Coconut Pandan Chia Seed Pudding

1/2 cup chia seeds
1.5 cups hot water
14 ounce full fat coconut milk canned
1/2 teaspoon Pandan extract
1/3 cup sweetener or sugar

Mix the hot water in with the chia seeds. Using hot water causes the chia seeds to absorb the water and swell much faster than tap water–which means your pudding will be done sooner and you can eat sooner!

I mean, that’s really the only thing you need to know. Other than that, mix everything together, and let it chill.

The chia will make it gel and set into a pudding, and coconut milk will make it creamy, and the pandan will make it delicious.

Pressure Cooker Pandan Custard

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3 eggs
1/3 cup sweetener of choice
3-4 drops pandan extract
Green food coloring (optional)

Blend together the eggs, milk, sweetener and the pandan extract, and pour it into a 6-inch heatproof bowl. Cover with foil.

Place 2 cups of water into your liner, place a trivet in the liner, and place your bowl onto the trivet.

Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes and let it release pressure naturally. A knife inserted into the custard should come out clean.

Cool in refrigerator until the custard is set.

Ideas for Egg Lunches: Nam Jim Jaew

Tamarind pulp 1-1/2 tablespoons
Fish sauce 2 tablespoons
Ground red chili, or dried red chili flakes for the less spicy version, 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon (as much or as little as you prefer, actually)
Palm sugar 1/4 teaspoon
Toasted rice 1/4 teaspoon – 2 teaspoons can be added (the more toasted rice the thicker the sauce would be)
Chopped green onion 1/2 – 1 teaspoon

Simple… just mix them all together.

Coconut Rice

2 cups jasmine rice
1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes

Soak the rice in water for 15 minutes. Drain. Add the drained rice to a medium pot. In a 2-4 cup capacity wet measuring cup, pour in the can of coconut milk, and then add water until you hit just under 2 cups of liquid total. Add to the pot, along with the sugar and salt.

Put the pan on the stove and bring to a boil. Once boiling, immediately gift the pot a stir, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff the rice with a fork, and keep covered until ready to serve.

Just before serving, stir in the toasted coconut flakes.

Fragrant Peanuts

1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 cups roasted, unsalted peanuts
20-30 kaffir lime Leaves, cut in thin strips
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, finely sliced
3/4 cup galangal, finely sliced
8 stalks lemongrass, white part only, finely sliced
3 red Thai chili, finely sliced (remove seeds if you don’t want too spicy; reduce chilis if you want even less heat)
1?2 tsp salt

3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt

Heat oil so it is shimmering but not super hot.

Put in a strand of lime leaf – it should become crispy but remain green. If the oil is too hot, and leaf becomes brown, reduce heat. Add the rest of the lime leave strips and fry until crisp but still green – takes under a minute! Ideally, using a skimmer (or strainer) remove leaves. Drain on paper towel, season with 1?2 tsp salt,; gently pull strands apart with fingers.

In the same pan with the hot oil, fry the onions and galangal until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the lemongrass and chili. Cook until all vegetables are fairly crispy. Season with 1?2 tsp salt and set aside.

Heat peanuts in the oil briefly and remove. Toss with the crispy vegetables (except the fried lime lime leaf strands) and season generously with sugar and salt (3 parts sugar:1 part salt). Keep replacing paper towels until nuts are less oily.

Once seasoned, add fried lime leaf strands, toss. Taste and adjust to your liking!

Using Lemongrass – bend a stalk and see where it naturally breaks. Use the white part of the lemongrass but be sure off the entire woody end.

Galangal is in the ginger family but has a much more pungent, complex spicy flavor that mellows a bit when cooked. It is woodier in texture than ginger, so be sure your knife is sharp.

If you have rubber gloves, wear them when dealing with the Thai chilies!

Once you are done with the oil, don’t throw away!!! It is now a wonderfully flavorful oil you can use to sauté the chicken patties or any other dish for that matter!

