them.
Discard the seeds, and coarsely chop them to yield one cup of
Combine all the ingredients, and add a quarter cup of palm sugar and
a quarter cup of lime juice.
Now, if you wish the dressing to have a smooth sauce like
consistency, put it in a liquidiser and blend until smooth. If you
want a more salsa like consistency, simply omit this step.
Place the combined ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer until
reduced to suit your tastes (you need about two cups of dressing).
You need a third of a cup each of the following ingredients.
Combine the salad ingredients, add enough dressing to coat
thoroughly, and serve.
Additional prepared dressing, prik nam siyu wan, pak nam pla, and
the usual Thai table condiments of prik dong, powdered chili and
sugar complete the presentation.
The dish can be served on its own "between meals", with sticky rice
for lunch, or as part of a multi-course dinner.
From: Colonel I. F. K. Philpott
Posted By: Cpt. S.Lefkowitz (S.S. Mein Kind)
Post Date: ???
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