Perfect Soy-Grilled Steak

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon peeled and minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon peeled and minced garlic
1 tablespoon honey, molasses or hoisin sauce
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 16- to 24-ounce boneless steak (rib-eye, skirt or strip), or one 24- to 32-ounce bone-in steak (rib-eye or T-bone)

Start a charcoal or wood fire or heat a gas grill; the fire should be hot and the rack no more than 4 inches from the heat source. Mix together the first 6 ingredients; taste and add more of anything you like. Turn the steak in the sauce once or twice, then let sit in the sauce until the grill is hot.

Turn the steak one more time, then place on the grill; spoon any remaining sauce over it. For rare meat, grill about 3 minutes a side for steaks less than an inch thick. For larger or more done steak, increase the time slightly.

Thai Stir Fry Sauce (for any vegetable)

2 tablespoons Thai oyster sauce 
1 teaspoon Thai fish sauce 
1 teaspoon Thai thin soy sauce
Small pinch ground white pepper 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
11 grams peeled garlic cloves, halved lengthwise and lightly crushed into small pieces in a mortar (about 1 tablespoon) 
6 grams fresh Thai chiles (about 4), preferably red, thinly sliced 
1/4 cup Sup Kraduuk Muu (Pork stock), or water 
1 teaspoon granulated sugar 
10 ounces lightly steamed bok choy, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, or any other vegetable

Combine the oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, and white pepper in a small bowl and stir well. 

Heat a wok over very high heat, add the oil, and swirl it in the wok to coat the sides. When it begins to smoke lightly, add the garlic, take the wok off the heat, and let the garlic sizzle, stirring often, until it’s fragrant but not colored, about 15 seconds. 

Put the wok back on the heat, and add the vegetables and chiles. Stir-fry (constantly stirring, scooping, and flipping the ingredients) for 30 seconds to infuse the sprouts with the garlic flavor. Add the oyster sauce mixture (plus a splash of water, if necessary, to make sure nothing’s left behind in the bowl), and stir-fry until the vegetables are tender but still crunchy and the liquid in the pan has almost completely evaporated, about 45 seconds. 

Add the stock, then add the sugar and stir-fry until the vegetables are tender with a slight crunch and the sauce has thickened slightly but is still very liquidy–about 30 seconds.

Transfer the vegetables and sauce to a plate in a low mound, and serve. 

Nam Jim Jaew

1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon galangal powder, optional
1/3 cup fish sauce
Juice of one lime
2 teaspoons grated palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 tablespoon of toasted rice powder (Khao Khua ????????)
1 tablespoon of dried red pepper flakes (coarsely ground)

Mix everything together in a bowl.
Adjust the taste with more fish sauce, lime juice, or sugar, if necessary. The sauce should be predominantly sour and salty.

Nam Jim Seafood

Fish sauce 1 tablespoon
Lime juice 1 tablespoon
Garlic, minced 1 teaspoon
Cilantro stems, minced 2 teaspoons
(Optional) Granulated sugar a pinch, or 1/2 teaspoon
(Optional) Crushed fresh green chili (jalapeño or bird’s-eye) 1/2 – 1 teaspoon

Simple method: mix them all together. This is a sauce that you make as you need it and never make too much of.

Nam Jim Jaew

Tamarind pulp 1-1/2 tablespoons
Fish sauce 2 tablespoons
Ground red chili, or dried red chili flakes for the less spicy version, 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon (as much or as little as you prefer, actually)
Palm sugar 1/4 teaspoon
Toasted rice 1/4 teaspoon – 2 teaspoons can be added (the more toasted rice the thicker the sauce would be)
Chopped green onion 1/2 – 1 teaspoon

Simple… just mix them all together. This is a sauce that you make as you need it and never make too much of.

Serve with grilled meat and sticky rice.

Nam Jim Gai (Sweet Chili Sauce)

Fresh red Jalapeño chili, 3 pods, chopped
Fresh garlic, crushed or minced 1 teaspoon
Pickled garlic, chopped 2 tablespoons
Brine in the pickled garlic jar 1 – 2 tablespoons
Vinegar 1/2 cup
Granulated sugar 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon
Salt 1 teaspoon

Crush the chilis and garlic in a food processor.

Put vinegar, sugar and salt in a pot and bring it to a boil
Add the crushed red chilis and garlic and bring it back to a boil.

Let it boil for a while until the contents are reduced and the chilies are all cooked. Takes about 2-5 minutes depending on the total volume of liquid in the batch.

Store in clean jars.

Serve with chicken.

Variation: add crushed peanuts, cilantro, and cucumber.

Nam Pla Prik

Fish sauce 1-2 tablespoons
Lime juice 2-4 teaspoons
Bird’s-eye chili, sliced or crushed (depending on how you want to eat them) 1-10 pods

The amount of chili used depends on the size of the chili and how spicy you like it. The one sold in Thailand is small, about 1” long with 1/4” in diameter or smaller (That’s the killer chili, so be careful.) The type they sell here is about 1 1/2”- 3” long with 3/8” in diameter.

You just mix them all together. Yield is between 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup.

Nam Pla Phrik is the most common “Nam Jim”. you can add this to an omelette, stir fried meat with holy basil (Pad Ka Praw), stir fried meat with onion and chili (Pad Phrik), Pad See Ew, Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao), Fried fish, stir-fried dishes, and many, many more.

Herbed Rice Salad with Peanuts

4 cups cooked rice, room-temperature*
1 cup toasted coconut
1 cup chopped, toasted peanuts

3/4 loosely packed cup of EACH of the following: mint, basil, & cilantro leaves

2 small shallots, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste
fine grain sea salt, to taste

1 garlic clove
1 cup plain yogurt

Ideally, you’re going to want to toss this salad just before serving. It keeps the herbs bright, and green. In a large bowl, combine the rice, coconut, peanuts, mint, basil, cilantro, and shallots. Season with the lime juice, and salt. Toss again.

Mash the garlic clove into a paste with a generous pinch of salt. Whisk the salted garlic into the yogurt, and drizzle generously over the salad, serving the rest on the side.

Burmese Cabbage Salad

Generous 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 red or green cayenne chile, seeded and minced, to taste, or substitute a milder chile such as a jalapeño or a Hungarian wax pepper
About 1 tablespoon fish sauce, or 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
About 2 cups grated or very thinly sliced Savoy, green, or Napa cabbage

Combine the shallots, chile, fish sauce or salt, and lime juice in a medium bowl and toss. Set aside for 10 minutes to half an hour.

Add the shredded cabbage and toss well. Taste for seasoning, and sprinkle on more fish sauce or salt if you wish.”

More Pak Ideas

parboiled vegetable options (pick 3 or 4)
Winged beans, yard-long beans cut into lengths, small round Thai eggplants, okra, cauliflower or broccoli florets, morning glory/water spinach, mustard greens or broccoli rabe, pea tendrils, cucumber vine tendrils, bean sprouts, soybean sprouts, daikon cut into sticks or slices, and/or small pieces of pumpkin or squash or luffa

raw vegetable options (pick 3 or 4)
Tender lettuce leaves, cucumber sticks, bean sprouts, carrot sticks, small wedges of cabbage, tender young wild lime leaves, small shallot chunks, onion root (see Glossary), zucchini sticks, and/or yard-long beans cut into 2-inch lengths

pickled vegetables (pick 1; optional)
Bamboo shoots, mustard greens, or other salty or sour pickled greens or vegetables

Allow about 6 pieces of vegetable per person.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add a little salt. Cook in batches, one vegetable at a time. Toss in the vegetable and cook until just softened, then remove with a spider or slotted spoon; set aside to cool.

Chop the cooked and raw vegetables into large bite-sized pieces as necessary and arrange on a plate (without seasoning them). Put out one or two dipping sauces.

Crispy Rice Crackers (Khao Tang)

2 cups or more just-cooked jasmine rice
Peanut or other oil for deep-frying

Use warm to hot rice. With a rice paddle or wooden spoon, spread the rice onto a lightly oiled baking sheet to make a layer about 1/2 inch thick. Press down with your paddle to compact the rice so that it sticks together. Don’t worry about ragged edges, as you will be breaking up the rice into large crackers after it dries.

Place the baking sheet in a preheated 350°F oven and immediately lower the temperature to 250°F. Let dry for 3 to 4 hours. The “bottom will be lightly browned.
When the rice is dry, lift it off the baking sheet in pieces. Break it into smaller pieces (about 2 inches across, or as you please), then store well sealed in a plastic bag until ready to use.

To fry the crackers, heat 2 to 3 inches of peanut oil in a large well-balanced wok, deep fryer, or large heavy pot to 325° to 350°F. To test the temperature, drop a small piece of fried rice cake into the oil: It should sink to the bottom and immediately float back to the surface without burning or crisping. Adjust the heat as necessary.

Add several pieces of dried rice cracker to the hot oil and watch as the rice grains swell up. When the first sides stop swelling, turn them over and cook on the other side until well puffed and just starting to brown (about 30 seconds in all). Use a slotted spoon to remove them immediately to a paper towel–lined platter or rack to drain. Gather up any small broken pieces; these make delicious croutons. Fry the remaining pieces of rice cracker the same way, making sure that the oil is hot enough each time. Serve hot and fresh, to accompany soup or salsa. Store in a cool place for no more than a week.

NOTE: You can also use freshly cooked sticky rice to make these crackers.

Isaan Grilled Eggplant Salad (Yam Makeua Isaan)

1 pound Asian eggplants (3 long or 5 short)
3 shallots, unpeeled
5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 to 2 cayenne chiles, or 2 Anaheim chiles, or 2 small banana or Hungarian wax chiles
2 small or 1 large scallion, trimmed and minced
1/2 cup coriander leaves, coarsely chopped, plus extra whole leaves for garnish
1/4 cup mint leaves, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons Dry-Roasted Sesame Seeds (page 308) Salt to taste
1 medium European cucumber, sliced (optional)

Heat a grill or broiler. Prick the eggplants all over with a fork. Grill or broil about 5 inches from the heat, with the oven door closed, until well softened and browned, 10 to 15 minutes. If grilling, turn the eggplants to expose all sides to the heat. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, grill on a fine-mesh rack or broil the shallots, garlic, and chiles, turning often if grilling, until well softened; don’t worry if there are some black spots. Remove from the heat and, when cool enough to handle, peel the garlic and shallots and coarsely chop together. Remove the chile stems and coarsely chop the chiles. Place the garlic, shallots, and chiles in a large mortar or in a blender or food processor and mash or process to a coarse paste.

Cut open the eggplants; scrape the flesh off the skin and discard the skin. Coarsely chop the flesh, then place it in a large bowl or in a mortar and mash with a spoon or pestle to a lumpy mass. Add the grilled flavorings and mash together. Alternatively, add the eggplant to the blender or processor and pulse briefly with the grilled flavorings; you don’t want a completely smooth puree.

Turn the mixture out into a bowl (if necessary). Stir in the scallions and chopped coriander and mint, then stir in the lime juice and fish sauce. Add the sesame seeds, reserving a few for garnish if you wish. Taste and add a little salt if needed.

Serve the salad in a shallow bowl, garnished with a sprinkling of herbs and, if desired, sesame seeds. If you like, place slices of cucumber around the edge that guests can use to dip through the eggplant.

Nyoom Kroit T’Long (Cambodian Pomelo Salad)

3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon palm sugar, or substitute brown sugar
1 pomelo or large grapefruit (approximately 1¼ pounds)
2 tablespoons Dry-Roasted Grated Coconut (page 308)
2 tablespoons Dry-Roasted Peanuts (page 308), coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1 cup mint leaves, chopped
2 to 3 bird chiles, finely chopped
Bibb lettuce leaves, washed and dried, for garnish

In a small bowl, mix together the fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar, stirring vigorously to dissolve the sugar completely. Set aside.

Peel the pomelo or grapefruit and separate into segments. Cut off the inside “seam” of each segment and then run your thumb between the membrane and the fruit to free it. Place the fruit in a bowl.

When ready to serve, pour off any juice that has accumulated at the bottom of the bowl; reserve for another purpose. Add the roasted coconut and peanuts, the shallots, mint, and chiles to the fruit and mix well. Pour the lime dressing over and mix well. Taste and adjust the balance of salt, sour, sweet (fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar) if you wish, then serve immediately on a bed of lettuce.

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Nam Prik Nun Tai Yai

4 to 5 banana chiles (about 1/4 pound)
1/4 pound shallots, cut in half, quartered if very large
6 to 8 cloves garlic, halved if large
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes
2 to 3 tablespoons coriander leaves, coarsely torn
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Heat a charcoal or gas grill. Place the chiles, shallots, garlic, and tomatoes on a fine-mesh rack on the grill and grill until well blackened in spots on one side, then turn with tongs and repeat on the other side, turning the tomatoes as necessary to expose all sides to the heat.

Alternatively, heat two heavy skillets over high heat (if you have only one skillet, the vegetables will have to be cooked in sequence; with two, you can get everything cooked at the same time). Place the chiles, shallots, and garlic cloves in one skillet and place the tomatoes in the other. Lower the heat to medium-high under both skillets. Press down gently on the chiles to expose them to the heat; then, as one side blackens, use tongs or a wooden spatula to turn them. Similarly, turn the shallots and garlic as they blacken on one side to cook the other side. Use tongs to turn the tomatoes, exposing all sides to the heat.

Remove the vegetables from the grill or skillets when they seem well scorched and softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place on a cutting board to cool slightly. Slice off and discard the stem end of the chiles, slice the chiles lengthwise in half, and discard the seeds (unless you want a very hot salsa). Chop well, then transfer to a medium bowl. Finely chop the remaining vegetables and transfer, together with the juices from the tomatoes, to the bowl. Add the coriander, salt, and lime juice and stir to blend. The sauce will be chunky and a little bit soupy in texture. (The ingredients can be chopped together in a food processor, but the sauce is more traditional and more interesting with a hand-chopped texture.)
If you have time, let the sauce stand for 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend and mellow. Store in a covered nonreactive container in the refrigerator. The salsa will keep for 4 to 5 days. Bring back to room temperature before serving.

MAKES about 1½ cups sauce

NOTE: The Shan have a whole repertoire of grilled chile salsas, building on the ingredients in this one. For example, you could grill mushrooms or eggplant, then chop and add to this, adjusting the seasonings as necessary.

Jaew Bong (Laotian Chili Paste)

6 medium or 9 small shallots, unpeeled
1 1/2 cups garlic cloves (from 3 to 4 heads), unpeeled
6 (or up to 10) Thai dried red chiles
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped galangal
Several pinches of salt
2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce, or more to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons warm water
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place the shallots and garlic in the skillet and dry-roast until browned and blackened on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, place the skillet over medium heat, add the dried chiles, and dry-roast, turning and moving them frequently, until they start to give off an aroma; they should not blacken or burn—just heat gently until they are dried out and brittle. Alternatively, you can roast the shallots, garlic, and chiles over a charcoal or gas grill.

“Transfer the chiles to a mortar and pound them to a powder (discard any tough stems). Add the galangal and a pinch of salt and pound to a paste. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and set aside. Alternatively, place the chiles and galangal in a blender or food processor and chop them as fine as possible.

Slide the peels off the shallots and garlic and discard. Coarsely chop the shallots, place them in the mortar with a pinch of salt, and pound to a smooth paste. Add the paste to the mixture in the small bowl, then place the garlic cloves and a pinch of salt in the mortar and pound to a smooth paste. Add all the pounded ingredients to the mortar and pound together. Alternatively, add the shallots and garlic to the food processor with a pinch of salt and process. Add the fish sauce and 2 tablespoons of the warm water and pound or stir to blend well. The paste should be very moist and smooth; add a little more warm water if you wish. Taste for salt and add a little more salt or fish sauce if you wish. Stir in half the coriander.

Transfer the sauce to a small bowl. Sprinkle the remaining coriander over the top. Serve at room temperature. Store leftovers in a sealed contained in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Makes just over 1 cup thick sauce.